AUGUSTA, Ga. – One of the most anticipated seasons in school history is less than 24 hours away for the Augusta State men's basketball squad. The Jaguars tip off their season opener vs. Bowie State on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m., in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
After going 17-11 last season in a rebuilding year, the Jaguars are looking to a favorable home schedule to get off to a solid start. ASU is 38-9 all-time in season openers, including 7-1 under head coach Dip Metress. In home openers, the Jags are 37-10 overall and have an unblemished 8-0 mark with Metress at the helm.
The Bowie State matchup marks the second meeting between the Bulldogs and Jaguars, the last on Dec. 20, 2008, at A.C. Jordan Arena in Bowie, Md. ASU's Daniel Dixon drained a go-ahead 3-pointer with 15 seconds left on the clock and the 10th-ranked Jags claimed a 75-72 road victory to match the best start by a Jaguar squad since the 1976-77 season.
ASU returns four starters this season, including fifth-year senior forward Travis Keels, along with junior forward Harold Doby, and sophomores Devon Wright-Nelson and Devonte Thomas. The solo starting senior, Keels led the team and ranked fourth in the Peach Belt Conference with 50 blocks. He played in every game last season and started in 27. Doby -- last season's No. 3 scorer and No. 2 rebounder -- led the squad in free throws made (103) and attempted (157).
Thomas was the Jags' top threat from long range last season when he ranked third in the PBC in 3-pointers made (71) and ranked second in school history among all freshmen. The 2012 PBC Freshman of the Year, Wright-Nelson became the first freshman in school history to lead the team in scoring (14.2 ppg.) and rebounding (7.8 rpg.). He was a second-team, all-conference selection and was the program's sixth FOTY selection -- the first since 2007. Metress has nine newcomers to work with, including six freshman and three transfers.
Bowie State (0-3) enters the contest having dropped three straight to start the season. The Bulldogs are coming off a 75-72 setback on the road to Indiana (Pa.) on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
The Jags will open the 2012-13 campaign with three straight home games. Following the matchup with Bowie, ASU hosts Coastal Georgia on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 4:00 p.m., and Benedict on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Live stats for all ASU Basketball home games are available at http://livestats.prestosports.com/jaguars/. A live webcast of all ASU Basketball home games is available at www.ustream.tv/augustastateathletics.