Opponent Preview: Carson-Newman (Exhibition Game) (Sat., Nov. 3, 4pm EST, MSHA Athletic Center)

Note: The following preview has been compiled from information gathered from espn.com, blueribbonyearbookonline.com, etsufans.com, etsubucs.com and the opposing school’s website.  Information in this report is as of Oct. 1.







Carson-Newman Eagles

Enrollment: 2,000

Location: Jefferson City, TN

Athletic Conference: South Atlantic Conference (NCAA Div. II)









Versus ETSU:  ETSU leads series 32-20, wining the last 5.  Last meeting was in 2006.

Last Season 15-14 (.517)
Conference Record 8-10 (t-5th)
Starters Lost/Returning 0/5
Coach Chuck Benson (Carson-Newman ’91)
Record At School 26-30 (2 years)
Career Record 163-125 (9 years)
RPI Last 5 years N/A


Carson-Newman’s men’s basketball team has been slated for a fourth place finish in the South Atlantic Conference in the preseason coach’s poll and is the only SAC team to place two players on the league’s preseason, all-conference team.

Chuck Benson
Head Coach Chuck Benson

The Eagles garnered 57 points, including one first place vote.  Wingate was picked to win the league with 77 points and five first place votes. “It’s nice to think that we’ve earned some respect,” Carson-Newman head men’s basketball coach Chuck Benson said. “But as we told our guys, the day that this poll came out, was the day we tore it up and threw it in the garbage.  We are focused on the preseason and getting ready legitimately.”

After earning spots on the All-SAC Second Team last season, juniors Antoine Davis (Rustburg, Va.) and Ish Sanders (Cleveland, Tenn.) find themselves on the preseason first team for 2012-2013. “I’m glad they’re on our team” Benson said. “They’re both versatile, they both can shoot the three and they both can beat you off the dribble.  They make offensive scheming a little bit easier.”

Davis and Sanders both averaged 16.8 points/game for their sophomore years. “I just need to work harder to make my team better,” Davis said. “Personally, I think if we work hard enough, we can win the league, that’s my goal.”

Ish Sanders
Ish Sanders

Davis scored a career high 27 points in a one-sided win over Cincinnati Christian in November, and reached the 20-point plateau nine times. He scored 25 points twice in conference play with a 25-point effort at home in a loss to nationally-ranked Anderson (S.C.).

Antoine Davis
Antoine Davis

Benson enters his third season as head coach of the Eagles this fall. He led the Eagles to their first winning record in four years last season with a team comprised predominantly of underclassmen.

“We’re focused on getting everyone on the same page,” Benson said. “We’re thinking about improvement and the process of getting everybody ready for the season.”

Carson-Newman finished 2012 with a 15-14 record and an 8-10 mark in the league – good for a fifth place finish.  The Eagles return all five starters from last season’s squad.

Carson-Newman basketball has signed three student-athletes for the 2012-2013 season.  Guard Jay Lane (Manassas, Va.), guard Andrew Barnett (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) and forward Josh Rogers (Bristol, England) have all signed to play for Benson and the Eagles in the upcoming season. The group joins Knoxville-product Carson Brooks (Knoxville, Tenn./West High School) in this year’s class.

“I am very excited about this class,” Benson said. “All four of these young men are quality student-athletes and will represent our institution in a first-class manner.”

Lane joins the Eagles as the all-time leading scorer in Osbourn High School history. The combo guard led his team to the Virginia 3A State Quarterfinals in his junior and senior seasons. He was named to the VHSCA 3A All-State First Team and was a three-year co-captain at OHS. His mother, Terry Sutton, played basketball at East Carolina University.

“Jay (Lane) is going to be a very versatile player for us,” Benson said. “He is a great on-ball defender and is very physical on both ends. He is a good lefty shooter with a smooth stroke from beyond the arc.”

Barnett comes to C-N from nearby Pigeon Forge High School where he scored over 1,000 career points and was twice named his team’s MVP. He was a two-time all-district selection, and was named all-Region as a senior.

“Andrew (Barnett) is a long, lean athlete and a tremendous shooter,” Benson said.” He was a prolific scorer in high school and will build on that here. His athletic ability will surprise a lot of people.”

Rogers, a 6-7 small forward, comes to C-N from Bristol, England, where he was a standout at Cotham School, averaging 19.5 points, 13 rebounds, and 3.5 blocked shots per game.

“Josh is a big perimeter player,” Benson said of the Eagles’ overseas signee. “He’s not a traditional international player though, he’s got an Americanized game. He is very skilled on the perimeter, but he attacks the rim off the drive, and is a factor around the rim on defense and offense.”

The group joins an Eagle team that returns all of its key pieces from a young squad that includes Sanders and Davis.

Carson-Newman will also have the services of Division I transfers Odell Parker (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Cody Henegar (South Pittsburg, Tenn.).

Parker sat out last season after transferring from Wofford, but has been on campus for a full year and practiced for the Eagles all of last season. Heneger transferred at the semester after playing his first two seasons at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where he had 12 points against Florida State as a freshman.

Both give the Eagles an improved physical presence inside. Parker is a versatile 6-foot-4, 210-pound forward, while Heneger is a 6-9 post with good shooting ability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.