2016-17 Schedules: Little Rock Trojans

Wes Flanigan, who returned to the Little Rock coaching staff as associate head coach last season, was announced as the team’s new skipper this March. Previous head coach Chris Beard left to coach at Texas Tech. (Photo Credit: CollegeInsider.com)

Wes Flanigan has big shoes to fill in his first year as head coach of the Little Rock Trojans. But that doesn’t mean he’s new to the success.

Flanigan served as associate head coach last season during Chris Beard’s only year at the helm in Little Rock. Beard led the program to its first-ever 30-win campaign, a historic outright Sun Belt title and an exciting run into the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32.

Little Rock, which plays its home games at the 5,600-seat Jack Stephens Center on campus, enjoyed the nation’s largest percentage rise in attendance last season, with average attendance spiking by over 2,300 fans per game.

Despite being an extremely seasoned squad who return several valuable pieces to the puzzle, the Trojans’ rotation took a definite hit this offseason.

Star everything-guard Josh Hagins, who led the team in points per game (13.2), assists (4.7) and steals (1.5), and who is known best for his late-game heroics against the Purdue Boilermakers in the NCAA Tournament, moved on and is now chasing a dream with the Sacramento Kings in the NBA Summer League.

Roger Woods, the Trojans’ rebound leader and another big-time playmaker, also graduated and inked a deal earlier this month to play professional basketball in Switzerland.

Mareik Isom, a 6-9 forward, announced he would play next season under Shaka Smart at Texas as a graduate transfer.

Among the strong returning class are Lis Shoshi, a rangy 6-11 senior forward from Kosovo and Marcus Johnson Jr., who led the Trojans in 3-point shooting with a 47 percent success rate behind the arc last season.

Kemy Osse, a redshirt senior guard from Montreal, Quebec, will likely see his minutes increase along with those of Jalen Jackson and Maurius Hill, whose contributions were limited mainly to those off the bench.

Almost every player on this Little Rock team has game experience, which should help alleviate the stress of transitioning to a new head coach. The Trojans lost some big playmakers, but bring back a great deal of talent, valuable experience and even some new opportunities hidden in the roster.

It’s Flanigan’s turn to prove that last year’s explosion of success is more than simply a flash in the pan.

Little Rock Trojans

2015-16 Record: 30-5 (17-3 in Sun Belt; 1st)
Key Returnees: Marcus Johnson Jr., Lis Shoshi, Kemy Osse, Jalen Jackson, Maurius Hill
Key Departures: Josh Hagins, Roger Woods, Mareik Isom

2016-17 Schedule
(** Denotes Conference Play)

11/12/2016: v. Central Baptist (Ark.) Mustangs
*Little Rock, Ark.

11/14/2016: v. University of the Ozarks Eagles
*Little Rock, Ark.

11/18/2016: v. Idaho Vandals
*Little Rock, Ark.

11/21-23/2016: TBD (Lone Star Showcase)
*Cedar Park, Texas

11/29/2016: @ Central Arkansas Bears
*Conway, Ark.

12/3/2016: v. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
*Little Rock, Ark.

12/8/2016: v. Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions
*Little Rock, Ark.

12/10/2016: v. Central Arkansas Bears
*Little Rock, Ark.

12/14/2016: @ Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
*Flagstaff, Ariz.

12/19/2016: @ Oral Roberts Golden Eagles
*Tulsa, Okla.

12/21/2016: @ Florida Gators
*Gainesville, Fla.

12/31/2016: v. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks **
*Little Rock, Ark.

1/2/2017: v. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns **
*Little Rock, Ark.

1/7/2017: @ Appalachian State Mountaineers **
*Boone, N.C.

1/9/2017: @ Coastal Carolina Chanticleers **
*Conway, S.C.

1/14/2017: v. Arkansas State Red Wolves **
*Little Rock, Ark.

1/21/2017: v. South Alabama Jaguars **
*Little Rock, Ark.

1/23/2017: v. Troy Trojans **
*Little Rock, Ark.

1/28/2017: @ Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns **
*Lafayette, La.

1/30/2017: @ Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks **
*Monroe, La.

2/4/2017: v. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers **
*Little Rock, Ark.

2/6/2017: v. Appalachian State Mountaineers **
*Little Rock, Ark.

2/11/2017: @ Texas State Bobcats **
*San Marcos, Texas

2/13/2017: @ UT-Arlington Mavericks **
*Arlington, Texas

2/18/2017: @ Arkansas State Red Wolves **
*Jonesboro, Ark.

2/25/2017: v. Georgia State Panthers **
*Little Rock, Ark.

2/27/2017: v. Georgia Southern Eagles **
*Little Rock, Ark.

3/2/2017: @Troy Trojans **
*Troy, Ala.

3/4/2017: @South Alabama Jaguars **
*Mobile, Ala.