Previewing UNC Asheville

NC State opens the season tonight with a home game against UNC Asheville, and it won't be easy. The Bulldogs return multiple starters and are coming off a NCAA appearance. Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.


    G- 02 Matt Dickey 6-1, 180, SR (15.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
    G- 03 J.P. Primm 6-1, 195, SR (14.6 ppg, 4.6 apg)
    F- 05 Jaron Lane 6-4, 170, JR (8.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
    F- 32 Quinard Jackson 6-5, 220, SR (5.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
    F- 04 Chris Stephenson 6-3 200, JR (9.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

    Matt Dickey -- The Big South Preseason Player of the Year, Dickey is a scoring guard who can also create for his teammates. He will test NC State's backcourt.

    UNC Asheville Notables

    UNC Asheville Begins Big Weekend vs. ACC Teams at N.C. State
    The UNC Asheville Bulldogs open the 2011- 12 season with a pair of games against teams from the ACC. Asheville begins the season at North Carolina State as the Bulldogs face a Wolfpack program that means a great deal to head coach Eddie Biedenbach.

    Coach Biedenbach played for N.C. State in the 1960's and served as an assistant coach in both the 1970's and 1990's. Eddie's wife Barbara is an N.C. State graduate and former cheerleader. Both his daughters, Tracy and Amy, went to State and were members of the Dance team.

    The Bulldog program has played 12 of the 14 teams that are now in the ACC but they've played the most games against the Wolfpack. Asheville is 0-15 all-time against State. The Bulldogs closest call came in the opening game of the 1992-93 season when a last-second three-pointer missed and the Wolfpack recorded a 72-69 win.

    The programs have not met since the opening contest of the 2003-04 season at the RBC Center. A young Asheville team was no match for a very good N.C. State team that night and won handily, 71-46. The Bulldogs scored just 13 points in the first half. On Sunday, Asheville returns to its new home and will open Kimmel Arena against top-ranked UNC Chapel Hill at 4 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by ESPNU. It's the first time the Bulldogs have ever hosted the topranked team in the country. The game is sold out and should make for an exciting weekend.

    Exhibition Opener
    J.P. Primm scored 24 points, while Matt Dickey added 18 points as UNC Asheville downed Lees- McRae 98-67 in an exhibition game Monday night at the Bulldogs brand new Kimmel Arena. The defending Big South Conference champions shook off a sluggish first half and steadily built on the lead throughout the night as Asheville prepared for the regular season with its only exhibition game. Chris Stephenson added 14 points, while Jaron Lane finished with 12 points.

    Both teams shot a lot of free throws in the foul-filled contest as 46 fouls were called. Asheville went 31-of-36 from the charity stripe, while Lees-McRae went 19-of-35.The Bulldogs forced 23 turnovers and had 13 steals in the game.

    Freshman Trent Meyer had four steals for Asheville. Primm, a first-team preseason Big South All-Conference selection, was 8-of-16 from the field and 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. He also pulled down six rebounds. Dickey, the Big South's Preseason Player of the Year, had a tough night shooting as he went 4- of-11 from the field and did not make a three-point attempt as he went 0-for-6.

    However, the senior guard went 10-of-10 from the charity stripe, dished out six assists and pulled down five rebounds. A free throw from Will Lopez gave the Bobcats a 17-16 lead midway through the first half before Asheville went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good at 24- 17. Dickey had six points during the run. The Bulldogs had good balanced scoring in the final eight minutes as they scored 20 points to lead 44-30 at halftime.

    Seven different Asheville players scored during the run.

    Bulldogs are Preseason Favorites
    The UNC Asheville Bulldogs are the preseason favorite to win the 2012 Big South Conference championship. Asheville earned the top spot in a vote by Big South Conference head coaches and media members. It's the first time the Asheville program has been picked to win the league crown since the 2002-03 year. That season had the Bulldogs finishing fifth in the regular season but capturing the tournament championship.

    Dickey Named Pre-Season Big South Player of the Year
    Senior guard Matt Dickey was selected as the Big South Conference's Preseason Player of the Year by the league's coaches and media. Dickey enjoyed a breakout season last year. He led Asheville in scoring (15.7 ppg) and three-pointers made (65) and was second in assists (111) and steals (64).

    The senior guard earned first-team All-Conference honors and was named Big South Tournament MVP. He captivated the country with his clutch plays and shots. Dickey had a steal and a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a win at Coastal Carolina late in the season, 61-58. He knocked down a clutch three-pointer late in the championship game victory over the Chanticleers, and his three-pointer with 10 seconds left against Arkansas-Little Rock in the first round of the NCAA Tournament tied the game and allowed the Bulldogs to win the game in overtime, 81-77.

    Former NBA star and now TV analyst Charles Barkley commented, "How did a great player like Matt Dickey get out of the state of Alabama and end up in Asheville? That boy can play."

    Primm Makes Preseason First Team
    Senior guard J.P. Primm was named to Big South Conference's Preseason All- Conference first team along with Matt Dickey. Primm also enjoyed a tremendous season as a junior. He led Asheville in assists (154) and set a single-season record for steals in a season with 71.

    Primm was second in scoring (14.6) and three-pointers made (55). He earned second-team All- Conference honors and made the All- Tournament team. Primm was outstanding in Asheville's two NCAA Tournament games as he scored 22 points against UALR and 14 vs. Pitt in the second round.

    Two 1,000-Point Scorers
    The Bulldogs enter the 2011-12 season with two 1,000- point career scorers. Senior guard Matt Dickey and J.P. Primm both scored their 1,000th career point last year. Dickey has accumulated 1,230 career points and that puts him in 15th place all-time in Asheville in scoring. Primm has 1,192 career points, placing him in 17th place all-time in scoring.

    20 Wins Last Year
    The UNC Asheville Bulldogs finished with a 20-14 record last season. It was just the second time in the Division I era (1986-87 to present) that the Asheville program had a 20-win season. However, it was the second time in four years as the Bulldogs posted a 23-10 record during the 2007-08 season.

    11 BSC Wins Tied a School Record
    The Bulldogs finished with an 11-7 Big South Conference record last year. The 11 wins ties a school record for the most league victories in a season that was set in the 2009-10 campaign when Asheville went 11-7, as well.

    The Bulldogs finished in third place in the league standings, marking the 11th time under Coach Biedenbach that Asheville has finished in the top four in the regular season.

    Road Success Last Year
    Asheville went 8- 8 in enemy territory last year and it was the most road wins by a Bulldog team in more than 30 years. The Bulldogs went 6-3 in Big South Conference which was better than their home record which was 5-4. Asheville's final road game of the year was a 60-47 Big South Championship game win at Coastal Carolina.

    The Bulldogs led from start to finish in denying the regular-season champion Chanticleers a championship. Asheville opened last season with a great road win it rallied past Auburn, 70-69 in overtime. The game with the Tigers was Auburn's first in its new – Auburn Arena. Asheville trailed by 12 with five minutes left but roared to earn the victory.

    That victory was the first time a Bulldog team had opened the season with a road win since 1978.

    UNC Asheville athletics contributed to this report.

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