As teams begin to release their (tentative) non-conference schedule, it’s time to see what games could help make or break the teams season. 3rd on the list is a team I like a lot this next season, the Tennessee State Tigers.
So I’m a little bit confused by the Tigers schedule. So far we’ve seen Austin Peay do a great job of creating a Tennessee-based schedule, SIU Edwardsville create a Illinois-central schedule, and then we have the Tigers…who do none of that.
They do play a challenging November, followed by a rather tame December. The Las Vegas Invitational is a great add for the Tigers, playing against 2 power conference teams back to back. There’s a lot of traveling in the first part of this schedule, which will make for tough wins but help prepare the team for the travel schedule seen in OVC play.
I think the first two games will be somewhat telling. If they can’t compete on the road at St. Louis or in Bowling Green against Western, I may become a little concerned by mid-November. But regardless of the first month, they should be able to find some momentum heading into the conference.
The funniest thing is their late December schedule…against the 307th, 308th, and 309th RPI ranked teams from last year within 2 weeks of each other. They should string 4 straight wins heading into OVC play against UT Martin on the 29th.
And like Austin Peay, the Tigers get a preview of Belmont before the Bruins enter the OVC in 2012.
Non Conference Schedule and RPI
All RPI numbers provided from Basketball State
|@ St. Louis||175|
|@ Western Kentucky||196|
|vs South Carolina (at Las Vegas Invitational)||134|
|vs North Carolina (at Las Vegas Invitational)||6|
|Las Vegas Invitational Finals|
|Middle Tennessee State||211|
|@ Delaware State||309|