The College of Coastal Georgia men’s basketball team will tipoff its season Oct. 26 in one of 13 regular season games at the Howard Coffin Gym.

The Mariners’ recently released its 2019-20 schedule, and it shows them opening their season with a pair of non-conference games at home, beginning with a contest against Xavier -Louisisana.

Coming off a season that saw the Coastal Georgia come a single victory shy of making its first appearance at the NAIA national tournament, the Mariners will look to match its 2-0 start to last year with a victory over Middle Georgia State on Nov. 5.

Following two home games, Coastal will travel to Atlanta from Nov. 8-9 to compete in the Life University Classic, where it’s set to face off against NAIA tournament semifinalist Indiana University East and host Life. The Mariners went 0-2 in the same tournament a year ago.

Coastal Georgia will remain on the road and travel to Cochran for a rematch with Middle Georgia State on Nov. 12 before heading to Savannah to play Savannah State on Nov. 14. Coastal’s fifth straight game away from home will be its Sun Conference opener against Thomas University on Nov. 16.

Last season,the Mariners split their season series with the Night Hawks.

The Sun Conference slate continues back at the friendly confides of home when Coastal Georgia hosts Southeastern on Nov. 21. Two nights later, Ave Maria travels to Brunswick for a rematch of the TSC conference championship game.

Following a non-conference game against Edward Waters on Nov. 25, the Mariners will travel to their second tournament of the year. Coastal is scheduled to face off against Bluefield College and Brescia University at The Show NAIA DII Tournament in Kingsport, Tenn., on Nov. 29-30.

The Mariners will play conference games against Johnson & Wales University (Dec. 5) and Keiser University (Dec. 7) on the road before returning home to play Life University for the second time on Dec. 14 to wrap up 2019.

When the calendar flips to 2020, Coastal Georgia is scheduled to travel to Sumter, S.C., on Jan. 13 for a contest against Morris College before launching into its conference slate against Webber International on Jan. 18.

A Jan. 20 meeting with Edward Waters at Howard Coffin is the final non-conference game for the Mariners before a string of nine straight contests against foes from The Sun Conference.

Coastal will take on rival, and TSC regular season champion Warner on the road on Jan. 16, and again on Feb. 22 for homecoming in the regular-season finale. Last season, the Mariners fell twice against the Royals in the regular season, but they had the last laugh by knocking them from The Sun Conference semifinals.

“We have a very tough schedule this season with a veteran group,” Coastal Georgia men’s head basketball coach Jesse Watkins said in a statement. “This schedule will help us prepare for The Sun Conference this season. We are looking forward to the challenge, and I am definitely excited to play some of the teams that have reached the NAIA National Tournament.

“We are headed north to play some really good NAIA Division II teams. Our players will definitely be challenged each time they step on the floor.”

Last season, the Mariners finished 17-14 and 10-8 in the Sun Conference, but it caught fire in the conference tournament, where it advanced to the championship game.

Led by Kingsland native Jaylen Smallwood, who averaged a team-high 20.5 points per game, Coastal Georgia set the program record for points scored last season with 2,459. The Mariners also recorded highs with 876 field goals made, a .453 field goal percentage, a .705 free throw percentage and 442 assists.

Smallwood’s 637 points scored is the second-most by a Coastal Georgia player in a single season. He was selected as first team All-Conference, Sun Conference All-Tournament Team and was named NAIA honorable mention All-American.

The entire team of a year ago is back for another go this season, so those records may not stand long.

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