The Golden Eagles take on Arkansas Tech and Arkansas-Monticello.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball team will officially tip off the 2017-18 season Fri., Nov. 10 and Sat., Nov. 11 at the GAC/NSIC Crossover at Tucker Coliseum in Russellville, Ark.   

    The Golden Eagles will face the Great America Conference’s (GAC) top two projected teams as they take on Arkansas Tech University Fri., Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. and University of Arkansas at Monticello Sat., Nov. 11 at 6 p.m.

Minnesota Crookston Projected Starters
So. G 0 Harrison Cleary (6-1 180, Oak Creek, Wis.)
Jr. G 1 Alan Hodge, Jr. (6-0 191, Dallas, Texas)
Jr. G 25 Chase Knickerbocker (6-7 193, Annandale, Minn.)
So. F 21 Chase Johnson (6-8 240, La Crosse, Wis.)
R-Jr. F 24 Gable Smith (6-7 211, Lodi, Wis.)

    Minnesota Crookston is coming off a solid exhibition showing against NCAA Division I foe Drake University. The Golden Eagles led by 10 with 3:51 left in the first half and remained in a six-point lead at the break. The Bulldogs would take the 86-73 victory despite a strong effort by Minnesota Crookston.   

    The Golden Eagles were led by the play of their backcourt on the day. Alan Hodge, Jr. (Jr., G, Dallas, Texas) had a strong debut in the Maroon and Gold with 24 points and three assists. Hodge was 10-of-18 from the field and 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. Reining NSIC Freshman of the Year Harrison Cleary (So., G, Oak Creek, Wis.) continued where he left off in his inaugural campaign scoring 20 points on 7-of-16 from the field.    

    Newcomer Ben Juhl (Fr., G, Clive, Iowa) had a major impact off the bench with 11 points, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Chase Knickerbocker (Jr., G/F, Annandale, Minn.) tallied seven points and seven rebounds on the day.   

    In the post, the Golden Eagles looked to Gable Smith (R-Jr., F, Lodi, Wis.) with four points and nine rebounds. He continued his impressive job defensively with five blocks on the day. Chase Johnson (Jr., F, La Crosse, Wis.) added five rebounds.   

    Minnesota Crookston also got minutes out of Aaron Hollcraft (Jr., G, Crookston, Minn.), Darin Viken (Jr., G, Fosston, Minn.), Javier Nicolau (So., F, Castellon, Spain) and Gabrys Sadaunykas (R-Fr., G/F, Vilnius, Lithuania).   

    The Golden Eagles shot 28-of-60 for 46.7 percent from the field and were 11-of-26 for 42.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Arkansas Tech Top Returnees
Jr. G  3 Alex Brown (6-3 195, Vernon, Fla.)
Sr. G  0 Montrell Williams (6-4 180, Rocky Mount, N.C.)
Sr. F  30 Trevin Woods (6-6 205, Sugarland, Texas)
R-Jr. G 12 Freddy Lee (5-7 155, Clarksville, Ark.)
Newcomers to Watch
Sr. F 1 Jamie Rutherford (6-6 220, Indianapolis, Ind.)
R-Jr. G 5 Jerami Grace (6-3 185, Dallas, Texas)
R-Fr. G 11 R.J. Glasper (5-11 185, Forrest City, Ark.)
Sr. F 33 Leonardo Edwards (6-7 205, Detroit, Mich.)
    
    Arkansas Tech University was picked second in the Great American Conference Preseason Poll. The Wonderboys posted a 21-8 mark last season, including 16-6 in conference play. Arkansas Tech is led by returning guards Alex Brown and Montrell Williams. Brown tallied 13.3 points per game last season. He shot 39.9 percent from beyond the arc. Williams notched 12.7 points per contest for Arkansas Tech last season. He was a 33.8 percent shooter from behind the three-point line.   

    Guard Freddy Lee also returns after starting 18 games last season. Lee tallied 8.3 points and 5.1 assists per game for the Wonderboys last season. In the backcourt, they are by Division I transfers R.J. Glasper (University of Arkansas) and Jerami Grace (Murray State University).   

    In the post, Trevin Woods, a 6-6 forward, returns after tallying 8.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game for the Wonderboys. Mason Cline came off the bench and tallied 3.0 points and 1.2 rebounds last season. In addition, Arkansas Tech has added Division I transfers Jamie Rutherford (Texas Southern University) and Leonardo Edwards (Kent State University).

Arkansas-Monticello Projected Starters
Sr. G 2 Tyrin Jones (6-3, Duck Hill, Miss.)
Sr. G 3 Karim Mawuenyega (6-0, New Orleans, La.)
Sr.  G 5 Cobe Goosby (6-5, Elba, Ala.)
Jr.  F 20  Jamil Maddred (6-6, Camden, N.J.)
Sr.  F 1 Derylton Hill (6-5, Palm Bay, Fla.)

    The University of Arkansas at Monticello was picked to win the GAC this season. The Boll Weevils are coming off a 23-7 mark overall and a 17-5 record in the conference tournament. They made it to the NCAA Central Region tournament, where they lost in the first round 76-69 to Augustana University.   

    Arkansas-Monticello played Division I foe Oklahoma State University in an exhibition tilt Nov. 3. The Boll Weevils fell 85-65 to the Cowboys. Arkansas-Monticello looked to 18 points on 7-of-12 from the field from Cobe Goosby. Derylton Hill added 17 points and seven boards. Hill led the Boll Weevils last season with 16.8 points and 7.1 rebounds. Goosby managed 15.3 points and 6.6 boards per game. Mawuenyea averaged 14.6 points per contest and shot 39.4 percent from beyond the arc, while Jones accumulated 12 points per contest.