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Glancing at the Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The first tipoff at the Bryce Jordan Center is fewer than four months away.  While we have a lot of fall sports activities to talk about between now and the upcoming men's hoops season, the non-conference schedule was released yesterday.


Let's take a closer look at who the Lions will meet prior to the Big Ten season.  The schedule includes 11 games (nine home, two away).  Of the 11, five teams won 20 or more games last season and made a postseason appearance.


Highlighting the list are trips to Mississippi and Virginia Tech and a home clash with Maryland.  Mississippi and Virginia Tech are potential Top 25 teams heading into the preseason.  Maryland lost All-American Greivis Vasquez, but still has a number of pieces in place from the NCAA Tournament team from last season.


Here is a brief snapshot of all 11 teams in the non-conference schedule:


4587962.jpegNov. 12 vs. Lehigh

- The Patriot League

- 2009-'10 Record: 22-11

- Postseason: Lost to Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament

- 2009-'10 RPI: 142


Nov. 16 vs. Saint Joseph's

- Atlantic 10

- 2009-'10 Record: 11-20

- 2009-'10 RPI: 184


Nov. 19 vs. Fairfield


- 2009-'10 Record: 23-11

- 2009-'10 RPI: 82


Nov. 22 vs. Central Connecticut State

- Northeast Conference

- 2009-'10 Record: 12-18

- 2009-'10 RPI: 308


Nov. 26 at Mississippi


- 2009-'10 Record: 24-11

- Postseason: NIT Final Four

- 2009-'10 RPI: 54


Nov. 28 vs. Furman

- Southern Conference

- 2009-'10 Record: 13-17

- 2009-'10 RPI: 278


Dec. 1 vs. Maryland


- 2009-'10 Record: 24-9

- Postseason: Lost to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament

- 2009-'10 RPI: 23


Dec. 4 Duquesne

- Atlantic 10

- 2009-'10 Record: 16-16

- 2009-'10 RPI: 115


Dec. 7 vs. Mount Saint Mary's

- Northeast Conference

- 2009-'10 Record: 16-15

- 2009-'10 RPI: 174


Dec. 12 at Virginia Tech


- 2009-'10 Record: 25-9

- Postseason: NIT Quarterfinals

- 2009-'10 RPI: 58


Dec. 22 vs. Maine

- America East

- 2009-'10 Record: 19-11

- 2009-'10 RPI: 152


(NCAA RPIs used)


The average RPI for the 11 teams is 143.  The road trips to Virginia Tech and Mississippi will be very good tests for the Nittany Lions.  Also, hosting a national power like Maryland will be a strong non-conference game in early December.


The game to keep an eye on is Fairfield.  While you may not know much about MAAC basketball, Fairfield is going to be a very interesting game for the Nittany Lions.  The Stags return two players who averaged near 15 points per game.  Look for Fairfield to contend for the MAAC championship.


Also keep an eye on the stretch of games from Nov. 19-Dec. 1.  The Nittany Lions will play five games in the span of 13 days, including Fairfield, at Mississippi and Maryland.  That five-game span could play a big role in momentum heading into the conference season.  Tip times and TV plans will come at a later date.

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