The Ashland University men's basketball team will travel east for an in-region road test at California, Pa. on Wednesday (Nov. 15).
TRIP TO CAL: The AU men's basketball team will play its only game of the week on Wednesday at California (Pa.) in an in-region, nonconference game. The Vulcans (2-0) and Eagles matched up last season with Ashland taking an 80-67 decision at Kates Gymnasium behind 17 points, four assists and four steals from guard Ben Haraway.
LAST LOOK AT LAST WEEK: The Eagles are coming off an impressive start to their season, going 2-0 in the GLIAC/G-MAC Challenge. AU opened the season with a 73-58 win over Lake Erie at home on Friday before vaulting over Ohio Dominican 64-56 in Columbus on Sunday. It is the first time since 1986 the Eagles opened the season by holding two opponents to under 60 points.
WENDELL'S RETURN: Last week also saw the return of fifth-year senior forward Wendell Davis, who saw his first action since the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Davis averaged 28 points, five rebounds and four assists per game to earn GLIAC South Player of the Week honors. He shot 59.5 percent (22-37) from the field and 5-for-11 from the 3-point arc.
SCORING LIST CLIMB: With his 56 points last week, Davis climbed to No. 11 on Ashland's all-time scoring list, passing Ron Pratt (1958) and Vahn Knight (2007). Davis has now scored 1,387 points in his career. He needs 52 points to move into the top 10 all-time.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Davis was named a preseason All-American by Street & Smith's and The Basketball Times despite missing all of last season with an injury. In 2015-16, Davis led the Eagles in scoring (17.4), rebounding (7.7) and assists (3.3), helping Ashland reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years. He was a first team NABC and Daktronics/D2CCA all-region selection.
PRESEASON FAVORITE: The Eagles were picked by the GLIAC coaches to win GLIAC South in the preseason poll. Ashland received eight of the 12 first-place votes in the South with Wayne State picking up the other four. The Eagles won the GLIAC South outright in 2015-16, going 18-4 in conference play and 24-4 in the regular season.
NOBLE PERFORMANCE: Also impressing last week was sophomore center Drew Noble, who averaaged 20.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, just missing out on two double-doubles. He poured in a career-high 29 points in the win over Lake Erie on 10-for-14 shooting. He also sank two 3-pointers in the game after not attempting any triples in his freshman season.
RUNNING THE POINT: Starting point guard Ben Haraway is off to a steady start leading the Eagles' offense. He averaged 14.5 points last week, and scored 13 points in the first half as the Eagles' tried to get in a rhythm in the season opener against the Storm. He is shooting 4-for-6 from 3-point range and is averaging seven rebounds per game.
PRESEASON ALL-GLIAC: Joining Davis on the Preseason All-GLIAC team is his senior frontcourt-mate Marsalis Hamilton. The 6-foot-4 Hamilton put up impressive all-around numbers last season, averaging 9.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 53 percent from the field. He also showed modest range, hitting six 3-pointers, and led the team in rebounding.
THANKSGIVING CLASSIC: The Eagles finish their season-opening stretch hosting the AU Thanksgiving Classic, presented by Hampton Inn & Suites on Nov. 21-22 at Kates Gymnasium. The Eagles will play Indianapolis at 5 p.m. Tuesday with Tiffin and Kentucky State to follow. The following day, Tiffin and UIndy will lock horns before Ashland and Kentucky State close the event. GLIAC play will open the following week when Ashland travels to play Lake Superior State and Ferris State.