The 2012-13 basketball season will be an unusual one for the Augusta State men.
A team that usually travels heavily the first two months, the Jaguars play five home games before Christmas. Also, Augusta State will play in three different venues around the city, including James Brown Arena.
Because of Augusta State’s fall graduation inside Christenberry Fieldhouse, the Jaguars will play host to Lincoln Memorial at 6 p.m., Dec. 19, at James Brown Arena.
The contest marks Augusta State’s first game in the building in 17 years.
“Unless our guys went to a concert, I don’t think they’ve ever been to James Brown Arena,” coach Dip Metress said. “Hopefully, we’ll get the downtown crowd with people getting off work.”
Augusta State returns its top three scorers (forward Devon Wright-Nelson, guard Devonte Thomas and forward Harold Doby) off last season’s 17-11 team that missed the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time since 2006. The Jaguars open with Bowie State, on Nov. 20, at Christenberry Fieldhouse and follow with home games Nov. 25 (Coastal Georgia) and Nov. 28 (Benedict).
After playing Dec. 2 at Virginia Union, Augusta State plays its first Peach Belt Conference game Dec. 8 at Lander. The Jaguars play host to NCAA Division II national runner-up Montevallo on Dec. 17 before closing the year out Dec. 30 at Mount Olive.
“This whole schedule,” Metress said, “is always about putting ourselves into position to win the Peach Belt.”
In other games of interest, Augusta State will play Jan. 24 at Paine in the Lions’ new facility. Also, the Jaguars play host to USC Aiken on Feb. 2 before playing the Pacers on Feb. 27 in Aiken.
In the off-season, Augusta State boosted its seating capacity with the addition of a second set of end-zone bleachers. Christenberry Fieldhouse now officially seats a crowd of 3,026.