June 14, 2012
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Saluki men's basketball head coach Barry Hinson announced the team's 2012-13 non-conference schedule on Thursday. The full schedule that includes Missouri Valley Conference games will be released in late August.
The Hinson era will begin at New Orleans on Nov. 12. The Privateers, who recently halted their transition to Division II, will also play in Carbondale on Dec. 17 in a rare home-and-home series during the same season. The teams have met twice previously with SIU wining in 1977 and UNO taking the 1986 meeting.
The first regular-season home game will take place on Nov. 17 against Benedictine University-Springfield, which will play its inaugural season of basketball this year.
In the final pairing of the MVC-Mountain West Challenge series, the Salukis host Fresno State on Nov. 28. Southern won the only previous meeting between the schools in 1966.
The Salukis will play four return games at opponents who previously played at SIU Arena during the past two seasons. Southern will travel to SIUE (Nov. 20), Saint Louis (Nov. 24), Western Kentucky (Dec. 5) and Green Bay (Dec. 15).
Southern has dropped out of the previously announced Charleston Classic multi-team event and will instead participate in the World Vision Classic (Dec. 20-22), hosted by Utah State. In addition to the host school, SIU will play games against UC-Davis and Nichols State. The Salukis are 4-0 all-time against the field with two wins apiece against UC-Davis and Utah State.
On Feb. 23, the Salukis will host a BracketBusters opponent to be determined by the team's RPI strength in early February.
SIU returns four starters and 10 lettermen off last year's team that finished 8-23.
"We have three seniors and 10 returning players, but they haven't experienced much success during their careers at SIU," Hinson said. "We put together a schedule that we feel gives them an opportunity to win some games and build momentum heading into conference play."