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Purdue Men's Basketball Releases 2015-16 Non-Conference Schedule

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The complete 13-game non-conference schedule is now out.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

We knew it was coming, but we now have a full 2015-16 men's basketball non-conference schedule. Here is the release from Chris Forman:

Below is a detailed look at each non-conference opponent.

November 8: Northwestern Ohio / Mackey Arena / Exhibition

  • NAIA school that finished 25-8 overall a year ago, competing in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.
  • Won a share of its first regular-season conference title in school history last year.
  • Started the season 4-4, but won 21 of its next 23 games before falling in the NAIA National Tournament.

• Will return three starters, including 6-4 junior guard Lawrence Jackson, who averaged 17.2 PPG and made 87 trifectas last year. 
• Head coach is Chris Adams, who will be in his ninth season at UNOH. Prior to his arrival at UNOH, was the head coach at Elida High School - the same high school as sophomore Dakota Mathias.

November 13: North Carolina A&T / Mackey Arena

  • Part of the Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic.
  • First meeting between the two teams.
  • Aggies went 9-23 a year ago and 6-10 in the MEAC Conference.
  • Returns all five starters, including leading scorer Bruce Beckford (6-7 Sr.), who averaged 15.1 PPG and 7.3 RPG.

• Jacquil Taylor's brother, Maurice, played for the Aggies during the 2013-14 season.

November 15: Vermont / Mackey Arena

  • Part of the Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic.
  • First meeting between the two teams and Purdue's first game against a current member of the America East Conference.
  • Catamounts finished 20-14 and 12-4 in the America East a year ago. Returns nine of its top 10 scorers.
  • Advanced to the CBI Semifinals last year.

• Projected to reach the NCAA Tournament in 2015-16, according to ESPN's Bracketology.

November 18: Incarnate Word / Mackey Arena

  • First meeting between the two teams.
  • UIW is located in San Antonio and is in its third year of its transitional phase to NCAA Division I.
  • Returns four starters from last year's team that went 18-11 and upset Nebraska in Lincoln in early December.
  • Three returnees average in double figures, including 6-5 senior guard Kyle Hittle (15.3 PPG).

• Finished the season ranked 228th in the final KenPom rankings.

November 21: Old Dominion / Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic / Mohegan Sun Arena

  • Second meeting between the teams - first came in the 1979 NIT Tournament (Purdue, 67-59).
  • Went 27-8 last year and reached semifinals of the NIT.
  • Projected to make this year's NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN's Bracketology.

• Returns three starters, including leading scorer Trey Freeman (16.9 PPG).

November 22: Florida OR Saint Joseph's / Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic / Mohegan Sun Arena

November 28: Lehigh / Mackey Arena

  • First meeting between the two teams.
  • Posted a 16-14 overall record and a 10-8 mark in the Patriot League a year ago.
  • Owned wins over DePaul and Arizona State last year and lost to No. 1-seed Villanova by 11 in the season opener.
  • Returns four starters and is projected as an NCAA Tournament team by ESPN's Joe Lunardi (Bracketology).

• Leaders returning are 2015 Patriot League Player of the Year Tim Kempton (15.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG) and Patriot League Rookie of the Year Kahron Ross (10.4 PPG, 5.8 APG).

December 1: Pittsburgh / Big Ten/ACC Challenge / Petersen Events Center

  • Purdue leads the series, 6-4, but the two teams haven't met since Dec. 29, 1977.
  • Pittsburgh returns four starters from last year's team, including leading score Jamel Artis (13.6 PPG).
  • Panthers went 19-15 last year and were 8-10 in the ACC.
  • Owned the nation's third-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.66).

• Purdue has won six straight games in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge.

December 5: New Mexico / Mackey Arena

  • New Mexico leads the series, 1-0. This will be the first meeting since Dec. 23, 1963.
  • The Lobos went 15-16 a year ago, snapping a streak of three consecutive NCAA Appearances.
  • Returns three starters from last year's squad.

• Also will welcome back sophomore Cullen Neal, who averaged 24.5 PPG in the first two games before a season-ending ankle injury in the team's third game of the year. 
• Second-year assistant coach Alan Huss coached Rapheal Davis at La Lumiere High School.

December 7: IUPUI / Mackey Arena

  • Purdue won the first meeting, 77-57, a year ago in Mackey Arena.
  • Went 10-21 last year, including 6-10 in Summit League play.
  • Returns four starters, including leading scorer Marcellus Barksdale (9.5 PPG).
  • Will have four new transfers eligible this year.

• Coached by Jason Gardner, who won Indiana's Mr. Basketball in 1999, and starred at Arizona.

December 9: Howard / Mackey Arena

  • Second meeting between the two teams, as the Boilermakers topped the Bison, 76-40, on Nov. 14, 2010.
  • Posted a 16-16 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the MEAC, its best record since going 18-13 and 11-7 in 2001-02.
  • Returns four starters, all juniors, from last year's squad.

• Returnee James Daniel III (16.7 PPG) was the team's leading scorer last year. James Miller also returns after averaging 11.5 PPG. 
• Head coach Kevin Nickelberry was the head coach of the Libyan National Team during the 2009-10 year.

December 12: Youngstown State / Mackey Arena

  • Second meeting between the two teams and first since a 65-54 Purdue win on Dec. 17, 1983.
  • Posted an 11-21 overall mark and a 2-14 record in the Horizon League.
  • Returns just one starter, Bobby Hain (6-10, 240), who averaged 14.6 PPG and 7.4 RPG.
  • Welcomes three transfers into its lineup for the 2015-16 season.

• Head coach Jerry Slocum needs just one win for 700 in his career; eighth on active Division I head coaches victories list.

December 19: Butler / Crossroads Classic / Bankers Life Fieldhouse

  • Purdue leads the overall series, 37-17, but has lost four games in a row against the Bulldogs.
  • Butler returns three starters, including its top three scorers.
  • Kellen Dunham averaged 16.5 PPG and was named first team All-Big East.
  • The Bulldogs are projected to reach the NCAA Tournament, according to ESPN's Joe Lunardi (Bracketology).

• The 37 victories against Butler are the most against a non-conference opponent. December 22: Vanderbilt / Mackey Arena

  • This will be the sixth meeting between the two teams, with Vanderbilt owning a 3-2 advantage.
  • Vanderbilt won last year's meeting in Nashville, 81-71.

• The Commodores return four starters, including Damien Jones (14.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG) and Riley LaChance (12.3 PPG). LaChance joins Vince Edwards and Caleb Swanigan as players that will try out for USA Basketball's U19 Team.

  • Vanderbilt is projected as an NCAA Tournament team by ESPN's Joe Lunardi (Bracketology).

• Head coach Kevin Stallings is a 1982 Purdue graduate and was an assistant coach with the Boilermakers from 1983-88.

This is a solid schedule. I would bet with two straight years of IUPUI at home a return game in Indianapolis at the Fairgrounds Coliseum is on the horizon. New Mexico is a very tough mid-major. Vermont and Lehigh are solid low-major teams that could make the NCAAs and Incarnate Word is a tough newcomer to D-I that won at Nebraska this past year.