After a lot of hard work, Dalton State basketball coaches have received the final contract for the initial season at Roadrunner basketball as a four-year institution.
The athletic program officially became a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics on August 1, but will not be allowed to compete in a conference schedule until the 2014-2016 season.
“Finalizing a schedule is very difficult when you’re not in a conference,” said Roadrunner Head Coach Tony Ingle. “You don’t have 16 to 20 built in ballgames.”
The scheduled includes 29 ballgames, plus two exhibition games. Ingle said DS will have 14 regular season games away and 16 at home.
“I’m proud that we were able to pull that off,” he said. “The greatest distance to travel are for the first two games of the season.”
They go to Mobile, AL on October 30 to play Spring Hill College and to Jackson, MS to visit Belhaven University on November 1.
The schedule will take DS to schools in five states.
“By the grace of goodness we have fairly close (geographically) teams including some teams that were either highly ranked or played in the NAIA Tournament,” Ingle said. “These are top programs that will give us a good measuring stick of where we are and what we have to do to improve the program.”
Roadrunner assistant coach John Redman is excited about opening the new era of DS basketball with a trip to his alma mater, Spring Hill.
“My little brother, Ben, is on the team, my whole family and friends will be at the game, my fiancé and her family will be there,” said Redman. “Kind like a little homecoming for me.”
Dalton State point guard Rickey Sears was a force last year for Spring Hill, but decided to follow Coach Redman to Dalton for his senior season.
DS will play a couple of exhibition games on the road against Austin Peay University in Clarksville, TN and Jacksonville State University in Alabama.
“Obviously those games are good for the fans,” Ingle said. “The players like competing in them, but it’s just another way to help us prepare the team for what is really important. Those are the teams in our league and our level of competition. To other people it is a big thing because you get to see Dalton State College come across the ticker on ESPN when we play those two games.”
Basketball coaches are still examining possible practice facilities. When renovations to Bandy Gym on the DS campus are completed, the team will share practice time with women’s volleyball and intramural teams.
Because of a busy events schedule at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, very little practice time will be available at the regular season home court. “If they can put the floor down a day or two early, it sure would help us.”
"Christ Church Presbyterian has agreed to allow both basketball and volleyball teams practice and workout in their gymnasium and fitness center.
Ingle said other facilities are also being investigated.
“We’re negotiating some places to practice around town,” he said. “Although they are good spots, they are still not college courts. When you do things in shooting and full court stuff it does affect practice. We are going to do the best with what we have.”
“We’ll do the best with what we have, Ingle said. “It is going to be cumbersome.” As an example, DS basketball has bought two expensive pieces of practice equipment. “Where do you put ‘em.”
Christ Church has the ideal six baskets. When practicing at the trade center, they only have two baskets. Ingle said he is planning on having 19 people involved in the first year program, “16 players and three redshirts.”
We really have a lot of organizational things to be on top of to run a COLLEGE program,” he said. “This is not a junior college. This is NAIA. It is competitive and we want to compete.”
Oct. sometime Midnight Madness & Blue White Trade Center TBA
Oct. 30 Wed. Spring Hill College Mobile, Ala. 7:00 CST
Nov. 1 Fri. Belhaven University Jackson Ms. 7:00 CST
Nov. 5 Tue. Southern Wesleyan Central, SC. 7:00 pm
Nov. 7 Thur. Hiwassee College Trade Center 7:00pm
Tennessee Wesleyan Classic
Nov. 8 Fri. Bryan College Athens, Tn. 6:00pm
Nov. 9 Sat. Tennessee Wesleyan College Athens, Tn. 4:00pm
Nov. 13 Wed. Carver College Trade Center 7:00pm
Nov. 15 Fri. Roadrunner Basketball Club Classic
Dalton State vs Morris College Trade Center 8:00pm
Cumberland College Vs Voorhees College 6:00pm
Nov. 16 Sat. Dalton State vs Voorhees Trade Center 4:00pm
Cumberland College vs Morris College 2:00pm
**Nov. 22 Fri. Jacksonville, State (Exhibition) Jacksonville, Ala. 4:00pm
Nov. 26 Tue. Auburn of Montgomery Trade Center 7:00pm
Dec. 2 Mon. Southern Poly State University Trade Center 7:00pm
Dec. 7 Sat. Hiwassee College Madisonville, Tn. 7:00pm
Dec . 17 Tue. Southern Wesleyan Trade Center 7:00pm
Carpet City Christmas Classic
Dec. 20 Fri. Dalton State vs Concodia (Selma) Trade Center 8:00pm
Cumberland College Tn. vs Belhaven University
Dec. 21 Sat. Dalton State vs Belhaven University Trade Center 8:00pm
Cumberland University Tn.vs. Concordia (Selma) 6:00pm
**Dec. 30 Mon. Austin Peay State University (Exhibition) Clarksville Tn. 7:30 CST
Jan. 2 Thur. Reinhardt University Trade Center 4:00pm
Jan. 4 Sat. Faulkner University Trade Center 4:00pm
Jan. 6 Mon. Spring Hill College Trade Center 7:00pm
Jan. 8 Wed. Carver College Atlanta, Ga. 7:00pm
Jan. 13 Mon. Virginia Intermont college Trade Center 7:00pm
Jan. 18 Sat. Allen University Columbia SC 7:00pm
Jan. 21 Tue. Tennessee Temple Chattanooga, Tn. 7:00pm
Jan. 25 Sat. Reinhardt College Waleska, Ga. 4:00pm
Jan. 29 Wed. Life University Trade Center 7:00pm
Feb. 1 Sat. Allen University Trade Center 4:00pm
Feb. 13 Thur. Faulkner University Montgomery Ala. 7:30 CST
Feb. 15 Tue. Southern Poly State University Marietta Ga. TBA
Feb. 20 Thur. Auburn of Montgomery Montgomery Ala. TBA
Feb. 25 Tue. Tennessee Temple Trade Center 7:00pm
NOTE: Post season Play is tentative set for Invitation to NAIA National Tournament or NCCAA National Tournament: ** Indicates Division I Exhibition Opponents ; Bold Print= home games