OSU releases men's basketball schedule

Saturday, September 27th 2003, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Inexperience and only two returning starters will make for a challenging men's basketball schedule, Oklahoma State head coach Eddie Sutton said Friday.

``We have several newcomers that need to adjust to our system, and that takes time,'' Sutton said as he released a 29-game schedule that includes 17 home games and a contest against an NCAA Division II school.

``However, the nonconference portion of the schedule will prepare us for the always difficult Big 12 Conference.''

The Cowboys begin with exhibition play against Athletes First Nov. 12 and EA Sports on Nov. 17 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

OSU's regular season begins with a Nov. 21 game against Northwestern State, followed by a Nov. 26 contest against Colorado State at Oral Roberts University's Mabee Center.

The Cowboys' first true road test will come against BYU on Dec. 6.

OSU will play host Dec. 16 to Southeastern Oklahoma, an NCAA Division II school, continuing a practice started in previous seasons against Langston and St. Gregory's.

Officials believe the out-of-division matchup will support basketball in Oklahoma.

``When we got to the end of our scheduling, we opted to take all the four-year colleges in Oklahoma, write their names on a piece of paper, and draw out of a hat,'' Sutton said.

``We excluded Langston and St. Gregory's for obvious reasons. Two alums (of Southeastern) that I know quite well, Mick Thompson and Wren Baker, will be excited that their alma mater will be playing in Gallagher-Iba Arena.''

After a Jan. 3 game against SMU in the Touchstone Energy All-College Classic and a Jan. 6 game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at home, it's all conference play for the Cowboys.

The first of two bedlam games against Oklahoma comes Jan. 14 at Gallagher-Iba.

Oklahoma State wraps up its regular season March 6 with a home game against Texas A&M.

Thirteen of Oklahoma State's games will be televised, including three ``Big Monday'' matchups.

OSU will host a Feb. 9 home game against perennial powerhouse Kansas and the second bedlam game against OU will be televised from Norman on ESPN.

``When you play on Big Monday, it's the best time slot you can have in college basketball,'' Sutton said.

``We're thrilled that we're going to be on three times, especially with two of them being in Gallagher-Iba Arena, because this is one of the showcases for college basketball.''

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