Mountaineers Highlights

General Information

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Sun Belt Conference
Past Conferences: North State Conference, Southern Conference, Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
City: Boone, N.C.
Arena: George M. Holmes Convocation Center
NCAA Tournaments: 3 (1979, 2000, 2021)


National Championships: None
Conference Titles: 16 (1940, 1941, 1943, 1948, 1950, 1967, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010)

Team History

The Appalachian State Mountaineers can trace their basketball roots back to the 1919-20 season, when the team played a single game against Lenoir-Rhyne, losing 15-14. Records are a bit sketchy for the next 10 years, with the school showing a 31-10 through the 1929-30 season. Towards the end of the 1930s, the Mountaineers were turning into a decent squad, winning the North State Conference title in the 1939-40 season and a berth in the NAIA Tournament.

Appalachian State became tournament regulars over the next decade, appearing in the NAIA Tournament in 1941, 1943, 1948 and 1950. The Mountaineers had some decent teams throughout the 1950s and the early part of the 1960s but could never duplicate their earlier successes until they won the conference title in 1967-68. The Mountaineers made the move to Division I for the 1972-73 season and the result on the court was a disaster, going 14-69 in its first three seasons at the top level. That quickly changed when Bobby Cremins was brought in to be the team’s coach for 1975-76.

The Mountaineers were 13-14 in the first season for Cremins and were 17-12 his next season. Appalachian State won the regular season in 1978. In 1979, the Mountaineers won the regular season conference title and the conference tournament, earning the school its first berth in the NCAA Tournament. After a 12-16 season in what everyone knew would be a rebuilding year, the Mountaineers went 20-9 in 1980-81, winning a share of the conference title. Cremins’ success didn’t go unnoticed by the larger schools and he was lured away by Georgia Tech following the year. 

Appalachian State had some good teams throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s but had three consecutive 20-win seasons under Buzz Peterson between 1997-2000, earning the team’s second NCAA Tournament berth in the process. The Mountaineers had an NIT appearance in 2007 and reached the semifinals of the College Insider Tournament in 2010. After going 7-8 in Sun Belt Conference play in 20-21, the Mountaineers pulled off a stunner by winning the conference tournament and a third trip to the NCAA Tournament. Appalachian State competed in the inaugural The Basketball Classic in 2022.

All-Time Records

  • Points Scored

    • Donald Sims, 2,185
    • Justin Forrest 2,120
    • Ronshad Shabazz, 2,067
  • Rebounds

    • Wayne Duncan, 1,108
    • Rick Howe, 1,097
    • Isaac Johnson, 977
  • Assists

    • Tyson Patterson, 638
    • D.J. Thompson, 508
    • Kemp Phillips, 442


What Legendary Basketball Player’s Father Coached the Mountaineers?

Between 1972 and 1975 Appalachian State was coached by Press Maravich, the father of Pete Maravich. His stay at Appalachian was short and not very impressive, as the Mountaineers went 12-51 before he was removed in the middle of his third season.

What Is Appalachian State’s Largest Margin of Victory?

On Nov. 11, 2017, the Mountaineers hosted Toccoa Falls, a small Christian college in Georgia. Appalachian State posted a 135-34 victory in what was just the sixth time a Division I game had been decided by 100 points. The Mountaineers shot 63% from the field compared to 16% for Toccoa Falls and had a 76-24 rebounding advantage.

How Many Appalachian State Players Have Been Drafted by NBA teams?

The Mountaineers have seen five players drafted by NBA teams, although none of them have ever played in a regular season NBA game. Daryll Robinson, taken in the fourth round of the 1979 draft, is the highest an Appalachian State was ever selected.

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