Breaking Down Pac-12 Non-Conference Schedules: Oregon and Oregon StatePosted by Connor Pelton on October 9th, 2013
October is here, and that means we are just weeks away from real, live basketball games. In order to prepare you for the first two months of the season, we’re going to break down all 12 non-conference slates over the next couple of weeks. Up next; the Oregon schools.
Teams are listed in order of which they will be played. Last season’s RPI in parenthesis. Potential opponents (one round in advance) are italicized. All times listed are Pacific.
Cream of the Crop: vs Georgetown (11), vs Illinois (40)
Oregon has managed to get two high profile, neutral site games on its non-conference schedule. The Ducks will face Georgetown on opening night at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, in a game to be televised by ESPN. The Hoyas finished 2012-13 with a 25-7 record and notched six victories over Top 25 opponents. Of course, the last time we saw Georgetown, it was getting dunked all over by Florida Gulf Coast in an NCAA Tournament opener. Oregon’s second marquee opponent is Illinois, who they will meet in Portland on December 14 at 6:00 PM in a game also televised by the ESPN family of networks. It looked as if this would be a return game for former Oregon State point guard Ahmad Starks, but his transfer waiver was denied last week by the NCAA. The Fighting Illini are still loaded at guard, with both Tracy Abrams and Joseph Bertrand returning.
Solid Names: San Francisco (167), Pacific (97), Cal Poly (164), @ Mississippi (48), UC Irvine (126), BYU (63)
Mississippi headlines the second group, and the Ducks and Rebels will meet December 8 in Oxford. The game will tipoff at 2:00 PM and be carried by ESPNU. Dynamite senior Marshall Henderson is back after leading Ole Miss with 20.1 PPG last year, and while the guard is currently suspended, he will likely be back by December. Outside of him, however, the Rebels are pretty thin, and a finish in the lower half of the SEC is likely. BYU presents a challenge for Oregon. The Ducks and Cougars will play December 21 in Eugene, and the team that won 24 games in the 2012-13 campaign is expected to compete with Gonzaga for the WCC title. Pacific is the only other team on Oregon’s non-conference slate with a double digit RPI.
RPI Anchors: Western Carolina (244), Utah Valley (297), North Dakota (224), Morgan State (235)
Four cupcakes sprinkle Oregon’s schedule. Two come from the greater western region of the country, but Western Carolina and Morgan State are interesting off-map choices. The Catamounts will be Oregon’s home, and United States, opener on November 13 at 8:00 PM. Six days later the Ducks play host to Utah Valley at 6:00 PM on the Pac-12 Networks. North Dakota serves as UO’s opponent for the final game of November, and Morgan State will be its final game before opening conference play at Utah.
Note: Oregon will face Northwest Christian and Point Loma on October 27 and November 2 in exhibition play.
Cream of the Crop: vs Akron (42), vs Iowa State (45)
Oregon State’s schedule has to be in the bottom third in the Pac-12 in terms of toughness. The only known good game is a date with Akron in Honolulu on December 22 at 4:30 PM. The tournament brings ESPNU’s cameras along with it, one of eight times the Beavers will be on the ESPN family of networks this season. The Zips finished last year at a 26-7 mark, and despite losing seven-footer Zeke Marshall, they’ll still compete with Buffalo for the MAC East title. One of the Beavers’ possible second round opponents in the Diamond Head Classic is Iowa State. Fred Hoiberg and the Cyclones have traditionally done well with roster turnover by adding transfers, and this year will be no different in Ames with former Marshall guard DeAndre Kane coming in. Behind him and Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang in the frontcourt, ISU should be a lock for the NCAAs in 2013-14.
Solid Names: @ Maryland (71), Towson (157), vs George Mason (162)
A visit to Maryland is the headliner here. The Beavers and Terrapins will tip off at 3:00 PM on November 17 on ESPNU. The Terps bring in a solid recruiting class and have all-ACC candidate Dez Wells back at the three, but finding a replacement for Alex Len will be a top priority early on. Could the Beavers pull an early-season upset while this team is still finding itself? It’s possible if a point guard emerges early in preseason camp and both injured bigs start strong.
RPI Anchors: Coppin State (313), Portland (232), Southern Illinois Edwardsville (304), @ DePaul (204), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (202), Maryland Eastern Shore (345), Quinnipiac (192)
Arkansas-Pine Bluff is the class of this final group. That should tell you something about the strength of this schedule. Oregon State opens its 2013-14 campaign with visits from Coppin State and Portland, with the Eagles game being shown on the Pac-12 Networks and the Pilots exclusively on Pac-12 Oregon. The Beavers will host SIU Edwardsville in between their road trips to Maryland and DePaul. Pine Bluff comes calling on December 7 for a high Noon tip on the Pac-12 Networks. The non-conference slate closes with Quinnipiac on December 29 at 8:00 PM, once again on the Pac-12 Networks.
Note: Oregon State will face Corban and Concordia in exhibition games on October 29 and November 5, respectively.