Portsmouth, Ohio – Shawnee State men's basketball released their 2017-18 schedule on Friday morning, with a season opener against a likely top 10-ranked opponent and a full Mid-South Conference slate to look forward to.
Delano Thomas will begin his first season at the helm of the Bears on October 29 with a visit from 2016-17 NAIA National Championship semifinalist William Penn (Iowa). The Statesmen, who were the champions of the Heart of America Athletic Conference last season, will likely be ranked in the top 10 in the NAIA preseason poll when they visit Portsmouth. William Penn lost to eventual NAIA Division I National Champions Texas Wesleyan 83-82 in overtime in the semifinals last season.
Shawnee State's three game home stand to begin the season continues on November 1 when they host Ohio University-Chillicothe at 8:00pm. The Bears then play Ohio Christian at 7:30pm on November 7 to end the home stretch.
For the second year in a row, Shawnee State is set to play in the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Homecoming Tournament from November 11-12. Shawnee State's opponents for the MVNU Tournament are yet to be determined. Tipoff on the 11th is set for 3:00pm.
Shawnee State will continue the oldest rivalry in program history when they visit Rio Grande in mid-November. This year's matchup, a road contest against the Red Storm, is set for November 21 at 6:00pm.
The Bears then begin a stretch against three consecutive NCAA Division II opponents. Shawnee State will travel to Urbana University on November 25 for a 3:00pm tipoff, followed by a 6:00pm tip at Lake Erie College on November 29. The Bears will begin December against another old rival when they travel to Cedarville University on December 2, with a 7:00pm start time.
Shawnee State will play in two classics during the 2017 winter break. The Bears will participate in the Johnson University Suns Basketball Invitational in Kissimmee, Florida from December 15-16. Shawnee State will play Central Methodist (Mo.) at 6:00pm on the 15th and Hastings College (Neb.) on the 16th at 4:00pm. After the Johnson Invitational, Shawnee State will travel to Melbourne, Florida for the Florida Tech Classic on December 18-19. The Bears will take on hosts Florida Tech on the 18th and Lynn University (Fla.) on the 19th.
The Bears will be off until after the New Year has started, when they will begin Mid-South Conference play. Shawnee State's conference opener is at Pikeville on January 6, with tipoff set for 4:00pm. Lindsey Wilson will travel to Portsmouth for SSU's conference home opener on January 11, with an 8:00pm tip time.
Shawnee State's inaugural Hall of Fame Weekend is set for January 27, when the Bears will take on University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) at 4:00pm. Fans are encouraged to attend to welcome the Shawnee State Hall of Fame Class of 2018 to SSU's ring of honor. Senior Day is set for February 10 against Georgetown, with tipoff also being 4:00pm.
The 2018 Mid-South Conference Tournament is set for March 1-4. If the Bears win the conference tournament, they will receive an automatic berth to the NAIA National Tournament, to be held March 14-20 at the historic Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri.