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Govs basketball schedule includes attractive home and away dates

Playing perhaps the finest combination of home and away dates in Dave Loos coaching tenure, Austin Peay has announced its 2004-05 basketball schedule.

My honest assessment, after looking at this schedule, is that I probably should have my head examined, says Loos, who begins his 15th season at the Governors helm. We have a lot of work to do considering we lost four starters. But I think overall we really have an attractive but very ambitious schedule this year.
Playing perhaps the finest combination of home and away dates in Dave Loos' coaching tenure, Austin Peay has announced its 2004-05 basketball schedule.

“My honest assessment, after looking at this schedule, is that I probably should have my head examined,” says Loos, who begins his 15th season at the Governors helm. “We have a lot of work to do considering we lost four starters. But I think overall we really have an attractive but very ambitious schedule this year.”

The Governors potentially will play non-conference teams that combined for a 60.5 winning percentage in 2003-04, with six teams playing in post-season. In fact, only two (Arkansas and Evansville) of the Govs current potential non-conference foes owned losing records a year ago.

For certain the Govs non-conference home slate will challenge their 29-game Dave Aaron Arena win streak—second longest in the nation. APSU will play Wichita State (Nov. 27), Western Kentucky (Dec. 28), Middle Tennessee (Dec. 30) and Chattanooga (Jan. 3) as their pre-Ohio Valley Conference home schedule.

“I hope our fans will be pleased with the quality of the home schedule,” Loos says. “The home games should be really interesting, considering the regional rivals we will be playing plus bringing in an opponent like Wichita State (NIT).”

But the Govs road schedule will see them play two 2004 NCAA tourney teams without having to leave the state. The Govs will head to Vanderbilt (Dec. 1), which advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in March, and back to Memphis (Dec. 18) for a fourth straight season.

“Our non-conference games on the road are close enough that our fans won't have to travel very far at all,” Loos says. “And then one of the tournaments is in Louisville, so I couldn't imagine anything too much better from a fan's standpoint.”

The Govs also will play in two prestigious tournaments. The first, Paradise Jam, will take them to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Nov. 19-22, to play such potential foes as Arkansas, Saint Louis (NIT), Winthrop and Troy (NIT). For a second straight year, the Govs will travel to Louisville (Dec. 21-22), this time to play in the Billy Minardi Classic. The field includes the Governors, the host Cardinals (NCAA), IUPUI and New Orleans.

“Certainly, a chance to go to the Virgin Islands is a highlight,” Loos says. “What I really like is the fact, we are going to get a chance to play some extra games early there, something this team can really use when you consider the new faces we are going to have in the lineup.”

The Govs final non-conference game will be Feb. 19 as APSU again has been invited to play in the ESPN Bracket Buster series.

After opening up the OVC season with four straight road games the previous two seasons, the Governors this season will see it flip-flopped in 2004-05. APSU will open OVC play at home, Jan. 6, against Southeast Missouri followed by home games against Eastern Illinois (Jan. 8), Eastern Kentucky (Jan. 13) and Morehead State (Jan. 15). In fact, APSU will play six of its eight league home games in January, meaning the Govs will be home only twice in February.

The unbalanced OVC schedule this year will see the Governors play their only game against rival Murray State, Saturday, Feb. 12, in Murray.
—Brad Kirtley