Road tests, youth part of UCI's year

A young team eyes a challenging road schedule, as coach Turner enters second season.

August 01, 2011

Road games against Wyoming, LSU and UCLA are among the highlights in the 2011-12 UC Irvine men's basketball schedule, which was announced Monday.

The team is under the direction of coach Russell Turner, entering his second year.

The Anteaters' schedule features 16 home dates and a battery of road tests.

UCI's home schedule begins with exhibition games against Cal Baptist Nov. 2 and San Diego Christian Nov. 5.

Weber State visits the Bren Events Center Nov. 19. The Wildcats were 18-14 overall last season and advanced to a postseason tournament for the third consecutive year as Weber State competed in the College Basketball Invitational.


The 'Eaters also face San Diego Dec. 3, Vanguard Dec. 10, Hope International Dec. 22 and Seattle University Jan. 24 in other non-conference home games. UCI is a host team for the BracketBusters series Feb. 18 against an opponent to be named in late January.

UCI is taking on a tough road schedule, traveling to UC Berkeley Nov. 11 and San Jose State Nov. 14. The Anteaters are competing in the Carr's/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout at Anchorage, Ala., opening against Southern Miss on Thanksgiving Day. Other teams in the tournament are Alaska-Anchorage, Central Michigan, Dartmouth, Murray State, New Mexico State and University of San Francisco.

A mid-December stretch of challenging road contests features games at Wyoming (Dec. 13), LSU (Dec. 15) and UCLA (Dec. 20 at L.A. Sports Arena).

UCI opens Big West Conference play Dec. 29 at Cal State Northridge before hosting 2011 regular-season league champion and "Black & Blue" rival Long Beach State Jan. 2.

The Homecoming game is scheduled for Jan. 28 against UC Riverside in a Big West contest at the Bren Center in the midst of a five-game homestand.

The Big West Conference Tournament returns to the Honda Center in Anaheim for the second straight year March 8-10.

A young Anteater roster that has no seniors is led by juniors Mike Wilder and Daman Starring.

The 6-2 Wilder averaged 9.5 points and 5.7 rebounds last season when he had to play power forward for much of the season due to UCI's front-line injuries. He recorded career highs of 24 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Long Beach State at the Bren Center last January. Wilder led UCI with 53 three-point field goals last season and ranked 10th in the Big West in three-point shooting.

The 6-3 Starring averaged 7.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in his first season at UCI.

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