Marquette has made things interesting in this year's rollout of the men's basketball non-conference schedule. Instead of just announcing the games one at a time on GoMarquette.com, we're getting them a few at a time from the official Facebook page for men's basketball. Today we got the first burst of games, all of which are home games at the Bradley Center. Let's look at them one at a time:
Friday, November 8 - Southern
2012-13 Record: 23-10
Leading Returning Scorer: Malcolm Miller, 15.8 ppg
Leading Returning Rebounder: Malcolm Miller, 6.0 rpg
2012-13 Final KenPom.com Ranking: 156
Tuesday, November 12 - Grambling State
2012-13 Record: 0-28
Leading Returning Scorer: Terry Rose, 13.8 ppg
Leading Returning Rebounder: Demetri Wheeler, 4.4 rpg
2012-13 Final KenPom.com Ranking: 347
Saturday, November 16 - Ohio State
2012-13 Record: 29-8
Leading Returning Scorer: Aaron Craft, 10.0 ppg
Leading Returning Rebounder: Lenzelle Smith, 4.8 rpg
2012-13 Final KenPom.com Ranking: 6
Wednesday, November 20 or Thursday, November 21 - New Hampshire
2012-13 Record: 9-20
Leading Returning Scorer: Patrick Konan, 11.8 ppg
Leading Returning Rebounder: Chris Pelcher, 6.3 rpg
2012-13 Final KenPom.com Ranking: 273
Things that jump out at me right away:
- The home opener is on the same day as the Big East women's soccer semifinals, which Marquette is hosting at Valley Fields. MU won last year's Big East tournament and is a favorite to repeat, so maybe we'll catch a break on scheduling here so women's soccer can draw a huge crowd. After all, last year's semifinals were played in the middle of the day.
- Opening the season against Southern doesn't sound impressive, but they won the SWAC last year and made the NCAA tournament as the 16 seed that was tied with Gonzaga with 4 minutes left.
- The Grambling game is the same day as the Big East men's quarterfinals will be played on campus sites. The third and fourth place teams in the league will host those games, and with Creighton and Georgetown in the Big East, it wouldn't be a complete surprise to see MU host a match and not draw a huge crowd because of the basketball game.
- Then again, Grambling hasn't won a game anywhere since March 3, 2012. No, that's not a typo.
- This is a free idea for anyone in the athletic department who's reading this if you haven't thought of it already: Gold rally towels on every seat for the Ohio State game. Trust me, it'll be awesome.