Citadel Head Coach Chuck Driesell’s second season at the helm will feature six teams that experienced postseason tournament action, according to the 2011-12 Basketball schedule released by the Athletics Department on Thursday. The Bulldogs will make two separate trips to Colorado, opening the season in the inaugural All Military Classic in Colorado Springs against VMI, followed by a December meeting with Denver University.
The Citadel will host 14 games at McAlister Field House, including nine Southern Conference match-ups. The season opens on Nov. 11 when The Citadel renews its rivalry with VMI at the All Military Classic, hosted by Air Force. The Bulldogs hold a 53-44 edge in the all-time series between the two military institutions, including wins in four of the last five head-to-head meetings. The following day the Dogs meet either Air Force or Army to complete the two-day tournament. The second of four All Military Classics will be hosted by The Citadel in 2012-13.
On Nov. 16, The Citadel hosts Clemson, marking the first time that the two teams have played at McAlister Field House since Nov. 28, 1989. The Citadel will look to avenge a 69-54 loss to Clemson last season at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Tigers went onto finish fourth in the ACC in 2010-11 and won a First Four game of the NCAA Tournament against UAB before falling to West Virginia in the next round. Five days later the Bulldogs complete a two-game homestand when they square off against Florida Christian. The Dogs complete the first month of action with a road game at High Point on Nov. 26.
“The All Military Classic is something that I wanted to see happen when I took the job last season,” said Driesell. “It is going to be a great experience for our players, fans and coaches, along with being a great way to tip-off the season. The opportunity to compete against other military schools will be special for our players, and I am confident this event will pick up some exposure and be a huge success. On top of that, we will open with Clemson at home. I anticipate this being a great environment for our cadets and fans to be a part of.”
The Citadel opens Southern Conference play with a pair of road games against rival College of Charleston (Dec. 1) and two days later travels to Wofford. On Dec. 6 the Bulldogs host Coastal Carolina to complete a stretch against three teams that reached postseason tournaments in 2011.
After a break for exams, The Citadel returns to action when it welcomes Charleston Southern to McAlister Field House. A pair of road games at James Madison (Dec. 19) and Denver University (Dec. 22) marks the final two games before Christmas break.
After a seven-day layoff, the Bulldogs return to action when they head to Knoxville, Tenn., for a meeting with Tennessee. It marks only the fourth meeting between the two programs and first since 2003. Coincidentally, it stages a rematch between new Volunteers Head Coach Cuonzo Martin and a Citadel squad that he faced during the 2009-10 season, while at Missouri State.
“Travelling to High Point, James Madison, Denver and Tennessee will be tough,” said Driesell. “Each of those teams has a distinct home court advantage, and it is always tough to play on the road. However, those games will certainly help prepare us for another tough SoCon road season.”
The Dogs open the month of January with their final non-conference game, UVA-Wise (Jan. 2), before traveling to the Upstate for a clash with Furman (Jan. 5). A three-game home stretch of SoCon meetings with Samford (Jan. 7), Elon (Jan. 12) and UNC Greensboro (Jan. 14) ensues. After meetings with Davidson (Jan. 21) and Georgia Southern (Jan. 23), The Citadel closes out the month with a pair of home contests against in-state rivals Wofford (Jan. 26) and Furman (Jan. 28).
The month of February features four home games for the Bulldogs, bringing South Division foes Davidson (Feb. 9) and Georgia Southern (Feb. 11). In the final week of regular season action, The Citadel hosts Appalachian State (Feb. 22) and inner-city rival College of Charleston on Feb. 25.
“I am excited about this season’s schedule,” Driesell added. “It will present some great experiences for our young team. Our non-conference schedule is one that will prepare us for a tough conference season. Putting a schedule together is like working on a jig saw puzzle, it can be difficult at times. This schedule presents our fans and team with the opportunity to enjoy a successful season.”
2011-12 Citadel Basketball Schedule
November: 11, at All-Military Classic, Colorado Springs, Colo. (vs. VMI), 9:00 pm; 12, at All-Military Classic, Colorado Springs, Colo. (vs. Air Force or Army), 9:30 pm; 16 vs. Clemson, 7:05 pm; 21 vs. Florida Christian, 7:05 pm; 26, at High Point, TBA.
December: 1, at College of Charleston*, TBA; 3, at Wofford*, 3:00 pm; 6, vs. Coastal Carolina, 7:05 pm; 14, vs. Charleston Southern, 7:05 pm; 19, at James Madison, TBA; 22, at Denver University, TBA; 29, at Tennessee, TBA.
January: 2, vs. UVA-Wise, 7:05 p.m.; 5, at Furman*, TBA; 7, vs. Samford, 7:05 pm; 12, vs. Elon*, 7:05 pm; 14, vs. UNC Greensboro *, 7:05 pm; 21, at Davidson*, TBA; 23, at Georgia Southern*, TBA; 26, vs. Wofford*, 7:05 pm; 28, vs. Furman*, 7:05 pm.
February: 2, at UNC Greensboro*, TBA; 4, at Elon*, TBA; 9, vs. Davidson*, TBA; 11, vs. Georgia Southern, 7:05 pm; 16, at Western Carolina, TBA; 18, at Chattanooga, TBA; 22, vs. Appalachian State*, 7:05 pm; 25, vs. College of Charleston*, 7:05 pm.