GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's basketball team will welcome in-state foe Marquette to the Resch Center on Dec. 19, highlighting the challenging non-conference schedule announced by head coach Brian Wardle on Tuesday afternoon. With the Horizon League schedule previously released on Aug. 23, the full 30-game slate for the 2012-13 season is now available and includes 13 games against teams that won 20 games last season. To view the full schedule, click here.
Full season ticket and Pick 5 packages are on sale now with the Green Bay Athletics Ticket Office. For more information and to order tickets, please call 920.465.2625 or visit the athletics department offices in the Kress Events Center. The on-sale date for individual game tickets will be announced in the near future.
Marquette's visit to the Resch Center in December will mark the first all-time meeting between the two teams in Green Bay. Coached by Buzz Williams, Marquette is coming off a 27-win campaign in 2011-12 which saw the Golden Eagles advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The game will mark the third time Wardle will be on the sidelines as the head coach against his alma mater, where he scored 1,690 points during a standout Marquette career.
"It will be a lot of fun to have Marquette come to the Resch Center," said Wardle. "It should be a fast-paced, exciting game that will not only be a tough test for our team but also should be really fun for the fans in the seats."
The Marquette game will be just one of many difficult tests for a Phoenix team that won eight of its last 11 games a season ago. In non-conference play alone, Green Bay will play contests away from home against six teams that won at least 19 games last year - at Nevada (Nov. 17), vs. Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 18), at Idaho (Nov. 20), at Virginia (Dec. 1), at Tennessee Tech (Dec. 6) and at Wisconsin (Dec. 12).
"By year three of a head coach's tenure I think you start to see some things about scheduling philosophy, and I think you see that with this year's schedule and how it sets our schedule up for future years," said Wardle. "There are at least four top-25 caliber teams on this schedule and it is definitely going to be a challenge. With a schedule like this there may be some obstacles along the way, but if we can improve as the year goes on good things can happen once league play starts."
Green Bay, led by first-team All-Horizon League selection Alec Brown, will open its season at home for the third-straight season, hosting Chicago State at the Resch Center on Saturday, Nov. 10. Winners of its last five non-conference home games, the Phoenix had a 12-2 overall record at home a season ago and is 57-15 in the facility since 2007-08. Green Bay has won at least 10 home games in nine consecutive seasons.
A trip out west will follow, with Green Bay participating in the World Vision Classic hosted by Nevada in Reno from Nov. 16-18. Neutral site games against Southern Utah (Nov. 16) and Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 18) will sandwich the contest against the host Wolfpack, a team that won the Western Athletic Conference and went 28-7 last year. Fullerton also had a strong season out of the Big West Conference, going 21-10.
Before returning to Wisconsin, Green Bay heads north from Nevada to play at Idaho on Nov. 20. In last season's meeting against the Vandals, a WAC team which won 19 games, Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) had 19 points and 19 rebounds as Green Bay won 63-61.
The Phoenix will look for revenge on Nov. 24 when North Dakota State comes to Green Bay. The meeting will feature two talented teams on the rise and a pair of talented sophomore point guards in NDSU's Lawrence Alexander and Green Bay's Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.). In the third game of the season for the Phoenix, NDSU won last year's game 65-61 in Fargo.
A three-game road trip and a four-game homestand conclude the 2012 portion of the schedule and the non-conference schedule with the exception of the ESPN BracketBuster, which the Phoenix will play away from home this season the weekend of Feb. 22-23, 2013.
Green Bay returns to Virginia to play against Phoenix Hall of Famer Tony Bennett's Atlantic Coast Conference squad in Charlottesville on Dec. 1. The game is the second contest in a three-game deal which will bring Virginia to the Resch Center and Bennett back to Green Bay during the 2013-14 season.
The program's first all-time meeting with Tennessee Tech (Dec. 6) is the middle game of the road trip before Green Bay will play at Wisconsin in the Kohl Center on Dec. 12. Both teams are also slated to make return trips to the Resch Center in 2013-14.
Along with the game against Marquette on Dec. 19, the four-game homestand includes contests against Southern Illinois (Dec. 15), South Dakota (Dec. 22) and Illinois-Springfield (Dec. 30). The game against Southern Illinois brings the Salukis back to Green Bay as a return game for the ESPN BracketBuster from 2010-11. Green Bay will be on the road this season for the BracketBuster the weekend of Feb. 22-23.
Butler's departure from the Horizon League in May created a need for Green Bay to pick up two additional non-conference games, which Wardle filled with the games at Tennessee Tech and Illinois-Springfield. Green Bay will start Horizon League play after New Year's for the first time since 2004-05.
"Scheduling for a mid-major continues to be a major challenge every year, and Butler leaving the conference late in the game only increased that challenge this season," Wardle said. "We were fortunate to find teams that would work with us to fill those empty slots, and we were still able to put together a balanced, tough schedule that I'm excited about. I know this schedule will get our team ready to play at the highest level when Horizon League play begins in January."
In Green Bay's lone exhibition game, the Phoenix will host St. Norbert College at the Kress Events Center. The exact date is not yet determined, but the game will be played on either Oct. 30 or Oct. 31.
Look for more information on the team's schedule on GreenBayPhoenix.com coming soon, including television games, promotions, in-depth opponent breakdowns and a 1-on-1 video preview of the schedule with Coach Wardle.
10 Chicago State
World Vision Classic (Reno, Nevada)
16 vs. Southern Utah
17 at Nevada
18 vs. Cal State Fullerton
20 at Idaho
24 North Dakota State
1 at Virginia
6 at Tennessee Tech
12 at Wisconsin
15 Southern Illinois
22 South Dakota
3 at Wright State
5 at Detroit
17 Youngstown State
19 Cleveland State
23 at Valparaiso
25 at Milwaukee
31 at UIC
2 at Loyola
7 Wright State
15 at Cleveland State
17 at Youngstown State
22-23 at ESPN BracketBuster
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