Coppin goes extra mile on schedule In facing top opponents, team will be frequent flier

September 15, 1998|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

A difficult nonconference schedule has become a trademark of Coppin State basketball, but coach Fang Mitchell outdid himself for the 1998-99 season.

Mitchell built a powerhouse in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, where the Eagles have won six straight regular-season titles. He has always had a difficult time enticing opponents to come to Coppin State, however, and that became nearly impossible when his Eagles upset South Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 1997.

As a result, this coming season, Coppin State will log more than 25,000 air miles.

The Eagles will play at two of college basketball's toughest venues for visitors, the Carrier Dome in Syracuse and the Pit at New Mexico. They'll also go to Fresno State, Oregon, Oklahoma, California, Kansas State and Iowa.

Mitchell will coach against Lefty Driesell and Georgia State in a tournament in Hawaii, and he'll also work against Jerry Tarkanian, Jim Boeheim, Kelvin Sampson, Ben Braun and Tom Davis.

"We almost had a nonconference home game against George Washington, but even that would have been played at the [Baltimore] Arena," Mitchell said. "It's become tough for people like us. You talk to the NCAA about schools buying wins to pad their power rating, and we can't even get a home game."

Mitchell wouldn't divulge the financial guarantees Coppin State will gain from its nonconference schedule, but based on going rates and what the Eagles have been paid in the past, the travel will make close to $300,000 for the athletic program.

On the road

Coppin State's nonconference schedule:

Date .......... Opponent

Nov. 13 ....... at Fresno State

Nov. 15 ....... at Oregon

Nov. 19 ....... at Syracuse

Nov. 21 ....... at Oklahoma

Dec. 3 ........ vs. Georgia State at Hawaii tournament

Dec. 4 ........ Hawaii tournament

Dec. 7 ........ at California

Dec. 21 ....... at Kansas State

Dec. 23 ....... at Iowa

Dec. 31 ....... at New Mexico

Pub Date: 9/15/98

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