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Vikings release 2009-10 schedule
Home games with NCAA participants West Virginia, Butler and Robert Morris highlight coming season
BY NICK CAMINO
Questions and anticipation were laid to rest early last week when the Cleveland State University men’s basketball team released its 2009-2010 schedule of games.
Coming off one of the best seasons in school history in which the Vikings won the Horizon League Championship and shocked the nation and Wake Forest in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, many believed this year’s schedule would have quite a few more challenges in it. These people will not be disappointed.
This will be the most challenging schedule CSU has had in three seasons, 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,” Waters explained. “If that wasn’t enough, even the games we have against mid-majors will be against high mid-major teams.”
The docket includes 17 home games, which includes match-ups with NCAA Tournamanet participants West Virginia, Butler and Robert Morris.
The West Virginia Mountaineers and the Butler Bulldogs are both predicted to begin the season ranked among the Top Ten teams in the country.
Trevon Harmon and the Vikings will have their work cut out for them this coming season, as their schedule is full of many tough home and road games.
Tough away games also grace the 2009-2010 schedule, with the forest green and white playing at Ohio State on Dec. 22 and at Kansas State on Dec. 29.
As part of the Cancun Challenge, CSU will head to Mexico to take on the Kentucky Wildcats Nov. 24 and the winner or loser, depending on the outcome of their game with the Wildcats, of the Stanford-Virginia game the following day.
Losing seniors J’Nathan Bullock, Cedric Jackson, Chris Moore, George Tandy and Renard Fields is a concern for Waters with this type of schedule.
“This schedule will really be a test to the young team that we have,” Waters said. “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.”
Similar to last season, two Horizon League contests will be played in early December when the Vikings travel to Fairborn, Ohio to take on Wright State Dec. 3, followed by a road trip up to Detroit, Mich. to face the Titans Dec. 5.
After five non-conference games, Horizon League play resumes Jan. 2 at Youngstown State. Butler comes to the Wolstein Center Feb. 13.
On Feb. 20, CSU will take part in the ESPNU Bracketbusters at the Wolstein Center and will learn their opponent just one week earlier.
The 2010 Horizon League Tournament begins on March 2 at campus sites and continues Friday, March 5 through Tuesday, March 9 at the home court of the highest remaining seed in the tournament.
CSU opens up its home slate with an exhibition contest with Division III cross town rival John Carroll University on Nov. 9, followed by a road game at St. Bonaventure on Nov. 13.
The regular season then kicks off at home with a Monday, Nov. 16 morning showdown against Wilmington. Tip off is set for 11:30 a.m.
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