"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Thursday, September 01, 2011

2011-12 Schedule

Marquette's 2011-12 schedule came out yesterday.   Here's a month by month break-down:

(bold = Home Games)

11- Friday - Mount St. Mary's (2010 Pomeroy: 267)
14- Monday - Norfolk State (302)
18- Friday - Winthrop (Paradise Jam - Virgin Islands)  (229)
19 or 20 - Mississippi (70) or Drake (200) (PJam)
21- Monday - TBA (Virginia- 94, TCU 173, Drexel 92, Norfolk 302)  (PJam)
28- Monday - Jacksonville (164)

November starts out with a couple of classic cupcakes at the Bradley Center, and on to a generally weak Paradise Jam field whose goal last year was reaching the NIT.    The Bradley Center faithful get one Friday night game, albeit a sugary opponent, unlikely to garner a large crowd.   If MU is as good as some think they are, we hit December with 6 wins.

3-Saturday @Wisconsin (2010 Pomeroy: 7)
6-Tuesday vs. Washington in NYC (17)
10-Saturday - UW-Green Bay / Brian Wardle Classic (156)
17-Saturday - Northern Colorado (126)
19-Monday - @LSU  (227)
22-Thursday - UW-Milwaukee (140)
29-Thursday - Vandy (35)

Warrior fans should be pleased with this December schedule.  Usually, December is the UW rival game plus 5 cupcakes.  This year, UW, Washington, and Vandy, NCAA contenders all.  The cupcakes, usually hovering in the 300+ RPI range, this year are in the 150 range, which will help the SOS.  Even the "biggest" cupcake, LSU at 227 is a road game, counting as 1.5 wins if we can take home a W in the Craig Pintens Classic. 

The Bradley Center gets two Saturday games, UW-Green Bay and N. Colorado.

MU pegs 4 wins, plus 1-2 or 3, and enters the BE schedule north of 10 wins.

1-Sunday - Villanova
4-Wednesday - @Georgetown
7-Saturday - @Syracuse
11-Wednesday - St. Johns
14-Saturday - Pittsburgh
16-Monday - Louisville (2:30pm)
21-Saturday - @Providence
24-Tuesday - USF
28-Saturday - @Villanova
31-Tuesday - Seton Hall

Ten tough games in 31 days?  Happy New Year.  January is like a month long NCAA tournament, playing 7+ games versus teams headed for the Dance.  The season starts with a brutal 3 game stretch, Nova, @GTown, @Syracuse (where we've never won.)  It's possible 7 days into the season, we could be 0-3, riding low.

The one oddity here is the Monday afternoon game versus Louisville at the Bradley Center, on MLK day.  Since only a scant 30% of the country has MLK day as a vacation day, this presents a scheduling problem for a large chunk of Bradley Center faithful. 

<rant> Frankly, as a season ticket holder, I'm personally irritated by this as Louisville is a premier team and rival, a game many look forward to each season.   While it's nice to have Marquette participating in "Big Monday" it does no good when half the audience is at work, earning money to, you know, afford the tickets in the first place.  "Just Take A Vacation Day" has been mentioned by many, as if to suggest vacation days are an endless and costless resource.  Marquette has irritated thousands of their loyal customers here, bowing to ESPN's siren scream. <end rant>

4-Saturday @ Notre Dame
6-Monday @ DePaul
11-Saturday - Cincinatti
18-Saturday @ UConn
22-Wednesday - Rutgers
24-Friday - @WVU
29-Wednesday - @Cincy - Leap Year Classic

7 games, 25 days.  Again, ouch.   Slightly easier than January in terms of opponents, but 5 of 7 on the road = a tough month.   Could win 3, could win 5-6.  I'm guessing Feb 11 is "National Marquette Day."

3- Saturday - Georgetown / Senior Night.
6-10 : Big East Tourney

Georgetown will be a tough final game, especially considering MU's four year Senior Night losing streak.  Well, maybe we're "due."

MU wins 8 of 9 BE home games + 3 or 4 roadies = 11-12 BE wins, plus another 11 OOC = 22 wins.

2011-12 Schedule Pluses

  • Vastly Improved November & December non-conference schedule
  • Only 2-3 Bradley Center Super-Cupcakes  (last few years, we averaged 6)
  • Vandy
  • Washington @ Madison Sq. Garden.  Good to get team at MSG, prior to BET.
  • Paradise Jam
  • Road game @LSU = 1.5 RPI wins.  I like this.
  • Whopping 15 games on National TV: 1 CBS, 7 ESPNs, 7 ESPNU.
2011-12 Schedule Minuses
  • Brutal 3 game start to BE: Nova, @GTown, @Cuse
  • BE Mirror teams: Cincy, Nova, GTown = rough SOS
  • Monday afternoon game vs. rival Louisville = lots of empty seats
  • 5 Saturday games, 3 afternoon + 2 TBA cupcakes = no premier Saturday Night games. 
  • Two of final three games on road
  • No CUSA teams in Big East / easy wins.

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