Monday News and Notes

Your first player profile, of incoming freshmen Keith Hornsby, Jaleel Roberts, and Thomas Bess, as well as transfer students Jeremy Atkinson and Chudier Pal, will show up sometime tomrrow.  In the meantime, here are a few tidbits to keep you through the night.

  • As expected, the UNC game/Kimmel Arena/Home opener has sold out.  Tickets were distributed in phases, with season-ticket holders going first (including yours truly – still don’t know where I’m sitting). Students were then given an opportunity to get free tickets, with 807 students out of roughly 3,200 taking the offer.  Keith Jarrett of the Citizen-Times has a nice writeup on the event, including some cool pictures of the students in line to get tickets.  So 1/4 of the student body will be in Kimmel on the 13th.  Season ticket holders were then given the opportunity to purchase 2 additional tickets to the game last week.  Finally, offers went out to alumni, after which the game promptly sold out.  It’s difficult to say how many people in the arena will be wearing the right shade of blue, but the athletic department made sure that tickets didn’t go to anyone who didn’t have some sort of tie to the university, so it’s about as good as we can hope for.
  • The ‘Dogs had a closed scrimmage on Saturday vs. UNC Greensboro.  No word on the outcome, as it probably should be.  The first glimpse we’ll get of the 2011-2012 team, outside of Dunkin’ at the Doghouse, will be on the 7th against Lees-McRae.

2011-2012 Season Preview, Part 1: Great Expectations

UPDATE: I completely forgot that UNCA was ranked #1 in the Big South preseason poll, with Matt Dickey being named the preseason player of the year.  Still, it’s only the preseason, and the real tests will come next month.

To say that Eddie Biedenbach and the UNC Asheville Bulldogs are riding a hot streak right now is a bit of an understatement.  The team won 7 of their last 8 games, including a sweep of the Big South Tournament and a victory in the “First Four” round of the NCAA tournament.  It was an amazing bookend to a season that started out with a win against Auburn and a relatively close loss to UNC (albeit a UNC with Larry Drew II as point guard).  Matt Dickey became a video highlight reel unto himself with last-second shots against Coastal Carolina and Arkansas-Little Rock, while “Jumpin’ John” Williams, now the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots, earned a spot at the NCAA dunk contest that in turn led to a spot with the legendary Harlem Globetrotters.  So yeah, a good season.

What’s Next?

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UNC Asheville.  It doesn’t necessarily ring out as a traditional basketball powerhouse (you may be thinking of the university 210 miles down the mountain on I-40).  But this small school – with one of the smallest athletic budgets in the country – has managed to put together an impressive basketball team that, over the past three years, has managed to go to both the NCAA tournament and the NIT while winning Big South torunament and regular season titles.

Despite all this, coverage of UNCA basketball is, in a word, lacking.  The always-entertaining  is great for discussion, but real articles and commentary are scarce to nonexistent.  Rather than complain about it, this blog will attempt to fill that void by providing detailed discussion of UNCA basketball – games, players, coaches, recruiting.  If it has to do with UNCA, we’ll be there.

Who’s “we,” you ask?  Well, right now “we” consists of just one person – me.  I’m a UNCA alum (class of 2008) who’s in law school at UNC Chapel Hill.  Rest assured, my loyalties lie first and foremost with the Bulldogs.  Over time, however, I hope to bring in other contributors, be they alums, students, or fellow fans, to help build this site and make it the authoritative source for UNCA basketball on the internet.