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LOCAL COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: GSW hoops unveils 2011-12 men's schedule -- minus ASU

Photo by John Millikan

Photo by John Millikan

AMERICUS -- Georgia Southwestern State University head men's basketball coach Mike Leeder released the program's 2011-12 schedule this week that features 13 games at home, nine on the road and four contests at neutral sites.

"We worked hard on this schedule," Leeder said Thursday. "Last year was the exact opposite as far as home and away games. We worked awfully hard."

GSW is coming off a 20-9 campaign in which the Hurricanes won the Peach Belt Conference West Division regular-season title and earned the program's first NCAA Tournament berth. Southwestern returns three of its top four scorers, including NCAA Division II All-American and reigning PBC Player of the Year Phillip Brown, reigning PBC Freshman of the Year Colin Slotter and 2008-09 PBC Freshman of the Year Evan Mobley.

Noticeably absent from GSW's schedule is Division II rival Albany State, which had a scheduling conflict and couldn't add the Hurricanes this year.

"I hope to get (Albany State) back on the schedule sometime soon," Leeder said.

The Hurricanes lost two players from last year's team -- third-leading scorer Trayce Macon to graduation and shooting guard Talmadge Bell to academics.

But GSW has a pair of Division I transfers ready to suit up for the upcoming season in 6-foot-10 Milos Kleut from Lipscomb University and guard Marlon Rivera from Florida Gulf Coast University, where he led the Atlantic Sun Conference in assists last year as a junior.

"We are very excited with this group we have coming back," Leeder said. "We lost two good players, but with those two players we have signed I am very excited with where we are as a team."

GSW opens the 2011-12 season Nov. 15 when Trinity Baptist visits the Storm Dome.

The Hurricanes hit the road for the first time Nov. 19 with a trip to Pensacola, Fla., for a matchup with West Florida. GSW returns home to meet Fort Valley State on Nov. 21. After a weekend trip to Montevallo, Ala., for games with North Alabama (Nov. 25) and West Alabama (Nov. 26) in the University of Montevallo's Coca-Cola Classic, the Hurricanes return to Americus to complete the home-and-home series with West Florida, hosting the Argonauts on the Nov. 29.

Peach Belt Conference play begins Dec. 3 for the Hurricanes with a trip to Montevallo. After 11 days off, GSW resumes action with a trip to Clayton State on Dec. 14.

The 'Canes return to Greenwood, S.C., for the third-consecutive year to particpate in the Bearcat Holiday Classic on Dec. 29-30. GSW meets Lenoir-Rhyne on Dec. 29 and closes out the 2011 calendar year against Coastal Georgia on Dec. 30.

Peach Belt play ensues the rest of the season. After the Hurricanes open 2012 at Lander on Jan. 7, GSW hosts Armstrong Atlantic (Jan. 14) and Flagler (Jan. 16).

A pair of road games follow on Jan. 21 (Augusta State) and Jan. 23 (USC Aiken).

The 'Canes intend to enjoy some home cooking down the stretch with seven of their final 10 games in the Storm Dome between Jan. 28 and Feb. 25, including a pair of three-game homestands.

The Peach Belt Conference Tournament begins March 1 with the top four teams in each division qualifiying for the postseason event. Columbus State will host this year's tourney with the winner earning the conference's automatic bid into the Division II National Tournament.

-- GSW MEN'S SOCCER TEAM RELEASES 2011 SCHEDULE: Georgia Southwestern State University head men's soccer coach Warren Russ released the program's 2011 schedule this week that features six matches at home, seven on the road and three contests at neutral sites.

The Hurricanes open the season at the Barons Classic hosted by Brewton-Parker College in Mt. Vernon on Sept. 2-3. GSW meets Southeastern (Fla.) on Sept. 2 and Johnson & Wales (Fla.) on Sept. 3.

The home opener for GSW comes Sept. 11 against Florida Tech. On Sept. 14, the 'Canes open Peach Belt Conference play with a home match against Flagler. Sept. 17 the Hurricanes travel to Alabama-Huntsville before meeting Lincoln Memorial in Columbus on Sept. 21 for the first-ever match between the two schools. Another first-time matchup comes Sept. 25, when GSW hosts Florida Memorial.

A match Sept. 28 at Thomas (Ga.) not only closes September, but begins a daunting five-match road trip for the Hurricanes (at UNC Pembroke, LaGrange, USC Aiken) that concludes with a contest at PBC regular season co-champion Clayton State (Oct. 12). Waiting for the Hurricanes in Americus on Sept. 15th, after 20 days away from Hurricane Field, is the other PBC co-champion from last season, Lander.