We have a couple of notes to announce when it comes to the non-conference opponents for this coming basketball season. First, Purdue has had to push back the previously announced game with Southern Illinois-Edwardsville according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier:
Purdue basketball has moved the originally contracted Nov. 11 home game with Southern Illinois-Edwardsville back one season due to a scheduling conflict with SIU-E.
That means we know the first opponent for 2017-18 now (well, second since we know Purdue will face Butler in the 2017 Crossroads Classic).
Second, we picked up an opponent in their place with McNeese State (hat tip to numbr4stuna for pointing this out to us):
Instead of opening next season at LSU as originally scheduled, the Cowboys will head to Purdue.
"The Big Ten, with the strength of schedule in their league, it doesn't hurt them to play lower," Simmons said. "They'll still get their 7-8 teams in the tournament. The ACC is the same way."
McNeese State was a dismal 9-20 this past season and was only 7-11 in the Southland Conference. Purdue shared a few common opponents with them, however. The Cowboys lost at Indiana 105-60 in December 79-76 in conference play. They have made the NCAA Tournament twice, in 1989 and 2002. Assistant coach Greg Gary also was an assistant there in the late 90's. The meeting with Purdue will be their first in school history.
Here is how the schedule looks now:
TBA: McNeese State (possibly the season opener since they were supposed to open at LSU)
November 14: Villanova (Gavitt Tipoff Games)
November 22: Cancun Challenge vs. Utah State
November 23: Cancun Challenge vs. Auburn or Texas Tech
November 30: at Louisville (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
December 6: vs. Arizona State at Madison Square Garden (Jimmy V. Classic)
December 17: vs. Notre Dame at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Crossroads Classic)
December 19: Western Illinois
December 21: Norfolk State
There are four games to still be announced.