Introducing Cinderella: Meet the Green Bay Phoenix


Conference: Horizon League

Coach: Linc Darner

Record: 23-12, 11-7

Ratings and Rankings

Kenpom: 115
RPI: 125
AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding: The Phoenix are probably headed for a No. 14 or No. 15 seed, depending on how some of the other mid-major tournaments play out.

Names you need to know: Carrington Love is the star on this team, averaging 17.9 points, 3.5 assists and 2.6 steals. But Charles Cooper, who was terrific during the Horizon League tournament, is another guy to keep your eye on.

Stats you need to know: The Phoenix play fast. They average nearly 77 possessions per game — for comparison’s sake, Virginia averages right around 62 possessions — and no one in college basketball averages a shorter possession that Green Bay does; they get a shot up in less than 14 seconds.

Big wins, bad losses: Green Bay’s best win of the season vame in the semifinals, when they knocked off Valparaiso in overtime. They also beat a good Akron team back in December, but that’s it for top 100 KenPom wins.

How’d they get here?: Green Bay made a run through the Horizon League tournament, knocking off title favorite Valparaiso in overtime in the semifinals, after finishing fourth in the conference in the regular season.

Outlook: Linc Darner is a heck of a basketball coach. He won a national title in the Division II ranks last season. And even with the top two or three seed lines being weaker than we are used to seeing, I have a tough time envisioning this group picking up a win in the first round. But stranger things have happened.

How do I know you?: Green Bay has been relevant for the last five years because of the presence of potential NBA players on their roster. That’s what makes this year’s win ironic. It came after they lost Alec Brown and Kiefer Sykes to graduation.