CHATTANOOGA (UTC) -- The Chattanooga Mocs 2011-12 basketball schedule was announced Thursday by head coach John Shulman. It features 17 homes dates as well as games at Butler, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.
"The first thing is we were able to schedule 17 home games for our students, alumni and fans," said Shulman, who is entering his eighth year on the bench. "Secondly, we have an opportunity to play at places like Rupp Arena (Kentucky), Assembly Hall (Indiana), Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler) and Thompson-Boling Arena (Tennessee)."
The first glimpse of this year's edition comes at the Memorial Blue & Gold Tipoff Presented by Praters on Saturday, October 29. It is the third year the Mocs and Lady Mocs are on display in the First Tennessee Pavilion prior to a UTC football game (Furman).
Game action starts on November 1 with an exhibition contest against Tennessee Wesleyan. The season opens with the Hoosier Classic as Chattanooga invades the state of Indiana. The Mocs begin at Indiana on Sunday, November 13, followed by a Tuesday affair at Butler. Chattanooga hosts a triangle later in the month as part of the event facing Savannah State (Nov. 25) and Gardner-Webb (Nov. 27) with the two schools squaring off on Nov. 26.
UTC's home opener in Nov. 18 as Kennesaw State comes to McKenzie Arena. That's followed by Warren Wilson on Nov. 21 and the home portion of the Hoosier Classic; giving Chattanooga an early four-game homestand.
"Starting off at Indiana and Butler is a strong, strong test," Shulman added. "It's nice working in four games at home right after it."
The Southern Conference slate begins early as the Mocs travel to South Division rivals Georgia Southern (Dec. 1) and College of Charleston (Dec. 3). The road swing continues on Dec. 10 with a trip to Mercer in Macon, Ga.
A blast from the past comes to McKenzie Arena on December 13 with Spalding University from Louisville, Ky. The reunion is with Spalding Head Coach Kevin Gray, a former standout player (1973-76) and assistant coach (1978-84).
After Gray's visit, Chattanooga heads to Rupp Arena for a Dec. 17 date with the Kentucky Wildcats. It is the first trip to Rupp Arena since 1990.
The Mocs began a new tradition last season. A Noon mid-week date with Hiwassee on Dec. 21 ends the pre-holiday portion of the schedule.
The 22nd Dr Pepper Classic falls on its traditional Dec. 29-30 dates. The Mocs tangle with Longwood, while Hampton, a 2011 NCAA Tournament team, and Utah Valley round out the field. The non-conference schedule ends on Jan. 2 with the short trip to Knoxville for an in-state battle with Tennessee.
The SoCon schedule includes home-and-home meetings with North Division rivals Appalachian State (Jan. 7 & Feb. 15), Elon (Jan. 21 & Feb. 9), UNC Greensboro (Jan. 19 & Feb. 11), Samford (Jan. 14 & Feb. 25) and Western Carolina (Jan. 5 & Feb. 2). There are single-game matchups with South Division teams at College of Charleston and Furman (Feb. 23) and at home versus Wofford (Jan. 12) and The Citadel (Feb. 18). Georgia Southern (Dec. 1 & Jan. 28) and Davidson (Jan. 26 & Feb. 4) are the two South squads the Mocs face home-and-home in 2012.
"It will be a challenge," Shulman noted. "Our goals remain the same, they never change at Chattanooga. It starts with winning the division, then the SoCon tournament and get to the NCAA Tournament. From there, we see what kind of splash we can make.
"I'm excited about this team and what lies ahead."
Information provided by UTC Sports Information and GoMocs.com.