Men's basketball set to host Upstate AAU in exhibition on Thursday

The men's basketball team will open its abbreviated exhibition slate at 7 p.m. on Thursday when the Bearcats welcome Upstate AAU to the West Gym. The pre-season game is the first of two for Binghamton, who will also host College of St. Rose on November 12. Reserved seating is free for undergraduate students with ID, and $8 for all others.

"The game against Upstate will be a good opportunity to see where we're at defensively and on the glass - two immediate concerns we've been inconsistent with in practice," head coach Al Walker said. "It will also give a chance for our new players to get comfortable with our environment."

The Upstate team is comprised of former collegiate players, including standouts from Syracuse, Virginia, Memphis and UMass. The team lost in overtime at America East member Vermont, 84-82, Tuesday night, and plays at Pitt Wednesday night.

Last season, BU defeated Upstate AAU, 89-70.

Seven-foot junior center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska), the reigning America East Defensive Player of the Year, leads the Bearcats into the 2003-04 season. Billings averaged 9.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game last season, helping BU post a 14-13 overall record. The team's other returning starter is senior captain Brandon Carter (McPherson, Kan.), who averaged 9.3 points per game.


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