Men's basketball opens practice today
Monday, October 15, 2007
Men's basketball opens practice today

TIGERVILLE, SC—The North Greenville University men’s basketball team, led by head coach Chad Lister, officially opens the 2007-08 season today, October 15, with a night practice session in Hayes Gymnasium. The Crusaders return six letterwinners and one starter from last year’s squad that went 16-13.

“We are very excited about trying to continue where we left off and continue our winning ways,” remarked Lister. “Its amazing to think that in five years we have gone from two wins to 16 wins, while increasing our win total each year.”

“Trying to continue that streak is what has motivated our players and coaches during the offseason and preseason.”

If the Crusaders are to continue to add to the win total each year, they will do so without four starters from last season. The lone returning starter is 6’6” senior forward Andrew Nipper who averaged seven points per game last season.

“We all feel confident that we can continue to win with the guys we have,” said Lister.

Returning to help lead the Crusaders is sophomore guard Austin Randel, who averaged 11.1 points per game while shooting 48.7% from the field. Adam Griggs, the squad’s only other senior and captain along with Nipper, contributed 4.6 points per game in 2006-07.

The Crusaders also return Kyler Vitko, Jordan Robinson, and Tyler Mains.

Lister is very excited about the eight newcomers that join the Crusaders ranks this season.

“We are really excited about our newcomers,” noted Lister. “Nathan Wilson, while new to our program, is a transfer with a lot of game experience. Jason Wray is not your average freshman and is certainly ready to play.”

“Jordan Hammonds played at perhaps the best high school basketball program in Kentucky and has played in big games. Then, there is Zach Babbitt who played in the South Carolina Upper State championship game last year at Wade Hampton High School. So we have a good bit of big game experience coming in this year.”

Lister has high expectations for his squad this season. “We have a goal to win 20 games this year. Every season we have a goal to win the National Championship because we want to always strive for the top achievement for an NCAA Division II institution and an NCCAA institution,” said Lister. “But along the way, we need to put ourselves in postseason position, and 20 wins would certainly do that.”

The Crusaders open exhibition play November 6 at Kennesaw State University. North Greenville will also play exhibitions at Coastal Carolina (November 9) and Gardner-Webb (November 13) before tipping off the 2007-08 regular season campaign November 15 at home against Limestone.