OXFORD, Ohio—Miami University men’s basketball head coach John Cooper has finalized the RedHawks’ 2013-14 schedule and announced the complete slate today (Sept. 3). The RedHawks’ schedule has a good blend of opponents that will challenge the team throughout the year and includes six non-conference opponents who advanced to postseason play last season.
“We’re excited to announce this schedule in its entirety,” said Cooper. “If you take a look at who we are playing, I believe it will help us as we go through our season, particularly going against some of our non-conference opponents.”
Miami opens the season at Notre Dame, which earned a berth in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, on Friday, Nov. 8 before traveling to Arizona State (NIT Second Round) on Tuesday, Nov. 12 to start the season.
“I like going on the road early and facing opponents like Notre Dame and Arizona State because I think it’s good for our team, especially our younger guys,” said Cooper. “It gets them in a big venue against a good opponent early, and that is something you can come back to and lean on during the season. A team like Notre Dame is a perennial NCAA Tournament team. Then we go out to Arizona State, which I think will be a nice game for Miami people who are familiar with Herb Sendek. Herb’s got a team that absolutely will be competing to be in the NCAA Tournament and returns a terrific point guard. We’re going to have our hands full, but those are two games as you take a look at the schedule early in the year that will certainly prepare our team and will also give us a barometer as to where we are as we go about this process.”
Miami rounds out a three-game road swing at local rival Xavier on Wednesday, Nov. 20.
On Saturday, Nov. 23, Miami hosts Wilmington College in the RedHawks’ home opener. Miami continues a two-game home stretch, entertaining IPFW on Tuesday, Dec. 3. A pair of postseason semifinalists are next on the docket as Miami travels to CIT semifinalist Evansville for a Saturday, Dec. 7 contest. After a week off for final examinations, the RedHawks host CBI semifinalist and local foe Wright State on Sunday, Dec. 15.
Miami then hits the road for a pair of games, playing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) on Wednesday, Dec. 18 before traveling to Tennessee State (CIT First Round) in a return game of the 2012 ESPN BracketBuster event on Saturday, Dec. 21. In a return game of the 2013 ESPN BracketBuster event, the RedHawks host Southern Illinois on Sunday, Dec. 29.
A trip to Massachusetts, which earned a berth in the 2013 NIT, on Saturday, Jan. 4 rounds out the RedHawks’ non-conference slate.
“We added a couple of different opponents from last year,” said Cooper. “We added UMKC, which we’ll do a home-and-home series with that starts at their place this year. Then, we return the game from two years ago to Tennessee State. We also go down the road to Xavier, which I think a lot of the fans will be excited to see that.
“One of the obvious teams missing from the schedule is Dayton,” added Cooper. “That was absolutely more a quirk in the schedule. That will be a series that will pick back up next year.”
This season, the Mid-American Conference schedule includes 18 games--two more than in recent years--with home-and-home contests against two cross-division opponents in addition to each divisional opponent.
Miami opens MAC play at Central Michigan on Wednesday, Jan. 8 and hosts Western Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 11 in its MAC home opener. The Chippewas and Broncos are the RedHawks’ two home-and-home cross-division opponents.
In addition to Western Michigan, Miami also will host Central Michigan (Wednesday, Jan. 22), Toledo, (Wednesday, Jan. 29), Eastern Michigan (Saturday, Feb. 1), Buffalo (Wednesday, Feb. 12), Kent State (Wednesday, Feb. 19), Bowling Green (Sunday, Feb. 23) and Akron (Wednesday, Feb. 26). The RedHawks will conclude the regular season, hosting Ohio on either Friday, March 7 or Saturday, March 8.
Along with its MAC opener at Central Michigan, Miami will play road games at Akron (Wednesday, Jan. 15), Ball State (Saturday, Jan. 18), Bowling Green (Saturday, Jan. 25), Northern Illinois (Tuesday, Feb. 4), Ohio (Saturday, Feb. 8), Western Michigan (Saturday, Feb. 15), Buffalo (Saturday, March 1) and Kent State (Tuesday, March 4).
“We’ve got 18 conference games now, so it’s a little bit different this season. We’ve got some teams that we would typically only see once a year and now we are going to play them twice,” remarked Cooper. “We’ve certainly got some trips this year. We’re going to be at Western Michigan, at Central Michigan, at Buffalo and at Northern Illinois, which are the four longest trips for us. But I think that can be good for our team. When you look at this team, it’s a mixture of experience and then there’s an inexperience factor. So I will be interested to see how we deal with our road schedule.”
The MAC Tournament will begin with first-round games at campus sites on Monday, March 10. Remaining teams will advance to Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena for the remainder of the tournament, which runs March 12-15.
In a tune up for the season, the RedHawks will host Northwood on Wednesday, Oct. 30 in an exhibition game at Millett Hall.
“We’re excited to take on this schedule. I think it presents us with many opportunities to make some noise and do some things that we haven’t done since we’ve been here as a staff. As always, the goals for this team are to win a MAC Championship, win the MAC Tournament and go to the NCAA Tournament and win games. Those goals don’t change and hopefully we can continue to work our way toward those.”
Miami adds an exciting group of newcomers to a solid nucleus of returning players. The RedHawks return four starters in senior guard Quinten Rollins, senior forward Will Felder, junior guard Will Sullivan and sophomore guard Reggie Johnson.
Felder, an Honorable Mention All-MAC selection a year ago, is the RedHawks’ top returning scorer and rebounder, averaging 11.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg last season. Felder upped his production in MAC play last year, averaging 13.3 ppg and 5.8 rpg.
Don’t miss a minute of the action and be sure to purchase season tickets today by visiting or calling the Miami Athletics Ticket Office at 513-529-4295 or click HERE.