WILSON, N.C. – The Barton men's basketball team will look to continue its winning ways with the release of the 2019-20 schedule and the first game less than three weeks away.
The Bulldogs will christen the newly-renovated Wilson Gymnasium with 12 games at the historical facility starting off with the annual 45 Second Classic on Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9, against Columbus State and Augusta University.
Augusta went 28-6 on the year and won both the Peach Belt Conference Regular Season and Tournament Titles and advanced to the regional finals. The Bulldogs and Jaguars will play twice this year with Barton going to Augusta, Ga., on Saturday, November 30.
The Bulldogs will also play in the annual Pickle Classic on the campus of Mount Olive on Friday, November 15, and Saturday, November 16, against Concord and Virginia State, respectively. Like Augusta, Virginia State (28-5) won its league regular season and tournament titles (CIAA) and earned a national postseason berth.
Barton opens Conference Carolinas play on Saturday, November 23, against Erskine at home. The Bulldogs will play their first five league contests at Wilson Gymnasium.
The Bulldogs will also play Emmanuel (Ga.) (25-10), the 2018-19 Conference Carolinas Regular Season and Tournament Champions, on Thursday, December 12, at home and on Saturday, January 25, in Franklin Springs, Ga.
Barton finished 22-8 last year including a 14-4 mark in league play, good for second place. The Bulldogs return two starters who earned second-team all-league honors in 2018-19: senior guard Michael Boykin (Clinton, N.C.) and junior forward Isaiah Reddish (Durham, N.C.).
Boykin ranked second on the team in scoring last year at 14.0 points per game in addition to 104 assists while Reddish averaged 12.2 points per contest to go along with a team-leading 60.1 field goal percentage. In all, Barton returns three starters and 11 letter winners from a squad that averaged 90.1 points per game last year.
Barton was recently picked second in this fall's Conference Carolinas Preseason Head Coaches Poll.
"Last season, we were one of the top scoring teams in the country and a very solid rebounding team," said Barton Head Men's Basketball Coach Ron Lievense. "The team was one of the best win-wise and a very experienced squad."
"We lost two all-conference players (Bobby Stenborg and Jake Kakar) and great experience which is hard to replace. This season's team has been dealing with a few injuries to key personnel and will need guys to accept new and expanded roles to meet this team's needs. Our young players will need to grow in a hurry. Once again, we will be playing one of the toughest schedules of any team in our region starting with our very own 45 Second Classic."
Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium on the campus of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., will serve as the host facility for the semifinals and finals of the 2020 Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Championship on Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8.