Kerns meets the community

New Appalachian State men’s basketball coach Dustin Kerns (right) speaks to the media, fans, boosters and fellow App State coaches at his press conference March 29 in front of Appalachian State Athletic Director Doug Gillin.

BOONE — Four home games including East Carolina and Charlotte, a three-game tournament in Greensboro and road contests at Michigan and N.C. State highlight Appalachian State men’s basketball 2019-20 non-conference schedule, announced Thursday, July 18.

“We are excited to release our non-conference schedule filled with several quality programs, coaches and teams,” new head coach Dustin Kerns said. “Our goal is to enhance our profile with the App State brand regionally and nationally. It is very important to renew and play local and regional opponents for our recruiting, but also for our fans and parents.”

The Mountaineers open the Kerns era on Nov. 5 with a road contest at Michigan. The Wolverines have made eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, including two appearances in the national championship game in 2013, 2018.

“We wanted to open the season with a national power and playing Michigan certainly does that with the excitement surrounding their program,” added Kerns. “I will be taking Coach Moore out to lunch in October to pick his brain.”

App State will have a quick turnaround and return to Boone for its home opener on Nov. 7 against Division III’s Ferrum. The Mountaineers follow with another home contest against American Athletic Conference opponent East Carolina on Nov. 12.

The Black and Gold then play three games in four days in a tournament hosted by UNC Greensboro. The Mountaineers open play in the tournament on Nov. 15 against Tennessee Tech and then battle Montana State on Nov. 16. App State closes out play in the tournament on Nov. 18 against host UNC Greensboro.

Following the tournament, App State returns to the Holmes Center on Nov. 21 and welcomes Charlotte to the High Country for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

The Mountaineers return right back to the road to renew their rivalry with East Tennessee State on Nov. 26. The matchup between the two squads will be the first meeting since the 2011-12 season.

The Black and Gold host NAIA’s St. Andrews on Dec. 3 in its non-conference home finale and will embark on a two-game road trip to close out the non-conference schedule. On Dec. 14, the Mountaineers travel to Washington, D.C., to face Howard and close out non-conference play on Dec. 29 at N.C. State.

“Our non-conference schedule has been reduced by two games this season with the Sun Belt moving to a 20-game schedule,” Kerns remarked. “We wanted to give our team a balanced schedule not only for this season, but for the future as well. This schedule is challenging and will prepare us for play in the always tough Sun Belt.”

The Mountaineers welcome back eight players from last season and will begin practices in October.

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