Over the course of this morning Purdue is announcing the 2014-15 Men's Basketball Non-Conference schedule. We already know a few opponents, such as North Carolina State, the Maui Invitational slate, and Notre Dame, but the full schedule is slowly trickling out on Twitter this morning.
Here are the dates:
Purdue played the Vulcans in an exhibition a few seasons ago.
Carson Cunningham comes home!
November 14: Samford
Samford has been a regular baseball opponent the last two years. They were 13-20 overall and 6-10 in the Southern Conference last year.
November 16: IUPUI
Purdue has never played the Hoosiermakers, but Justus Stanback is the son of former Boiler Ian Stanback.
November 20: Grambling
This should be an easy, easy win. Grambling not only was winless in 2012-13, they lost all but one game by at least 10 points.
November 24-26: Maui Invitational
Purdue is in the field with Chaminade, Arizona, BYU, Kansas State, Missouri, Pittsburgh, and San Diego State. The Boilers absolutely need a win here other than over Chaminade in the 7th place game, as the other six opponents are possible NCAA teams.
December 2: North Carolina State
This is the ACC/Big Ten Challenge game.
December 6: North Florida
December 8: IPFW
The other Hoosiermakers are coming too. IPFW was probably the best team in the state last season.
December 10: Arkansas State
Arkansas State is at least a semi-decent Sun Belt team.
December 13: at Vanderbilt
Here is a true road game with some chest hair! Purdue faces former assistant and player Kevin Stallings and another team that is a threat to make the NCAA Tournament.
December 20: Notre Dame (at Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
Purdue will face the Fighting Irish in the Crossroads Classic and Indiana will face Butler.The event has been renewed through at least 2016 as well, so in 2015 we get Butler and in 2016 we get Notre Dame again.
December 22: Gardner-Webb
I really like this one. This is a good, challenging low major program that we should beat, but should also give us a respectable challenge in the mean time.
I really like this schedule as a whole. As long as we avoid playing Chaminade we get three quality games in Maui and two wins out there (again, as long as one is not against Chaminade) would be a major step forward. Going to Vanderbilt is challenging, but not overwhelmingly so. Notre Dame and NC State present good ACC opponents with one on a neutral floor.
Even the mid- and low-major programs present some good games. IPFW was about as close to being a tournament team last year as you can get (lost their conference title game in the final minute) and both Arkansas State and Gardner -Webb are good teams. The only teams Purdue should crush are IUPUI and Grambling.