CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball schedule has a mix of 15 home and 16 road contests announced Sunday by head coach John Shulman. The schedule is pending approval of the Faculty Athletics Committee.
The schedule includes a bitter rival of old as former Southern Conference foe Marshall as well as games at Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Kennesaw State and Austin Peay. 2010 NCAA darling Murray State returns to Chattanooga as the Mocs hosts Austin Peay, Jackson State, Reinhardt, Georgia State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Montreat.
Chattanooga plays home-and-away games with SoCon North Division foes Appalachian State, Elon, UNC Greensboro, Samford and Western Carolina, along with 2010 SoCon Champ Wofford and Furman. The Mocs bring College of Charleston and Georgia Southern to McKenzie while traveling to Davidson and The Citadel.
"It will be a good test for our basketball team," said seventh-year head coach John Shulman. "Opening at Tennessee is a big challenge right off the bat, but I am a superstitious man. The last time we did that we won the SoCon and went to the dance.
"Austin Peay and Murray State are great mid-major games for our fans," added Shulman. "Our SoCon slate will be difficult, but having home games with Charleston and Wofford is another plus."
Following an exhibition with Tennessee Wesleyan, currently scheduled for Nov. 4, the Mocs start off the regular season on Nov. 12 at Tennessee. They return home to host in-state rival Austin Peay for the home opener on Nov. 15. It will be the first meeting with the Govs since January 2006.
After a Nov. 17 trip to Kennesaw State, Chattanooga travels to Marshall for the opening of the Global Sports Shoot-Out, an eight-team, four-game event that will be played solely on campus sites. UTC and the Thundering Herd met 45 times in SoCon play with the Mocs winning 26 and losing 19. The overall series is 27-19 for UTC with the last meeting being a non-conference matchup in Chattanooga (57-47) in December 1997.
From there, UTC travels to Louisville for a Nov. 22 matchup with Rick Pitino's charges before continuing the Shoot-Out in Chattanooga on the 24th hosting Jackson State. The Shoot-Out ends on Nov. 27 at Florida International.
December opens with three consecutive home contests as Southern Conference play begins with Appalachian State (12/2) and Western Carolina (12/4). Murray State comes to the Scenic City on the 11th continuing its recent series with the Mocs.
The pre-Christmas portion of the schedule ends with UTC's first SoCon road game. The Mocs head to Elon on Dec. 17, before returning home to take on Reinhardt on the 21st.
Father Time cannot give way to Baby New Year until after the annual Dr Pepper Classic Dec. 29-30. Georgia State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Montreat come to town with a special homecoming. Montreat is coached by former Mocs point guard Lincoln Walters (1995-98).
Two non-conference games remain in 2011 surrounded by conference matchups. A trip to Austin Peay (1/3) opens the New Year and Chattanooga heads south to Atlanta to square off with Georgia Tech (2/16) in a rare February game outside of league play.
"It will be a challenge, but it always is," continued Shulman. "Anything worth having is and claiming that trophy...cutting that net...putting on that ring ...it's just special.
"I am really looking forward to this year," he concluded. "I like our talent, I like our kids, I think we are more coachable and prepared for what lies ahead. It's a long season, a real grind, we need to stay healthy and focused on improving."
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