Youngstown State's seventh-year men's basketball Head Coach Jerry Slocum announced his team's 29-game 2011-12 schedule which features 13 home games, match ups against three NCAA Tournament participants, a Big Ten opponent and two contests against the two-time national runners-up.
Besides the rugged 18-game Horizon League slate, the Penguins also face three squads from the Mid-American Conference.
"This is a very competitive schedule for our program this year," Slocum said. "With the Horizon League continually getting better and better, we know our players have to be ready to play night in and night out. We feel this schedule will prepare our team for league play."
The Guins open the 2011-12 campaign on the road at Samford (Nov. 12) before hosting two straight home games - Notre Dame College (Nov. 15) in the home opener and UC-Riverside (Nov. 18) in a return game from the 2010 BracketBuster.
Seven of the Guins' next eight games are on the road, including four consecutive away contests - at Big Ten-member Penn State (Nov. 23), at Saint Francis (Pa.) (Nov. 26), at Detroit (Dec. 1) and at Wright State (Dec. 3). It also marks the third straight season and the sixth time in the last seven years the Guins will open Horizon League play on the road.
After hosting Fredonia State (Dec. 6), the Guins visit three teams from the Mid-American – at Buffalo (Dec. 10), at Toledo (Dec. 17) and at Akron (Dec. 19) – then host Robert Morris (Dec. 22) just before Christmas.
The Guins return to action and begin the Horizon League portion of the slate with a New Year's Eve tilt at Cleveland State (Dec. 31). They then start 2012 with two home games against Loyola (Jan. 5) and UIC (Jan. 7).
A swing through the Hoosier state to visit Valparaiso (Jan. 12) and two-time national runner-up Butler (Jan. 14) precedes the Guins' longest homestand of the season. The Guins host Milwaukee (Jan. 19) and Green Bay (Jan. 21) before starting the second half of league play with a home contest against Cleveland State (Jan. 28).
The Guins second road swing of at least three games starts at Milwaukee (Jan. 31) and continues in Chicago with a pair of games at UIC (Feb. 2) and at Loyola (Feb. 4).
The rest of the month of February includes home games against Butler (Feb. 9), Valparaiso (Feb. 11) and Wright State (Feb. 23) and Detroit (Feb. 25) in the final weekend of the regular season.
The Guins also visit Green Bay (Feb. 14) and a yet to be named opponent in the BracketBuster game on Feb. 18.
First-round games of the Horizon League Championship begin on Feb. 28 while the second round is March 2. The league semifinals are March 3 while the championship game is March 6.