NEO Releases Men's Basketball Schedule - KOAM TV 7

NEO Releases Men's Basketball Schedule



MIAMI — After a two-year break from participating in the Three Rivers College Thanksgiving Classic at Poplar Bluff, Missouri, the three-day classic is one of the 29 total games comprising the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Golden Norseman 2017-18 basketball schedule.

NEO will also compete in two-day classics at both Ottumwa, Iowa and Hutchinson, Kansas during the month of November.

“We’ve been to Three Rivers before and they invited us back this year,” Golden Norse head coach Dustin Grover said. “But, since we lost Coffeyville (Kansas) because Jay (Herkelman) had a full slate of Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference games, we had an opportunity to go to Ottumwa, Iowa and play Ellsworth and Indian Hills.

“We’re also going to Hutchinson for a couple of games in the first week,” Grover said. “Last year Hutchinson won the NJCAA National Championship with a 35-2 record and they have also put some money into renovating the Sports Arena where the national tournament is played.

“Indian Hills finished 12th in the national tournament last year with a 29-6 record, so these will be teams that will give our very young team a challenge,” Grover said. “Plus these games will be on the road which presents another obstacle.”

Only two of the 17 players Grover started the preseason with are returning from last season.

“Going to Hutch the first weekend should serve to get our two transfers and 13 freshmen ready to compete at this level,” Grover said. “There’s no better way to get them ready to play than to walk into the home court of the defending national champion.

“It will be exciting for our guys to see and play in the Sports Arena where the national tournament is held,” Grover said. “I think it will be a good trip.”

Entering his 13th season as head coach, Grover guided the Golden Norsemen to the semifinals of the Region II Tournament in Shawnee last year.

NEO dropped a 74-68 decision to Seminole State College in the second round to finish with a 16-14 overall record. While losing only two of 11 games played in the NEO Field House, the Norsemen posted an 8-8 record in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“We play the two teams that played in last year’s regional championship game (Connors State and Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa) at the end of November,” Grover said. “I don’t think our conference changes drastically from one year to the next.

“I think Connors, Northern-Tonkawa and Northern-Enid are each very talented basketball teams,” Grover said. “Those three teams along with Seminole somewhere in the mix make for a very formidable conference schedule.

“Over the last 10 years, us and Connors have combined for seven Region II titles and one of us have been in the regional championship game every year,” Grover said. “What we would like to do is to become more competitive in the non-conference portion of our schedule and not just conference play,” Grover said. “So one of our goals this year is ‘how can we compete from the very first day until the last day?’”

The entire schedule is as follows:

November — 1, Central Baptist (Conway, Arkansas); 3-4, at Hutchinson Classic (Tabor JV and Hutchinson); 8, Randall University (Moore); 9, Oklahoma Wesleyan junior varsity; 14, at Randall University; 17-18, at Ellsworth, Iowa (Ellsworth and Indian Hills); 23-25, at Three Rivers Classic (Tennessee Prep, Hocking College, Three Rivers); 28, *Connors State; 30, *at Northern-Tonkawa.

December — 4, at Oklahoma Wesleyan JV; 6, at Missouri Southern University JV.

January — 8, *Seminole State; 11, *at Eastern; 15, *at Western State; 22, *at Northern-Enid; 25, *Murray State; 29, *Redlands College.

February — 1, *at Connors State; 5, *Northern-Tonkawa; 8, *at Seminole; 12, *Eastern; 15, *Western; 22, *Northern-Enid; 26, *at Murray State.

March — 1, *at Redlands; 5-10, at Region II Tournament in Shawnee; 19-24, at NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas.

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