The LeTourneau University men’s basketball program has announced its 2016-17 schedule that will feature 27 games including a pair of exhibition contests against NCAA Division I members – Sam Houston State and Northwestern State and the inaugural LETU Holiday Classic, Dec. 29-30.
The YellowJackets under head coach Dan Miller, who enters his third season, return 13 letter winners from a team that advanced to the American Southwest Conference Tournament for the third time in program history in 2015-16. Plus, LeTourneau also increased its win total for its most victories since 2008 and its scoring average by 16.2 points from 2014-15.
“We look forward to the challenge of the two exhibition games against Division I teams early in the season,” said Miller. “The Sam Houston State game will be their opener and the Northwestern State game is their community youth event so both games will be hostile atmospheres to give us that road experience we will need in the ASC. Our goal is to get off to a good start this year so we can go into our home stretch with a good record and protect our home court.”
Before taking on intercollegiate competition, LeTourneau will host its annual alumni game on Saturday (Nov 5) at 3:00 p.m. After that, the YellowJackets will be on the road for its next four contests including exhibition games against Sam Houston State Saturday (Nov 12) at 2:00 p.m., and Northwestern State Friday (Nov 18) at Noon.
Twelve of the next 14 games for LeTourneau will be at Solheim Arena including the home opener against Centenary on Saturday (Nov 26) at 3:00 p.m. The high-scoring YellowJackets brought in an increase of 75 fans per game in 2015-16 with room to grow in 2016-17. Also in that stretch is the inaugural LETU Holiday Classic, where they will welcome Schreiner and Texas Lutheran to Longview, Dec. 29-30.
Not to be overlooked on the schedule is the rigorous American Southwest Conference play, including an East Division that consists of local rivals – East Texas Baptist and UT Tyler as well as UT Dallas, Louisiana College and Ozarks, who they will play twice. The American Southwest Conference Tournament is from February 23-25 with a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament on the line.
“The ASC East hosts the conference tournament, so we want to be in a position where the games at the end of the season are set up to give us a chance to win them and be in contention to host,” said Miller. “It’s cliché, but the most important game on our schedule will be the next game. We have big goals our focus is one practice and game at a time to reach our them. The ASC is such a tough conference that if you look ahead, you will be in trouble.”
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