The UNCG men’s basketball team returns to the court Tuesday, Nov. 5, and it’s safe to say that this year’s players are hungry. 

Sure, the Spartans had another record-breaking season last year. They competed in the Southern Conference title game for a third consecutive season and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the National Invitation Tournament.

But Head Coach Wes Miller and his squad want more. They’re looking for another SoCon title, another trip to the NCAA Tournament, and another opportunity to show why they belong on the national stage. 

This year’s team may just have the ingredients to make it happen. 

The Spartans return the 2018-19 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year in Isaiah Miller. The junior guard was named Preseason SoCon Player of the Year, and is one of the most talked about guards in all of college basketball. 

Then there’s the senior leadership of James Dickey, Malik Massey, and Kyrin Galloway. And exciting new talent in Keyshaun and Kobe Langley, twin brothers from Greensboro, whose father Keyford played for UNCG from 1988-1992. 

“We probably have the most athletic team that ever came through UNCG,” said Isaiah Miller. “We have a lot of explosive guys. We have a lot of people who know how to run the system.”

The Spartans will be put to the test early in the season. They travel to No. 3 Kansas on Nov. 8, and then to Georgetown on Nov. 30. On Dec. 15, they face NC State at the Greensboro Coliseum – a team they beat two years ago in Raleigh. 

“This is the most difficult schedule we’ve had in the last 4-5 years,” said Coach Miller during the first episode of the 2019-20 UNCG Basketball Coaches Show on Oct. 21. “We’re going to have some tough moments in the non-conference. The toughness of this group will be tested early, and I think that could be good for us in January.”

The Spartans begin play next Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. against N.C. A&T at the Greensboro Coliseum. UNCG Athletics has set a goal of 10,000 fans at the crosstown rivalry game, which would be a new program record for a home opener.  

Dickey hopes to see the Coliseum packed on Tuesday night. But it’s about much more than the home opener. He’s looking to the fans to bring the energy all season. 

“I don’t think the fans understand how vital their support is to our success,” Dickey said. “When we are warming up before the game and we see fans coming in from all over the arena, it gives us more to play for, outside of ourselves.”

To view the full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit uncgpsartans.com

 

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications