WINTER PARK, Fla. (September 20, 2012) - An exhibition at Wake Forest and the first-annual Las Vegas Desert Classic are early highlights as the Tars 2012-13 men's basketball schedule was released Thursday.
Rollins lost two 1,000-point scorers and four of its top five scorers, but expectations continue to run high heading into the new season. Dave Diakite is the lone returning starter, but veterans Brett Chance, Jeff Dirkin and Trip McFall bring a wealth of experience to the table. Veteran head coach Tom Klusman added four Division I transfers to the stable in Kyle McClanahan and Adam Allen of Florida, Mitch Woods from Appalachian State and Lukas Winegarner of Radford.
Klusman needs just nine more wins to become the 13th Division II coach to reach 600 career victories.
Rollins starts the season Nov. 2 in Winston-Salem, N.C. against Wake Forest in its only exhibition game. The Tars and Demon Deacons have met six times prior with the last a 58-55 Wake win in 1984.
The Tars then enjoy three straight home games to begin the regular season. Warner on Friday, Nov. 16 kicks things off and is followed by clashes with Puerto Rico Bayamon (Nov. 19) and Puerto Rico Rio Piedras (Nov. 21). Rollins then travels to Palm Beach Atlantic on the 28th to close out the month.
Sunshine State Conference play starts at home against Eckerd on Dec. 1 before a Dec. 7 date against Southeastern before final exams.
For the past few years, Rollins has participated in December tournaments throughout Las Vegas and this year will serve as host for the first time. Playing at the Doolittle Center, the Tars will welcome Florida Tech, Abilene Christian and Cameron for the Las Vegas Desert Classic Dec. 15-16. Rollins will play Abilene Christian the first day and Cameron on the second.
After the holiday break, the Tars return to the Sunshine State to host the 38th Annual Winter Park Rotary Tangerine Tournament Dec. 29-30. Rollins and Mansfield play to start the event, followed by Flagler and Shaw on the other side of the bracket.
The meat of the SSC schedule then starts with trips to Tampa on Saturday, Jan. 5 and Florida Tech on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The Tars host Palm Beach Atlantic in the last nonconference game of the year on Jan. 12. Next up are home games with Nova Southeastern (Jan. 16) and Lynn (Jan. 19), then back-to-back road games at Barry (Jan. 23) and Saint Leo (Jan. 26).
The first half of the regular season ends with a home game against archrival Florida Southern on Jan. 30. Rollins then runs through the conference slate again, ending with a trip to the Jenkins Field House and date with FSC in the regular season finale.
The Florida Blue Sunshine State Conference Tournament is slated for March 6-10 at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. The 2013 tournament will mark the first time since 2007 that all 18 SSC men's and women's basketball teams will compete in the tournament. The event will be hosted at a neutral facility for the first time since 2001. The SSC Basketball Championship was hosted at The Lakeland Center from 1995-2001 and had been conducted at campus sites since that time.
NCAA postseason play starts with the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament March 16-19 on campus sites, followed by the NCAA Division II national semifinals in Louisville March 21-24. The National Championship game will coincide with the Final Four in Atlanta and will be played Sunday, April 7 inside Phillips Arena.
Fans can follow Tars men's basketball all season long with live broadcasts on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally at 91.5 FM, WPRK.