Here’s another in the series looking at non-league schedules of MAAC teams.
Up now …
11/11 at Kentucky
A highly ambitions beginning against an opponent picked to win the Southeast Conference and finish among the best teams nationally (The Sporting News ranks the Wildcats No. 2 nationally in the preseason), despite the loss of three players picked in this year’s NBA draft. Kentucky finished 10-6 in the SEC, 29-9 overall and advanced to the NCAA tournament’s Final Four last season where it lost to national champion Connecticut in a semifinal-round contest. Top returnees are 6-9, 250-pound sophomore Terrence Jones (15.7 points and an SEC-best 8.8 rebounds) and 6-4 sophomore guad Doron Lamb (12.3 points.
11/14 at South Florida
The Bulls finished 10-23 overall and 3-15 in the Big East last season. They are picked to finish 15th in the 16-team conference this year. The team does return six of its top seven scorers, including 6-10 senio forward Augustus Gilchrist (13.4 points, 6.0 rebounds).
11/19 Vermont (Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament game to be played in Uncasville, Conn.)
The Catamounts finished 13-3 in the America East Conference, 23-8 overall and advanced to last season’s NIT. Top returnees are junior wing Brendan Bald and point guard Brian Voelkel, last season’s America East Rookie of the Year. Former program assistant John Becker became the program’s head coach when Mike Lonergan moved to Geoge Washington University.
11/20 vs. either LIU or Radford (Haoo of Fame Tip-off Tournament in Uncasville, Conn.)
Finished 25-8 last season and 13-1 in the Patriot League and advanced to the NCAA tournament. Top retunees are 6-11 center Mike Muscala (14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds), who was only the third sophomore to be named the Patriot’s Player of the Year. Also back is guard Bryson Johnson (11.7 points).
Colgate finished 4-01 in the Patriot League last season and 7-23 overall after losing its first 11 games top stat the season. A new coach, 33-year old Matt Langel, is in place. Only one player graduated since last season. Picked to finish seventh in te eight-team league, the top returning players are 6-5 forward Yaw Gyawu (12.6 points, 4.5 ebounds) and 6-10 center Nick Pascale (7.3, 6.6, 43 blocks).
The Cadets finished 3-11 in the Patriot League and 11-19 overall, and are picked to finish last in the 8-team league. They did hand league champion Bucknell a 90-70 defeat on Jan. 29, Bucknell’s only league defeat, but Army then lost its final eight games afterwards. For Marist, the meeting with Army is the third straight against a Patriot League opponent. Army’s top players are guard Julian Simmons (12.5 points, 68 3-pointers) and forward Ella Ellis (14.5, 5.3 and 53 treys).
12/17 at New Hampshire
The Wildcats finished 6-10 in the America East conference and 12-18 overall and are picked to finish fifth in the 9-team conference this season. The top returning player is expected to be senior guard Alvin Abreu, who missed last season with a torn ACL, and 6-6 forward Jeron Trotman, a transfer from Centenary.
The Hawks finished 7-7 in America East and 11-20 overall, and are picked to finish 6th in the 9-team conference this season. Their top player is expected to be point guard Andres Torres, who missed last season with an injury.
12/23 at Penn
The Quakers finished 7-7 in the Ivy League and 13-15 overall last season, and are picked to finish third in the 8-team conference this season. Top players are guard Tyler Bernardini, who enters the season with 1,079 career points, and senior point guard Zack Rosen (14.3 points last season), who also surpassed the 1,000-point career mark late last season.
The Lions finished 6-8 in the Ivy League last season and 15-13 overall, and are picked to finish sixth in the 8-team league. Top players are forward Noruwa Agho (16.8 points last season), the only player in the league to finish in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and assists.