Basketball (M)

Basketball Pregame Notes - UT-Martin
Release: Wednesday 11/23/2012 


UT-Martin (2-3) at Bradley (3-1)
Nov. 24, 2012 – 1 p.m. (CST)
Peoria, Ill. – Carver Arena (11,168)
TV:  None
Radio:  1470 WMBD - Dave Snell (pbp), Chad Kleine (analyst) and Dan DiOrio (pregame)
Twitter:  @BPtheBrave - #BRADvUTM 

Bradley returns from a 2-game road swing to IUPUI and South Florida to host Tennessee-Martin Saturday afternoon at Carver Arena ... The game against the Skyhawks is the return matchup in a series created through participation in the 2011 BracketBusters event ... Bradley is just 2-5 in the BracketBusters return games and the Braves have dropped five straight in the series second games ... Today’s game begins a stretch that will see the Braves play five of their next six games at Carver Arena ... The Braves will visit Central Michigan Wednesday, then will return home for four straight games at Carver Arena - Michigan (Dec. 1) and George Washington (Dec. 4) before final exams, followed by Georgia Southern (Dec. 17) and Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 19) in the first two rounds of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic in the first two games after final exams.

About UT-Martin
A member of the Ohio Valley Conference, Tennessee-Martin is a school of 8,400 students located in Martin, Tenn ... The Skyhawks returned eight players, including four starters, from its 2011-12 squad that finished 4-27 overall and last in the OVC with an 0-16 league record ... Coming to Peoria with a 2-3 record, both of UT-Martin’s wins have come against non-Division I teams: Nov. 14 versus Fontbonne (84-58) and Nov. 20 versus Lyon (92-58) ... The Skyhawks boast five players scoring in double-figures, led by sophomore forward Myles Taylor, who paces UTM in both scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg).

Series History
Bradley Leads 3-0 | Last: Bradley 81-75 (2-19-2011 at UTM)
Saturday’s game will be the fourth meeting in the all-time series and the Braves have won each of the first three ... Since a 99-65 win Dec. 1, 1973 at Robertson Fieldhouse, however, Bradley’s margins of victory have continued to shrink in the UT-Martin series ... Bradley added a 68-47 win Nov. 21, 1998 and an 81-75 victory Feb. 19, 2011 at UT-Martin in a game created both schools’ participation in the BracketBusters series ... With three of Bradley’s top players - Taylor Brown (cardiac evaluation), Dodie Dunson (knee) and Sam Maniscalco (ankle) - unavailable, Bradley freshmen Walt Lemon, Jr. and Jordan Prosser filled the void ... Lemon scored a then career-best 20 points, while Prosser added his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

BracketBuster Returns
The return games in the BracketBusters series have not been kind to the Braves ... While Bradley is 7-2 in the first games of the BracketBusters, the Braves are just 2-5 in the return games and have dropped five straight in the series second games ... Bradley has not won a BracketBusters return game since hanging on for a 78-76 win against Western Kentucky Dec. 14, 2005 at Carver Arena ... The Braves have not swept both games against an opponent created through the BracketBusters series since its first two years of participation in the event against Northern Illinois, following a 76-67 win Feb. 21, 2004 against Northern Illinois with a 76-74 overtime win on the road against the Huskies Dec. 1, 2004.

Last Time Out
at USF 82, Bradley 63 | Nov. 20, 2012 | Tampa, Fla.
South Florida hit four of its first five 3-point field goal attempts en route to an early, 16-7 lead and the Bulls never looked back in an 82-63 win against the Braves Tuesday night at the Sun Dome ... USF expanded its lead to 43-26 at halftime and eventually pushed its advantage to as many as 34 points, 70-36 with 9:28 remaining, before Bradley closed the gap ... Junior forward Tyshon Pickett paced three Braves in double-figures with 13 points, while Toarlyn Fitzpatrick made 4-of-7 from 3-point range in a 16-point effort for the Bulls ... Box Score on Page 23 of linked PDF version of Bradley's game notes.

Home Court Run
Starting with Saturday’s game against Tennessee-Martin, Bradley is playing five of its next six games at home ... The Braves are 2-0 at home so far this year, winning the two games by an average of 20.0 points ... Bradley has not played five at home in a 6-game stretch since the Braves played 6-of-7 at Carver Arena from Dec. 4, 2004-Jan. 5, 2005 ... The Braves won all six games in that stretch in the middle of an overall 15-game home winning streak.

That 70’s Show
Bradley scored at least 76 points in each of its first three games and is averaging 74.0 ppg through the first four games of the season ... Bradley is 3-0 this season and 6-1 the last two years when scoring at least 70 points. 

November Record
Off to a 3-1 start and with two games remaining this month, Bradley has an opportunity to match its program record for November wins in a season ... The Braves previously won five November games in 2007 (5-2) and 2006 (5-2) ... If the Braves were to win their two remaining games this month, they would secure their best November winning percentage since going 3-0 (1.000) in November 1998.

