Men's Basketball Opens Season on the Road at Minnesota

Men's Basketball Opens Season on the Road at Minnesota

Media Information
 American (0-0) vs. Minnesota (0-0)
Date and Location: Friday, November 9, 8 p.m. - Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minn.
Radio: Federal News Radio 1050AM - Dan Laing (Play-By-Play), Jeremy Huber (Analyst)
Game Notes

Head coach Jeff Jones and the American Men's Basketball team opens the 2012-13 regular season Friday, November 9 at 7 p.m. CST, on the road with a strong test against Tubby Smith and the Minnesota Gophers. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

The showdown in Minneapolis can be heard live on Federal News Radio 1050AM with Dan Laing on the call and Jeremy Huber on color commentary.

The Eagles put forth a balanced effort in the team's 71-46 exhibition victory over Mary Washington and enters the season third in the Patriot League Preseason Poll. American was picked to finish third in the Patriot League pre-season poll receiving 66 points behind defending Patriot League Champion Lehigh and runner-up Bucknell, who finished first and second, respectively, in the voting.

Head Coach Jeff Jones enters his 13th season at AU. He returns three starters and nine members of last season's squad which finished 10-4 in Patriot League play and reached the Patriot League Semis for the 11th consecutive year. Stephen Lumpkins returns for his senior year after playing professional baseball for the Kansas City Royals organization in 2011-12. Lumpkins was a Second Team All-Patriot League selection averaging 13.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg during the 2010-11 season. Senior point guard Daniel Munoz comes off a strong junior campaign in which he led the conference with 4.2 apg and registered a career-best 8.0 ppg and 2.7 rpg. Other projected starters include junior center Tony Wroblicky (6.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and sophomore guards John Schoof (3.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg) and Austin Carroll (transfer from Rutgers).

The Eagles home opener is November 15 against Mount St. Mary's.


Scouting the Opponent

• Minnesota boasts a Lute Olson Preseason All-American in sixth-year senior Trevor Mbakwe. The post presence suffered a knee injury seven games into the 2011-12 season and was awarded a sixth season by the NCAA. At the time of the injury, Mbakwe was leading the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounding (9.1).

• Senior Rodney Williams Jr. was named to All-NIT Tournament Team last season (19.2 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 1.0 bpg - all team highs). He led the team in scoring (12.2 ppg), rebounding (5.6 rpg), blocked shots (1.4 bpg) & steals (1.3 spg), all career highs.

• Sophomore Andre Hollins was named to the All-Big Ten Tournament Team (23.0 ppg., 4.5 rpg., 3.0 apg.) and the All-NIT Tournament Team (15.0 ppg., 4.6 rpg., 2.8 apg.). He averaged 16.8 ppg over the final nine games of the season. He led he Big Ten Conference in free throw percentage (.904), the highest single-season free throw percentage in program history.

• The Gophers finished last season with 23 wins, the most at Minnesota since the 1989-90 team also won 23 games (not including vacated seasons - Minnesota won 31 games in 1996-97).

• Minnesota led the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots with a total of 186 this season, the fourth-most in program history and finished the season with 573 assists - an average of 15.1 apg which was third in the conference. The total is second all-time in program history.

• Minnesota finished the season with 1325 rebounds, the most in the history of Minnesota basketball.