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The 2017-18 Marquette Basketball Non-Conference Schedule: The Maui Invitational

This tournament is going to be such a bear. At least the weather will be nice.

NCAA Basketball: Maui Invitational- UCONN v Oregon  Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Marquette non-conference schedule reveal continues onwards, and the newest addition to the schedule is the Maui Invitational.

Unfortunately, the brain trust at the Invitational has not yet revealed the bracket for the event, so we have no idea which of the other six Division 1 teams (Division 2 Chaminade rounds out the field) will be Marquette’s first round opponent.

California Golden Bears

2016-17 Record: 21-13 (10-8 Pac-12)
Returning Points Leader: Kingsley Okoroh, 4.6 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Kingsley Okoroh, 5.5 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Kingsley Okoroh, 0.9 apg
Final 2016-17 KenPom Ranking: #62

LSU Tigers

2016-17 Record: 10-21 (2-16 SEC)
Returning Points Leader: Duop Reath, 12.0 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Duop Reath, 6.2 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Skylar Mays, 3.6 apg
Final 2016-17 KenPom Ranking: #172

Michigan Wolverines

2016-17 Record: 26-12 (10-8 Big Ten)
Returning Points Leader: Moritz Wagner, 12.1 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Moritz Wagner, 4.2 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman, 2.0 apg
Final 2016-17 KenPom Ranking: #20

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

2016-17 Record: 26-10 (12-6 ACC)
Returning Points Leader: Bonzie Colson, 17.8 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Bonzie Colson, 10.1 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Matt Farrell, 5.4 apg
Final 2016-17 KenPom Ranking: #27

VCU Rams

2016-17 Record: 26-9 (14-4 Atlantic 10)
Returning Points Leader: Justin Tillman, 12.2 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Justin Tillman, 8.7 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Jonathan Williams, 3.1 apg
Final 2016-17 KenPom Ranking: #48

Wichita State Shockers

2016-17 Record: 31-5 (17-1 Missouri Valley)
Returning Points Leader: Markis McDuffie, 11.5 ppg
Returning Rebounds Leader: Markis McDuffie, 5.7 rpg
Returning Assists Leader: Landry Shamet, 3.3 apg
Final 2016-17 KenPom Ranking: #8

This field is loaded up with absolute terrors. Wichita State and Notre Dame both appear to be set up to be national powers this season and while Michigan lost some pretty notable names, Wagner and Abdur Rahkman make for a solid foundation for John Beilein. VCU will deal with both the loss of their head coach and leading scorer JeQuan Lewis, but they’ve got way too much coming back to qualify as an easy out in a tournament like this.

The question marks are LSU and California. Like VCU, both teams have new head coaches this season. In fact, LSU’s new head coach, Will Wade, is VCU’s old head coach. The Tigers were not good last year, but Wade has made some immediate improvements and he’s shown ability to coach more than a little bit. Cal is in a lot of trouble. They’ve lost their top five scorers for one reason or another following the departure of head coach Cuonzo Martin, and their incoming recruiting class for new head coach (and former Martin assistant) Wyking Jones is nothing special. While it might be nice for Marquette to catch a break and get to play the Golden Bears in Hawaii in order to pick up a win in this otherwise stacked field, it’s possible that Cal could end up being an anchor on the resume because they could be just completely awful.