FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team will open the season on Friday in Santa Clara, Calif. at the 50th Annual Cable Car Classic. The Lumberjacks will play host Santa Clara on Friday at 8 p.m. MST to begin tournament play. NAU will face Tennessee State on Saturday at 9:30 p.m MST and UC Davis on Sunday at 1 p.m. MST.
All three games can be heard in Flagstaff (Hits 106.1 FM), Phoenix (MoneyRadio 1510 AM & 99.3 FM), Prescott Area (97.9 FM Eagle Rocks), Window Rock/Ft. Defiance, Ariz. & Gallup, N.M. (KHAC 880 AM). Fans can also tune in online at hits106.gcmaz.com. Friday's game can also be seen on theW.tv.
• Head Coach Jack Murphy enters his fifth season at the helm of the Lumberjack basketball program. Murphy has a 54-78 overall record and 36-40 mark in Big Sky play.
• NAU is 58-46 all-time in season openers.
• Eight letterwinners from last year's squad return for NAU; one senior, one junior, the rest sophomores. The Lumberjacks return 75.1 percent of their scoring from last season.
Scouting Santa Clara
• Santa Clara defeated Life Pacific on Nov. 5 in its exhibition game, 83-65. The Broncos were led by preseason All-West Coast Conference Jared Brownridge, last year's leading scorer. The two-time All-WCC honoree tallied 20 points, while teammate Jarvis Pugh registered a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
• Herb Sendek is in his first season as head coach at Santa Clara. The Broncos were picked to finish fifth out of 10 teams in the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll. NAU will host fellow WCC foe San Diego on Dec. 3 in Flagstaff.
• Santa Clara competed in an Italy Exhibition Tour this summer for 10 days and nine nights. The team was based out of Rome, Florence, and Lake Como, as it played three games over the course of the tour.
Tennessee State and UC Davis
• It will be the first meeting between NAU and Tennessee State. Santa Clara and UC Davis are the only two opponents that NAU and TSU share this season. The Tigers defeated Fisk, 77-43, in an exhibition on Nov. 3. Tennessee State was picked to finish second in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division Preseason Poll. Tahjere McCall and Wayne Martin were both named to the All-OVC Preseason Team.
• McCall is the reigning OVC Defensive Player of the Year, while Martin was the team's third-leading scorer a year ago.
• Sunday will mark the fourth meeting between NAU and UC Davis. The Lumberjacks are 3-0 all-time versus the Aggies. The Aggies are a member of the Big West Conference with the exception of football in which they compete in the Big Sky. The Aggies did not play an exhibition game before the start of the season. NAU and UC Davis share common opponents this season in Santa Clara, Tennessee State, Sacramento State, Idaho, and Weber State. UC Davis was picked to finish fifth out of nine teams in the Big West Media Preseason Poll. The Aggies traveled to Costa Rica in August for a foreign tour training camp.