SEWANEE, Tenn. - The 2019-20 season begins on Friday for Sewanee men's basketball, as the quest to defend the 2019 Southern Athletic Association Tournament Championship commences with the Lon Varnell Classic.
Game #1 | Sewanee (0-0) vs. Johnson (2-0), Friday, Nov. 8, 6 p.m.
Juhan Gymnasium, Sewanee, Tenn.
All-Time Series: Sewanee leads series 9-0
Last win: Dec. 7, 2018 in Knoxville (103-71)
Game #2 | Sewanee vs. Covenant (0-0), Saturday, Nov. 9, 5 p.m.
Juhan Gymnasium, Sewanee, Tenn.
All-Time Series: Sewanee leads series, 30-12
Last win: Nov. 20, 2018 in Lookout Mountain (84-65)
LON VARNELL PREVIEW: The 2019 edition of the Lon Varnell Classic will be the official start of the 2019-20 season.
After a 16-15 season in 2019 and after winning the Mid-East Region Championship with the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
Coby Jones returns for the Royals, as he led the team in scoring (21.5).
After coming off a USA South West Division Title with an 18-9 record and 16-2 in conference play, the Scots are coming off a semifinal appearance in the conference tournament.
Will Crumly, brother of Sewanee men's basketball player Jonny Crumly, was selected as a Fourth Team Preseason All-America selection from D3hoops.Com. In 2019, Crumly was a First Team All-America by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and an All-Region First Team honor with D3hoops. Averaging 22.0 points per game last year, he shot 59.9% from the field and averaged 8.5 boards per contest.
BSC is making the trip to Sewanee to face Johnson and Covenant. The Panthers finished 12-13 and a 6-8 mark in league play.
Ben Spence is the leading scorer for BSC entering the 2019-20 season, averaging 11.1 points per game.
Friday, November 8
6 p.m. - Johnson vs. Sewanee
8 p.m. - Covenant vs. Birmingham-Southern
Saturday, November 9
3 p.m. - Johnson vs. Birmingham-Southern
5 p.m. - Covenant vs. Sewanee
EXHIBITION AGAINST TREVECCA: On Nov. 2, Sewanee battled NCAA Division II opponent Trevecca Nazarene (Tenn.) in an exhibition, falling to the Trojans, 82-75.
Four players recorded double-digits for Sewanee in the contest, led by Adrian Thomas' 24 on 8-of-13 from the field.
As a team, the Tigers out-rebounded the Trojans, 40-35.
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Tigers won their sixth straight conference championship in the program's 95-year history (1966-73-75-76-97-2019).
Since becoming a founding member of the Southern Athletic Association in 2013, Sewanee is 6-6 in SAA Tournament games.
20 WINS IS A RARITY: In the Tigers' 2019 SAA Tournament quarterfinal win over Hendrix, the Tigers captured their 20th win of the season. This was the fourth time in program history that the program has won 20+ games in a season.
Prior to 2019, the last time Sewanee won 20 games in a season came in 2016, when Sewanee finished 20-8 en route to an SAA Tournament Final appearance.
The school record for wins in a season is 23 from the 1973 campaign.
STONE COMES HOME: Announced by head coach Brian Emerson, the Sewanee men's basketball staff will welcome home Brody Stone C'17, who played four seasons with the men's basketball team at Sewanee, as an assistant coach.
Stone returns to the Domain after a two-year stint at Lee University as a graduate assistant coach. While with the Flames, he helped the team to back-to-back appearances in the Gulf South Conference Men's Basketball Championship.
A four-year letterwinner with the men's basketball program at Sewanee from 2014-17, Stone was a two-time All-Conference selection and was named to the Southern Athletic Association Academic Honor Roll twice.
In 100 career games, Stone scored 904 points with a field goal percentage of 54.1. On ball control, he corralled 650 rebounds.
Earning All-SAA Second Team honors his junior year, he averaged 8.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
The next year, in 2017, he was named a First Team All-SAA selection, as he was the only player to average a double-double in the conference. Averaging 34.2 minutes per game, he led the league in rebounds (10.9) and was fourth in scoring (15.1).
On a national level, the Knoxville, Tenn. native was 30th in both rebounds per game and defensive rebounds per game (7.48). On the offensive glass, he posted 3.4 per game for 46th-best in all of NCAA Division III. Recording 14 double-doubles, 26th-most in the nation, his 295 rebounds were 24th in the country.
Graduating Cum Laude from The University of the South in 2017, Stone has a Bachelors Degree in Economics. He earned his Masters Degree in Business Administration from Lee in 2019.
BIG SHOT BARRY: Through everything Michael Barry has been through the last two seasons, not many people would have called his number for the game-winning triple in the SAA Championship Game vs. Centre on Feb. 24.
Overcoming a season-ending injury last season, Barry has slowly been making his return to the court in 2019. In 18 games off the bench, the Charleston, S.C. native has recorded 10-of-25 from the 3-point line and is 15-of-34 from the field.
NON-CONFERENCE GAME TO WATCH: Sewanee's first true test of the 2019-20 season will come at Emory on Nov. 20. The Eagles are ranked sixth in the preseason poll announced by D3hoops.com.
The Tigers took down the Eagles, 84-70, in Juhan Gymnasium last season, and both teams were in the same region with Wittenberg and host Guilford in last season's NCAA First and Second Rounds.
Emory holds a 25-20 all-time record in the series history, with the first meeting dating back to 1985. Prior to the meeting last year, the teams had not met on the hardwood since 2008.
CONFERENCE GAME TO WATCH: Despite Sewanee taking two of three games from the regular season champions in Centre, including a 62-59 win in the SAA Tournament Championship in Danville, the Tigers also had fits with Berry last season. In the regular season, the Vikings took both regular season matchups, with the home meeting snapping a 18-game home winning streak, which was the third-longest streak at the time in all of NCAA Division III.
However, the Tigers prevailed in the semifinals of the SAA Tournament, as they downed the Vikings, the 2018 SAA Tournament Champions as the 8-seed, 82-64.
Berry will make the trip to the Domain on Jan. 12 before hosting Sewanee on Feb. 9.
Sewanee holds a 15-6 all-time record over Berry in program history.