Radford University men’s basketball head coach Mike Jones announced Tuesday the non-conference schedule for the 2017-18 season, which features up to four teams that made an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016-17.
“In the Big South Conference everything is geared toward three, maybe four games in March at the Big South Tournament,” Jones said. “Therefore what we try to do with our non-conference schedule is simply to prepare ourselves for all the different styles that we will see as we get into the Big South. Hopefully this preparation will help us finish with the best seeding possible and give us a great chance to win the conference tournament. This tough non-conference schedule challenges us to be better and better every night we take the floor. We know that once we get to conference play we will be prepared for whatever we face.”
The Highlanders will first hit the court on Nov. 3 when West Virginia State travels to Radford for an exhibition contest. One week later, the regular season tips off with Georgia Southwestern (Nov. 10) coming to the Dedmon Center.
Following the season opener, Radford hits the road for three straight contests. The first road matchup comes on Nov. 12, when the Highlanders travel to Columbus, Ohio for the third all-time meeting with Ohio State. Three days later, Radford will take on East Carolina (Nov. 15) at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C. The team travels back to North Carolina for a matchup with CAA foe, Elon (Nov. 22).
Radford returns to the Dedmon Center for a Nov. 25 contest with James Madison. The Highlanders and the Dukes will meet for the first time since the 2015-16 season and will be the 15th all-time meeting between the two schools.
The month of November ends with the Highlanders first meeting with a 2016-17 NCAA Tournament team in Vanderbilt (Nov. 28). The Commodores went 19-16 last season and were a No. 9 seed, but lost in the opening round. Radford will return to the state of Virginia, but travel to Lexington, Va., to face SoCon member VMI (Dec. 2). The Highlanders defeated the Keydets, 74-67, last season.
On Dec. 6, Radford faces New River Valley foe Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.The Hokies went 22-11 last year and were a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Highlanders return home and host Erksine (Dec. 9), a member of the Conference Carolinas, for its final home non-conference game.
After eight days off, the Highlanders will take a trip out west to compete in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. The first two games of the classic will be at campus locations. The first begins in Reno, Nev., against Nevada (Dec. 17), another NCAA Tournament team from 2016-17. The Wolf Pack were a No. 12 seed in the tournament after going 29-6 and winning the Mountain West Conference regular season and conference tournament.
The second game will be hosted by San Francisco on Dec. 19. The Dons went 20-13 last season and made a first round appearance in the College Basketball Invitational. The final two games of the Continental Las Vegas Classic consist of two tournament style games in Las Vegas inside Orleans Arena on Dec. 22-23. In the final two games the Highlanders will face North Carolina A&T (Dec. 22) and will either face Lamar or UC Davis (Dec. 23). UC Davis was an NCAA Tournament team last season and won a First Four game over NC Central.
— RU Athletics