BYU Basketball has announced its non-conference schedule for upcoming 2014-15 season.
First off, this is a great schedule for the Cougars. BYU learned last year how much a demanding non-conference schedule can help once NCAA Tournament time rolls around, as evidenced by last year’s surprising 10 seed. One mistake BYU did make last year, however, was over scheduling too many games away from Provo. It seems that BYU has found the right balance this year. This year’s schedule consists of seven home games in the Marriott Center, four neutral site games, and two true road games.
The Maui Invitational itself will have enough quality games that will matter to the Cougars resumé come Selection Sunday. Teams such as Arizona, San Diego State, Missouri, and Pittsburgh are all quality opponents. The big difference this year is the number of quality teams coming to the Marriott Center. Outside of Iowa State, there was not much to get excited about in the Marriott. (For what its worth, the loudest I heard the Marriott Center last year was on an alley-oop dunk to Mika during that ISU game.)
Utah, Stanford and UMass highlight the home schedule this year. The only drawback to the Stanford and UMass games is that it is between fall and winter semesters, meaning that many students will be gone for those games. Anytime a team from the Pac-12 and an Atlantic-10 team are willing to come to your place though, you take what you can get. It should be noted that Jamal Aytes, the transfer from UNLV, will be making his season debut in the Stanford game. Another home game not to be overlooked is Eastern Kentucky, which made the NCAA tourney this past year. If you recall, they were beating Kansas for most of that game before Kansas pulled away at the end in the round of 64 matchup.
Also interesting is that the only time BYU will travel out of the state of Utah is for the Maui Invitational. The two road games are against in state foes Utah State and Weber State. Props to BYU for having the stones to travel to Logan and Ogden. (We’re looking at you Utah.)
All things considered I would expect BYU to get out this schedule with 2-3 losses. Obviously, the biggest factor is the health of Kyle Collinsworth’s knee. If he comes back close to 100%, I would expect 1-2 losses in Maui and losing one in the Marriott Center. If BYU goes undefeated, or has only one loss through this non-conference slate, they could be a Top-25 team heading into West Coast Conference play.
What’s your thoughts on BYU Basketball’s non-conference schedule?
2014-15 BYU Basketball Non-conference Schedule
|Nov. 14||Long Beach State|
|Nov. 18||Arkansas-Little Rock|
|Nov. 19||Southern Virginia|
|Nov. 24||Maui Invitational|
|Nov. 25||Maui Invitational|
|Nov. 26||Maui Invitational|
|Nov. 29||Eastern Kentucky|
|Dec. 2||at Utah State|
|Dec. 6||Hawaii (Energy Solutions Arena)|
|Dec. 13||at Weber State|