LIONS GET FIRST LOOK AT 2011-12 SEASON, FACING ARKANSAS IN EXHIBITION
COMMERCE, Texas -- A&M-Commerce will get its first on-court playing experience tonight, traveling to Fayette, Arkansas to face the Razorbacks in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.
"We're excited to get the chance to play at Arkansas against a team synonymous with men's basketball," said head coach Sam Walker. "Arkansas has a rich basketball tradition, but more importantly I'm excited to see how our guys respond following a long and hard offseason. They will get the chance to play in front of a great crowd, and we'll have to see which players step up. Hopefully after tonight, we'll have a better idea of exactly what we have."
Walker is set to begin his 12th season as the head coach of the Lions and his 20th season as a member of the basketball program. A&M-Commerce is coming off an 18-9 showing in 2010-11 as the Lions advanced to the Lone Star Conference Championship quarterfinals, falling to eventual champion Midwestern State.
Experience will be key for the Lions this season as they return four seniors who all had significiant playing time last year, including the LSC Preseason Player of the Year in Desmond King. Brad Hambrick was also named an all-conference player in 2010-11 and will have seniors Austin Brown and LaBree Sledge, both of which look to make an impact in their final campaigns.
Juniors Andrew Davis, Esteban Arriola and Preston Whitley also return for A&M-Commerce and should provide some balanced scoring as well as competing for starting positions. A number of transfers and newcomers should also see some immediate playing time, including redshirt freshman Quince Jackson, junior Mouhamadou N'doye, a transfer from New Mexico State and freshman Devondrick Walker.
Opening tip is set for 7 p.m. from Bud Walton Arena in Fayette. Live stats and live video of the exhibition contest will be available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com. A&M-Commerce's first regular season game is Thursday, Nov. 17 at Southern Arkansas, with the Lions' first home game set for Wednesday, Nov. 30 when the Lions will host Midwestern State in its first LSC game of the year.