UNCG’s campus may be slowing down for winter break, but there’s no rest for Coach Wes Miller and company.

Spartan hoops is in full swing this holiday season, as the men’s basketball team prepares for three ACC games starting tonight with an on-the-road match-up against Wake Forest.

The Spartans (4-5) are heading into tonight’s game after an impressive 84-61 win against Belmont Abbey on Saturday night. The win was a total team effort, with four of UNCG’s starters scoring in double digits.

Despite the injuries and roster changes early this season, Miller has high hopes as he and his team finish out the year and head into 2016.

“We’ve had opportunities to win some tough games against good teams,” Miller said. “We have the right group of guys and the right type of chemistry. We just need to start playing with that chemistry.”

After a tough Triad rivalry game against Elon on Saturday, Dec. 19, the Spartans will travel to NC State on Dec. 22 and then to the Dean Dome on Dec. 28 to take on no. 11 UNC Chapel Hill.

This isn’t the first time that the Spartans have faced off against ACC opponents. UNCG has competed against ACC teams for 13 straight seasons, including signature wins at Virginia Tech and at Georgia Tech.

What will it take to get a win against one of these powerhouse programs? Toughness.

“You have to be tougher than the other team,” Miller said. “You’ve got to win those hustle plays.”

UNCG begins conference play after the first of the year, playing at Wofford on Jan. 2 and then returning to the Greensboro Coliseum on Jan. 5 to take on Furman.

“The league is fantastic,” Miller said. “The SoCon top to bottom is as good as I’ve ever seen it.”

Freshman guard Francis Alonso has emerged as a leader this season, scoring 25 points against NC A&T in his first career start and notching 14 points and four assists against Belmont Abbey.

“Everybody sees how well Francis shoots the basketball, but he’s really smart too,” Miller said. “He really understands the game and where people need to be on the floor. He’s going to have a great career here at UNCG.”

Looking ahead, Miller is excited about his players and their potential.

“Their commitment to UNCG and to this program is special,” he said. “The guys in this locker room are fully committed and invested, and that’s going to translate into the type of success that we all expect.”

Tonight’s game against the Demon Deacons will be streamed online via ESPN3. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Spartan fans can watch all home basketball games for free in full HD on the SoCon Digital Network, as well as all in-conference road games.

For more information about men’s basketball and to buy tickets, visit uncgspartans.com.

 

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Relations
Photography by Tim Cowie, UNCG Athletics