South Carolina State men's head basketball coach Murray Garvin announced the release of the 2019-20 Bulldog schedule on Monday, with a slate that includes 13 home games and 12 non-conference opponents.
Just like previous seasons, Garvin and the Bulldogs embark on a tough out-of-conference schedule, with opponents from eight different NCAA Division I conferences, with the season-opener vs. nationally ranked Memphis, coached by Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway and the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, according to all media outlets.
"Our motto in our program concerning scheduling is 'Respect All, Fear None,'" Garvin said. "We will play against some the best teams in the country in their respective conferences, with games vs. NCAA Tournament participants Memphis and Liberty. Those games will be formidable, due to the players they have returning and Memphis' stellar recruiting class."
Garvin, who is entering is seventh year at the helm of the Bulldog program, welcomes back eight letter-winners and greets nine newcomers, including veteran forward Tashombe Riley, who has returned to S.C. State to play his final year of eligibility.
The Bulldogs open the season on the road on Nov. 5 against the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn., before heading back home for their home-opener vs. Bob Jones on Nov. 8 and then visiting Lynchburg, Va., to take on Liberty University on Nov. 12.
The Bulldogs will then participate in the Vanderbilt Invitational, beginning with Wilberforce University at home on Nov. 18, followed Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 22, Austin Peay on Nov. 25 in Clarksville, Tenn., and University of Tulsa on Nov. 27 in Tulsa, Okla.
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After Thanksgiving holiday break, the Bulldogs get a chance to play in front their home crowd in a three-game home stand hosting Presbyterian College on Dec. 7, UNC-Asheville on Dec. 12 and USC Upstate on Dec. 18.
SCSU rounds out the holiday season on the road with intrastate power College of Charleston on Dec. 21 in Charleston, followed by Jacksonville University of the Atlantic Sun Conference on Dec. 30 in Jacksonville, Fla. The Bulldogs open the new year in a three-game road MEAC swing on Jan. 4 in Baltimore with Coppin State and Morgan State on Jan. 5, before heading to the nation's capital with a showdown with Howard on Jan. 13.
Garvin's team returns to Orangeburg to host a pair of league contests with Florida A&M on Jan. 18 and Maryland Eastern Shore on Jan. 20 at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. A lone road trip in the middle of conference play puts the Bulldogs in Norfolk, Va., to take on Norfolk State on Jan. 25, before coming back home to host Bethune-Cookman on Jan. 27.
SCSU then travels to the tobacco state to take on league heavyweights North Carolina Central on Feb. 1 in Durham, N.C., and North Carolina A&T on Feb 3 in Greensboro, N.C., followed by visits to Orangeburg from Delaware State on Feb. 10, Coppin State on Feb. 15 and Morgan State on Feb. 17.
The Bulldogs make their last regular season road trips when they head to the Sunshine State for battles with Bethune-Cookman on Feb. 22 in Daytona Beach and Florida A&M on Feb. 24 in Tallahassee.
S.C. State closes out the regular season at home with North Carolina Central on Feb. 29 and North Carolina A&T on March 2.
"I love our team going into the preseason and we feel that barring injuries and a couple of defensive stops, we will be right where we want to be by March for the MEAC Tournament," Garvin said. "Our goal is to compete for championships and you do that by getting better every day and playing each possession like it can be your last."
The 2019 MEAC Basketball Tournament will be held March 9-14 at the Norfolk Scope Arena.