Craig Robinson and Oregon State announced the 2011-2012 Men's Basketball Non-Conference Schedule today, and it is one of the toughest that Beaver fans have seen in recent memory. Instead of filling the slate with the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's and South Dakota's of the world, the Beavers have challenging games mixed in with easy victories (we hope).
Gill Coliseum will be hosting eight non-conference games, along with one exhibition. Oregon State will play two games in East Rutherford, New Jersey, one game in Towson, Maryland, and one in Chicago, Illinois.
As it says in the title, Texas, Montana, and Hofstra will be intriguing games. Beyond that, I think a compelling argument could be made that Idaho might be the best opponent left on the schedule. Still, the Beavs should be much more prepared for conference play with this schedule.
After the jump you'll find a quick breakdown of the schedule and what it might mean for the BeaversOSU's 2011-12 non-conference schedule (Last year's Kenpom rankings in parenthesis)
Cream of the Crop: vs Texas (5), vs NC State (91) or Vanderbilt (35), Montana (119), Hofstra (135)
The good news is that OSU will have four games against solid teams. Luckily, two of the games will be at a neutral site and two will be in Corvallis, so that helps us even more.
There is a good chance that we could go 3-1 against these teams, but it won't be easy. I do think that Texas is a sure loss, with the Longhorns being as talented as they are. But if we get NC State instead of Vanderbilt in the Legends Classic Championship rounds, I think we defeat the Wolfpack. Montana and Hofstra are solid clubs, but having them at Gill gives us the small edge we need to defeat both of them.
Solid mid-majors: Idaho (141), Illinois-Chicago (253), @ Towson (262), Portland State (272)
These are the teams that the Beavers should beat, but have had trouble with in the past. They are not bad by any means, but the only way they will make the NCAA Tournament is by automatic berth. If the Beavers even want to think about their own NCAA berth, they will need victories over each of these clubs.
Victory Fodder: Cal State Bakersfield (321), Howard (340), @ Chicago State (344), West Alabama (N/A), Pacific University - Exhibition (N/A)
These are the type of games that just harm your RPI. But whatever, someone has to play them. The only game that in a million years I could see us losing is the Chicago State game, just because we seem to struggle against teams in Chicago.
Besides for the games listed above, we will also play a closed-door scrimmage against Eastern Washington. The location and date of that game is still TBD.
Overall, I see us going 11-1 in a best-case scenario. That could very well happen, but we might lose to either NC State or Vanderbilt and we will probably drop a game to one of the solid mid-majors. I do like this schedule a lot though, and I think we will be prepared to make a run at the Pac-12 Championship come December.
For the dates of all our games, click here!