It will be a busy week on the campus of Troy University. T-Day game, baseball galore, softball and the induction of the 2nd Troy University Sports Hall of Fame class.
The T-Day game is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The final scrimmage of the spring will give us a good idea of what we can expect in 2013… or will it? Currently, Daron White is taking the majority of the snaps at running back with Michael Lindsey and Brandon Burks also seeing some time. Khary Franklin and Brandon Knight are also in the mix. Remember though, newcomers like Josh Anderson and Jordan Chunn have yet to arrive so things could change.
Corey Robinson looks good at quarterback and Troy needs him to have a senior-like season if they hope to return to a bowl game.
Defensively, the secondary is banged up with safeties Chris Pickett and Camren Hudson both out with shoulder injuries. Don’t be shocked if the offense puts up some big numbers on Saturday. Robinson threw a 95-yard touchdown pass to Eric Thomas in the team’s last scrimmage this past Saturday.
I’ll have position-by-position breakdowns of the entire team as the week progresses.
Troy’s baseball team will look to get back on track after dropping two-of-three to Western Kentucky. The Trojans watched as the Hilltoppers erased a 6-1 deficit and eventually take Game 3 of the series, 7-6, in 10 innings. On Saturday, WKU, trailing 4-3, scored a run in the fifth and sixth inning to down Troy, 5-4.
The Trojans (24-11, 8-7 Sun Belt) are very much still in the conference hunt. Troy will host Alabama A&M on Tuesday and Wednesday in midweek action. Both games are scheduled for a 6 p.m. start. Arkansas-Little Rock pays a visit to Riddle-Pace Field over the weekend for a three-game conference series.
HALL OF FAME
Troy University will induct eight former student-athletes into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday at Trojan Arena.
John Archer (men’s basketball), John “Doc” Anderson (track & field/cross country; administration), Bobby Enslen (football), Chan Gailey (football), Danny Grant (football), Joyce Sorrell (women’s basketball; administration), Willie Tullis (football) and Lawrence Tynes (football) will all be added to the Troy Hall of Fame.
The ceremony is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Troy (19-23, 7-7 Sun Belt) softball team will play host to UAB on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and Western Kentucky over the weekend. The Troy-WKU series will begin with a doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday.
Multiple sources including Chad Bishop of the Bowling Green Daily News have confirmed that Western Kentucky assistant coach Phil Cunningham will be named Troy men’s basketball head coach on Tuesday.
With over 20 years of coaching experience, Cunningham has served as an assistant with Georgia State, Mississippi State and Western Kentucky.
Troy has scheduled a press conference for 11 a.m. on Tuesday at Trojan Arena to announce a new head coach. The new coach will replace Don Maestri, who retired after 31 seasons with the Trojans. Maestri won 500 games as Troy’s head coach. He announced his retirement on March 10.
N.C. State assistant Bobby Lutz was also mentioned as a potential candidate, but has not been confirmed as such.
Statement from Commissioner Karl Benson:
“The leadership of the Sun Belt Conference’s ten future members took the time to meet this morning and discuss the direction of our conference. While there was a great deal of important discussion, there have not been any invitations extended to those interested in joining our league. We continue to focus on the future strength of this league and we are to going to add additional members soon. We feel that the Sun Belt Conference has options – and they are good options.”
When I came in to the Sun Belt there was an expectation that a new Sun Belt would be built, with new structure, with more strength. However, if you look around the NCAA at other conferences, changes have been unprecedented. So we are here tonight with some uncertainty. Nevertheless, the goals of the Sun Belt have stayed the same. One of the reasons I took this job was because the Sun Belt has great options. There are schools within our footprint that want to be in our conference, and this gives us many options and alternatives. This was also the case a year ago when Texas State, Georgia State and Texas-Arlington joined the league. Even then, there were several others who expressed interest in our league and we told them they would stay in our vision.
On whether the Sun Belt needs to get to 12 football schools:
Right now we are looking at our potential pool of members that we feel have great value. I told all of our members after Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic departed that we want to keep the same goals that we established a year ago. We want to create two geographic divisions and make sure there’s at least 10 football schools while considering the option of 12. Our meeting today focused on our goals and re-established what we have called the “10-12 Model” where we have 10 football schools and 12 overall. We also want to make sure that the schools in our league make sense geographically and are regionally aligned. Within the next 30 days I expect us to be able to be in a position to announce what the new structure is going to be. If we wanted to add teams right now, we could do that this afternoon. We could add two all-sport schools, four schools with a mix of football and non-football, and we can mix and match if we wanted to right now. Though we want to be selective and make all the correct decisions. It takes time to get all
Justin Wright led Trojan scorers with 18. It is the second consecutive game Wright has led Troy in scoring off the bench. Wright also scored 18 against LaGrange College on Nov. 13.
Tim Owens hauled in a career-high 13 rebounds. His previous mark was nine against Utah State in 2010.
Troy saw four players score in double figures for the third straight game. Justin Wright (18), Alan Jones (13), Emil Jones (12), and R.J. Scott (11) all scored 10+ for the Trojans.
The Trojans outrebounded Miami (OH) 36-29 Saturday. It was only the second time this season Troy has outrebounded an opponent, the first coming against LaGrange. The 68 boards against the Panthers set a school Division I record. The mark was previously set in 2009 when the team picked up 60 rebounds against Piedmont.
Troy faces No. 24 Mississippi State Dec. 10 in Starkville. The Trojans have never defeated a ranked team and are 0-8 versus the Bulldogs all-time.
Steven Cunningham (Eye) – did not play for the fourth consecutive game and could miss up to six weeks.
Will “Mo” Weathers (Ankle) – Has started the past four games. Weathers recorded 10 assists against Miami (OH), his first double digit assist game of the season.
Daronte Clark (Foot) – Hasn’t missed a start this season and appears to be on the slow road to recovery. Scored eight against Miami (OH).