From Staff Reports
To say the 2010-11 Clayton State Laker men's basketball schedule will be challenging is an understatement.
Clayton State head coach Gordon Gibbons officially released the Lakers' 2010-11 schedule on Tuesday, and it's loaded with quality competition. All total, seven of Clayton State's opponents this upcoming season advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament last season. That includes four opponents from within the rugged Peach Belt Conference – Augusta State, Georgia College, Montevallo and USC Aiken.
The Lakers return three starters and eight letterwinners off last season's 16-13 squad that advanced to the semifinals of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.
"What a schedule," said Gibbons, who is 171-99 entering his 10th season at the Laker helm. "From the SAC/Peach Belt Challenge to the formidable non-conference stretch to the regular season Peach Belt Conference foes - we have our work cut out for us!"
Clayton State officially opens the regular season on the weekend of Nov. 12-13 at the SAC/Peach Belt Challenge at Tusculum. The Lakers will battle SAC power Tusculum on Nov. 12, followed by NCAA Division II National Tournament qualifier Anderson on Nov. 13.
Three straight home games follow against Webber International (Nov. 15), Knoxville (Nov. 21) and Reinhardt (Nov. 21) before Clayton State hits the road on Nov. 27 for a showdown at in-state rival Valdosta State. The two teams had a classic battle last season in which Valdosta State prevailed 88-87 on its way to the Division II "Elite Eight."
The Lakers also have a home showdown against CIAA power St. Augustine's on Dec. 16. St. Augustine's advanced to the Division II "Sweet 16" last season.
A rebirth of the Heritage Bank Holiday Classic will be this season as Clayton State plays host to Shaw on Dec. 30 as part of a triple-header at the Athletics and Fitness Center. The final non-conference game for the Lakers will be against NCCAA power Tennessee Temple on Jan. 3.
Clayton State opens Peach Belt Conference play on Dec. 4 at UNC Pembroke. The first PBC home game for the Lakers is a showdown against rival Augusta State on Dec. 18.