Hornets hoops to open season at Wake Forest Classic

Mason Smith, Sports and Intramurals Editor

MONTGOMERY, Ala.- While family and friends will be preparing for Thanksgiving, the Alabama State men’s basketball team will open their season. On November 25, the Hornets will open their season in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, competing in the Mako Medical Wake Forest Classic.

This will be the first game for new head coach Mo Williams, who leads a team that’s virtually brand new with eight new players, headlined by the 6-foot-8-inch transfer forward, Trace Young. The team brings a lot of firepower, mainly by physical guards who aren’t afraid to attack the rim, but there are also quality shooters throughout the roster. Seniors Brandon Battle and DJ Heath will be the cornerstones of this team, being the only two starters returning from last year’s squad.

In addition to competing against the tournament host Wake Forest, ASU will also face fellow HBCU Delaware State and Big South conference member Longwood University. This will be an opportunity for all four teams to change the narrative (all four had losing seasons, both overall and within their respective conferences).

There are also key players to keep an eye on during this tournament. In addition to Heath and Battle, Delaware State’s Pinky Wiley is an All-MEAC preseason selection, coming off a season where he averaged almost 10 points per contest to go with 3.1 assists, good enough for sixth in the conference. Juan Munoz, who suffered two season-ending surgeries early in his career at Longwood, recently led the team in scoring and proved himself to be one of the top point guards in the Big South. Isaiah Mucius looks to improve on a campaign where he shot almost 35% from beyond the arc, third-best on the Demon Deacons.

The Hornets will have their work cut out for them in North Carolina, but with a new head coach and new talent on the roster, the future looks bright for ASU, and the road to success begins in Winston-Salem.