Rocket fans can get their first glimpse of the 2012-13 Toledo men's basketball squad when it hosts the University of Northwestern Ohio in an exhibition contest on Friday, Oct. 26. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m. in Savage Arena and admission is free for the game.
Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk is entering his third season at UT's helm and orchestrated a dramatic turnaround in the 2011-12 campaign. The Rockets registered the second-largest turnaround in NCAA Division I Basketball last year by compiling a 19-17 win-loss mark and advancing to post-season play for the first time in five years.
The Rockets return their entire starting lineup, including second-team All-MAC honoree and junior Rian Pearson (16.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and 2011-12 MAC Freshman of the Year Julius Brown (11.9 ppg, 4.9 apg). UT's other returning starters are senior G Dominique Buckley (9.7 ppg, 41.9 3PTFG%), junior F Matt Smith (8.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and junior F Reese Holliday (7.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg). In total, the Midnight Blue and Gold welcome back 83.3 percent of their points, 82.0 percent of their rebounds and 89.5 percent of their assists from the 2011-12 campaign.
Toledo is also integrating a talented freshmen trio of C Nathan Boothe (Gurnee, IL), G Josh Lemons (Cincinnati, OH) and F Aubrey Williams (Bowie, MD) into their program.
Located in Lima, Northwestern Ohio posted a 7-23 win-loss at the NAIA level last year with junior G Johnny Elliott the Racers' top returning scoring at 11.0 ppg.