According to the always useful Anonymous Eagle Archives, the 2016-17 Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball non-conference schedule started to be released on July 5, 2016. As you can tell from your favorite calendar app of choice, today is July 10, 2017. I’ve got no idea when the athletic department is actually going to start announcing games, but it’s gotta be soon. Right? Probably. Maybe? Hopefully.
Anyway, we already know nine of the games that Marquette will be playing before Big East play kicks off in late December.
- Three games in the Maui Invitational in Hawaii
- vs Mount St. Mary’s as a Maui mainland game
- at Wisconsin
- vs Purdue in the Gavitt Tipoff Games
- vs Georgia
- vs American
- vs Chicago State
Six of those games are already locked into place on the schedule.
Purdue comes to Milwaukee on November 14, the Maui Invitational is on November 20-22, Georgia visits the Bradley Center on December 2, and Marquette goes to Madison on December 9. That’s why those spots have green marks, and the red marks are for the spots where MU won’t be playing a game. That includes the days before and days after the known games, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and during Finals Week, along with two days of travel for Maui because there’s pre-tournament luaus to attend and so forth.
The other three games that we know about as well as any other buy games that have yet to be announced will have to be wedged in around those six games. Odds are that Marquette will open the season with Mount St. Mary’s, as that game is connected to the Maui Invitational and should probably be played before the tournament in Hawaii. If that game’s on November 10th, it’s possible that Marquette plays another game on the 12th before hosting Purdue, just to get another run through in before getting tested against the Boilermakers.
If that doesn’t come together, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Steve Wojciechowski and his staff organize a game between Purdue and leaving for Hawaii, again just to get one more chance at game action before getting a major challenge in Maui. It would also be beneficial in regards to fitting all of the buy games into the calendar. We’ll get one, maybe two games between Thanksgiving and the Georgia game, probably another one mid-week before Wisconsin, and then either one or two more in between finals and Christmas. MU could have as many four more games yet to announce, so either it’s wedging a game in around Purdue and Maui or using all of those post-Thanksgiving windows I just mentioned. We can debate which use of Marquette’s time is better, but it’s going to have to be one or the other.
One last thing: Don’t expect any fun announcements from Marquette about the remaining games on the non-conference schedule. The Golden Eagles are going to play three one-off games against power conference teams, and thanks to Wichita State moving to the American Athletic Conference effective immediately, Marquette’s going to get three power conference opponents there as well. Well, they will, presuming that they dodge playing Chaminade, but even if they end up drawing the Silverswords somehow, they’re not a Division 1 opponent, so it won’t have any impact on MU’s RPI.
The point is that six power conference opponents is enough for one non-conference schedule, so everything yet to be revealed will almost assuredly be standard issue buy games. With Chicago State (#335 KenPom last season) and American (#307) already on the docket, and a Mount St. Mary’s team (#209) that might be in major trouble after losing all of their important players from last season, hopefully — hopefully — the rest of the buy game slate is not a complete disaster. Fingers crossed.