Trojans hope to climb up the standings in 2016

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Troy Trojans enter the 2016-2017 basketball set on climbing in the Sun Belt Conference standings.

The Trojans finished last year with a 9-22 overall record and 4-16 record within the conference. With a combination of returning talent and new faces, head coach Phil Cunningham hopes this is the year the Trojans make some noise.

Seniors in Daniel Peace and Jeremy Holliman and six juniors will lead the squad. “We have young guys up to seniors,” Cunningham said. “There is balance with high school recruits and junior college transfers. You would have to be far fetched to stay that this program is not moving in the right direction.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Cunningham enters his fourth season at Troy with 30-61 record.

“No one is going to be more critical about where this program is than me,” Cunningham said. “I know where it was, and where it is today. We haven’t taken the steps when it comes to winning and climbing up the conference standings.”

The Trojans were picked to finish ninth in the conference this season, ahead  of Arkansas State, Appalachian State and Texas State.

Trojan junior Wesley Person was named to the preseason second team All-conference team. Last season he led the team in points per game at 16.8.

“Wesley is a guy that really defies logic for me,” Cunningham said. “I have always said you can’t change athleticism and speed. He has really improved his quickness and athleticism. To his credit he has worked on it and he has physically matured.”

Peace and Holliman are expected to lead this season.

“Jeremy Holliman had a tremendous summer,” Cunningham said. “Daniel Peace is a much better free throw shooter then he was in March. What has driven them has been the competition.”

The Trojans will play in one tournament this season. They will join USC, Wyoming, Cornell, Southeast Missouri and Chicago State in the Las Vegas Classic beginning on December 17.

The Trojans non-conference schedule includes Eastern Illinois, UAB, San Francisco, Hawaii, South Florida, Alabama State, Alabama A&M and Toccoa Falls.

The Trojans will take on the University of Auburn Montgomery in an exhibition game inside Trojan Arena on Thursday before officially opening the season on November 11 when the host Toccoa Falls. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.