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Fans can meet, greet UTM men’s team

Fans can meet, greet UTM men’s team

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:02 pm

UT Martin head men’s basketball coach Jason James will hold “Meet and Greet” appearance 7 p.m. Friday at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
All fans in attendance will get their first chance to see the 2011-12 men’s team and have the chance to meet all players and members of the coaching staff.
James also announced that a half-dozen preseason practices will be open to the public. Those sessions will occur Oct. 18 (2:30 p.m.), Oct. 19 (4:30 p.m.), Oct. 22 (10 a.m.), Oct. 25 (4 p.m.), Oct. 26 (4 p.m.) and Oct. 29 (10 a.m.).
The Skyhawks return seven players from last season’s team that tripled its win output from the previous season and won its first OVCTournament game in program history.
Included in that group are sophomores Terence Smith, Mike Liabo and Troy King.
Those three combined to win eight adidas OVC Freshman of the Week awards last year, marking only the third time that one university had earned that many mentions in a single season.
Smith is the team’s leading returning scorer (11.3 points per game), as he also led the team in games started (28), minutes played (1,042) and assists (103) in 2010-11.
Liabo became the first freshman in UT Martin history to lead the team in scoring in OVC play, while pouring in double-figure point totals in 22 of 33 games overall.
King led the team in scoring nine times last season and displayed spot-on accuracy from long range, nailing 40.3 percent of his three-point field goal attempts to rank fifth in the OVC.
Also returning for the Skyhawks this season is senior Dane Smith, as well as sophomores Chris Richardson, Omari Minor and Pierre Mopo.
Smith was one of the team’s best defenders last season, while Richardson and Minor split the point guard duties for the majority of the season.
Mopo saw action in 17 games last year, but James has indicated the 6-7, 245-pounder is one of the team’s most improved players in 2011-12.
Joining the returners are nine newcomers, including three walk-ons. James expects big things from a trio of junior college post players with winning pedigrees.
Published in The WCP 10.11.11


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