Under a new coach in Tony Jasick, IPFW is ready to take the next step in the Summit Leauge in 2010-11. The Mastodons capped their best season in their Division I history with a 19-9 record last year.
IPFW head men’s basketball coach Tony Jasick has released the schedule for the 2011-12 Mastodons and it features a number of first-time opponents for the program.
The season opens with an exhibition contest against Trine University on Monday, November 7 at the Memorial Coliseum. IPFW will then open the regular season with future Summit League member the University of Nebraska at Omaha on Saturday, November 12.
The Mavs were 19-9 last season at the D-II level. They begin their three-year NCAA Division I transition this season and begin Summit League play in 2012-13.
IPFW will return the home game, traveling to Omaha, Nebraska on Dec. 10. The Mastodons will again head to Cincinnati, Ohio to face Xavier University on Tuesday, November 15. IPFW fell to the Musketeers, 76-66 in overtime at the Cintas Center last year.
IPFW’s attempt at an upset fell short when guard Ben Botts’ buzzer-beater just rimmed out. Botts will now be on the other side of the court as a graduate assistant on XU head coach Chris Mack’s staff. Xavier was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the second round by Marquette, 66-55. The non-conference portion of the schedule continues with a home game against Judson University (Nov. 21) and former assistant coach Joel Cotton.
On Saturday, November 26, IPFW will make its first-ever appearance at Carver-Hawkeye Arena to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes finished the 2010-11 campaign with a record of 11-20, but had huge wins over ranked opponents Michigan State and Purdue. IPFW opens their fifth season in The Summit League on December 1 as UMKC comes to the Memorial Coliseum.
The Mastodons follow that up with their first-ever meeting with new conference member South Dakota on December 3. The Coyotes were 18-15 in the Great West Conference last season. The Mastodons step out of conference again until the end of December with five more non-conference contests, beginning with a December 7 meeting with Valparaiso. The Crusaders snapped IPFW’s two-game winning streak at the Athletics Recreation Center last year. Valpo will now have a new look with new head coach Bryce Drew taking over for his legendary father Homer Drew.
Following the Nebraska-Omaha trip, the ‘Dons will host Dartmouth College at the Coliseum on December 13. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools and the first time IPFW has played a team from the Ivy League. The Big Green were 5-23 in 2011-12.
The Mastodons will travel to Martin, Tennessee on December 18 for the back half of a home-and-home series with UT-Martin. The ‘Dons topped the Skyhawks, 85-61 in Fort Wayne last year. The non-conference stretch concludes at Purdue University on December 20. The Boilermakers finished the 2011-12 campaign with a record of 26-8, losing to VCU in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
It’s back to Summit League play with a pair of games in the Dakotas to close out December (Dec. 28 at South Dakota State – Dec. 30 at North Dakota State) and then a stretch of four home contests to begin January. IPFW will host Southern Utah (Jan. 3), IUPUI (Jan. 5), Western Illinois (Jan. 7) and Oakland (Jan. 14) before heading to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a meeting with Oral Roberts on January 19. IPFW swept the season series with the Golden Eagles last year. The short trip concludes as the ‘Dons visit Southern Utah for the final time on January 21. The Thunderbirds enter the Big Sky Conference in 2012-13.
The Hilliard Gates Sports Center will be the venue for IPFW’s next two home contests. The ‘Dons host North Dakota State on January 26 and South Dakota State on January 28 to close out the month.
February sees the Mastodons hit the road for four games. Western Illinois (Feb. 2) and IUPUI (Feb. 4) are followed by a non-conference game at Chicago State on February 7. The ‘Dons had no trouble with the Cougars at the Coliseum last year, 95-50. IPFW concludes the road swing at Oakland on February 11.
The final home game of the season is with Oral Roberts on February 15 at the Coliseum. For the first-time ever, the Mastodons will participate in the ESPN BracketBusters. The game will be an away contest on February 18 with an opponent to be determined at a later date. The regular season wraps up with IPFW’s first visit to Vermillion, South Dakota on February 23 and UMKC on February 25.
For the fourth year, The Summit League Tournament will be held at the Sioux Falls Convention Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
This year’s dates are March 3 – 6. “We’ve put together an exciting schedule for our players and fans again this season,” Jasick said. “The obvious non-league highlights are our games at Xavier, Purdue and Iowa, which put our program in front of national TV audiences and our December slate versus in-state rival Valparaiso. We will also get a chance to see new conference member South Dakota and future member UNO.”