The Eastern Mennonite Runnin Royals announced their 2011-12 schedule today. The 25-game slate opens Tuesday, Nov. 15, at home against Shenandoah.
Including the date with the Hornets, the basketball men will play 10 home games. The Old Dominion Athletic Conference season also starts in Yoder Arena when Emory & Henry visits on Nov. 26. EMU, which was No. 17 in the final D-III poll last spring, hosts Messiah in the only other home date before Christmas.
The Runnin Royals will play at a tourney hosted by Marymount in Arlington on Nov. 18-19. They will again travel to the Don Glick Classic at Bridgewater College on Dec. 9-10.
The young team will play at ODAC opponents Hampden-Sydney and Randolph-Macon before the meat of the ODAC schedule starts with a hosting of Washington & Lee on Jan. 4.
Rival Bridgewater welcomes EMU on Jan. 18, with the Runnin Royals hosting the rematch on Feb. 8.
With the unbalanced 16-game ODAC set-up, Eastern Mennonite will only take on Virginia Wesleyan once. The Marlins, who return the bulk of their Sweet 16 team from 2011, entertain EMU on Jan. 25. The Runnin Royals play the ODAC's other NCAA-qualifier, Randolph-Macon, twice. The Yellow Jackets, however, graduated much of their team.
The other ODAC teams which the Runnin Royals will only play once are Hampden-Sydney, Roanoke and Lynchburg.
Those three games against VWC and R-MC are the only on the schedule against 2010-11 national tourney qualifiers, although the men do play at Ferrum on Dec. 5. Both Ferrum and EMU were considered bubble teams for last spring's tournament.
The regular season ends in Yoder Arena with Guilford on Feb. 18. The ODAC Tournament starts the following week.
Eastern Mennonite had its second-consecutive season with 22 or more wins last year, finishing 22-5 overall and 12-4 in the ODAC. However, all five starters were seniors, meaning this season will feature a number of new faces.