The UMBC Retrievers open their 49th season of intercollegiate basketball, the 30th on the NCAA Division I level and No. 13 in the America East Conference on Friday, Nov. 13 when they travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as part of the Opening Round Games in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. Tip-off time at LVJM Coliseum is slated for 8:00 p.m. Paul Mittermeier has all the play-by-play action on (Q1370 AM ,www.q1370.com) and the game will also be available on ESPN3.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: The revitalization of the UMBC men's basketball program should start in 2015-16.
Fourth-year Head Coach Aki Thomas will welcome back six letter winners, all of whom made significant contributions in a challenging 2014-15 campaign. Moreover, the Retrievers will welcome back red-shirt sophomore guard Rodney Elliott, the 2013-14 America East Rookie of the Year. Elliott, who averaged 15.0 points and recorded over 100 assists as a freshman, suffered a shoulder injury in the season opener and underwent season-ending surgery.
In addition to the loss of Elliott, rising junior wing Will Darley missed 11 games with a knee injury, leading scorer Wayne Sparrow (13.8 ppg) was unable to matriculate at UMBC during the spring semester and missed the final 10 games of the campaign and three other players were suspended for the season and did not compete in America East action.
In 2015-16, Elliott will be joined in the backcourt by a sophomore who took his spot last season, Jourdan Grant. Grant set a UMBC freshman record for assists in a season and averaged 8.5 points per game.
UMBC's lone senior, 6'8" post Cody Joyce, made an immediate impact in his first season at UMBC, earning America East Second Team honors. The transfer from Houston Baptist averaged 13.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in 2014-15.
EXHIBTION ACTION: UMBC hosted in-state foe Frostburg State on Friday and pulled away for a 92-76 victory. In his return to action, Elliott led all scorers with 24 points, hitting 8-of-13 shots from the floor. Grant (17 points, 12 rebounds) and freshman wing Joe Sherburne (17 points, 10 rebounds) both posted double-doubles for the Retreivers.
WAKE UPDATE: Under first-year head coach Danny Manning, Wake Forest posted a record of 13-19 in 2014-15. Eleven of Wake's 13 victories came at LVJM Coliseum. Senior guard Codi Miller-McIntyre is the second-leading returning scorer in the ACC with 14.5 points per game recorded a season ago. Senior power forward Devin Thomas Enters season as the ACC active leader in rebounds (755) and double-doubles (21) .
SERIES NOTES: The two schools have never competed on the hardwood. UMBC's last match-up against an ACC school took place in the 2009-10 season when the Retrievers lost, 71-34, at Virginia Tech.
WHO'S UP NEXT: UMBC competes against another foe which will compete in the main draw of the Maui Inviational when they travel to New York to take on St. John's on Monday, Nov. 16.