Coppin State men’s basketball releases 2014-15 schedule
BALTIMORE – The Coppin State 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule released Tuesday afternoon resembles Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “On The Run” tour itinerary as the Eagles will play games in 11 states highlighted by visits to reigning NCAA champion Connecticut and 2013 NCAA runner-up Michigan.
Overall, the Eagles will play 11 of their 29 games at home in the Physical Education Complex under first-year head coach Michael Grant. Coppin State’s home opener will be on Monday, Dec. 1 against Division II Goldey-Beacom College. The Eagles will also host Hofstra (Wed. Dec. 10) and Eastern Kentucky (Tue., Dec. 30) during the month of December.
Coppin State starts the season with a four-game 10-day road trip from Nov. 14-23 in which it play a game in every time zone in the contiguous United States: Oregon (Fri., Nov. 14), Illinois (Sat., Nov. 16), Notre Dame (Wed., Nov. 19) and Denver (Sun., Nov. 23).
“This is a tremendous schedule full of high-caliber opponents,” said Grant. “We are looking forward to the challenges this season presents. Each game provides our team with different challenges before heading into MEAC play. We are thrilled for the opportunity to play great programs. Finalizing our schedule makes it more exciting for all of us and the fans.”
The Eagles will play Connecticut on Sun., Dec. 14 and Michigan on Mon., Dec. 22 in consecutive December games as part of four-game road trip that also includes stops at Eastern Michigan (Tue., Dec. 23) and Evansville (Sun., Dec. 28). The location of the Connecticut game will be determined later. It will either played on the Huskies’ campus in Storrs or at the XL Center in downtown Hartford.
Grant has University of Michigan ties as he served as a graduate assistant where he helped coach and develop his younger brother Gary Grant, who eventually became the Big Ten Player of the Year in 1988. Gary Grant was the 14th overall player chosen in the 1988 NBA draft. The Wolverines beat the Eagles last season.
In addition, the Eagles will play their final non-conference contest and first game of 2015 against Akron on Sat. Jan. 3. Grant was born in Cleveland and attended high school in Canton.
Coppin State will play 16 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) contests beginning with a visit to Hampton onSaturday, Dec. 6. The Eagles eliminated Hampton from the MEAC tournament in the quarterfinals last season. Coppin State’s first home conference contest will be on Saturday, Jan. 17 against Bethune-Cookman, a squad the Eagles defeated in the first round of the MEAC tournament last season.
The Eagles will play every MEAC school at least once and have home-and-home matchups against Northern Division rivals Howard, Morgan State, Norfolk State and Delaware State. Coppin State will host four of the six Southern Division teams (Savannah State, South Carolina State, Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman).
The Eagles will play six of their final eight games at home highlighted by a season-high four game homestand featuring Morgan State (Monday, Feb. 2), South Carolina State (Saturday, Feb. 7), Savannah State (Monday, Feb. 9) and Howard (Saturday, Feb. 14). Coppin concludes the regular season on Thursday, March 5 at home against Delaware State.
The year wraps a trip to Norfolk for the annual MEAC Tournament from March 9-14.
Coppin State, which won 12 games last year and advanced to the MEAC semifinals, returns 11 players.
Senior guard Taariq Cephas, senior forward Dallas Gary, senior guard Daquan Brickhouse, senior forward Arnold Fripp, senior forward Brandon St. Louis, and junior guard Sterling Smith are among the top returning players for the Eagles this season. Cephas, who averaged 9.4 points per game, finished third in the MEAC in assists per game (4.1). Smith is the Eagles leading returning scorer (10.9 ppg.). He also led the Eagles with 60 3-pointers.
Other scheduling nuggets:
• Back to Oregon … The Eagles play a Pac-12 school in the state of Oregon for the second straight year. The Eagles defeated Oregon State, 78-73, last season. This is also the second straight season, Coppin State will begin the season against a Pac-12 opponent. Coppin State began the 2013-14 season against California.
• Conference Casting Call … Coppin State will play against schools from 10 different conferences this season (Pac-12, Big 10, ACC, American Athletic, MAC, America East, CAA, Summit, Central Atlantic Collegiate and Missouri Valley).
• Bye-ing Time … The Eagles MEAC byes occur on Monday, Jan. 12 and Monday, Feb. 23.
• Home Cooking … Coppin State will play five of its seven February games at home in the Physical Education Complex. February also features the Eagles’ longest home stand of the season of four games (Morgan State, South Carolina State, Savannah State and Howard from Feb. 2-14). The Eagles will leave the state once in February when it travels to Delaware State on Feb. 16.
• Time Travelers … Coppin State starts the season with a four-game road trip from Nov. 14-23 in which it play a game in every time zone in the contiguous United States: Oregon (Fri., Nov. 14), Illinois (Sat., Nov. 16), Notre Dame (Wed., Nov. 19) and Denver (Sun., Nov. 23).
• Welcome Back … The Eagles will welcome Florida A&M to Baltimore for the first time since Feb. 8, 2010.
• Familiar Foes … The Eagles will play non-conference contests against Towson, Michigan and Akron for the second straight season. This will be the fifth consecutive season Coppin State and Towson will meet each other. The teams have split the four previous matchups.
Men’s Basketball 2014-15 Schedule
Day Date Opponent
Fri. Nov. 14 at Oregon
Sun. Nov. 16 at Illinois
Wed. Nov. 19 at Notre Dame
Sun. Nov. 23 at Denver
Mon. Dec. 1 GOLDEY-BEACOM
Wed. Dec. 3 at Towson
Sat. Dec. 6 at Hampton*
Mon. Dec. 8 at Norfolk State*
Wed. Dec. 10 HOFSTRA
Sun. Dec. 14 at Connecticut
Mon. Dec. 22 at Michigan
Tue. Dec. 23 at Eastern Michigan
Sun. Dec. 28 at Evansville
Tue. Dec. 30 EASTERN KENTUCKY
Sat. Jan. 3 at Akron
Sat. Jan. 10 at Howard*
Sat. Jan. 17 BETHUNE-COOKMAN*
Mon. Jan. 19 FLORIDA A&M*
Sat. Jan. 24 at North Carolina A&T*
Mon. Jan. 26 at North Carolina Central*
Sat. Jan. 31 at Maryland Eastern Shore* Princess Anne, Md.
Mon. Feb. 2 MORGAN STATE*
Sat. Feb. 7 SOUTH CAROLINA STATE*
Mon. Feb. 9 SAVANNAH STATE*
Sat. Feb. 14 HOWARD* (HOMECOMING)
Mon. Feb. 16 at Delaware State*
Sat. Feb. 21 NORFOLK STATE*
Sat. Feb. 28 at Morgan State*
Thur. Mar. 5 DELAWARE STATE*
Mon.-Sat.Mar. 9-14 at MEAC Tournament