Tuesday, July 16, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
Six years ago Will Wade was an assistant men's basketball coach at Harvard, set up a home-and-home series with Big 10 power Michigan and while the Crimson were 8-22 in 2007-08, one of those eight wins was against the Wolverines in Cambridge.
Now the head coach at UTC, part of Wade's long range scheduling philosophy is to bring in a BCS school to McKenzie Arena every two to three years with the goal of a win against a prestigious nationally-known program.
2 or 1 with Georgia: "It's great to have Georgia on our schedule for the next three years with a home game next season," said Wade who also developed the schedule while coaching at Clemson prior to Harvard.
Wade and the Mocs also want to play more non-conference game at home as compared to away and play more in-state teams. This year's schedule shows six non-conference teams at home and eight on the road, but that home/away ratio deficit will change quickly.
In-State Rivalries: "We need to play more in-state and regional teams and build some good rivalries which helps with more fans coming to our games," Wade stated.
The Mocs play Kennesaw (Ga.) State at home (Nov.19) after posting a 65-51 road win last season.
Middle Tennessee State will make an appearance in the Dr. Pepper Classic (Dec. 29-30) and hopefully meet the Mocs in the finals. UTC plays at MTSU in 2014-15.
Wade also has a four-year series set with Tenn. Tech and Kennesaw State and is in contact with several Tennessee schools including Belmont, UT-Martin, Lipscomb and Austin Peay.
"Of course, we cannot play all those schools every year, but to have a series of games over time with area schools is opponent," Wade said.
Restore Old Rivalries: "I understand UTC has had a great games with Marshall in the past and to renew that rivalry would be tremendous for both schools," said Wade.
New SoCon Teams: Wade sees the SoCon shifting west as the addition of Mercer (Ga.) and East Tennessee State (Tri-Cities Area) (along with VMI) to the conference and the departure of College of Charleston and Appalachian State (and Ga. Southern) gives more of a geographical balance to the SoCon landscape.
Key Dates for UTC Men's Hoops - 2013-14
Three of first four games are at home
Nov. 8 - Season Opener at home(doubleheader) with Covenant College
Nov. 16 - vs. Montreat (N.C.)
Nov. 19 - vs. Kennesaw (Ga.)
Nov. 24 - at UCLA "Some of our guys have never been to the West Coast and to play in Pauley Pavilion will be great." - coach Wade
Dec. 29-30 - Dr. Pepper Classic
Jan. 9 - Samford - SoCon home opener
Mar. 7-10 - SoCon tourney in Asheville, N.C.
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com