The season is fast approaching - we're already halfway done the off season - and schedule notes are starting to leak out as teams fill their openings. Here are some of the more interesting things that are going to be on the schedule this season.
1) DePaul and Loyola will renew their crosstown rivalry - On Saturday, December 18, the Blue Demons and Ramblers will meet up for the first time since 2003. During the 2011-12 season DePaul will go to the Gentile Center for the first time since 1991. This is a big deal for the city of Chicago, because it moves us one step closer to having all of the programs play each other in an informal manner during the season.
A game like this is full of traps for DePaul. What if Loyola wins the game? It would have some serious ramifications on how Blue Demons fans feel about the team heading into the Big East season. Speaking of which, after the jump are DePaul's conference opponents.
2) We know DePaul's Big East opponents - DePaul will face South Florida, Cincinnati and West Virginia twice next season. The Bulls should be down a bit next season with the departure of do-everything guard Dominique Jones. The games against the Bearcats should also at least allow DePaul to put up a fight. The Blue Demons lucked out by catching some teams at the right time.
The remaining home games though are brutal. Connecticut, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Villanova is a stretch no would want to see on their schedule, even at home. Of course this is speculation this early in the season, but the game against the Scarlet Knights and Pirates are going to be must wins for the Blue Demons. It should also be interesting to see how much of a fan base Mike Brey's team brings to Allstate Arena for the game.
Then on the road things don't get any easier for DePaul. The Blue Demons will go to Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Providence, St. John's and Syracuse. Another absolutely brutal set of games. While the Friars could provide the Blue Demons a chance for a road win in conference, all the rest look to be very difficult games against well disciplined opponents that have big expectations for the upcoming season.
3) Northwestern is going to play at Madison Square Garden. -
The St. John's Holiday Festival is always a nice event in the city of New York. This season the Wildcats are probably going to get the chance to play the up-and-coming Red Storm team during the four-team tournament, per the Daily Herald's Lindsey Willhite
. The other invitees are not confirmed, but it looks like Davidson
and a local New York team, possibly Cornell
, will fill the two remaining spots, speculates The East Coast Bias
. The tournament is December 20-21.
4) Chicago State has a tournament of its own. - Tracy Dildy will get a chance to break in his new team against some top level competition in the South Padre Island Invitational this fall. The tournament is November 26-27, but you have to advance to that stage of the competition. Thus the Cougars will play road games at BYU on November 20 and at St. Mary's on November 23. At the very least those games should give the Cougars some early measuring sticks against teams that of consistent quality.
It had earlier been confirmed that Chicago State will be playing at Hawaii
this season, where former head coach Benjy Taylor
is now an assistant, by the Hawaii Athletics Department
. The game is on December 17 and will actually be played in Maui.
The 2010-11 schedules for every team should be released in the near future. When they are I'll be doing a full analysis of the games to look forward to on every schedule.