H-SPORTS

Aug 25, 2013 12:24 AM by Bill Halter

Cal Poly basketball will play toughest schedule yet

The Cal Poly men's basketball team unveiled it's schedule for the upcoming season on Saturday and it will likely be the most challenging in program history. The Mustangs will play seven teams who won 20 or more games last season.

Cal Poly will open their 20th Division 1 season on November 8th against Arizona, a team that made the Sweet 16 last season. The Wildcats have the nation's fifth-ranked incoming freshman class (ESPN.com). The game will be the first of three Cal Poly contests televised nationally by the Pac-12 Network. The Mustangs will also appear when they play at Oregon (28-9) on December 1 and at Stanford (19-15) on December 29. The Ducks are the reigning Pac-12 Tournament champions and made the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual national champion Louisville. "We want to step up our entire program, our entire game to another level that says basically Cal Poly basketball is not just about playing USC one year and UCLA one year. We want to play the best and step it up to three Pac-12 games" said Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero who led the Mustangs to wins at USC and #11 UCLA the past two seasons.

Cal Poly's home opener will be against Nevada (12-18) on November 12. Cal Poly set a Division I program record for home wins (13-1) and winning percentage (.929) last year and is riding a 12 game winning straight inside the Mott Athletics Center.

Cal Poly will play at Fresno State (11-19) on November 20, the Mustangs beat the Bulldogs two years ago for the first time in 41 seasons.

Cal Poly will host College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament champion Santa Clara (26-12) on December 7.

Cal Poly will go to the east coast for its first ever meeting with the University of Pittsburgh (24-9) on December 21. The Panthers lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. The Mustangs will return to the east coast for a game at Delaware (19-14) on January 4. Cal Poly has played further east than Newark, Delaware just once prior in 20 Division I seasons. That game was Cal Poly's first at the Division I level, a 1994 loss at Boston College.

The Mustangs will receive money to play at Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, Fresno State and Pittsburgh. "We're going to bring in enough money to pay for the travel, put some in the bank, help build a program, contribute money to a variety of projects in Mott Gym" said Callero.

Callero knows the non-conference schedule will be tough but thinks it will be a good thing for the programs national exposure and better prepare his team for conference and postseason play. "If you want to be great you've got to play against better teams every year. The most important line I heard from our team was. I said guys, with this schedule who knows, we may be 2-11 during the preseason and they looked back at me and they said coach, we might be 11-2" said Callero.

For the Mustangs full schedule click here.

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