The East Central University men’s basketball team will return to action and will be looking to defend their four-game winning streak when they face Arkansas-Monticello, Thursday, Jan. 2 at Steelman Fieldhouse at 7:30 p.m.
ECU’s radio home for Tigers basketball in 2012-13 is Ada’s KXFC, 105.5, FM ‘The X-Factor’. Kenny Morrison returns to broadcast the games for his 17th season. Morrison, a 1987 ECU graduate, spent two seasons doing color prior to taking over the play-by-play duties during the 1997-98 season.
Fans who can’t be at the game can find links to live stats, live video (if available) and the KXFC radio broadcast on ECUTigers.com. Go to the men’s basketball schedule page. Fans can listen to the radio broadcast online or through the FREE KXFC App available in ITunes, Google Stores where apps are sold and www.kxfcradio.com.
The Boll Weevils have had a strong start to the 2013-14 season, going 8-2 overall and 2-1 in the Great American Conference. UAM has won its last six games, including a 90-81 win over No. 22 Angelo State Dec. 21.
The Boll Weevils have a +12.6 scoring and +5.2 rebounding margin for the season after shooting .502 as a team on the season. UAM is allowing its opponents to shoot at a .438 mark. The Boll Weevils and their opponents have not taken a large amount of three-point shots, around just 26 percent of their total shots.
UAM has three players that are averaging double-digits in the scoring column. The trio accounts for 51 percent of the team’s points and 49 percent of the shots taken. Brandon Wilson leads the team with 17.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, while shooting .616 (69-of-112) from the floor. Jarden Harrison and Brandon Sims are the other two players with more than 10 points per game. Harrison adds 12.4 points, while Sims contributed 10.7 points and 4.4 boards per game.
Against the Boll Weevils
A year ago, UAM earned wins in both of the meetings with the Tigers. The Boll Weevils average a +11.5 scoring margin and ECU earned a +2.0 rebounding margin.
Senior Colby Carr is the top returner for ECU, with 14.5 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Dayton Mickens and Brandon Sims are the top returners for the Boll Weevils. Mickens averaged 14 points and four rebounds per game, while Sims contributed 15 points and eight boards per outing.
The all-time series with UAM started with the creation of the GAC, with only four games having been played to date. The Boll Weevils have earned wins in all four of those outings, including the previous two in Monticello.
Making a Statement
The Tigers had a strong showing against Southwestern Adventist, scoring 122 points. The number was the most in school history, with the previous high being 117. It was also the first time since Jan. 7, 2010 that ECU had scored 100+ points in a game when they fell 104-128.
ECU finished the first portion of the 2013-14 season with a 6-4 record, marking the first time since 2007-08 that the Tigers were above .500 at the holiday break. They started 2007-08 with a 6-3 mark and finished 14-13 overall.
Winning the Unwinnable Road Trip
The Tigers had a great conference road trip, winning at both Harding and Arkansas Tech. ECU defeated Harding 93-83 and ATU 94-78. The wins made the Tigers the first team from the GAC to earn wins at both Harding and ATU in league history.
Lucas Earns GAC Weekly Honors
Junior Brandon Lucas has been named the Great American Conference Player of the Week for Dec. 9 after helping the Tigers earn two big road wins at Harding and Arkansas Tech last weekend.
Lucas led the Tigers to road victories at Harding and ATU as they became the first program in GAC history to pull off that weekend sweep. He averaged 23.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in the two contests. He shot 68.2 percent from the floor, going 15-for-22 and 5-for-7 on 3-pointers. He went 8-for-9 in the win at Harding.
Abundant Free Throws
Free throws became a large part of the Tigers win against the Wonder Boys, as both teams combined for 99 free throws in the game. ECU went 39-of-55 and ATU was 27-of-44 for the game. The 99 combined free throws set at GAC record. The old record was 81 set by Arkansas Tech (45) and Southwestern (36), Jan. 12, 2012.
Mitchell Up for Good Works Team
Senior Miles Mitchell was recently named a nominee for the 2014 Allstate Good Works Team. The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service.
Mitchell is one of 43 nominees for the DII, DIII and NAIA section and the only member of the group from the Great American Conference. The team will be announced in February and will consist of five student-athletes from the group of 43.
Making a Difference Off the Court
On the court is not the only place that you can find a member of ECU men’s basketball team this season. Since head coach Ja Havens has taken over the program the Tigers have renewed their commitment to community service. ECU has been a part of several community service projects since the start of the school year, with an emphasis on youth events. The Tigers have been to several elementary and middle schools in the area to read with the students and to get to know their younger fans.
A coaching change did not stop senior Colby Carr from continuing his consistent performances on the court. Carr has recorded at least one point and one rebound in all 36 games since he joined the Tigers in 2012-13. The New Orleans, La., native is also not afraid to share the ball, dishing out an assists in the last 25 games for ECU.
Starting Out on the Right Path
For the first time since joining the GAC, the Tigers picked up a win in their first conference game of the season when they defeated Ouachita Baptist 81-54.
Tigers Picked to Finish 10th
The Tigers were picked to finish 10th in the Great American Conference in the 2013-14 GAC Preseason Poll as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
ECU received 28 points in the poll and were above Southern Arkansas, with 22 points.
The Tigers will remain on the road for a game in Magnolia, Ark., against Southern Arkansas, Saturday, Jan. 4 at 4 p.m.