By Adam Schabel
The Cleveland State men’s and women’s basketball teams announced their non-league schedules for the 2017-2018 season.
On the men’s side, they have 13 games against non-Horizon League teams.
The Vikings are coming off a 9-22 campaign in which they saw longtime head coach Gary Waters retire after the conclusion of the season. Waters had been the head men’s basketball coach for 11 seasons and compiled a 194-172 record with Cleveland State. His career record is 365-307 and he has also been the head coach at Kent State University and at Rutgers University.
The men have just one preseason game on Nov. 2 against Cedarville University before beginning the regular season on Nov. 11 at Akron University. The game against Akron is part of the third annual Northeast Ohio Coaches vs Cancer Doubleheader.
The Vikings will then head to Rutgers on Nov. 14, they will host Coppin State on Nov. 17 and will then travel to East Carolina on Nov. 20. The university will return home on Nov. 24 to host Central Connecticut State and that game will be part of the Phil Sellers Showcase.
Dennis Felton was brought in to replace Waters and will look to put the Vikings in position to compete for the Horizon League title. Felton has compiled a career 184-145 record and has also been the head coach at Western Kentucky University and at the University of Georgia.
The men will play Arkansas State on Nov. 28 at the Wolstein Center. Cleveland State also played Arkansas State last season but the game was away. The Vikings will then travel to Kent State on Dec. 2 and Western Michigan on Dec. 6.
The men will return home on Dec. 10 for a game against Notre Dame (OH) before heading back out on the road for three of their remaining four non-league games. They will travel to Niagara University on Dec. 19, they will face Cincinnati on the road on Dec. 21 and will play Toledo at home on Dec. 23 before traveling to Michigan State on Dec. 29.
On the women’s side, the Vikings are led by longtime head coach Kate Peterson Abiad. She has been the head women’s basketball coach at Cleveland State for 15 years.
The Vikings are coming off a 14-16 season.
The university has 11 games against non-Horizon League teams with five of those games at home. The highlight of their non-league schedule is a four-team tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cleveland State released a press release with a statement from Peterson Abiad.
“This year’s non-league schedule will provide us with challenges that we will need to face again later in the season when we get to Horizon League play. We will open up with the majority of our games at home during November and then spend the majority of December on the road – which mirrors our league schedule and will hopefully prepare us for our rigorous Horizon League schedule,” Peterson Abiad said.
The Vikings’ non-league opponents will present a challenge as four of the teams made the postseason last season and another team won their conference.
Cleveland State has just one preseason game on Nov. 1 at the Wolstein Center against Muskingum University.
The Vikings will begin their regular season with a three game homestand at the Wolstein Center. They will host Ball State on Nov. 11, Eastern Michigan on Nov. 16 and Marshall University on Nov. 19.
Cleveland State will then head to Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend to participate in the 2017 South Point Shootout. While in Nevada, the Vikings will square off against Saint Louis on Nov. 24 and Louisiana Lafayette on Nov. 26.
The Vikings will return home on Nov. 28 to host Eastern Illinois and will then travel to Niagara University on Dec. 1.
Dec. 6 at home against Ohio University will be the Vikings’ final non-league home game of the season. The game is part of the third annual Kids Day Game in which there will be special activities planned during the day. Tipoff for that game will be at 11 a.m.
Cleveland State will then head back out on the road for their final three non-league games of the season. They will take on Toledo on Dec. 9, Illinois State on Dec. 17 and Bradley University on Dec. 19.