We already knew the the date of the debut of Steve Wojciechowski to the Marquette-Wisconsin rivalry courtesy of the Blue & Gold Fund, but I suppose that makes it okay that the "announcement" of that particular game landed on a Sunday.
Saturday, December 6 - vs Wisconsin
2013-14 Record: 30-8
Returning Points Leader: Frank Kaminsky, 13.9 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Frank Kaminsky, 6.3 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Traevon Jackson, 4.0 apg
Final 2013-14 KenPom.com Ranking: #6
Let's be honest: Barring Coach Wojo outcoaching Bo Ryan in his eighth foray as a Division 1 head coach, this is probably going to end poorly for the Golden Eagles. Frank Kaminsky decided the NBA "looks flat out boring" and elected to remain in school for his senior year, and they only lose Ben Brust as a significant contributor from a team that went to the Final Four last year. Hey, how did that turn out, anyway?
Heh. For those of you wondering, Badger Hate Week will officially begin promptly following the end of whatever game Marquette is playing on November 30 in the Orlando Classic. The Golden Eagles do not have any games in between those two contests, so it'll be unadulterated hate all week long.
And now, a note on Game #4. Shortly after publishing the post about the game against Mount St. Mary's, I received this tweet:
The Mount game at Marquette as reported Per @AnonymousEagle isn't happening. The Mount has no game with Marquette on this year's schedule— Ryan Raffensperger (@TheMountFanBlog) July 4, 2014
Seems odd, right? Marquette announced the game, so what's the ish? Well, there's also this:
@MarquetteMBB news to us... We actually don't play— Mount St. Mary's MBB (@MountHoops) July 4, 2014
I guess that the game against Mount St. Mary's was a #DoneDeal. Right after the tweet about the Wisconsin game, the men's basketball Twitter updated that the game on Monday, November 24 will be against NJIT instead. This is much less exciting than the Mount St. Mary's game.
Monday, November 24 - vs NJIT
2013-14 Record: 13-16
Returning Points Leader: Damon Lynn, 17.2 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Terrence Smith, 6.0 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Ky Howard, 3.9 apg
Final 2013-14 KenPom.com Ranking: #312
Ah, the Highlanders, Division 1's only independent team. The New Jersey Institute of Technology played just 13 home games last season, 9 against Division 1 opponents. They were in the Great West Conference, AKA "The conference that caused the NCAA to expand to 68 teams instead of just cutting an at large bid," but when the WAC went looking for members to stay alive, the Great West fragmented. NJIT was the eastern most school and no one was willing to take them in.
NJIT was an incredibly young team in 2013-14, but they return their five most efficient players based on the KenPom system, all of whom are going to be either sophomores or juniors. I don't know if it'll translate to wins, given that they have to take games wherever they can get them, but they should at least be slightly more ready to handle the rigors of another schedule without conference affiliation.