CARROLLTON, Ga. - The first tip of the Dave Moore era at West Georgia is set for Thursday, as his Wolves will take on the University of Georgia in an exhibition game at Stegemen Coliseum, slated for a 7 p.m. start in Athens.
West Georgia at Georgia
November 1, 2018
Stegeman Coliseum - Athens, Ga.
150 seats will be reserved for UWG fans behind the Wolves' bench
Six players on the court are returners from the 2017-18 season, led by preseason All-Gulf South Conference honoree Marquill Smith. The senior from Miami Gardens, Florida, was the GSC leader in scoring in 2017-18, averaging 23.1 points per game on the year. Smith was a First Team All-GSC performer last year, scoring in double-figures in 26 of his 27 games for the Wolves. He scored at least 30 in five of those contests, including a season-high 40 against Shorter in the home finale.
Returning to distribute the ball to the scorers is senior point guard Aren Ulmer, who has been a starter for the past two seasons. As a junior last season, Ulmer averaged 5.0 points and 5.0 assists per game and was among the best in the Gulf South Conference in assists. Ulmer will be the leader for a solid group of newcomers at the point guard spot for Moore. Freshmen Jared Simmons, Michael Zabetakis and Javonte Hurt will see time throughout the season. Another returner, LaPerion Perry, has the skill set to run the point for the Wolves, but he is a two-sport athlete at UWG and will join the team at the conclusion of football season.
Moore will have a solid group of young talent in the shooting guard/small forward spot, led by Smith and sophomore Greg James. Smith is one of the top guards in the Gulf South Conference and James had a strong freshman season before it ended early with an injury. James played in 20 games as a true freshman, averaging 7.0 points per game, scoring in double-figures nine times. Moore will also look for solid minutes from redshirt freshman Deng Nhial and Tajah Fraley in that spot.
In the middle, Moore has several options, with Division I transfer Gerald Blount leading the way. A transfer from St. Joseph's out of the Atlantic 10, Blount is a 6-6 forward who works hard for rebounds and to get points in the paint. He will join returning senior Karlos Odum, who transferred to UWG from Division I North Florida last season. Odum averaged 9.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season but will move into more of a power forward position this year. In the middle, 6-9 big man Willie Barnes will rotate in and give solid minutes.
Thursday's contest at UGA will be the only exhibition of the 2018-19 season for Moore and his squad, as the Wolves continue to prepare for the season opener next Friday against Palm Beach Atlantic in Cleveland, Tennessee.