Sept. 9, 2008
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team will play 10 games against postseason qualifiers and meet up with teams from the Big Ten, Big East and Big 12 during the 2008-09 season, according to the schedule released today by head coach Rob Jeter.
The Panthers will face no shortage of challenges during the upcoming season, including contests against BCS foes on each of the first three weekends of the regular season.
UWM also faces a difficult path in league play, with just one league home contest in February.
"We have put together a competitive schedule that should challenge us," UWM head coach Rob Jeter said. "There is good balance on the schedule because we'll play some teams from big conferences and then see some strong mid-major programs. I know our fans look forward to seeing us play Wisconsin and Marquette again but I also know those are just two of the many difficult games we'll have this season."
After exhibition games with MSOE (Nov. 5) and UW-Parkside (Nov. 8), the Panthers open the regular season with three games at the World Vision Classic in Ames, Iowa. Along with a Sunday night contest against the hosts from Iowa State, UWM will square off with Loyola Marymount Friday and UC Davis Saturday.
The first two regular season home games are Nov. 19 against Upper Iowa and Nov. 25 against Ball State. But, around those contests, UWM will play at NCAA qualifier Marquette Nov. 22 and at Sweet 16 participant Wisconsin Nov. 29.
League play once again gets an early start, with UWM hosting Detroit Dec. 4 and Wright State Dec. 6. The Panthers will then play two-more non-league contests, heading to College Basketball Invitational qualifier Miami (Ohio) Dec. 11 before hosting CBI finalist Bradley Dec. 20. The 2008 calendar year wraps up with a game at UIC Dec. 30.
January is home-heavy for the Panthers, who will play seven of their 10 games in the month at the U.S. Cellular Arena. CBI qualifier Valparaiso is in Milwaukee Jan. 5, in-state rival Green Bay visits Jan. 9 and last year's league runner-up and NIT qualifier Cleveland State comes to Milwaukee Jan. 17.
February then sends the Panthers on the road, with five of their final six league contests away from home. But, the lone league home game in the month finds NCAA qualifier Butler playing at the U.S. Cellular Arena Feb. 18. And, for the first time in three seasons, UWM will host an ESPN BracketBuster contest Feb. 21. The Panthers have played on the road in four of the previous six BracketBuster events.
The regular season concludes with a road trip to Wright State and Detroit, with the Horizon League Tournament starting March 3 at campus sites.
"You certainly hope to get off to a good start in the league and playing at home early will give us that opportunity," Jeter said. "But, the league continues to get better from top to bottom so the games will all be difficult whether they are at home or on the road."
Season-ticket packages for UWM men's basketball are available now by calling the UWM Ticket Office at 414-229-5886. Information about Panther Five-Packs will also be available soon, while single-game tickets will go on sale in late October. Meanwhile, television plans for UWM games - including another extensive package of games on Time Warner Sports along with any additional regional and national television dates - will be announced later this fall.
The Panthers return starters Ricky Franklin and Deonte Roberts as well as a group of solid reserves for the 2008-09 season. That list will be bolstered by the addition of nine newcomers and the return of Avery Smith, who was a preseason all-league selection last year before being dropped from the roster in early November.