OXFORD, Ohio—First-year Miami University men’s basketball head coach John Cooper has finalized the RedHawks’ 2012-13 schedule and announced the complete slate today (Aug. 29). Miami’s schedule has a nice blend of teams and features five opponents who advanced to postseason play a year ago.
“Certainly this is a very challenging schedule starting off with NC State and Louisville. Louisville will probably earn a No. 1 or No. 2 preseason ranking and NC State is a top-10 team,” said Cooper. “As you look down the schedule, it’s very challenging on all fronts, but we sort of touch on all levels of college basketball from high majors on down. I think it will give us a very good test as a program and allow us to see where we are.”
After an exhibition game against Maryville (Mo.) on Wednesday, Oct. 31 as a tune up to the season, Miami will be tested quickly as it opens the 2012-13 campaign Friday, Nov. 9 at North Carolina State, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 last year. The RedHawks return to Millett Hall to battle Grambling State on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in their home opener.
A busy week begins with another road test as the RedHawks travel to Louisville for a game on Sunday, Nov. 18. The Cardinals advanced to the Final Four a season ago. Miami concludes a two-game road stretch at William and Mary on Wednesday, Nov. 21 before returning home to host James Madison on Saturday, Nov. 24, playing its third game in seven days. The Dukes’ game in Oxford is a return trip from the 2011 ESPN BracketBuster event.
The RedHawks have a week off before traveling to IPFW on Saturday, Dec. 1 in the first of four straight road games for the Red and White. Two teams who advanced to postseason play in 2011-12 are on tap the following week as Miami travels to Evansville (CBI First Round) on Wednesday, Dec. 5 and local rival Dayton (NIT First Round) on Saturday, Dec. 8 before the RedHawks head into final examinations. Miami rounds out its four-game road stretch at local foe Wright State on Wednesday, Dec. 19.
Miami returns to Millett Hall for the first of three straight home games when the RedHawks host Illinois Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 22. The RedHawks return to action, entertaining Wilmington College on Sunday, Dec. 30 before hosting Massachusetts on Wednesday, Jan. 2. The Minutemen also participated in postseason play last year, advancing to the NIT semifinals.
The RedHawks open their 66th season in the Mid-American Conference at home on Wednesday, Jan. 9 against Northern Illinois and will play in Millett Hall for five of their first seven conference games, including tilts against Bowling Green (Jan. 16), Ohio (Jan. 23), Ball State (Jan. 26) and Western Michigan (Jan. 30).
In a change from the past few years, matchups against the West Division will be mixed in among the first go-around against the East Division. Every MAC game will be played on a Wednesday or a Saturday with the possible exception of the last weekend when the final regular-season game could be played on Friday or Saturday.
Miami will host four home Saturday contests during MAC play and rounds out its home league slate against Kent State on Saturday, March 2. In addition to the home Saturday games against Ball State and Kent State, Miami also hosts Saturday games against Akron (Feb. 9) and Buffalo (Feb. 16). The RedHawks conclude the regular season on the road at Ohio on either Friday, March 8 or Saturday, March 9.
This season, Miami will be a road team for the ESPN BracketBuster, which is scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 23. Pairings for the BracketBuster will be announced in early February.
“We’re excited about what our guys gave us in July when we were able to do workouts with them and really familiarize them with our style and verbiage,” said Cooper. “We want to increase the tempo and push their limits. It will be interesting to see what this group is capable of. I think that is a question mark that everyone wants to know. Do we have leadership? It’s hard to have a good team without good leadership, so we are certainly looking for that. And is it leadership with a voice, which is what we really need. Someone who is willing to use that voice and step up and take the bull by the horns.”
“I’m really excited and look forward to the schedule,” added Cooper. “I think it’s going to test us and hopefully we are up for the challenge.”
Miami has 13 games in Millett Hall on its regular-season docket, seven of which are weekend games. Don’t miss out on a minute of the action. Buy your tickets today by visiting or calling the Miami Athletics Ticket Office at 513-529-4295.