Challenging schedule awaits Clayton State men’s basketball in 2011-12 season

MORROW, Ga. – September 28, 2011 – What he calls quite possibly one of the challenging schedules since he's been at Clayton State, Laker men's head basketball coach Gordon Gibbons officially released Clayton State's 2011-12 schedule on Wednesday.

This season is highlighted by 16 home games, plus a renewal of an old in-state rivalry for Clayton State that has been dormant for the last few seasons. The Lakers also have nine games – home and away – against teams that advanced to last season's NCAA Division II National Tournament. It all starts on Monday, Nov. 14, when Clayton State plays host to Tennessee Temple at the Athletics and Fitness Center.

"We are excited as we prepare to play one of the toughest schedules in our program's history," said Gibbons, who is 190-109 entering his 11th season at the Clayton State helm. "Nine games against NCAA Division II National Tournament opponents, plus the Peach Belt Conference and other non-conference rivals will make it a challenge."

The highlight of the non-conference side of the schedule will be Clayton State's renewal of its non-conference rivalry against in-state rival West Georgia. The first game will be at the Athletics and Fitness Center on Nov. 22, and then the return game will be in Carrollton at The Coliseum on Dec. 12. The last time Clayton State and West Georgia played was during the 2008-09 season, and the Lakers have won five of the last six games against the Wolves.

In addition, Clayton State also has a home-and-home set this season against Conference Carolinas power Limestone, which advanced to last season's NCAA Division II National Tournament. The Lakers will travel to Limestone on Nov. 16, and then play host to the Saints on Dec. 29 as part of the annual Heritage Bank Holiday Classic.

Other non-conference home games include Wingate on Nov. 26, Carver on Nov. 29, Edward Waters on Dec. 3 as a part of the Zac Bradley Benefit Day, and NAIA newcomer Coastal Georgia on Feb. 1.

The Peach Belt Conference opener should a dandy as Clayton State plays host to huge in-state rival Georgia Southwestern on Dec. 14.

The 2012 Peach Belt Conference Tournament is slated for March 1-4 at the Lumpkin Center at Columbus State.

Clayton State is coming off a solid 19-10 mark last season, and returns two starters off that team. Gibbons also has an impressive recruiting class that features three Division I transfers, a Division II transfer and three stellar players from the junior college ranks. 

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