TIGERVILLE, SC – The North Greenville University men’s basketball team prepares to open the 2005-06 season with exhibition games against Division I opponents Charleston Southern and Kennesaw State. The Crusaders will travel to Charleston Southern for Thursday night game before heading to Kennesaw State on Saturday.
North Greenville returns four starters from last year’s 10-20 squad. Sophomore guard Victor Duck led the Crusaders in scoring last season (13.7 ppg) en route to being named a NCAA Division II-Independent All-American. Junior guard PJ Schumacher averaged 11.7 points per game last season and made 83 three-pointers.
"Getting the opportunity to compete against D-I programs is a wonderful opportunity for our players," said head coach Chad Lister. "After practicing for four straight weeks, it is great to finally see someone new, plus playing in bigger environments against D-I talent is a great measuring stick for where we are as a program."
Thursday night’s game marks the second consecutive season that Charleston Southern has hosted the Crusaders in an exhibition. Last season, the Buccaneers defeated North Greenville 60-40. Charleston Southern finished the season 13-17 before falling to Winthrop in the championship game of the Big South Conference tournament.
Kennesaw State is entering its first season as a Division I program. The Owls join the Atlantic Sun Conference after finishing 24-6 last season. KSU lost in the semifinals of the Peach Belt Tournament but still received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional, where they were defeated by Columbus State in overtime in the first round. In 2003-04, the Owls won the Division II National Championship.
Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:00.