For the second season in a row, New Orleans' two Division I men's basketball programs will not be playing each other.
UNO released its schedule on Tuesday and it does not include a game against Tulane.
"We'd love to play our neighbors in the city," Privateers Coach Mark Slessinger said. "It would be great for basketball in New Orleans. "We talked early, but our schedules did not match up. It's certainly a priority that we will actively pursue next year."
The Privateers and Green Wave have played 51 times, most recently in 2011 with Tulane winning, 72-53, in what was then called Fogelman Arena.
Tulane Coach Ed Conroy said he "doesn't see why it (playing UNO) wouldn't work out in the future," adding, "Sometimes you have conflicts over exempt tournaments, existing contracts and other problems matching up dates.
"We just couldn't get together this year."
UNO's schedule does feature 12 home games in Lakefront Arena, nine of them against Southland Conference foes. The Privateers are competing in the league for the first time, and although they are ineligible for the league tournament due to APR sanctions, they can win the regular-season title.
UNO was a Division I independent last year, transitioning back from transitional status when the school was considering moving to Division II.
"Last year, it didn't seem like we were competing for anything," senior forward Cory Dixon said. "This year it's going to be a completely different mindset and out goal is to win the conference.
"We know that we can't go to postseason, but we can make up it by winning during the regular season whether we're going to the NCAAs or not."
The Southland schedule is unusual due to fellow incoming members Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word playing only partial league slates, helping to create a four-game and five-game home stand sandwiched around five games away from home in late January and early February with a pair of two-game road trips to begin and end conference play.
"That's OK," Dixon said. "Last year we played seven straight games away from home, so we're used to it."
UNO plays only one non-conference home game against Division I opponent, Boise State, an NCAA Tournament at-large qualifier on Nov. 23. The Privateers other non-conference home games are against NAIA schools Millsaps and Champion Baptist.
Slessinger indicated little effort was made to schedule local NAIA schools Xavier, Dillard, Loyola and/or SUNO, saying, "You can't play everyone."
Non-conference road games include Nov. 19 date at LSU plus trips two Hawaii, Minnesota, UTEP and Michigan State.
Slessinger said the imbalance in home to road games was necessarily to help the athletic department financially, but he also felt that his players enjoyed and benefitted from travelling as well as the program in general.
"We want to maximize our exposure," he said. "It's a huge step in us getting back to where we want to be.
"And then kids love being challenged. Maybe it changes in a year or two, but for now this is what's best for us."
2013-14 University of New Orleans Men's Basketball Schedule
(as of 7/20/2013)
DAY DATE OPPONENT TIME SITE
Tues. 12 MILLSAPS 7:30 p.m. NEW ORLEANS
Tues. 19 at LSU TBA Baton Rouge, La.
Sat. 23 BOISE STATE (DH) TBA NEW ORLEANS
Weds. 27 at Hawaii TBA Honolulu, Hawaii
Sat. 7 at Minnesota TBA Minneapolis, MN
Sat. 14 CHAMPION BAPTIST TBA NEW ORLEANS
Mon. 16 at UTEP TBA El Paso, Texas
Sat. 28 at Michigan State TBA East Lansing, Mich.
Thurs. 2 * at Nicholls State (DH) TBA Thibodaux, La.
Sat. 4 * at McNeese State (DH) TBA Lake Charles, La.
Thurs. 9 * ABILENE CHRISTIAN (DH) TBA NEW ORLEANS
Sat. 11 * INCARNATE WORD (DH) TBA NEW ORLEANS
Thurs. 16 * LAMAR (DH) TBA . NEW ORLEANS
Sat. 18 * SAM HOUSTON STATE (DH) TBA NEW ORLEANS
Thurs. 23 * at Houston Baptist (DH) TBA Houston, Texas
Sat. 25 * at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (DH) TBA Corpus Christi, Texas
Sat. 1 * at Southeastern Louisiana (DH) TBA Hammond, La.
Thurs. 6 * at Oral Roberts (DH) TBA Tulsa, Okla.
Sat. 8 * at Central Arkansas (DH) TBA Conway, Ark.
Thurs. 13 * NICHOLLS STATE (DH) TBA . NEW ORLEANS
Sun. 16 * McNEESE STATE (DH) TBA NEW ORLEANS
Sat. 22 * SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA (DH) TBA. NEW ORLEANS
Thurs. 27 * STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (DH) TBA NEW ORLEANS
Sat. 1 * NORTHWESTERN STATE (DH) TBA NEW ORLEANS
Thurs. 6 * at Lamar (DH) TBA Beaumont, Texas
Sat. 8 * at Sam Houston State (DH) TBA Huntsville, Texas
All times Central and subject to change
home contests are at Lakefront Arena
(DH) denotes doubleheader with UNO women's basketball team
* indicates a Southland Conference contest
Copyright © 2014, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved