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2021-22 Appalachian State men's basketball preview

Appalachian State Mountaineers

2020-21 record: 17-12, 7-8 in the Sun Belt

Head coach: Dustin Kerns

Tenure at Appalachian State: 3rd season

Career coaching record: 66-64

Home court: Holmes Convocation Center

Starters: G Justin Forrest, G Adrian Delph, G Michael Almonacy, F Donovan Gregory, F James Lewis Jr. 

Bench: G Xavion Brown, G Michael Eads Jr., G Terence Harcum, G Michael Moore, F Christopher Mantis, F RJ Duhart, F CJ Huntley, C Sasha Glushkov

Overview: The reigning Sun Belt Champions return a large part of their roster from a year ago, creating some good continuity from a team looking to build upon last year’s success. Star guard Justin Forrest was named to the Preseason First-Team All-Sun Belt lineup. Last year, Forrest lead the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game and is expected to only get better. His improvement in play will be crucial for the Mountaineers as they look to defend their conference title this season.

Kerns has been incredible for this program, as his 18 wins in his first season were the most by an Appalachian State head coach since 1942. The team that had seen nearly a decade without back-to-back winning seasons was finally able to return to that mark under Kerns, who looks to make it three in a row. 

Returning so many players will be a huge boost in chemistry for the Mountaineers, however, they do have some spots to fill. Some of the guys that didn’t play the bulk of the minutes last season, such as Duhart, Huntley and a few others, will be expected to see more time as the spots from those who are no longer with the team will need to be filled.

Team ceiling: With such a high level of continuity, Appalachian State's ceiling should look very similar to last year. A Sun Belt title push should be highly achievable for the team, however, don’t expect a Cinderella Story come March. 

Team floor: It’s hard to see the Mountaineers falling below .500 this year, however, if they are unable to make up for the faces they have lost, they may not be as competitive as their projections say. The floor for Appalachian State is likely the middle of the pack in the Sun Belt. 

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