Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men's basketball team will play its first game since the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship Game when the Cru opens the 2013-14 season with a road game at Schreiner University Wednesday evening. UMHB will face the Mountaineers in a 6:30 PM tip-off in Kerrville in a non-conference game between former American Southwest Conference rivals.
The UMHB men return three players who started at least 20 games last season and have seven letter winners back from a team that set a new school record with 27 victories last season, The Cru became the ASC team or program from the state of Texas to advance to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball National Championship Game and finished last year ranked #2 in the country by D3hoops.com. Senior forward Kitrick Bell was named to the D3hoops.com Preseason All-America Team after averaging 12.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game last season. Senior guard James Allen was an ASC All-West Division selection after scoring 13.1 points per game and leading the Cru with 115 assists. Sophomore guard Layton Zinsmeister and sophomore forward Russell Green both started nine or more games last season with Zinsmeister starting 21 contests. Senior guard Antonie Chaney was the team's second-best three-point shooter off the bench last season and 6'10" center Sheldon Jones was awarded an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA after missing all of last season with an Achilles injury. UMHB will also try to work eight newcomers into the mix in a season full of high expectations. The Cru is ranked as high as fifth in the country in Preseason Top 25 Polls and UMHB was picked to win the ASC in the league's annual Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Schreiner is under the direction of head coach Jimmy Smith, a four-year letterman for the Cru and a former UMHB assistant coach. The Mountaineers make the move to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference this season after posting an 11-15 record in the ASC last season. Schreiner is off to an 0-2 start to the season after suffering two close losses in Washington this past weekend. UMHB will offer live audio streaming of Wednesday's game through the school's Athletic Department web site. You can access the broadcast at the following link: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/umhb.portal.
Following Wednesday night's game, UMHB will play a non-conference game at Southwestern University in Georgetown on Tuesday, November 26th. The Cru will play its home opener against Trinity University on November 30th and will then open ASC play at home on December 5th with a 7:30 PM tip-off against Sul Ross State University.