Early season road games against Virginia Tech, Florida State and Ohio State as well as 15 home games inside McCalister Field House highlight the 2017-18 Citadel men's basketball schedule, which was released Friday by third-year head coach Duggar Baucom.
The slate of 30 games includes seven teams that advanced to a post-season tournament last year, including three that played in the NCAA Tournament. The schedule also features seven teams that won 20 or more games and a full Southern Conference (SoCon) slate.
"Returning as one of the youngest teams in college basketball, we are looking forward to building off the momentum we created at the end of last season," Baucom said. "Playing two NCAA tournament teams from the ACC and a powerhouse from the Big 10 creates exciting experiences for our team. The Bulldog Bash we are hosting in Charleston will give us some early tournament experience followed up by a strong CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) opponent in James Madison. High Point and North Carolina A&T will also be tough road tests early along with a game at Campbell just before Winter Break.
"The 2016-17 Southern Conference had the highest RPI in men's basketball in conference history," Baucom continued. "I feel we have created a non-conference schedule that will prepare us for the always difficult SoCon."
Following a home exhibition against Coker College on Friday, Nov. 3, the season will officially start on Friday, Nov. 10, with a home game against Oglethorpe University. The game against the Stormy Petrels will be part of the Jamaica Classic Montego Bay, which will feature games played on college campuses throughout the month of November.
Two days later, the Bulldogs will hit the road for the first time for three games beginning at Virginia Tech on Sunday, Nov. 12. Last season, the Hokies went 22-11, including a 15-2 mark inside Cassell Coliseum, to advance to the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Following the game in Blacksburg, The Citadel will travel to Greensboro, North Carolina, for a game at North Carolina A&T on Wednesday, Nov. 15, and will then close out the road swing with a contest at Big South Conference foe High Point on Saturday, Nov. 18.
The Citadel will return home to McCalister Field House on Tuesday, Nov. 21, for the Bulldogs' second game of the Jamaica Classic Montego Bay tournament, a tilt against Trinity Baptist College.
Three days later, the Bulldogs will travel down to Tallahassee, Florida, for the final game of November, taking on the Seminoles of Florida State on Friday, Nov. 24. The game will also be the third and final game of the Jamaica Classic for The Citadel. Last season, FSU went 28-9, 20-2 at home, and advanced to the second round of the Big Dance.
The Bulldogs will open the month of December with three straight home games, beginning with a home tournament, the Bulldog Bash, featuring Marist, Army West Point and UMBC. The Citadel opens the tournament on Friday, Dec. 1, against Marist and will then play either Army or UMBC on Saturday, Dec. 2, depending on the outcomes of Friday's games.
Three days later, The Citadel will host James Madison to McCalister Field House for a tilt on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Following a short break for exams, the Bulldogs will travel up to Buies Creek, North Carolina, to take on the Camels of Campbell on Thursday, Dec. 14, before returning home to take on Point University on Saturday, Dec. 16.
The final game before the Winter Break will see The Citadel head up to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Big Ten opponent Ohio State on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Last season, the Buckeyes went 17-15, including a 13-6 mark at home.
Following the Christmas break, the Bulldogs will open the curtain on the SoCon portion of the schedule with a Saturday, Dec. 30, game at home against Western Carolina.
The Citadel will then hit the road for a pair of games at Furman and Wofford on Thursday, Jan. 4, and Saturday, Jan. 6. Last season, Furman advanced to the semifinal round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) and posted a 23-12 record.
After a weekend in the upstate, The Citadel will return home for a pair of games against Samford and Chattanooga on Thursday, Jan. 11, and Saturday, Jan. 13. The Bulldogs out of Birmingham, Alabama, advanced to the second round of the CIT last season with a 20-16 record.
The Citadel will next hit the road for three games before returning home for a similar three game homestand inside McCalister Field House. The SoCon road swing begins on Thursday, Jan. 18, at UNCG, continues through Saturday, Jan. 20, with a road tilt at VMI and finishes up on Saturday, Jan. 27, at Mercer. Last season, UNCG went 25-10 and fell in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) after falling in the championships game of the SoCon Tournament.
The three-game homestand begins on Monday, Jan. 29, with a game against 2016-17 SoCon champions ETSU. It will continue through Thursday, Feb. 1, against Wofford when the Bulldogs begin their second go-around through the SoCon, and it will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 3, with Furman traveling to Charleston.
A week later, The Citadel will travel to Chattanooga on Thursday, Feb. 8, and will then swing down through Alabama to Birmingham for the second tilt against Samford on Saturday, Feb. 10.
The Bulldogs will then play three of their final five games at home, beginning with games against UNCG and VMI on Thursday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 17.
Following a road game at ETSU on Tuesday, Feb. 20, The Citadel will play the final home game of the season on Friday, Feb. 23, against Mercer.
The 2017-18 regular season will come to an end on Sunday, Feb. 25, with the Bulldogs traveling to Cullowhee, North Carolina, to face Western Carolina.
Last season, The Citadel led the nation in scoring offense, averaging 89.9 points per game. The Bulldogs also finished in the top-10 in the nation in six other statistical categories. The Citadel was second in the nation in three-point field goals made (397), three-point field goals attempted (1,166) and turnovers forced (579). The Bulldogs were also third in three-point field goals made per game (12.0), sixth in total steals (306) and seventh in steals per game (9.3).
The Bulldogs ended the season 11th in offensive rebounds per game (13.58), 16th in turnover margin (+3.2), 22ndin free throws made (607), 28th in total assists (561), 29th in free throw percentage (75.7%) and 38th in the nation in free throws attempted (802).
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