Troy to showcase several new faces in 2012-13 season

Published 10:33 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coming off a disappointing 10-18 season, the Troy Trojans have several new faces to help change the team’s fortune.

Troy hasn’t had a winning season since 2009, but head coach Don Maestri is confident that the team’s chemistry will help the team excel.

“This team has really come together,” Maestri, starting his 31st season with the Trojans. “I think the chemistry is as good as it has been in some time.”

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Troy’s three seniors also represent the team’s most experienced players. Emil Jones, Justin Wright and Ray Chambers all return for the Trojans.

Chambers spent most of last season spelling Tim Owen in the post. Justin Wright, who was third on the team in scoring with 10.3 points per game, started 16 games last year, but will be out another month after undergoing knee surgery earlier in the fall.

Emil Jones has emerged as Troy’s “go-to” guy. Jones started 25 of the Trojans’ 28 games and led the team in rebounds per game and was fourth in scoring.

“The fact that he played point guard when Mo Weathers was out has helped him become a better basketball player,” Maestri said. “He’s a much better ball-handler and has become a very good passer. That helped his overall game.”

Maestri said Jones stayed in troy over the summer to concentrate on conditioning and his strength, which has paid off.

R.J. Scott is planned to assist off the bench as he did a year ago. Maestri said Scott needed to improve on playing within the system and he feels the junior has done that.

The Trojans open the season and the new Trojan Arena with a much-anticipated match against SEC-foe Mississippi State on Nov. 9. The Bulldogs defeated Troy 106-68 last year in Starkville.

“The exciting part is that we’re going to be in a new arena, our players are really ready for that,” Maestri said. “It will be good to play a competitive game against a quality opponent.”

The Trojans were selected to finish fifth in the six team Sun Belt Conference East Division in the preseason coaches poll.

The league also announce that two of Troy home games will be televised this season.

The Jan. 10 games against ULM and the Feb. 16 matchup versus North Texas will be broadcast on the Sun Belt Network.