Here's another look at non-league schedules of conference teams. Up now, Rider.
The Broncs play home non-conference games on Nov. 14 (LaFayette), Nov. 29 (Hofstra), Dec. 8 (UMBC), and Dec. 15 (Monmouth).
They hit the road for games on Nov. 12 (at UMass), Nov. 17 (at Southern California), in the Springfield Basketball Hall of Fame event on Nov. 20 (Texas Christian) and Nov. 21 (Loyola Marymount), Dec. 4 (at Pittsburgh), Dec. 11 (at Drexel), Dec. 22 (at La Salle), and Dec. 28 (at Howard).
Here's a game-by-game breakdown of Rider's non-league opponents:
- Lafayette: Picked for first (by The Sporting News' College Basketball Preview magazine) in the 8-team Patriot League. Finished 8-6 in the Patriot League and 19-13 overall last season. Best player: 6-9 senior center Jared Mintz (14.1 points, 5.7 rebounds) who became the first player ever to lead the league in field-goal percentage (.537) and free-throw percentage (.873) in the same season.
- USC: Picked for 8th in the 10-team PAC-10. Finished 16-14 overall last season. Best player: Junior forward Nikola Vucevic (10.7 points, 9.4 rebounds). USC's head coach is Kevin O'Neill, who worked for several years with NBA teams, including one (2004-05) as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors.
- Texas Christian University: Picked for 7th in the 9-team Mountain West Conference. Finished 13-19 overall last season. Best player: 6-2 junior point guard Ronnie Moss (14.9 points, 5.9 assists last season).
- Loyola Marymount: Picked for 3rd in the 9-team West Coast Conference. Finished 18-16 overall last season. Best players: 6-8 junior forward Drew Viney (16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds) and 6-4 senior guard Vernon Teel (15.4 points, 5.4 assists). After a 3-win 2008-09 season, the Lions' jump to 18 was the second-biggest jump in the country (Coastal Carolina's was the biggest). All five starters return from last season.
- Hofstra: Picked for 7th in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association. Finished 19-15 overall last season. Best player: 6-3 senior guard Charles Jenkins (20.6 points per game), who was 20th nationally in scoring last season. Former Iona and Providence coach Tim Welsh originally signed to coach Hofstra only to resign three days laster after a DWI arrest. Former College assistant coach Mo Cassara replaced Welsh. Former Iona assistant coach Steve DeMeo is the team's associate head coach.
- Pittsburgh: Picked for 2nd in the 16-team Big East Conference. Finished 25-9 last season. Best players: Junior guard Ashton Gibbs (15.7 points), senior point guard Brad Wanamaker (12.3 points, 4.7 assists).
-UMBC: Picked for 8th in the 8-team America East Conference. Finished 4-26 last season. Best Player: 5-10 senior point guard Chris De La Rosa (11.7 points, 5.1 assists). De La Rosa began his career at Siena College, where he was a reserve as a freshman. UMBC's roster also includes 6-9 center Laurence Jolicoeur, a graduate student, who played three seasons at Manhattan.
- Drexel: Picked for 6th in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association. Finished 16-16 last season. Best players: 6-5 junior forward Samme Givens (8.3 points, 8.3 rebounds), 6-2 sophomore guard Chris Fouch (11.3 points).
- Monmouth: Picked for 9th in the 12-team Northeast Conference. Finished 12-19 last season. Best player: Senior guard Will Campbell 911.2 points).
- La Salle Picked for 11th in the 14-team Atlantic 10 Conference. Finished 12-18 last season. Best player: 6-10 sophomore forward Aaric Murray (12.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 blocks).
- Howard: Picked for 7th in the 11-team Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Finished 7-25 last season. Best player: Senior forward Calvin Thompson (12.0 points, 5.1 rebounds).