Upstate Begins Kyle Perry Era this Weekend against Minnesota, Allen

Upstate Begins Kyle Perry Era this Weekend against Minnesota, Allen

Minnesota Game Notes (.pdf)

Allen Game Notes (.pdf)

Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's basketball team officially tips off its 51st season, and the first under head coach Kyle Perry, this weekend with a pair of games over the course of three days against the 15th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers and Allen Yellow Jackets.

Upstate begins its season on Friday evening at 8 p.m. EST against Minnesota before returning to Spartanburg on Sunday afternoon for its home opener at 3 p.m. versus Allen.

Perry was hired as the ninth head coach in Spartan men's basketball history on Oct. 20, replacing former head coach Eddie Payne who stepped down on Oct. 3. Perry enters his ninth season overall at Upstate after previously serving as both an assistant coach and associate head coach under Payne.

The Spartans finished 17-16 overall last season and 7-7 in the ASUN tying for fourth in the conference standings. Upstate made its fourth appearance in the Postseason Tournament (CIT) hosting a first round game against Furman. The Spartans return eight letterwinners from last year's team including three starters in Mike Cunningham, Ramel Thompkins and Malik Moore. Cunningham is a unanimous ASUN Preseason All-Conference selection by the league's head coaches. Upstate also welcomes a total of eight newcomers consisting of seven freshmen and one transfer junior.

Minnesota enters the season ranked 15th nationally according to the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Polls. The Golden Gophers appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season after finishing with a 24-10 overall record and 11-7 mark in the Big Ten. Minnesota is under the direction of fifth-year head coach Richard Pitino.

Allen finished last year with a 15-16 overall record and went 12-11 in Appalachian Athletic Conference play. The Yellow Jackets are led by third-year head coach Nelson Jones.

The Spartans are facing the Golden Gophers for the first time in program history and lead the all-time series over Allen 9-0. Upstate defeated the Yellow Jackets 93-67 last season in Spartanburg as Thompkins finished with 22 points.

Fans can follow the action this weekend on via live stats. Friday's game at Minnesota is being streamed on Big Ten Network Plus while Sunday's home opener will be on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Updates are being posted on the Upstate men's basketball Twitter page (@UpstateMB).

Following the home opener on Sunday, the Spartans head to Athens, Ga. on Tuesday, Nov. 14 for a 7 p.m. contest against the Georgia Bulldogs.

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