Miami RedHawks Basketball Schedule: 08-09
OXFORD, Ohio--Coming off its fourth-consecutive postseason appearance with a berth in the inaugural College Basketball Invitational in 2008, Miami University's men's basketball program continues a tradition of exciting and challenging schedules.
The RedHawks are set to face six non-conference opponents, and a potential seventh, which advanced to postseason play in 2007-08, including five which earned bids to the NCAA Tournament.
Miami will be challenged early and often. After a home exhibition game against Saginaw Valley State on Nov. 8, the RedHawks open the regular season at UCLA as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, facing Weber State on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The following day, Miami will face either UCLA (NCAA Tournament Final Four) or Prairie View A&M and could advance to the Coaches vs. Cancer semifinals and finals in New York City at Madison Square Garden Nov. 20-21.
Rounding out the month of November, Miami heads east to face Pittsburgh (NCAA Tournament Second Round) on Nov. 17, before traveling to battle local rivals Wright State on Nov. 24 and Xavier (NCAA Tournament Elite Eight) on Nov. 29.
Miami finishes a lengthy road stretch with a game at Temple (NCAA Tournament First Round) on Dec. 3.
On Saturday, Dec. 6, Miami hosts the first of three-straight home games as the RedHawks entertain Northwestern State in their home opener. Miami then hosts UW-Milwaukee on Dec. 11 and--in a return game of from last year's ESPNU BracketBuster--Valparaiso (CBI Second Round) on Dec. 13.
Following a seven-day break for final examinations, Miami hits the road to face its second Big East opponent of the season when the RedHawks battle Bob Huggins' West Virginia Mountaineers (NCAA Tournament Sweet 16) on Dec. 20. A trip to Northwestern State on Dec. 30 in a home-and-home series with the Demons concludes the 2008 calendar year for the Red and White.
A game at Dayton (NIT Quarterfinals) on Jan. 6 and a road game for the ESPNU BracketBuster either Feb. 20 or 21 rounds out the RedHawks' 2008-09 non-conference slate. BracketBuster pairings will be announced on Feb. 2.
Miami tips off its 16-game 2008-09 Mid-American Conference schedule with a pair of key home games. The RedHawks host Akron on Saturday, Jan. 10 and entertain Ohio on Wednesday, Jan. 14. The RedHawks will host two of their final three games with home tilts against Kent State on Sunday, Mar. 1 and versus Bowling Green on Thursday, Mar. 5. Miami concludes the regular season at Buffalo on Sunday, Mar. 8. Miami seeks to regain the MAC Tournament crown it won in 2007 the week of March 10-14 at the 2009 FirstEnergy MAC Men's Basketball Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Head coach Charlie Coles' squad returns a significant amount of its firepower from last season, retaining 70.5 percent of its scoring and 71.9 percent of its rebounding from 2007-08. The RedHawks return 11 letterwinners, including four starters: senior forward Michael Bramos (Harper Woods, Mich./Grosse Pointe North), senior guard Kenny Hayes (Dayton, Ohio/Northmont), senior center/forward Tyler Dierkers (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) and senior guard/forward Eric Pollitz (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf).
Bramos was Miami's leading scorer a season ago, averaging 16.3 points per game and was a second-team all-MAC selection. Hayes, who is Miami's other returnee to average double figures in scoring last season at 12.1 ppg, earned honorable mention all-MAC accolades in 2008. Dierkers is Miami's top returning rebounder and assist leader, averaging 6.4 rebounds per game and dishing out 79 assists a season ago.