"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

Friday, July 15, 2011

Marquette Non-Conference Schedule Finalized

Marquette finalized their scheduling for the non-conference portion of the season today. And with the Big East having already announced mirror games as well as home and away opponents for all of their teams, we have an excellent idea of what the upcoming season will look like. First of all, let's take a look at the non-conference portion of the schedule. Capsules of most of the non-conference opponents can be found here and here.

  • Fri. Nov. 11: Mount St. Mary's (H)
  • Mon. Nov. 14: Norfolk State (H)
  • Fri. Nov. 18: Winthrop (N)
  • Sat. Nov. 19 or Sun. Nov. 20: Mississippi or Drake (N)
  • Mon. Nov. 21: TBA (N)
  • Mon. Nov. 28: Jacksonville (H)
  • Sat. Dec. 3: Wisconsin (A)
  • Tues. Dec. 6: Washington (N)
  • Sat. Dec. 10: UW-Green Bay (H)
  • Sat. Dec. 17: Northern Colorado (H)
  • Mon. Dec. 19: LSU (A)
  • Thurs. Dec. 22: UW-Milwaukee (H)
  • Thurs. Dec. 29: Vanderbilt (H)
While some season-ticket holders may be a bit disappointed at only seeing 7 home dates on the schedule, it's safe to say that this year's quality far outweighs past years' quantity. Vanderbilt, UW-Milwaukee, Northern Colorado, Jacksonville, and even Mount St. Mary's could challenge for NCAA bids. And while they aren't juggernauts on paper, both UW-Green Bay and Norfolk State bring in potential stud big men in Alec Brown and Kyle O'Quinn. The Paradise Jam is a tournament Marquette should win, while Washington will provide a tourney-level test and environment in early December. On the road, Wisconsin and LSU will both be tough opposition (expect the Tigers to be much improved). The Warriors have a tough slate, but it's smartly designed and should yield at least an 11-2 record, and possibly even better.

To wrap this up, we'll look at Marquette's home and away opponents for the Big East schedule.

  • Home: Cincinnati, Louisville, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, St. John's, Seton Hall, South Florida, Villanova
  • Away: Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Providence, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia
There's definitely good and bad in this schedule. The good is that we get preseason favorites Louivsille and Pittsburgh at the BC. While we have to travel to Connecticut and Syracuse, the other likely favorites, we have beaten UConn twice on the road in the past two years and played much better against Syracuse last year than we did in years past. The bad is that we have one of the toughest runs of mirror opponents. Cincinnati returns much of last year's team and could be a surprise to crack the top four this year. While both Georgetown and Villanova will likely be down next year, we are only 2-6 against those two teams on the road since joining the Big East. As Andy Katz pointed out, however, the good news is that the Big East scheduling committee wouldn't have given us such tough mirror games unless they consider us contenders for the title.

Bring on the 2011-12 season!

No comments: