Coach Ken McDonald spent a few minutes talking to the Herald about the 2009-10 men’s basketball schedule, which was released on Saturday. Here are the highlights:
- McDonald said he made the team’s “real aggressive” out-of-conference schedule with fans in mind, mentioning home match-ups against Southeastern Conference member Mississippi State and Conference USA opponents Tulane and Houston as games he thought fans would be excited to attend.
- McDonald said he’s especially looking forward to the game against Mississippi State, who won the 2009 SEC tournament, on Jan. 4. “We feel like Mississippi State will be an electric game,” McDonald said. “For them to be willing to come to our place, that says a lot about their program, and we’re pretty excited for that one.”
- The Toppers will face South Carolina and former coach Darrin Horn on Dec. 2, the first time the teams have met since Horn left Western in 2008. McDonald said that he and Horn have spoken when they’ve seen each other at tournaments or other events on the road. “I have a lot of respect for coach,” he said. “He left me some good players, and he’s done some special things down there, but there won’t be a whole lot of talking on the sidelines. It’s just another game.”
- Western will host Florida International on Jan. 16, and McDonald said he looks forward to facing coach Isiah Thomas for the first time. “I’m just glad we don’t have to play one on one,” he said. “But he’s done a good job of recruiting, and I’m sure he’ll be organized and ready to go once the season rolls around.”