Updated Wed, Sep 3, 2014 4:53 pm
Though the season is still two months away, the Ohio men’s basketball team’s schedule was released Wednesday.
The Saul Phillips era of Ohio basketball will begin Nov. 15 when Appalachian State travels to the Convo. After the Bobcats face the Mountaineers, they will head down to Dunk City to take on the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles.
The matchup between Phillips’ squad and the Eagles is one of the more interesting games on Ohio’s nonconference slate. FGCU went 22-13 (14-4 Atlantic Sun) and earned a postseason NIT berth. This game should serve as a good early season test for the Bobcats, as the Eagles return two out of their three top scorers from last season.
After the game against FGCU, Ohio will return to Athens for four straight home games, with the first coming Nov. 25 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. After squaring off with the Golden Lions, Ohio will have another early season test when the Bobcats face Belmont.
Last season, the Bruins finished 26-10 (14-2 Ohio Valley Conference) and managed to advance to the NIT quarterfinals after falling in the OVC championship game. Like FGCU, Belmont also returns two of its top three scorers.
From there the Bobcats will play St. Bonaventure and Alcorn State at home and Evansville on the road before heading to Hawaii for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
The team will play three games at the tournament, but the only game that has been announced is the Dec. 22 game against George Washington. The rest of the Diamond Head Classic’s field consists of Colorado, DePaul, Hawaii, Loyola Marymount, Nebraska and Wichita State.
Then Phillips and company will wrap up the nonconference schedule with a game at home against UNC-Wilmington. Ohio will then dive into conference play with the notable games coming Feb. 4 and 28 against Akron and Jan. 14 against Toledo.