So, WVU plays at Northern Kentucky

The men’s basketball team’s non-conference schedule is out and it has some oddities. We already knew the Marshall game would be on a Sunday and we’re glad to see a second game in the Charleston Civic Center against always-entertaining VMI. There’s no Duquesne, which is rare, and there’s a road game against Northern Kentucky, which, you’ll remember, won an exhibition game inside the Coliseum as a Division II team in 2011.

And here’s where we argue the central point: Is it hard or has Bob Huggins taken a smaller bite?

The tournament in Pureto Rico has nice names, but most of the teams will be replacing talent.

Most.

Dayton has two of its top three scorers back, but lost some valuable parts to last season’s successful team. Texas A&M went 18-16 and lost its best player and top scorer, but has a lot of veteran players .

UConn won the national title, but lost a lot. New Mexico lost a lot. Boston College was terrible and changed coaches. The College of Charleston and George Mason are just teams that were both under .500 last season.

And WVU? Hell, we don’t know.

Outside the tournament, there are … six? … built-in wins. WVU gets CoC at home, plus Monmouth, Lafayette, VMI and Wofford, and WVU isn’t going to NKU for a payday. That’s a bit of a change of pace for WVU before conference play. And Virginia Tech was a mess last season and changed coaches.

True, there is LSU and North Carolina State, but the Tigers are at home as part of the Big 12 v. SEC arrangement, and the game with the Wolfpack will be at Madison Square Garden, where WVU used to be something of a home team. N.C. State lost its two best players, including T.J. Warren, the ACC player of the year, and LSU is replacing most of its productivity. They’re both 20-win teams from last season that will have a hard time doing it again next season.

12 Responses to “So, WVU plays at Northern Kentucky”

  1. JP says:

    Tough schedules don’t mean anything if we can’t win games against tough opponents. Maybe Bob decided to aim lower.

  2. Gordo says:

    Mike – do you know how much say coaches have in building a schedule? I wonder how this process works at the D-1 college level.

  3. glibglub says:

    A program that’s to some extent licking its wounds needs a nice schedule downgrade from time to time.

  4. SheikYbuti says:

    Why in the world would we play at Northern Kentucky? We should never (and the Rock means NEVER) play on the road at a low-major, no matter what kind of regional reputation it enjoys. Why not schedule another home game against — I dunno — Robert Morris or someone. Baffling. Utterly baffling.

  5. Mike Casazza says:

    Gordo,

    It’s mostly all coaches. And Huggins has myriad contacts. I have no doubt this is a favor and a chance to return to the Cincinnati area and see some familiar faces.

  6. Vague As Ever says:

    Not sure Coll of Charleston is a prelim when it’s played AFTER the Puerto Rico tourney.

  7. Mike Casazza says:

    VAE,

    …I don’t know how I missed that. Good catch.

  8. jdwvu says:

    I would say that in Huggs’ case he probably has almost all the say on who we schedule. NKU has a beautiful newer arena – Bank of Kentucky Center – that seats 9,800 and is as the other posters noted just outside of Cinci. We used to play regional mid-majors on the road fairly often – Ohio, JMU, etc. I don’t really see a problem with it, especially with some of the marginal home crowds that we would get in Nov and Dec. against the same opponent.

  9. ffejbboc says:

    It’s really our ONLY true away game during the non-conf portion of the schedule. The rest are at home or neutral sites. So I have no problem with it at all. We need to face some adversity.

  10. SheikYbuti says:

    Yes, we used to play regional MID-majors on the road. We also used to be in the Eastern 8 and Atlantic 10. Now we’re in a power five conference, having had two consecutive sub-par seasons, playing a competent low-major team on the road. I fail to see how the game advances our agenda in any respect. I am not buying that we will clear more from that game than we would have with another home game, no matter who the opponent would have been.

  11. Drew says:

    Maybe Huggs told EKU that if they win the exhibition, he’ll play a game in their new arena? Either way, I don’t see it as being a big deal. I’m much more worried about actually winning a few games.

  12. SheikYbuti says:

    If it were actually EKU (who lost in the NCAA last season by 11 to Kansas and resides in Belmont’s conference, the Ohio Valley), I’d still have a problem, but not as much of one. This is NKU, which managed a 5-13 conference record last season in the Atlantic Sun (Mercer was its Dance representative). Maybe it’s no big deal, but just wait until Marshall starts crying for a home-and-home because the December Civic Center date isn’t working out for them.