Hartsville, S.C. – Coker College head basketball coach Dan Schmotzer announced today that the Cobras will open the 2009-10 season by traveling to play the University of Pittsburgh in an exhibition game on Sunday, November 8 at 4 p.m. In addition to the release of their 2009-10 schedule, Coach Schmotzer also announced the signing of 11 new players joining the Cobras this season.

“I am very excited about this coming season,” said Schmotzer. “It is going to be great to open the season against an Elite Eight team, Pitt, and I’m looking forward to get to coach against a former player, Jamie Dixon.”

Pittsburgh’s head coach, Jamie Dixon, is a former player of Coach Schmozter’s at TCU from 1983-1987, when Schmotzer was an assistant coach for the Horn Frogs.

In addition the Pitt game, Coker will also play Division I East Carolina University on Dec. 5 at East Carolina. The Cobras will be looking to see if lightning can strike twice this season, as last year they defeated Division I Coastal Carolina 80-59 in one of their two Division I games.

As for the 11 new players signed to play for the Cobras, they include three transfers and eight freshmen from across the country and the world.

Highlighting this year’s recruiting class are the three transfers; Tom Wright, Ryan Aijian and Derek Bailey.

Wright joins the Cobras after two seasons at Augusta State University. The 6-2 guard from Sydney, Australia, played in 14 games last season for the Jaguars.

Aijian is a 6-2 guard from Goleta, Calif. where he played at Westmont College, playing in 30 games averaging 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.

Bailey, a native of Hephzibah, Ga., comes to Coker from Aiken Technical College, where the 6-5 sophomore forward played in just seven games scoring 26 points.

The eight new freshmen for the Cobras are:
• Joe Caldwell, a 6-4 forward from Atlanta, Ga. (Miller Grove High School)
• Jonathan Gardner, 6-3 guard from Florence, S.C. (West Florence High School)
• Larry Felder, a 6-1 guard from Hopkins, S.C. (Lower Richland High School)
• Marshall Cabbagestalk, a 6-0 guard from Sumter, S.C. (Crestwood, High School)
• Austin Harper, a 6-6 forward from Chesnee, S.C. (Spartanburg Day School)
• Mark Dubois, a 6-5 forward from Sarasota, Fla. (Sarasota Christian School)
• Jonathan Sauls, a 6-0 guard from Cumming, Ga. (South Forsyth High School)
• Sharod Williams, a 6-3 guard from Hartsville, S.C. (Florence-Darlington Tech)

Coach Schmotzer and the Cobras will be looking for another good season, after finishing 15-14 overall and 10-10 in Conference Carolinas, marking Coker’s first winning season in more than 10 years. With the addition of these 11 new players and the return of All-Conference performer Mason Ambler, and starters Vatrick Thompson and Joselle Bracy, they Cobras are posed for another successful season.

2009-2010 Men's Basketball Schedule