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October 17, 2011

Annual Men's Basketball Tip-Off Dinner Set for Dec. 2

JOE CALLERO AND DENNIS D'AUTREMONT DISCUSS THE TIP-OFF DINNER AND THE 1970-71 MUSTANGS (video)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal Poly men's basketball team's marquee home matchup for the upcoming season will coincide with one of the program's marquee off-court events with the Mustangs scheduled to honor the contributions of their history-making 1970-71 predecessors at the second annual Tip-Off Dinner on Friday, Dec. 2 inside the university's Performing Arts Center. The following evening, Cal Poly hosts Saint Mary's inside Mott Gym at 7 p.m.

Coached by Neale Stoner, the 1970-71 Mustangs – powered by an eight-game winning streak between Jan. 23 and Feb. 13 – chalked up a 6-2 mark in California Collegiate Athletic Association play to earn the program's first NCAA Division II Tournament berth. At the West Regional in Tacoma, Wash., Cal Poly – which averaged 82.3 points per contest during the season and broke the 90-point barrier on 10 occasions – dropped its tournament opener against host Puget Sound on March 11, 81-69. The Mustangs, however, rebounded two nights later in the consolation final to edge San Francisco State, 70-68.

"Last year at the Tip-Off Dinner, we honored the 1980-81 team, which reached the NCAA Division II Tournament Final Four. This year, we wanted to look back a little further to a group that really made history at Cal Poly and set the standard for years to come," said third-year Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero (above) of the 1970-71 Mustangs, who finished with a 17-11 overall mark. "We want to be a team this season that follows in their footsteps. They were the first team to make an NCAA Tournament and we want to be the first team to make the Division I Tournament. We want to take the past, blend it with the present, put those generations together and continue to move the program forward."

The Dec. 2 Tip-Off Dinner at the Performing Arts Center will open with a 6 p.m. meet-and-greet session. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. before the program honors the contributions of the 1970-71 team and previews the upcoming season.

The dinner cost per plate is $35 per person with eight-member tables available for $250. To reserve a spot for the Tip-Off Dinner, please contact Cal Poly Special Events Coordinator Bill Saylor at 805-756-0277 or bsaylor@calpoly.edu. For more information or with any questions regarding the Tip-Off Dinner, please contact Cal Poly Men's Basketball Director of Operations Mitch Reaves at 805-756-6344 or mreaves@calpoly.edu.

Cal Poly, which welcomes back four starters and nine letterwinners from a 2010-11 squad that matched single-season school records for highest showing in the Big West standings (second), highest seeding for the conference tournament (second) and total Big West victories (10-6), opens the regular season inside Mott Gym against San Jose State on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. The Mustangs will also host Division II Notre Dame de Namur for a Sunday, Nov. 6 exhibition at 2 p.m.