It’s Cold Outside
Bradley ranks 300th nationally by shooting just 28.0 percent (14-50) from 3-point range and the Braves are tied for 319th with just 14 treys through games of Nov. 22. 

But Warm Inside
Bradley is shooting 51.6 percent (94-182) from inside the arc ... Bradley’s 2-point field goal percentage ranks fourth among The Valley’s 10 teams ... The Braves have outscored their opponents in the paint in each of their three wins and boast an overall 152-86 scoring advantage in the paint ... Bradley is averaging a +16.5 points-per-game scoring advantage in the paint.

Defensive Activity
Bradley’s defense is forcing 16.3 turnovers per game and the Braves boast 42 steals ... Bradley boasts an 86-51 advantage in defensive deflections through four games ... The defensive activity has allowed the Braves an 85-44 advantage in points off turnovers.

2012-13 Newcomers
Though Bradley signed four players in its 2012-13 recruiting class, the roster includes seven newcomers and nine players who did not play in Geno Ford’s first season on The Hilltop ... Junior college transfer Tyshon Pickett stole the show the season-opener Nov. 9 versus Eastern Illinois, scoring a game-high 23 points and sharing game-high honors with eight rebounds to earn Valley Newcomer of the Week for the opening week ... Freshman guard Ka’Darryl Bell has made just one turnover in 23 minutes through four games ... The Braves also welcome a trio of non-scholarship newcomers to the backcourt:  Mason Alwan, Jimmy Gavin and Darrion Harris ... Sixth-year senior center Will Egolf (medical hardship) and freshman center Nate Wells (redshirt) both sat out Ford’s rookie season ... Sophomore guards Anthony Fields (Wake Forest) and Omari Grier (Florida Atlantic) are NCAA Division I transfers and are not eligible to play in 2012-13.

Looking Ahead to ‘13-14
The Bradley roster is expected to feature six new faces for the 2013-14 season ... Sophomore guards Anthony Fields (Wake Forest) and Omari Grier (Florida Atlantic) both will have three years of eligibility for the Braves beginning with the 2013-14 campaign ... The 2012-13 Bradley roster also features four seniors -- swingman Jake Eastman, forward/center Will Egolf, perimeter shooting forward Milos Knezevic and guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards -- meaning four scholarships will be available to fill for the 2013-14 season ... The Braves have filled two of those spots with the signing of 6-foot-5 shooter Stefan Zecevic (Kragujevac, Serbia/Lee Academy {Maine}) and 6-foot-7 forward Michael Tucker (Covington, Ga./Quality Education Academy {N.C.}).

Pickett’s Debut
Junior forward Tyshon Pickett made his Bradley debut by scoring a game-high 23 points and sharing game-high honors with eight rebounds in the season-opening win against Eastern Illinois ... Pickett’s 23 points were the most by a debuting Bradley player in his first game since Chet “The Jet” Walker pumped in 44 points Dec. 3, 1959 versus Abilene Christian ... The 6-foot-6 power forward added his first career double-double Nov. 17 at IUPUI with 18 points and 10 rebounds ... Pickett enters Saturday’s game leading the Braves in both scoring (14.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg) and is adding 1.3 blocked shots and 1.5 steals per game.

Welcome Back Will
With two torn right ACLs in his rearview mirror, 6-foot-9 center Will Egolf has started strong in his sixth season with the Braves ... The second sixth-year player in four seasons at Bradley, Egolf is averaging 10.3 ppg and 4.5 rpg while shooting 50 percent from the field ... After missing the first 16 3-point field goal attempts of his career, Egolf has opened the 2012-13 season by going 5-for-9 from long range.

DSE Joins Century Club
Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards leads The Valley by averaging 2.8 steals per game ... With 11 steals through four games, Simms-Edwards pushed his career steals total to 105 ... Simms-Edwards is Bradley’s active leader in numerous categories (lists to right) and needs 141 points to become the 45th player in program history to score at least 1,000 career points.

Great Lake State Slate
Bradley will play its next two games against teams from the Great Lake State ... The Braves will visit Central Michigan Wednesday night, before hosting #4 Michigan Saturday afternoon at Carver Arena ... Since its 2006 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 run at the Palace at Auburn Hills, Bradley has dropped threee straight games in the state of Michigan, including a 77-66 loss at #19 Michigan Dec. 22, 2011 ... If #4 Michigan beats Kansas State Friday, the Wolverines likely will be the highest-ranked team to visit Peoria since #2 Wichita State left Robertson Fieldhouse with a 55-47 loss to the host Braves Jan. 9, 1982 ... Bradley has dropped five straight against Top 25 teams since a 68-59 victory against #18 UNI Feb. 13, 2010 at Carver Arena.


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