Green Bay Basketball has a challenge ahead of them for the upcoming season. What should be expected of the Phoenix?
The Horizon League is one of the best mid-major conferences to watch. The league constantly produces great talent and puts up a good fight in the NCAA Tournament. Green Bay Basketball will be challenged early in non-conference to help prepare them for conference play.
The Phoenix has a decent non-conference schedule to help prepare for the Horizon League opponents. With games at Purdue, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Xavier, UCF, and Northern Illinois, Green Bay has positioned themselves to excel. These games should give the Phoenix an early look into what their potential can be against big-time foes. Green Bay hosts Cal State Northridge (CSUN), Colgate, and Evansville for the home crowd to take a peek at this year’s squad. This should allow the Phoenix to get some quality W’s to help their confidence going into the Horizon League conference play.
The Phoenix return top scorers JayQuan McCloud, ShanQuan Hemphill, and Kameron Hankerson. With Sandy Cohen III graduating, McCloud will have big shoes to fill, as Cohen III was the team’s leading scorer last year with 17.5 ppg, while averaging 18.2 ppg in conference play. Hemphill was 2nd in rebounding totals last year with 5.6 rpg and grabbing 5.3 rpg in conference play. Cohen III led the team in almost every single category except 3 point shots attempted, so everyone is going to have to step up this upcoming season to show their worth in the league.
Conference play begins for the Phoenix starts off on the road with games at Wright State and Northern Kentucky. Conference play usually begins for all the conferences once the guys go on break for Christmas. After playing the Norse, they go on a five-game home-stand playing UIC, which will be featured on ESPNU, IUPUI, Milwaukee, Oakland, and Detroit. This 5 game home-stand is big early on because it can possibly give the players a boost with a home crowd atmosphere.
After the home-stand, they are on the road at Cleveland State and Youngstown State. The next games for the Phoenix are against Northern Kentucky on national television and Wright State both at home. The next five games after Wright State are going to be tough because it will be a five-game road trip playing IUPUI, UIC, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Oakland. Then the Phoenix close out the season hosting Youngstown State and Cleveland State.
I think the Phoenix can do well in the Horizon League this season, after finishing 4th in the Horizon League last year going 10-8 in conference. Out of the 353 Division 1 basketball teams, they were 24th in scoring with 81.3 ppg, but with losing Sandy Cohen III, we will have to see if the Phoenix can produce the same kind of numbers to contend for the Horizon League title.