The University of Georgia men’s basketball team announced its 2015-16 non-conference schedule on Tuesday, and it promises to be one of the toughest, most balanced slates in the program’s history. The 11 out-of-conference schools the Dawgs will face averaged 19.3 wins last season, and ended the 2014-15 season with an average RPI of 115.
Some of the Dawgs’ 2015-16 non-conference schedule highlights include:
- Nov. 13 – Chattanooga
- Nov. 20 – Murray State
- Nov. 25 – High Point
- Nov. 28 – @ Seton Hall
- Dec. 4 – Kansas State
- Dec. 19 – Georgia Tech
- Dec. 22 – Clemson
- Jan. 30 – @ Baylor (SEC/Big 12 Challenge)
Head coach Mark Fox said of the schedule, “Our goal was a non-conference schedule that would put us in a proper position with the strength of schedule numbers at the end of the year. You never know what kind of season a team you play will have, but with the numbers from last year I think we’ve been able to establish the strength of schedule we need. It’s a little tougher, numbers-wise, than it was a year ago. That’s important when you get to the month of March.”
Fox went on to say, “You’ve got to cut your teeth early on to prepare yourself for the league. Our league is very strong. One way to prepare your players for the league is to challenge them in non-league play.
“One of the things Greg (McGarity, UGA athletic director) and I have talked about for several years is getting quality non-league opponents to Athens. I think we’ve been doing a good job of that with teams like Colorado and Seton Hall last year, and Kansas State and Clemson this season. We want to have an attractive schedule. I want our fans to come to Stegeman Coliseum to watch our team play, but I want them to see our team play against some real quality teams.”
Georgia’s non-conference strength of schedule was ranked 96th in each of the past two years. Five of the 11 non-conference teams scheduled for this season competed in post-season play in 2014-15.
The conference schedule will be released next month, but it has already been announced that as part of the SEC’s new scheduling format, Florida, South Carolina and Auburn will visit Athens each year as part of a permanent home-and-home series
The Dawgs, who are coming off consecutive 20-win seasons for just the third time in the program’s 107-year history, will play a total of 18 regular season home games in 2015-16. That number ties the 2008-09 and 2012-13 seasons for the most in school history.
UGA finished 21-12 last year, losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament to eventual Final Four participant Michigan State.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports