Coach Gary Bailey released the men’s basketball schedule for the 2009-10 season today. This year’s schedule looks to be even more challenging than last year’s schedule. With a 32 game schedule and only 8 home games, the Tigers will again be “Road Warrior’s.” This year’s schedule includes 14 games in the NCCAA II and 18 games in the NAIA, NCAA II and NCAA III. The Tigers are coming off a record setting season that saw them go 30-8 and win a second National Championship in the last four seasons. The coaching staff has not backed away from continuing to put together the toughest schedule that they could, again this season.
The annual Blue/Gold game will be played on October 6th. The team is divided into two squads and will play a shortened game. This is a chance for staff, students and fans of GBC to get together to meet the team and get to see some basketball in the refurbished Aldrich Center Gymnasium.
The season opens on October 28th with a home game against NCCAA II foe Great Lakes Christian College on Championship Night, when the Tigers will be recognized for their 2009 National Championship. The Tigers will then travel across town to play in the first Davenport University tournament in that schools history. Davenport had it’s finest season in school history in 2009 finishing at 20-11. Grace will begin the tourney against NAIA II memeber, St. Francis University (IL) and will play either Davenport University or Kuyper College on Saturday.
The Tigers will return home for another cross-town game, this time with Aquinas College (NAIA) at the Aldrich Center on the GBC campus. Aquinas finished the season at 23-9 and a trip to the NAIA national tournament in 2009. Grace then hits the road to Grayson Kentucky and the Super 8 Classic at Kentucky Christian University where they will face Valley Forge College (28-8) in a rematch of the 2009 national championship game. On Friday, the Tigers will take on Wesley College (19-18) and on Saturday, they will play Kentucky Christian University. Both teams advanced to the Elite Eight in last years NCCAA II tournament.
The Tigers continue their 19 game away stretch when they travel to Berrien Springs, MI to play USCAA member Andrews University. NCAA II, Hillsdale College awaits the Tigers in Hillsdale, MI for the teams first meeting in school history. The next night the Tigers start play in the Calvin College Tournament against the host Knights. On Saturday they will play either Davenport University or Lake Forest College (NCAA III).
Traveling to Kenosha Wisconsin the following week, the Tigers will play in the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Classic against the Rangers of Parkside (NCAA II). On Saturday, Grace will take on the University of Purdue-North Central of the NAIA. The annual NCCAA Midwest Tip-off is the next stop for GBC in Dunbar, Wisconsin as the Tigers take on Maranatha, Moody, and Lincoln Christian College in back to back to back nights.
Returning to Grand Rapids, the Tigers travel across town to play Cornerstone University (NAIA). Finally some rest for the Tigers when they get a ten day rest from games before hopping a plane to Honolulu, Hawaii to take on the Sea Warriors of University of Hawaii Pacific (NCAA II). Hopefully after some rest on the beach, the Tigers hop a plane and fly to the island of Hilo to play Hilo University (NCAA II). The Tigers will return home just before Christmas Eve. After a few days of much needed rest, the Tigers head to Holland, MI for “The Russ DeVette Holiday Tournment” at Hope College. The Tigers take on Davenport University (NAIA) in the first contest and saturday’s game will be against Hope College (21-8) (NCAA III) or Madonna University (NAIA).
The new year has Grace back at home with Cornerstone University (NAIA) visiting GBC on the second day of the new year. Grace then travels to Indiana University-Northwest for a first time meeting against the Indiana based NAIA school. NCCAA regional rival Northland International visits Grand Rapids followed by Kuyper College for the season’s first back to back home games before the Tigers are traveling again. This time, it’s off to Dubuque, IA for another regional match-up, this time with Emmaus.
Andrews University and Moody visit the GBC campus in late January for two more home games. The Tigers finish out the season by traveling to Lansing for a rematch of the season opener with Great Lakes Christian College and head across town to play at Kuyper College. The last two home games will be against Indiana University Northwest and Moody. The Moody game will also be Senior Day for men’s and women’s basketball.
“I am a firm believer of practicing the way you play” said coach Gary Bailey. “We don’t mind playing this many road games because we get used to it by the time tournaments roll around. Our guys are used to travel in the bus, staying in hotels and getting back late. I think this helps us by the end of the year.”
For a printable schedule go to “schedules” and then “printable schedule.”