Sep 17, 2013, 9:59 AM EDT
A season-opening road trip at defending national champion Louisville along with eight other opponents that advanced to postseason play a year ago highlights the 2013-14 College of Charleston men’s basketball schedule, as announced by head coach Doug Wojcik on Friday.
The Cougars will commence year two under Wojcik with an exhibition contest against NCAA Division II Newberry College on Nov. 2 at TD Arena, prior to their rematch on the road at Louisville on Nov. 9 in Louisville, Ky. They will then play host to 2013 NIT participant Charlotte in their home opener on Nov. 12 at TD Arena.
Three-straight home games follow with UNC Asheville on Nov. 15, defending ACC champion and 2013 NCAA participant Miami (Fla.) on Nov. 18 and former Southern Conference foe Furman on Nov. 23.
CofC will then spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Southern California at The Wooden Legacy to be held on Nov. 28, 29 and Dec. 1 in Anaheim, Calif. The Cougars will face a tough ESPN-sponsored tournament field headlined by three NCAA Tournament squads in Marquette, Creighton and San Diego State.
They will commence tournament play with SDSU in the opening round on Nov. 28 and face the winner or loser of Creighton and 2013 NIT participant Arizona State on Nov. 29. Host Cal State Fullerton, George Washington and Miami round out the field.
“It is a great schedule, especially when you have the defending national champions on the road in Louisville and the defending ACC champions at home in Miami,” Wojcik said. “We will also be tested early with tournament games out in Anaheim with San Diego State and Creighton or Arizona State in the next game as well as Marquette and Miami on the other side of the bracket.”
Non-conference play continues with NCAA Division II Coker College on Dec. 12 and Marist on Dec. 15 at TD Arena. The Cougars will then travel to Old Dominion on Dec. 18 in Norfolk, Va., upon returning home before the winter holiday break to take on 2012 ESPN BracketBusters opponent Kent State on Dec. 21.
CofC will close out its out-of-conference slate with a cross-town rivalry game at The Citadel on Dec. 29 and ring in the New Year at former SoCon rival and 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Davidson on Jan. 1, 2014, in Davidson, N.C. Howard travels to the Lowcountry for a first-ever meeting with the Cougars on Jan. 4 at TD Arena.
“We have a great regional game against Charlotte as our home opener and then Davidson,” Wojcik said. “Those are good regional, RPI games for us along with traditional mid-major programs in Old Dominion and Kent State to round things out for us in the non-conference.”
A home tilt with James Madison commences CofC’s inaugural season in the Colonial Athletic Association on Jan. 24 with additional conference home dates with Towson on Jan. 19, UNC Wilmington on Jan. 22, Hofstra on Feb. 1, Drexel on Feb. 13, Northeastern on Feb. 15, William & Mary on Feb. 19 and Delaware in both teams’ regular-season finale on March 1.
Postseason play begins as the 2014 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship will be held on March 7-10 at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Md., where the winner will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“It is an exciting time at CofC,” Wojcik said. “We have a new conference, a new logo and a new floor. We have a lot of ‘firsts’ going into a new conference that stretches from Boston down to Charleston. It has been really helpful for us recruiting wise being able to talk about travel to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. It really lends to our brand – certainly with the students who are applying to the College of Charleston and people who are attracted to The College. We are looking forward to those new venues and are excited about the new conference.”
Last year, the Cougars compiled a 24-11 overall record, a 14-4 regular-season mark in SoCon play and made an appearance in the conference championship game, while earning a postseason berth to the College Basketball Invitational, defeating 2013 NIT champion and No. 21-ranked Baylor (63-59) and recording an impressive 11-2 mark away from TD Arena which tied for the second-most road wins in Division I. CofC was projected as the early CAA favorite by ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi.
“It’s a very fair, but challenging schedule,” Wojcik said. “Yet, it’s a schedule that puts us in a good position to be an at-large postseason team at the end of the year.”
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