Friday, July 25, 2008

An early peek at the Stags' schedule

Currently Scheduled Games:
Nov. 14 - @ Memphis
Nov 20-23 – Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic (Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, Memphis, Xavier, USC, Missouri and Hofstra)
Nov. 26 – Western Michigan
Dec. 1 - @ Holy Cross
Dec. 10 - @ Fordham
Dec. 27 - @ UConn

Yet to be scheduled games for the Arena at Harbor Yard:
Sacred Heart
St. Francis (Alumni Hall?)
America (AH?)
TBD (Army, Cornell, Rhode Island are distinct possibilities)

A few thoughts: First of all, talk about back-to-back home runs for the season opener - last year at Winston-Salem for Skip Prosser Night, and now on the road vs. Memphis for the team's first game since the National Championship. Wow.

As for the actual schedule, I noticed that the majority of "tough winnables" or games against top teams from premier conferences are still there, as in Cooley Year 1 and Year 2, but the majority of games against other mid-majors come later in the out-of-conference schedule (with the exception of UConn). In past years, games against Holy Cross, Yale, and Central Arkansas were jumbled with games against BC, UConn, and Providence. Translation: inconsistency.

I'd like to think that getting the most challenging games "out of the way" first to boost up the confidence and experience levels can only be a benefit. One person close to the team told me that the order of games in the schedule "is no coincidence".

Cooley: "There are some heavy hitters (early on) and I hope the people at the university know that there's a good chance I could come out of (Puerto Rico) 0-4." Throw in Memphis and that could be rough early season start #3 for the Cooley era.

Still, if the team can somehow upset, say, a Seton Hall type, or at the very least is ready to roll and building confidence come Holy Cross, Sacred Heart, and, eventually, the MAAC schedule, it will be well worth the trip.

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