July 13, 2009
Contact: Brian McCann
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Seventeen home games, including contests against 2009 NCAA participants West Virginia, Butler and Robert Morris, highlight the 2009-10 Cleveland State men's basketball schedule. The schedule was released on Monday (July 13).
"This will be the most challenging schedule that we will face since I came to Cleveland State," CSU head coach Gary Waters said. "We will play five games against high major teams this year which is unusual because most mid-majors are only willing to play three such games. If that wasn't enough, even the games we have against mid-majors will be against the high mid-major teams.
"This schedule will really be a test to the young team that we have. But, if we can overcome the challenges that this schedule poses, especially early in the year, then that will be a good sign heading into the conference schedule.
"Being able to play 17 home games will give us a big boost. We've played well in the Wolstein Center the last two years and there is no reason why we won't continue to have a home-court edge there. In addition, every game we play at home saves us from the rigors of playing on the road," Waters said.
The Vikings enjoyed a break-through season in 2008-09, going 26-11 and winning the Horizon League Championship for the first time in program history. On its way to the second-highest win total in program history, CSU defeated three ranked opponents, including an 84-69 victory over Wake Forest in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Vikings open the 2009-10 with a Nov. 13 road game at St. Bonaventure, one of nine new teams on the schedule this year. CSU will play four of the next six games at home, hosting Florida A&M (Nov. 19) and Sam Houston State (Nov. 21) as part of the Cancun Challenge before heading to Cancun to face Kentucky along with either Stanford or Virginia (Nov. 24-25).
A BracketBusters rematch with Wichita State in the Wolstein Center is scheduled for Nov. 28 followed by the first week of Horizon League play, featuring road contests at Wright State (Dec. 3) and Detroit (Dec. 5).
The Dec. 12 game vs. Wilberforce will be played in Woodling Gym, marking only the second game in the building since the end of the 1990-91 season.
The remainder of the December schedule has CSU facing four straight post-season quality teams, hosting Robert Morris on Dec. 15) and West Virginia on Dec. 19, both of whom went to the NCAA Tournament last year, with CSU then traveling to Ohio State (Dec. 22) and Kansas State (Dec. 29).
The only non-league game following the new year will come on Saturday, Feb. 20 when the Vikings host a game in the seventh annual Bracketbusters event.
Some changes to the schedule may be made later in the fall once network television broadcast schedules are complete.
Season tickets, which start at just $204, and three and six-game mini-plans for the 2009-10 season are now available through the CSU Athletic Ticket Office. The office can be reached at (216) 687-4848.
Some notes on the 2009-10 schedule: CSU will play 31 regular season games for the second year in a row, the most since the 2000-01 season. The Vikings scheduled 30 contests in 2007-08 (played 34) and 31 last year (played 37).
The 17 homes games is the second highest total with the Moday, Nov. 16 home opener against Wilmington being slated for an 11:30 a.m. matinee start. The Vikings are 26-5 in the Wolstein Center over the last two seasons, including a 14-2 mark last season that came within a victory of tying the facility record for wins in a season.
The Vikings will play as many as 10 games against teams that advanced to postseason play last year, four against NCAA teams, two vs. the NIT (Kentucky & Kansas State) and four vs. CBI participants (Stanford, Wichita State & Green Bay twice). Three of the four games against NCAA teams will come at home, including West Virginia (Dec. 19), Robert Morris (Dec. 15) and Butler (Feb. 13). CSU will also play at Butler on Jan. 14.
CSU will play four games in the Cancun Challenge, including home contests against both Florida A&M (Nov. 19) and Sam Houston State (Nov. 21). The Vikings will then travel to Cancun, Mexico to play Kentucky in a third round game and then either Stanford or Virginia in their final contest.
The Vikings will play a home game as part of the seventh annual ESPNU BracketBusters, which will be held on Feb. 20. This will be the sixth straight year that CSU has been involved with the event. Last year, the Vikings dropped a 70-59 decision at Wichita State but CSU will have a chance to avenge the loss, hosting the Shockers on Nov. 28 in the Wolstein Center. The Vikings BracketBusters opponent will be decided in early February.
CSU will open the regular season at St. Bonaventure on Friday, Nov. 13 in the first of a four-game series against the Bonnies. The Vikings will host St. Bonaventure in 2010-11 & 2011-12 and finish the series at St. Bonaventure in 2012-13.
The Vikings will also begin a three-game series against Robert Morris, hosting the Colonials in each of the next two seasons before concluding the series at Robert Morris in 2011-12.
CSU will host West Virginia in the Wolstein Center on Dec. 19 in the third annual John McLendon Scholarship Classic.
The Vikings will open Horizon League play on the road for the first time since 2004-05. CSU will play at Wright State on Thursday, Dec. 3 and at Detroit on Saturday, Dec. 5.
The CSU men's and women's basketball teams will play three doubleheaders during the year. The first comes on Dec. 19 when the women host Indiana and the men square off against West Virginia. The other two are true doubleheaders with both teams facing Detroit on Feb. 25 and Wright State on Feb. 27. Over the last two years, the Viking teams have combined to go 19-3 in doubleheaders with eight sweeps, the men owning a 10-1 mark with the women going 9-2.
The annual Horizon League Championship will begin play at campus sites on March 2 leading up to the championship game on March 9.