Men’s Hoops Ready for First Sun Belt Conference Tournament Contest

Published Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 11:36 am

Appalachian State ready for first-ever Sun Belt tournament on Wednesday. Courtesy: Dave Mayo / App State Athletics

Appalachian State University men’s basketball will compete in its first-ever Sun Belt Conference tournament beginning on Wednesday, March 8. As the 11th seed, the Mountaineers will face-off with the sixth-seeded Troy Trojans. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.

Wednesday’s contest can be heard live locally on WATA 1450 AM in Boone and Blowing Rock. It will also be carried on Appalachian State’s flagship station, WKBC 97.3 FM, as well as, WZGV 730 AM, WCOG 1320 AM, and online/worldwide on appstatesports.com and via the TuneIn app.  

The game is also available on ESPN3 via the WatchESPN app.

SETTING THE SCENE
• Appalachian State will participate in its first-ever Sun Belt Conference tournament tonight when it faces off against Troy.

• The matchup with the Trojans will be the Mountaineers’ second with Troy this season. Earlier in the year, App State fell 76-66 on the road at Troy.

• The Mountaineers clinched the No. 11 seed in the tournament with a season finale victory over Coastal Carolina on Saturday, 77-73.

Ronshad Shabazz was voted to the Sun Belt all-conference third-team by the league’s coaches.

• In his tenure at Appalachian State, head coach Jim Fox is 5-0 in the month of March.

Isaac Johnson is one of just two freshmen in the entire country to lead his team in rebounds and steals.

• Johnson can also finish as the first freshman to lead the Mountaineers in rebounding since Mel Hubbard during the 1975-76 season (7.7 per game).

• According to Ken Pomeroy, the Mountaineers are the 19th-youngest team in the country (332/351).

SCOUTING THE TROJANS
• The Trojans finished the regular season with an 18-14 overall record and a 10-8 mark in league play to earn the No. 6 seed at this year’s Sun Belt tournament.

• The Trojans will enter tonight’s contest having won six-of-their-last-eight contests, including back-to-back wins over Arkansas State and Little Rock.

• Jordon Varnado leads the team with 16.2 points per game, while Wesley Person (13.9) and Jeremy Hollimon (11.7) also post double-figures.

• Varnado also leads the team in rebounding by the slimest of margins (6.9) over DeVon Walker (6.8).

• Troy’s offense has been rather high-paced as the team posts nearly 80 points per game (78.7) and holds a +5.8 scoring margin.

• In addition to scoring, the Trojans also hold a positive rebounding margin (+3.3).

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