One contest to be played at Amway Arena MELBOURNE, Fla. (Men’s Basketball) – It’s a schedule
built for Panther success, according to Florida Tech men’s basketball coach Billy Mims. The program releases it’s 2007-08 schedule, which
features 18 home contests – 17 of which will be played in Melbourne and one at Amway Arena, home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. “This is the most home
games we’ve had in a decade,” said Mims. “We are the only NCAA basketball program on the Space Coast, so with 18 home games, especially, this is by far the
best family entertainment value on the Space Coast.” On Sunday, Nov. 18, the Panthers have the unique experience of “opening” for the Magic-Boston
Celtics game in what is being called the “Court of Dreams” celebration. Florida Tech and the University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon square off at 1:30 p.m.
prior to tip-off of the NBA game later that evening. “We’re really excited about our ‘Court of Dreams’ program this year,” the coach said. “This is
a great opportunity for our players to play on an NBA floor, have a meal, and stick around to watch a great NBA game. Very few players in the NCAA make it
to the league, so to be able to say that you’ve played on an NBA court is something special.” Fans will have a great opportunity to get an early
look at this year’s Panthers as the team plays all its contests at home in November aside from two exhibition matches against Division I schools. Tech
travels to Stetson on Nov. 2 and then to Florida International on the 12th, with an exhibition against the College of the Bahamas at the
Clemente Center sandwiched in between. The team’s regular-season tips off against UPR-Rio Piedras on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. “We’re fortunate to
play against local Division I opponents and excited about the challenge that presents,” said Mims. “We’ve played FIU three years in a row now and came
close to beating them last year. We’ve got a great relationship with that program.” Florida Tech dives right into the conference season Dec. 1,
traveling to 2007 Sunshine State Conference co-champion Barry University. The Panthers then break for more non-league action before hosting Rollins – the
SSC’s other co-champion – on Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Starting the conference season with last year’s top two teams doesn’t faze the Florida Tech skipper
though. “College basketball is funny; you can be on top one year and at the bottom the next, so you have to be ready for any of the conference
match-ups. Barry has lost their entire starting line-up, so they are the most unknown entity in the SSC this year. On the other hand, we’ve got four out of
our starting five back from last year, so who knows. “Rollins has been one of the most consistently successful programs over the last decade, so
they’re always going to compete,” Mims continued. “You just have to be ready for anything in this league.” Tech’s final non-conference opponent of
the regular-season comes to Melbourne on Feb. 5 when FIT hosts Johnson and Wales University.
This year’s SSC Championship kicks off on Tuesday, Mar. 4, with the semi-finals and championship game to be played in Tampa Mar. 8-9.
Click here to view the complete 2007-08 Men’s Basketball schedule.