WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2003
Basketball Releases 2003-04 Schedule In Preparation For Opener
Nov. 19, 2003
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 2003-04 Jacksonville University basketball schedule features two NCAA tournament teams from a year ago, Arkansas from the Southeastern Conference and a 20-game Atlantic Sun Conference slate, as released by head coach Hugh Durham today. The Dolphins open the 2003-04 season against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Friday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at historic Swisher Gymnasium, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. JU will also make five television appearances, including two games on the Sunshine Network and Fox Sports Net, as well as three Atlantic Sun Conference games on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS).
After opening the season at home against UPR-Mayaguez, the Dolphins hit the road to face three-time defending Colonial Athletic Association champion UNC-Wilmington, which beat JU last year en route to its fourth consecutive post-season appearance. JU then plays at upstart Arkansas in Little Rock on Nov. 29, which has sold out 334 consecutive regular-season home games. The game will be televised live by Fox Sports Southwest.
"We'll get a quick wake-up call, but our non-conference schedule is designed to prepare us for the rigors of a 20-game Atlantic Sun slate," says head coach Hugh Durham, who is in his seventh season at Jacksonville and his 36th season overall as a Division I head coach.
JU will also play Savannah State, Nova Southeastern and Tennessee Tech in preparation for league play, which begins on Dec. 17 at defending A-Sun champion Troy State, in the first of three straight road games to open conference play. This year's Atlantic Sun Conference schedule features 20 games as opposed to 16 a year ago because the league has returned to a one division format with the addition of Lipscomb as the 11th member.
The Dolphins open 2004 at Belmont, which won a share of the A-Sun North title last year, and at Lipscomb, which is in its first season in the league. After a pair of home TV games against intra-state rivals Florida Atlantic and UCF, JU will hit the road again for three consecutive road games against Stetson, Campbell and Gardner-Webb.
The Dolphins' Jan. 22 match-up against preseason favorite Georgia State is the first of three straight home games, while JU will have the benefit of playing five of its final seven regular-season games at the friendly confines of Swisher Gymnasium. The Dolphins are 31-10 at Swisher the last three seasons, which ranks third among all Division I schools in Florida, including six straight wins at home to close out last season. JU's final regular-season game against Troy State on Feb. 27 will air live on CSS.
JU enters the 2003-04 season as the most inexperienced team in Division I with no returning starters and just three reserves returning from last year's team. The Dolphins, who have been picked seventh in the A-Sun preseason polls, have won 49 games the past three seasons, which ranks third among all A-Sun teams.
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