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Originally published: 2012-10-31 16:20:59
Last modified: 2012-10-31 16:20:59

Neal will miss first nine games of season

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Appalachian State point guard Mike Neal will miss the first semester of the 2012-13 season because of academic reasons.

Neal, a sophomore, will be eligible to play Dec. 19 at South Carolina. He is still eligible to practice and participate in other team functions. He’ll miss nine regular season games and Appalachian State’s exhibition game Friday against Lees-McRae.

Neal, a point guard, started 21 of Appalachian State’s 30 games last season. He averaged 8.3 points per game and led the team with 92 assists. Neal is from Greensboro and attended Oak Ridge Academy.

Former Ashe County forward Tommy Spagnolo was cleared to play by the NCAA to play in games this season after sitting out last season. Spagnolo, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, last played college basketball in 2010-11 at Radford.

Former Avery guard Dustin Clarke will have to sit out this season because of NCAA transfer rules. Clarke, a 6-3 guard, played last year at Hartford.