Last week, we were picked to finish 12th in the conference at SEC Basketball Media Days, and we had no representation on the All-SEC Preseason teams. Solid start, right? But while it might appear that we’re facing an uphill climb, a closer inspection of our schedule reveals a path to success.
We just have to navigate carefully.
Non Conference Schedule
Category: Don’t worry about it
These might appear to be clunkers on the surface, but you can always learn something from these early home paycheck games. We’ll hammer out the rotation, get the new guys plenty of playing time, and hopefully the walk-ons get to score at the end. Man, that’s fun.
- Savannah State
- UC Irvine
- South Alabama
- Northwestern State
- Texas Southern
Category: We’ll learn who we are
These four games will define our non-conference slate, and without a couple of wins in this group we’re looking at a tough road to NCAA relevance. We’ve got two neutral site games, a de-facto road game, and a home game in this bunch… and if we’re planning to have a meaningful postseason, we need to escape with 2-2 at worst.
- #25 Washington (Vancouver)
- Minnesota (Vancouver)
- Boston College
- Oregon State (Portland, Oregon)
Category: Nothing to lose
Props to our athletic department for dialing up a true road game against one of the best programs in the nation. The game may be a little sloppy, as it’s the first game of significance for either program, but everyone is going to expect Gonzaga to absolutely roll. If we can keep this one remotely close, i’ll take it.
- at #3 Gonzaga
I do wish we could have made this trip with last year’s squad, but major college athletic scheduling rarely works out that way.
Category: Gotta have it
The formula for this portion is simple - if we want to have any modicum of success, we have to handle our home games against the bottom half of the SEC. I threw in our trip to Oxford for good measure, as the Rebels are projected to finish dead last.
- South Carolina
- at Ole Miss
Category: Swing games
We’ll live or die in this batch of nine games, and we won’t be favored often. But if we want to finish the conference season at or above .500, we’re going to have to punch above our weight in some hostile road environments.
- #23 LSU (home and home)
- Alabama (home and home)
- at #18 MSU
- at Florida
- at Arkansas
- at Vanderbilt
- at South Carolina
Category: Nothing to lose, part two
We get four bonafide NCAA tournament opponents in the second half of our schedule, and the gods have blessed us with three home games in the bunch. We aren’t expected to grab any of these, but stranger things have happened at Reed Arena.
- At #2 Kentucky
- #6 Tennessee
- #11 Auburn
- #12 Kansas State
The full Texas A&M Basketball Slate is included here
The fun starts in two weeks, gang