UMBC opens its 27th NCAA Division I basketball season and tenth as a member of the America East Conference when they take on the Penn Quakers at the Palestra on Fri., Nov. 9. Gary Stein and Paul Mittermeier have the call on Q1370/www.q1370.com.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: Aki Thomas, who came to the UMBC staff on the eve of the 2007-08 championship season, was named the Retrievers' acting head coach on Oct. 10. He inherits a squad that struggled to a 4-26 mark a year ago, but one that had a total of nine years of DI experience. Nearly 83 percent of the offensive punch returns, including JR F Chase Plummer (15.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg) who earned America East Second Team honors as a sophomore. SR guards Ryan Cook(12.5 ppg) and Brian Neller (11.4 ppg) also averaged in double figures and 6-10 St. Bonaventure transfer Brett Roseboro is expected to bolster UMBC's game in the paint.
QUAKER UPDATE: Penn finished 20-13 last year, advancing to the postseason for the first time since 2007 with a CBI appearance. The Quakers return two starters and six other letterwinners from that squad. JR G Miles Cartwright has been a two-year starter for the program, and was third on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg), assists (66), three-point baskets (60) and free throws (60) in 2011-12. Penn was picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League's Preseason Media Poll.
Who's Up Next: The Retrievers open the home schedule on Monday., Nov. 12 when they host Eastern (Pa.) University. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m.