BYU Basketball released its 2017-2018 non-conference schedule Tuesday afternoon, highlighted by an East Coast invitational and a home against against Utah.
BYU’s regular season tipoff will be Saturday, Nov. 11, versus Mississippi Valley State; the preceding 2 games will be exhibitions.
Alabama is likely the best game on the schedule. With multiple returning starters and and a decorated recruiting class, many outlets are pegging the Crimson Tide as a Top 25 team. BYU will play Alabama in the Barclay’s Center (home of the Brooklyn Nets) Thanksgiving Weekend as part of the Barclays Center Classic.
BYU will play UMass the following day. UMass is coming off a down year, but they are a historically relevant hoops program in the Atlantic 10.
The next tier of games of the schedule are Utah, Illinois State and Princeton. Utah and Illinois State both finished in the top 50 in KenPom rankings, while Princeton finished at 58. The game at Princeton is a return game from last season’s opener in Provo.
Beyond that, BYU will play three in-state teams, all away from the Marriott Center. BYU will be making its first-ever trip to Orem to play UVU on its home court. The Cougars will also travel to Logan to face the Aggies, and will play Weber State in Salt Lake City as part of the inaugural Beehive Classic.
Overall, it’s a solid schedule for the Cougars. Three true road games will resonate with the selection committee, and games versus Alabama and Utah will provide chances for resume-building wins.
Princeton, Illinois State, and Texas Arlington will also be chances for good wins if they have similar years to last season. UMass and Utah St could also prove to be quality opponents if they go back to historical norms.
Look for the WCC schedule to be released in August.