USC Upstate's Eddie Payne Next on Friday's A-Sun Insider

Thursday, January 17, 2013

MACON, GA – USC Upstate Head Men's Basketball Coach Eddie Payne will be the guest on the weekly Atlantic Sun Insider, featured on the Friday, Jan. 18, edition of "The Morning Show" on FOX Sports 1670 AM.

Payne, the 2012 A-Sun Coach of the Year, is slated to be on The A-Sun Insider at approximately 8:34 a.m. His USC Upstate Spartans (8-9, 2-2 A-Sun) face Mercer (10-8, 3-2 A-Sun) Saturday, Jan. 19, at 4:30 p.m., at Hawkins Arena. The matchup was expected to be an early season showdown between two of the top teams in the conference.

USC Upstate finished 21-13 overall and 13-5 in the A-Sun last season, falling short in the quarterfinals of the General Shale Brick A-Sun Championship with a 71-61 loss to FGCU. The Spartans did achieve postseason play for their first time as a Division I program in 2012, advancing to the second round of the Tournament before losing 65-56 to Old Dominion.

The Spartans are led by Torrey Craig, the 2012 A-Sun Player of the Year and 2013 Preseason Player of the Year, and Ty Greene, the 2012 Freshman of the Year. Craig is second in the conference and leads the Spartans in scoring at 17.1 points per game, while Greene also averages in double figures with 12.2 points per game. Greene is also third in the A-Sun in steals (1.7) and fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.376). Ricardo Glenn also contributes as the A-Sun leader in rebounding (8.4) and is third in field goal percentage (.577). Craig has15 career double-doubles, trailing only KSU’s Aaron Anderson’s total of 19.

USC Upstate has lost its last six meetings with the Bears and has beaten Mercer twice since joining the A-Sun in 2007. The Spartans’ last victory was a 93-90 win in Spartanburg on Feb. 26, 2009. They are winless in Macon since joining the conference. USC Upstate is 2-0 on the road in conference play this season, while Mercer is 2-0 at home in A-Sun games, 6-0 at Hawkins Arena overall in 2012-13 and own the A-Sun's second-longest home win streak of eight games.

The Spartans are among the top three teams in 14 statistical categories in the conference and are leaders in scoring margin (+5.5), rebounding offense (31.4), rebounding margin (+4.4), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1), offensive rebounds (13.8) and offensive rebounding percentage (.397).

The Atlantic Sun Conference is partnering for the second consecutive year with the local Fox Sports 1670 AM as a part of its promotional efforts of men’s and women’s basketball leading up to the 2013 General Shale Atlantic Sun Basketball Championships, March 6-9, at Hawkins Arena on the campus of Mercer University.

Included in the partnership, The Atlantic Sun Insider is a regular segment to highlight weekly A-Sun action on the Friday edition of “The Morning Show.” A schedule of commercials will also run during the station’s local and syndicated shows, and additional coverage will include live broadcasts during the championships from the University Center on the station’s local afternoon show, “The Bill Shanks Show.”

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun footprint reaches into seven of the top media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.