JONESBORO (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State University men's basketball team will play a competitive schedule for the 2014-15 season, which includes 14 regular-season home appearances, in an announcement made this Friday (Aug. 8) by A-State head coach John Brady.
This season's challenging schedule is comprised of 20 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) games and nine non-league contests. The Red Wolves are slated to play 16 home games inside the Convocation Center, starting with season-opening exhibition tilts against in-state schools Henderson State Nov. 5 and Southern Arkansas Nov. 12.
A-State's season opener is set for Nov. 19 at home as Tennessee-Martin returns to Jonesboro for the second year in a row. The Red Wolves then play host to Lamar Nov. 24 and come back home after a Dec. 1 visit to Central Arkansas for a Dec. 6 game against Belhaven, the alma mater of Coach Brady's.
"I'm excited about our schedule this season and the challenges which it's going to bring," said Brady. "We open the season with three of our first four games at home and in December we have a challenging stretch with some big games on the road."
The Red Wolves' non-conference schedule is highlighted by a Dec. 10 trip to Purdue followed by road outings with Toledo Dec. 13 and Mississippi State on Dec. 17. A-State's final home non-league contest is Dec. 20 versus Marshall and a Dec. 23 tilt at Niagara serves as the team's last outing in non-conference competition.
The Sun Belt Conference portion for A-State gets underway Dec. 30 at South Alabama and on Jan. 3 the Red Wolves welcome conference newcomer Appalachian State to Jonesboro. The 11 conference games in January include several notable matchups, including a Jan. 8 home contest versus another newcomer in Georgia Southern. A pair of games (Jan. 19 at home and Jan. 31 on the road) against 2013-14 SBC Regular-Season Champion Georgia State along with a Jan. 22 encounter at Louisiana-Lafayette, the 2014 SBC Tournament Champion and NCAA Tournament participant, make the month on the hardwood a competitive one. A-State's six February contests consists of three at home and on the road apiece, including a Feb. 28 game at Texas State which represents the Red Wolves' final road appearance of the regular season.
An annual highlight of Arkansas State's schedule is the competitive home-and-home series with in-state rival UALR. A-State will host the Trojans Jan. 29 at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro before visiting UALR on Feb. 19 at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, Ark.
The Red Wolves will play five of their final eight conference contests at home, starting with a two-game home stand versus ULM Feb. 21 and then an appearance by UT Arlington on Feb. 26. Following a trip to Texas State for a Feb. 28 encounter, A-State will close out the regular season at home with pair of conference games – March 5 against South Alabama and March 7 versus Louisiana-Lafayette in the finale. This past 2013-14 campaign, A-State also hosted the Ragin' Cajuns in its regular-season finale.
The 2015 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Championship will be held March 12-15 at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, La. The first three rounds of the single-elimination tournament will be televised on ESPN3 and the championship game, which is scheduled for March 15, will be shown live at 12 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2.
"The league schedule will be challenging, but we play four of our last five games at home and if we do what's necessary along the way then that part of the schedule could be a plus for us," said Brady. "We have a number of new players and sprinkled in with the returning ones will give us an opportunity to be one of the top three teams in the Sun Belt (Conference)."
Starting times for all A-State's 2014-15 regular-season contests will be announced at a later date.
"I'm looking forward to coaching this team and see how quickly we can learn how to play together," Brady said. "Our talent level is really good, but the main challenge for this year's team will be its ability to develop camaraderie, chemistry, define roles and play together based upon the number of new players we have."
Arkansas State achieved its second consecutive 19-win season for the 2013-14 campaign as the Red Wolves registered a 19-13 overall record with a fourth-place 10-8 conference ledger.
Nov. 5 vs. Henderson State (Exhibition)
Nov. 12 vs. Southern Arkansas (Exhibition)
Nov. 19 vs. Tennessee-Martin
Nov. 24 vs. Lamar
Dec. 1 at Central Arkansas
Dec. 6 vs. Belhaven
Dec. 10 at Purdue
Dec. 13 at Toledo
Dec. 17 at Mississippi State
Dec. 20 vs. Marshall
Dec. 23 at Niagara
Dec. 30 at South Alabama *
Jan. 3 vs. Appalachian State *
Jan. 5 at ULM *
Jan. 8 vs. Georgia Southern *
Jan. 10 at UT Arlington *
Jan. 15 at Appalachian State *
Jan. 17 vs. Texas State *
Jan. 19 vs. Georgia State *
Jan. 22 at Louisiana-Lafayette *
Jan. 24 at Troy *
Jan. 29 vs. UALR *
Jan. 31 at Georgia State *
Feb. 5 vs. Troy *
Feb. 12 at Georgia Southern *
Feb. 19 at UALR *
Feb. 21 vs. ULM *
Feb. 26 vs. UT Arlington *
Feb. 28 at Texas State *
March 5 vs. South Alabama *
March 7 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette *
March 12 at Sun Belt Conference Championship Opening Round #
March 13 at Sun Belt Conference Championship Quarterfinals #
March 14 at Sun Belt Conference Championship Semifinals #
March 15 at Sun Belt Conference Championship Championship #
* - Sun Belt Conference (SBC) game
Home games in bold