CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi men's basketball team will take on a challenging non-conference road slate as part of its 2012-13 schedule, head coach Willis Wilson announced today. The Islanders will face Big 12 foe Oklahoma, Big Ten opponent Iowa and new SEC member Texas A&M on the road as part of their 30 games on the season.
"This will be a very challenging schedule for us, but it's also one that should go a long way to helping the growth of our program," Wilson said. "Playing on the road at places like Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Iowa, Utah State, Toledo – by the time we get to our conference schedule, our players should be ready for any adversity that comes their way."
The Islanders will play 13 home games in the regular season in addition to an exhibition game against Incarnate Word on Nov. 5. The Southland Conference goes to a double-round-robin format this season, meaning that all nine conference foes will visit the Coastal Bend. Additionally, the Islanders will play host to area opponents Houston and UTSA along with a home contest in the Sears Bracketbusters, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 22-24. The team's home opener will be against Texas Lutheran on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the American Bank Center.
"It will be interesting to see how the conference schedule works out," Wilson said. "With the new format, we play the rest of the league twice, so the schedules should be more balanced across the Southland. It should also be an exciting season for our home fans, with teams like Houston and UTSA coming to the American Bank Center, and it will be entertaining to have Oral Roberts come to the Coastal Bend for the first time as a conference opponent."
After the season opener against Texas Lutheran on Nov. 10, the Islanders take to the road for return trips at Denver (Nov. 14) and Utah State (Nov. 17), two teams that visited Corpus Christi a season ago. Following that, the Islanders will have a brief break during the week of Thanksgiving before playing host to Houston on Sunday, Nov. 25, in a 2 p.m. contest.
The Islanders then hit the road again, facing contests at Toledo (Nov. 28) and Iowa (Dec. 1) before returning to the Coastal Bend for the fall semester's exam period. Following a two-week break for finals, A&M – Corpus Christi takes a return trip to South Alabama on Dec. 16, facing former Islanders coach Ronnie Arrow in Mobile. After a contest against Texas A&M in College Station on Tuesday, Dec. 18, the Islanders return to the American Bank Center to face off with former conference foe UTSA on Friday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m.
Wilson's squad will kick off conference play on Saturday, Dec. 29, as Stephen F. Austin comes to town for a 3 p.m. contest. The Islanders then close non-conference road play on New Year's Eve at 2 p.m., as they head to Norman, Okla., to take on OU in the final game of 2012.
A&M – Corpus Christi rings in 2013 with three straight road games – at Sam Houston State (Jan. 5), McNeese State (Jan. 10) and Lamar (Jan. 12) – before playing host to Southland newbie Oral Roberts on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Other conference highlights include the Homecoming game, slated for Saturday, Feb. 9, against McNeese State at 7 p.m. The Islanders' lone home game away from the ABC will be a Saturday, Feb. 2, outing against Sam Houston State on campus at the Dugan Wellness Center.
The final non-conference game will be the weekend of Feb. 22-24, as the Islanders take part in the Sears Bracketbusters for the second straight year. The Sears BracketBusters concept provides programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents roughly three weeks before Selection Sunday. Each conference selects its participating teams before the season, and the matchups for the event are determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences approximately three weeks prior to the event.