The Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball team was on the court at the Kress Events Center on the UW-Green Bay campus for the first time under the watchful eye of new head coach Will Ryan on Monday for the start of team’s summer training program.
Players were previously allowed to participate in voluntary workouts and nonphysical activities like team meetings, individual meetings, and film review but Monday marked the first time that the coaching staff was allowed to be on the court with players since the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the college basketball season just a few days prior to Selection Sunday.
In a sign of the current times, players and coaches wore masks even while practicing in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Horizon League recently announced their decision to delay all fall sports including volleyball and soccer until October 1st but hasn’t announced any decision regarding any potential delay of the basketball season as of yet.
The summer training period will last until UWGB’s first day of classes on September 2nd and can include up to eight hours per week of weight training, conditioning, and skills instruction, but skills instruction can not exceed four hours per week.
It’s an essential time for the players to learn a new system while getting acclimated to new teammates – the Phoenix only return six players from last year’s roster and only three of them appeared in a game a season ago – and an important time for a brand new coaching staff that was hired well into the off-season to be able to evaluate their players and implement their philosophies.
Full practice is allowed to begin 42 days before a team’s first regular season game, or September 29 in Green Bay’s case, ahead of their November 10th season opener at Oklahoma State.
The Phoenix roster is potentially complete as all 13 scholarships for the 2020-2021 season are now accounted for after the addition of Wheeling transfer Manny Ansong.
The 6’4” wing averaged 14.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season as a sophomore for Ryan at Wheeling, a Division II school in West Virginia, and will have two seasons of eligibility left after sitting out this upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules – unless he is granted a waiver to become immediately eligible.
At this stage the roster appears to be set unless another walk-on or two is added before the season begins. The Phoenix recently extended a preferred walk-on opportunity to 6’1” point guard Colin Schaefer who averaged 17.8 points per game this past season as a senior at Sun Prairie High School.
Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball roster as of 7/21/20:
Josh Jefferson – 6’2” – Senior
PJ Pipes – 6’2” – Senior
Blayton Williams – 6’3” – Junior
Amari Davis – 6’3” – Sophomore
Jiovanni Miles – 6’2” – Sophomore
Jacob Jones – 5’10” – Freshman
Wings (Guard / Forward):
Japannah Kellogg – 6’8” – RS Freshman
Damontae Taylor – 6’5” – Freshman
Cem Kirciman – 6’8” – Freshman
Paris Taylor – 6’7” – Junior
Terrance Thompson – 6’8” – Freshman
Redshirt / Sitting out (on scholarship):
Immanuel Ansong – 6’4” F – Junior
Donavan Moore – 6’3” G – Sophomore
Lucas Stieber – 6’3” G – RS Freshman
Ryan Claflin – 6’6” G – Freshman
Photo via Green Bay Athletics on Instagram