FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men’s basketball team will open its 2009-10 schedule with an exhibition game at Clemson University.
The Patriots will meet the Tigers for the first time on Friday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Littlejohn Coliseum. The match-up will be the first for Francis Marion against an ACC opponent since a pair of regular-season losses to Georgia Tech in the early 1980’s.
Nine days later, Francis Marion will open its regular season, for the second year in a row, at Florida Tech’s Tip-Off Classic in Melbourne, Fla. FMU will play the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Nov. 15 and the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras on Nov. 16.
The 27-game slate includes 13 home contests and the always tough Peach Belt Conference schedule. FMU will play its home opener on Nov. 18 against Carver Bible College.
With the addition of Flagler College and the University of Montevallo to the Peach Belt, the conference will be divided into divisions, with Francis Marion playing in the seven-team East Division. FMU will play every team in its division home and away, while meeting the six teams in the West Division only once.
The 2010 PBC Tournament has also been altered. First-round games will be played at on-campus sites with the semifinals and championship game to be played in Aiken, S.C.
Francis Marion will play local-rival Coker College on Nov. 20 in the opening game of the UNC Pembroke Classic.
Fourth-year head Gary Edwards returns four players from last year’s squad that posted a 16-12 record and tied for fifth during the Peach Belt Conference regular season. That mark was the second-best record for the Patriots this decade.
This year’s roster has been augmented by five freshmen and 10 transfers.