Union University

2011-12 Bulldog Basketball

2011-12 Bulldog Basketball

Overall Record: 18-13 | TranSouth Record: 11-5
TranSouth: Stats | Standings    NAIA: Stats | Rankings

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Recent Photos

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3/1/12 - Samuel Danache looks for a rebound during the opening round of the TranSouth Athletic Conference Championship against Freed Hardeman University. - Jacob Moore
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Samuel Danache looks for a rebound during the opening round of the TranSouth Athletic Conference Championship against Freed Hardeman University. - Jacob Moore

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3/1/12 - Antoine Hall looks for a pass against Freed Hardeman University's Vincent Dotson during the opening round of the TranSouth Athletic Conference Championship. - Jacob Moore
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Antoine Hall looks for a pass against Freed Hardeman University's Vincent Dotson during the opening round of the TranSouth Athletic Conference Championship. - Jacob Moore

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3/1/12 - Leventrice Gray shoots over Freed Hardeman University's Jonathan Milewski during the opening round of the TranSouth Athletic Conference Championship. - Jacob Moore
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Leventrice Gray shoots over Freed Hardeman University's Jonathan Milewski during the opening round of the TranSouth Athletic Conference Championship. - Jacob Moore

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3/1/12 - David Lane shoots a free throw during the opening round of the TranSouth Athletic Conference Championship against Freed Hardeman University. - Jacob Moore
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David Lane shoots a free throw during the opening round of the TranSouth Athletic Conference Championship against Freed Hardeman University. - Jacob Moore

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Season Outlook

The Union University men’s basketball team enters the 2011-12 season under the leadership of David Niven, now in his third season as head coach. The Bulldogs are looking to continue the momentum of last year’s TranSouth regular season co-championship and a 14th appearance in the NAIA National Tournament. However, Union will do so with an almost entirely new squad.

Union returns three players, two of which started last season. Four Bulldogs graduated last season, including Stan McNeil, who was selected to the TranSouth All-Conference team. They bring back two returning starters who saw a significant amount of playing time, Skyler Vaden and Antoine Hall. Union will look to several players among the group of ten newcomers to contribute to this season’s success.

Union has four seniors this season, two of which are returning for a senior year of action. Vaden and Hall started for Union last season, with Vaden starting in 32 of the 33 games and Hall starting in 30 games. The returning seniors will be called upon this season for leadership. Two newcomers round out the senior class. David Lane and Leventrice Gray transferred to Union for their last season of college basketball. They will both be expected to contribute in major ways to this team.

The junior class is made up of one returning player and three newcomers. Samuel Danache played in all 33 games last season for Union. Dani Marti, AJ Roberts and Anthony Freeman, Jr. round out the junior class and will be called upon often to help the Bulldogs this season and next year.

The freshman class is the biggest class on the Bulldog roster with five players. Paul Valdor is a red-shirt freshman who sat out last year and spent that time in practice working on his game. Four true freshmen make up a large portion of the Bulldog roster this season. They include Giosha Koguashvili, Pedro Faller, Will Duncan and Eric Leisey. Each will have opportunities to contribute to the program early in their careers.

Once again, Union faces a tough non-conference schedule this season with teams that have participated in the national tournament in recent years. Of Union’s 14 non-conference games, 12 will be played against national tournament teams Belhaven (Miss.), McKendree (Ill.), William Carey (Miss.), Tougaloo (Miss.), Emmanuel (Ga.) and Campbellsville (Ky.). Union will also face an improving TranSouth Conference, who boasted Martin Methodist as a national tournament semifinalist last season. Union, Martin Methodist and Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) all advanced to the national tournament.

Coach Niven and second year assistant coach, Trevor Lydic will work hard to build this team and merge the newcomers into the Union system. This talented squad hopes to be playing for a ninth TranSouth title and a 15th appearance in the national tournament in March. Union is playing in their final season of NAIA competition as the school looks to begin its NCAA DII membership process in 2012-13.



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