Johnson City, Tenn. (August 23, 2002) - Games against ACC and SEC foes and an appearance in a holiday tournament highlight the East Tennessee State 2002-03 men's basketball schedule. While the names look much the same as last year's schedule, the 2002-03 slate will again be a challenging one, giving the Bucs plenty of opportunity to make their presence felt by other opponents in the Southeast. The Buccaneers will open the season with a home game against Guilford College on November 22.
Once again, ETSU will challenge SEC and ACC foes, taking on South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Virginia on the road, with the contest at South Carolina one of the first in the Gamecock's new arena on November 24. The Bucs also face early road tests against UNC Wilmington, a team that scored an upset of Southern Cal in the NCAA Tournament last season, Vanderbilt and Virginia.
Another highlight of the schedule is ETSU's appearance in a holiday tournament for the first time six seasons. The Bucs will take part in the South Florida Tournament after Christmas as a tune-up for the always challenging Southern Conference schedule. The tournament includes teams from Belmont, Long Island and host South Florida.
"The schedule is like last year's, but a little tougher," said head coach Ed DeChellis. "We are playing in the South Florida tournament and at UNC Wilmington, a team that went to the NCAA Tournament last year and has everybody back. And then we have Vanderbilt, Virginia and South Carolina, which is always a challenge against those teams. The schedule will help us prepare for our conference run and will be a challenge for us. "