AUGUSTA, Ga. – For the second straight year, 12 home games will highlight the Augusta State men's basketball schedule, Jaguar head coach Dip Metress officially announced Wednesday.
The Jaguars, who have averaged over 26 wins per season the last six years, return four starters and six lettermen from last season's squad that turned in a 17-11 record. ASU advanced to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals before falling to eventual national runnerup Montevallo.
"We have an eclectic group of powerhouses on our schedule this year," Metress said. "It might be one of the more difficult schedules in recent memory in our last year as Augusta State University. Add in the fact that we are playing at James Brown Arena for the first time in almost 20 years and we feel that this schedule is as challenging as any in the country."
ASU's seven non-conference opponents combined for a 125-81 (.607) record last season. In addition, six of the Jags' seven non-league foes enjoyed winning seasons, while a total of five teams on the schedule earned trips to the NCAA Tournament and eclipsed the 20-win mark in 2011-12.
After playing seven of their first nine games away from home last season, the Jags will play five of their first seven games in the friendly confines of Christenberry Fieldhouse. ASU will open the 2012-13 campaign at home on Tuesday, Nov. 20, playing host to Bowie State on the back end of a doubleheader. The contest will mark just the second meeting all-time between the Jags and Bowie State.
Five days later, ASU takes on Coastal Georgia on Sunday, Nov. 25 before hosting Benedict on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The Jags hit the road for the first time when they travel to Richmond, Va., to face Virginia Union on Sunday, Dec. 2.
ASU lifts the lid on its Peach Belt Conference schedule on Saturday, Dec. 8 in Greenwood, S.C., vs. Lander. Following final exams, the Jags return home to battle Montevallo in an early, key conference matchup on Monday, Dec. 17.
Two nights later, the Jags close out their pre-Christmas schedule with their first game in James Brown Arena in 17 years vs. Lincoln Memorial. The Railsplitters were 26-6 a season ago and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Southeast Regional.
The change in venue was precipitated by ASU hosting its final graduation as Augusta State University in Christenberry Fieldhouse on Thursday, Dec. 20. The Jags last played in JBA (formerly the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center) on Dec. 16, 1995, defeating Paine College 80-64 in the City Classic.
The Jags close out their 2012 slate at Mount Olive on Sunday, Dec. 30 before tipping off 2013 on Thursday, Jan. 3 in Florence, S.C., vs. Francis Marion.
After three straight road games, ASU hosts Armstrong Atlantic State on Saturday, Jan. 12. Georgia College visits Christenberry Fieldhouse for the first time in three seasons on Mon., Jan. 21. The Jags step out of conference play for the final time on Thursday, Jan. 24 when they travel to nearby Paine for their annual meeting with the Lions.
A key stretch in early February features home showdowns with arch rivals USC Aiken and Clayton State on Saturday, Feb. 2 and Thursday, Feb. 7, respectively. Three road games follow, including ASU's first-ever trip to league newcomer Young Harris College, on Saturday, Feb. 9.
ASU rounds out its home schedule with Lander on Wednesday, Feb. 20 before hosting Francis Marion for Homecoming and Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 23.
The Jags take on USC Aiken in the Convocation Center on Wednesday, Feb. 27 and cap the regular season on Saturday, March 2 at Flagler.
The Peach Belt Conference Championships, hosted by Columbus State, are slated for Thursday-Sunday, March 7-10, in Columbus, Ga., at the Frank G. Lumpkin, Jr. Center.