The Slippery Rock University men’s basketball team will start its 2012-2013 season by playing exhibition games against two NCAA Division I teams, the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Michigan.
The Rock will first travel to Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md. on Nov. 4 to play the Naval Academy. On Nov. 9, they will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to take on the Wolverines in Crisler Arena.
SRU Athletic Director Paul Leuken said that a lot of planning and connections helped arrange these two games.
“Michigan fans have some sort of love affair with regards to SRU athletics,” Leuken said. “It started back when our football scores were announced during the games and it continues still today.”
SRU head coach Kevin Reynolds used connections of his own to get SRU a game in the national media spotlight.
“I previously coached at the Division I level and have good friends, like Coach Ed DeChellis at Navy, that are not only successful coaches, but also great people,” Reynolds said. “These games will put the Slippery Rock basketball team in the national spotlight, as they have played Division I teams in the past couple of years.”
“It’s not only great for the team to be tested before the season starts, but it is also a good recruiting tool as well to tell future recruits about the opportunities they have with our program,” he said.
Reynolds thinks that the bigger games will help prepare the Green and White for the rest of the season.
“I think the players will enjoy competing against the best, and it’s a great way to gauge their strengths, weaknesses, and overall game against the best of D1 basketball,” Reynolds said. “Not only does it excite our basketball program, but the SRU community, alumni, and students as well.”
After the two exhibition games, the Rock will open the season with a non-conference game against Ohio Valley University in Vienna, W. Va.