Sept. 8, 2015
Each week up until the beginning of basketball season, Ramblinwreck.com takes a look at an opponent on Georgia Tech’s non-conference schedule. This week, we look at Green Bay, an opponent the Jackets will play for the first time at McCamish Pavilion.
Date: November 19, 2015
Location: Green Bay, Wis.
Conference: Horizon League
Home arena: Resch Center (9,877)
2014-15 Record: 24-9 overall, 12-4 in the Horizon League (2nd place), 60th in NCAA RPI
Post-Season: NIT Tournament First Round, lost to Illinois State 69-56
NCAA Championship Appearances: 4 (last in 1996)
All-time series record: first meeting
Head coach: Linc Darner (entering 1st season, 0-0)
Starters returning/lost: 2/3
Top scorer returning: Carrington Love (10.0)
Top rebounder returning: Jordan Fouse (7.1)
Quick preview for 2015-16
In mid-April, Green Bay announced that Linc Darner was named the seventh head coach in Phoenix basketball history. Darner came from Florida Southern College, where he led the Moccasins to a Division II National Championship in 2015. Under former head coach Brian Wardle, the Phoenix totaled 24 wins in each of the past two seasons and made two consecutive appearances to the NIT Tournament. To continue this level of success, Darner and his team will depend on the versatility of senior guard and forward Jordan Fouse. He averaged 7.5 points, over seven rebounds, and nearly four assists per game last season. Green Bay will also look to Carrington Love to provide offensive production. The senior guard is the leading returning scorer for the Phoenix and made the second-most three-pointers on the team last season. Outside of Fouse, Love and one other player, the rest of Green Bay’s team has almost no game experience. The Phoenix will need several players to step up and fill the absence of graduated senior Keifer Sykes, who averaged 18.6 points per game last season.
Quick recap of 2014-15
Last year Green Bay got off to a great start, winning nine of its first 11 games of the season. The Phoenix went 13-1 at home, and had signature regular-season victories over Miami, Georgia State, and Valparaiso. After finishing the regular season with a 23-7 record, Green Bay went on to lose to Valparaiso by 10 points in the Horizon League championship game. The team’s success in the regular season and the tournament was good enough to earn a bid to the NIT Tournament. Seeded fifth, Green Bay bowed out in the first round after a 13-point loss to Illinois State. Overall, the Phoenix had a fine season and ranked second in the conference in total rebounding and assists, first in blocks, and third in steals. Even with the conference’s leading scorer Keifer Sykes (18.6 ppg), Green Bay still finished in the bottom half of the conference in total points scored per game.
Greatest program accomplishment
2014 Horizon League Regular Season Title and 4 NCAA Tournament Appearances – Green Bay basketball began in 1969, joined the Horizon League in 1994, and has appeared in the NCAA tournament four times. However, the Phoenix have not been to the Big Dance since 1996. All four trips took place in the ‘90s, including three in a row from 1994-96. Green Bay has made it out of the first round once, beating California before losing to Syracuse in the round of the 32 in 1994. The Phoenix have won four regular season titles, two as a member of the Summit League and two in the Horizon League. The 2014 team was the regular season champion, with a 14-2 conference record. Green Bay has also won four conference championships, two from both the Summit and Horizon Leagues.
Greatest player in program history
Tony Bennett (1988-1992) – Born in Clintonville, Wis., Tony Bennett is arguably the best basketball player in the history of the Green Bay program. Bennett is the school’s all-time leader in points scored (2,285), field goals made (792), three point field goals made (290), and assists (601). He averaged 19.4 points per game, and is still the NCAA leader in three-point field goal percentage (.497). During his four-year career, Bennett led the Phoenix to one NCAA Tournament birth in 1991 and two trips to the NIT. He was named Summit League Player of the Year twice. When he finished his career, Bennett was the conference’s all-time leader in points and assists. After college, he was drafted 35th overall by the Charlotte Hornets. Bennett played three seasons with the Hornets, scored over 538 points and dished out 303 assists before a foot injury ended his NBA career. Bennett is entering his seventh season as the head basketball coach of the Virginia Cavaliers. He has won 205 games and coached Virginia to the NCAA tournament three times.
Place to visit on campus or in the city
Lambeau Field – Home to the Green Bay Packers since 1957, Lambeau Field is one of the most historic and well-known stadiums in all of sports. Named in memory of the Packers’ founder, player, and long-time coach Curly Lambeau, the outdoor stadium seats 80,735 and is the oldest continually operating NFL stadium. In 2007, the Packers completed their 51st season at Lambeau Field, breaking the all-time NFL record set by the Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field (1921-1970). Only the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs have longer active home-field tenures in American professional sports. Tours are available daily. These allow fans to experience the Packers’ historic facility first-hand and see behind-the-scenes areas.