Well, we learned that Youngstown State will be an opponent for the 49ers next season.
[QUOTE][COLOR=Indigo][B]AT HOME WITH HPU THIS SEASON[/B]
High Point University’s men’s basketball team, the preseason favorite to win the Big South, has 13 home games on the docket this season. Seven are conference clashes. Here is a look at HPU’s home schedule:
November 19 – Warren Wilson
December 8 – Johnson & Wales
December 14 – Anderson
December 18 – Savannah State
January 8 – Florida Christian
January 12 – Winthrop
January 19 – Coastal Carolina
January 21 – Charleston Southern
January 24 – Longwood
February 2 – VMI
February 6 – Liberty
February 13 – UNC Asheville
February 27 – Radford[/COLOR]
[B]Teams go to great lengths to avoid visiting HPU
[I]By Tom Berry, Enterprise Staff Writer
October 14, 2007[/I][/B]
Bart Lundy wants to make a public expression of regret. “I apologize for our home schedule, because it’s not good,” admitted High Point’s fifth-year men’s basketball coach. “But there was really nothing we could do.”
The Panthers have done plenty already. By returning most of a team that finished 22-10 and attracting the best recruiting class in school history for next year, High Point has become one of the best NCAA Division I programs in the state of North Carolina. The future looks bright.
And they are shunned because of it.
“It’s real simple – we can’t get anybody to play us,” Lundy said.
That’s why High Point’s schedule does not include Elon or UNC Greensboro or Campbell or N.C. A&T or Appalachian State or Western Carolina or UNC Wilmington. The schedule includes UNC Asheville and Gardner-Webb because of Big South Conference ties, Charlotte because it’s a guaranteed game with no return trip to High Point and Warren Wilson because it’s a non-Division I foe. But most in-state Division I schools have avoided HPU like the plague for reasons they won’t discuss.
We know the reasons. Most have higher basketball profiles than the Panthers, and they have nothing to gain by playing the small private school with the fancy new buildings off Montlieu Avenue. They certainly don’t want to risk losing to upstart HPU, which has become a powerhouse eight years after jumping into the NCAA Division I ranks.
“There’s no one we haven’t tried to get to play us,” Lundy said. “I’d love to play any of them, any time.”
It seems so logical for a home-and-home series with fellow Division I Triad schools like UNCG, Elon, A&T or Winston-Salem State.
“You would think,” Lundy said.
High Point played UNCG during Lundy’s first season but have been unable to get the Spartans back.
Traditional rival Elon backed out after Lundy’s first two seasons. The Panthers are playing Campbell – in a closed scrimmage.
A few weeks ago, Davidson officials e-mailed several schools seeking a late game.
“We jumped all over it,” Lundy recalled. “But they won’t play us.”
On the opposite end, High Point’s women regularly play in-state Division I schools. The Panthers’ schedule this season includes East Carolina, UNCW, UNCG, Elon, Davidson and North Carolina Central.
“To be honest with you, playing in-state helps our recruiting because we beat them,” said HPU women’s coach Tooey Loy. “And that is what these schools are scared of on the men’s side.”
The fear of losing to High Point is the biggest factor, but the size of the Millis Center also plays a role. HPU’s home arena has a listed capacity of 2,565. That makes it almost impossible for in-state schools with much bigger home arenas like Appalachian, Western Carolina, East Carolina and UNCW to agree to a home-and-home series.
Why not do like HPU’s opener at Charlotte on Nov. 9 and give up a home game to play an in-state Division I foe?
“You’ve just got to be careful because we already play those guaranteed games (vs. Charlotte, Florida and Dayton) so we’re already heavy on the road side,” Lundy said. “You’ve got to have enough home games to sell season tickets.”
Aside from its regular conference foes, High Point’s home schedule includes Warren Wilson, Johnson & Wales, Anderson, Savannah State and Florida Christian.
Only Savannah State is an NCAA Division I school, albeit a relatively new and unaccomplished one. NCAA Division I schools cannot play more than four non-Division I opponents, and all four of those teams on High Point’s schedule will play at the Millis Center.
Certainly, HPU fans would rather see the Panthers play Elon or UNCG or A&T or Appalachian at home. Even relatively close schools outside the state would be welcome, schools such as Furman, Wofford, The Citadel, Old Dominion, VCU and Richmond.
But it’s not happening right now, and it probably won’t happen as long as High Point’s program remains strong and its arena stays small.
Recently, High Point agreed to play Youngstown State at home during the 2008-09 season.
“They are coming down to play Charlotte and were looking for a piggyback game,” Lundy said. “So we’ve got that game for next year and we were having a party.”
Even in recent weeks, Lundy tried to replace one of High Point’s non-Division I home foes with a more suitable opponent.
“I tried to get Holy Cross. I tried to get George Washington,” he said. “I just can’t get anyone to play us.”
Especially any Division I opponent from around here.
For that, Lundy apologizes. Perhaps those schools should apologize for avoiding the Panthers.[/QUOTE]