Mark Fox is coming off a breakout year for the UGA men's basketball team, and now he's ready to take it to the next level with a super-tough schedule in 2011-12.
ATHENS -- As many as 17 of Georgia's 30 regular-season games could come against teams that played in the 2011 postseason, according to the complete 2011-12 men's basketball schedule that was announced Thursday by head coach Mark Fox.
Additionally, the Bulldogs are slated for at least seven national television appearances on the ESPN family of channels. Further TV dates will follow upon completion of the non-conference broadcast schedule.
"We're very excited about the challenge this schedule will present to our young team," Fox said. "I think we have established a schedule that first, should prepare us well for SEC play, and second, should give us with the strength of schedule needed in the eyes of the (NCAA Tournament) selection committee, if we are successful this season. A lot of this schedule was completed before Trey (Thompkins) and Travis (Leslie) decided to enter the (NBA) Draft, so it should be a real task for the team that we have."
Among the highlights of the 14-game non-conference slate includes the Bulldogs' participation in the 11th annual CBE Classic. The first two rounds will be played at campus sites, including Athens, where Georgia will open with Bowling Green on Nov. 13 and follow three nights later against South Dakota State. The Bulldogs will play a third-round game against California on Nov. 21 in Kansas City, Mo., and finish against either Notre Dame or Missouri the following night.
The CBE Classic is named after the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City, the nation's only facility that celebrates the sport of men's collegiate basketball. The tournament, held in partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches, was initially established in 2001 as the Guardians Classic.
Another new opponent added to the non-conference schedule this season will be the University of Southern California. Georgia will travel to Los Angeles on Dec. 17 for the second-ever meeting between these two schools, and they will meet again in Athens next season.
"The national exposure of the CBE tournament was the most attractive part of playing in it," Fox said. "Playing that many games on national TV is a great opportunity as we build our program. The USC game is another step in the building process. The series is a way to get named teams to come back to Athens and play, and the game out there will certainly be fun and challenging trip for our team."
The Bulldogs will tip off their SEC schedule against the same team with which they ended it last season. This time, they'll play host to Western Division foe Alabama on Jan. 7 in Athens. Other features of the league schedule include three consecutive home games in January, followed by a difficult stretch of four road games in a stretch of five early-February contests.
Season tickets, which include a reserved seat to all 17 regular-season home games, are $240 for BEF (Basketball Enhancement Fund) contributors and general public and $120 for UGA faculty and staff.
2011-12 Georgia Basketball Schedule
Nov. 4 vs. Exhibition (Opponent TBA) 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 11 vs. Wofford 8:00 p.m.*
Nov. 13 vs. Bowling Green (ESPN)# 6:00 p.m.
Nov. 16 vs. South Dakota State# 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 21 vs. California# (Kansas City, Mo.) 9:45 p.m.
Nov. 22 vs. Missouri/Notre Dame# (K.C.) TBA
Nov. 25 at Xavier TBA
Nov. 28 at Colorado TBA
Dec. 2 vs. Cincinnati (ESPNU)& 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 7 vs. Georgia Tech TBA
Dec. 17 at Southern Cal 8:00 p.m.
Dec. 20 vs. Mercer 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 23 vs. Furman 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 27 vs. Winthrop 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 30 vs. Delaware State 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 7 vs. Alabama (FSN) 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 10 at Florida (ESPN) 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 14 at Vanderbilt (SECN) 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 18 vs. Tennessee (SECN) 8:00 p.m.
Jan. 21 vs. Ole Miss (SECN) 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 24 vs. Kentucky (ESPN) 9:00 p.m.
Feb. 1 at Auburn (SECN) 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 4 at Tennessee (FSN) 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 8 vs. Arkansas (SECN) 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 11 at Miss. State (SECN) 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 15 at South Carolina (CSS) 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 19 vs. Vanderbilt (FSN) 1:00 p.m.
Feb. 22 at LSU (SECN) 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 25 vs. Florida (SECN) 4:00 p.m.
Mar. 1 at Kentucky (ESPN/ESPN2) 9:00 p.m.
Mar. 3 vs. South Carolina (SECN) 1:30 p.m.
Mar. 8-11 at SEC Tournament (New Orleans, La.)