Chicago State has established quite a tradition of filling out its non-conference schedule with some of the most reputable programs in men's hoops.
And why not? Big schools pay big bucks for what could be considered easy wins, and the Cougars seem more than eager to cash the checks -- a practice not uncommon among mid- and low-majors.
Over the last five seasons Chicago State has scheduled Texas, Michigan State, Kansas State, Marquette, Illinois, Central Florida, Northwestern, Nebraska and, just last season, Notre Dame, BYU, St. Mary's, Hawaii, Iowa State, Wichita State, DePaul and Southern Illinois.
Not many teams can boast that kind of rigorous scheduling. So who can we expect the Cougars to get a crack at this year?
The school hasn't yet announced their official schedule, but plenty of other programs have, and CSU seems to be living up to its tradition.
As part of the Dale Howard Classic Chicago State will take on Iowa (Nov. 11) and Creighton (Nov. 13). The Blue Jays return the essential pieces to their 23-16 team and Iowa should again be a competitive Big Ten team, returning seven of their top eight minute-getters.
The Cougars will travel to Illinois Nov. 27 to avenge their 89-50 loss to the Illini during the '08-'09 season which also took place at Assembly Hall. Bruce Weber and company are too cool for Jones Convocation Center.
Illinois State (Nov. 30), at home against Oregon State (Dec. 21) and Ball State (Dec. 31) round out the list of teams that we know so far.
Compared to the thin list that Northwestern put together, Chicago State seems to be business as usual.