Shortly after the SEC/Big East Challenge slate was announced today, the University released the rest of the Men's Basketball non-conference schedule to the public.
Here is the schedule:
November 12th: St. Francis (NY)
November 17th-20th: Charleston Classic (three neutral site games)
November 22nd: Yale
November 26th: St. Peter's
December 2nd: Auburn (SEC/Big East Challenge)
December 6th: NJIT
December 10th: Wake Forest
December 18th: Mercer
December 21st: @Dayton
December 23rd: @Longwood
The first adjectives out of anyones mouth to describe this schedule should be of the "easy" variety. Thats what the schedule is - easy. Soft. Cupcake. You name it, there's no denying it. The real argument should be whether or not an easy schedule will benefit the team.
Rutgers and Cincinnati both had fairly easy schedules last season (297th & 327th respectively according to KenPom.com) and how did those campaigns turn out? I'd go out on a limb and say that an objective fan of either fan base would give positive feedback. Rutgers finished with more wins than Seton Hall and nearly made the third round of the Big East tournament after being picked to finish near the Big East basement and the Bearcats made the NCAA tournament.
An easy schedule can give a young team (only 2 upperclassmen) time to gel and the feeling of winning early and often. On the flip side, an easy schedule can fail to prepare a team for the grind of an eighteen game Big East schedule.
For a team that isn't expected to make the NCAA tournament next season, what do you think of the schedule?
A more in-depth analysis of every team on the non-conference schedule (including the entire Charleston Classic field) will be posted in the coming weeks.