EIU Men’s Basketball Exhibition Set for Saturday

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Published on October 31 2013 10:50 am
Last Updated on October 31 2013 10:50 am
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – The Panther men’s basketball team plays host to Oakland City on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. inside Lantz Arena. The game will serve as the team’s lone exhibition contest of the year.

THE OPENING TIP
The Panther men’s basketball team plays host to Oakland City on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. inside Lantz Arena. The game will serve as the team’s lone exhibition contest of the year.

Admission to Saturday’s exhibition game is free. Season ticket holders in the lower seating area will still have their seats reserved.

The Mighty Oaks went 24-4 last season under the direction of Dr. Mike Sandifar. OCU holds duel membership affiliation at the NCAA Division II level and the NCCAA Division I level.

EIU opens the 2013-14 regular season at Big Ten member Northwestern on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. The game will be carried on the Big Ten Network.

PANTHER NOTES
• The Panthers return four players from last season including the team’s top returning scorer and rebounder, Sherman Blanford. The senior forward averaged 10.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and was tabbed to the All-OVC Newcomer Team a year ago.

• Josh Piper also returns after a sophomore season where he started in 31 contests and hit a team-high 52 three pointers. The Champaign, Ill., native averaged 10.2 points per game.

• Sophomore guard Alex Austin returns after pacing all OVC freshmen in scoring last season, averaging 9.3 points per game. The Chicago native also added 36 assists and 27 steals.

• All told, the Panthers feature 18 players on the roster with junior Keenen Anderson as only other returning player from last year. EIU was third in the OVC West Division last season advancing the program's first OVC Tournament since the 2010 season.

OVC PRESEASON POLL
The Panther men’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference’s West Division on Oct. 22 at the conference’s annual media day as voted on by head coaches and sports information directors. Southeast Missouri and Murray State were tied for first in the west division while Eastern Kentucky was tabbed to win the east division.

EIU HEAD COACH JAY SPOONHOUR
The Panthers are led by second-year head coach Jay Spoonhour. He has a 17-25 record as a head coach at the Division I level and an overall 117-54 record in six seasons as a head coach. Spoonhour joined the Panthers after three seasons at Moberly Area C.C.

In 2001, Spoonhour was the National Junior College Coach of the Year after leading Wabash Valley College to the NJCAA National Championship with a 36-1 record. He has had assistant coaching stops at Central Missouri, Saint Louis, Missouri ant Texas San Antonio.