With its nucleus from last season in-tact, the University of Evansville men’s basketball team is set up for an exciting 2014-15 campaign with a challenging non-conference schedule that will prepare the squad a run in the Missouri Valley Conference.
“We have several challenging opponents on our non-conference schedule for this season. We will face numerous conference champions and postseason participants that will prepare our team for the MVC.”
Evansville will face as many as nine postseason teams from last season in the non-conference slate with at least four squads taking part in the Gulf Coast Classic in November.
A visit to the Ford Center by Earlham will open up the regular season. Earlham is a Division III school and is located in Richmond, Ind. Four days later, the Aces will travel to Oxford, Ohio to face off against Miami. Evansville picked up a 78-65 win over the RedHawks last season at the Ford Center.
As part of its yearly appearance in a non-exempt tournament, Evansville will travel to the Gulf Coast Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. Other schools set to participate include: East Carolina, Florida Gulf Coast, Marist, Fresno State, Wisconsin Green Bay and San Francisco.
Florida Gulf Coast is remembered for its run through the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Last season, they won the regular season Atlantic Sun Championship thanks to a 14-4 mark. FGCU finished the year at 22-13 and played in the NIT. They were just a win away from playing in the NCAA Tournament once again, but fell to Mercer in the A-Sun Championship game.
Green Bay also played in the NIT after going 24-7 overall. They took the regular season Horizon League Championship with a 14-2 mark and played in the Postseason NIT, falling to Belmont in the opening game. San Francisco also saw postseason play. The Dons posted a 21-12 mark en route to a berth in the NIT where they fell to LSU.
Fresno State advanced all the way to the finals of the College Basketball Invitational as they finished last year with a record of 21-18. The Bulldogs took Siena to three games in the championship series before falling by an 81-68 final in the cross-country trip.
The full schedule for the tournament will be released at a later date. Regardless of the opponents, the Aces will play on November 24, 25 and 26.
Following the trek to Florida, UE returns to the Ford Center for its next two contests, beginning on December 2 versus Wright State. The Raiders return the 2013 BracketBusters game, which saw UE take a 70-58 win in Dayton. WSU was another 20-win team from last year, going 21-15 en route to the CIT. The Raiders topped East Carolina in the first game of the event before falling to Ohio U. in the second round. IUPUI makes the trip to Evansville on Dec. 6, returning last year’s visit to The Jungle, which saw Evansville earn an 84-78 win.
UE’s final road trip of non-conference play will take place on Dec. 9 as the Aces will face Belmont in Nashville. The Bruins were 26-10 last season and won the Ohio Valley Conference Regular Season Championship with a 14-2 record. Belmont also had a strong NIT run, taking victories over Green Bay and Robert Morris before falling at Clemson (73-68).
Four home contests complete that portion of the slate, beginning on Saturday, Dec. 13 versus Murray State. The Racers finished last season at 23-11 and won the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Next up is Ohio University, which returns the trip to Evansville after the Aces trekked to Athens, Ohio in 2013. The Bobcats went 25-12 while winning two games in the CIT.
Visits to the Ford Center by Alabama State (12/21) and Coppin State (12/28) complete the schedule before the Aces open Valley play. Alabama State went 19-13 in 2013-14, a 9-game turnaround from the year before. The Hornets played in the CIT following the season. Evansville will also host two preseason contests.
The full MVC slate will be released as soon as it is available.
2013-14 Non-Conference Schedule
Nov. 15 Earlham Evansville, Ind.
Nov. 19 at Miami Ohio Oxford, Ohio
Nov. 24 Gulf Coast Showcase Fort Myers, Fla.
Nov. 25 Gulf Coast Showcase Fort Myers, Fla.
Nov. 26 Gulf Coast Showcase Fort Myers, Fla.
Dec. 2 Wright State Evansville, Ind.
Dec. 6 IUPUI Evansville, Ind.
Dec. 9 at Belmont Nashville, Tenn.
Dec. 13 Murray State Evansville, Ind.
Dec. 18 Ohio University Evansville, Ind.
Dec. 21 Alabama State Evansville, Ind.
Dec. 28 Coppin State Evansville, Ind.