Considering what’s ahead — the much-anticipated return of cross-state rival Gonzaga in 2016 or 2017 — you might understand why Washington men’s basketball fans aren’t overly excited about the 2014-15 nonconference schedule.
The dozen opponents might best be described as a 12-pack of fizzle and very little pop. To be fair, there’s a couple of stiff challenges, including a Dec. 7 rematch against San Diego State at Alaska Airlines Arena and a Dec. 20 date with Oklahoma in the MGM Showcase in Las Vegas.
There’s also a potentially interesting Nov. 27-30 trip to southern California for three games in the eight-team Wooden Legacy that could produce a title matchup against UTEP or Princeton.
But otherwise, Washington stocked the nonconference lineup with a collection of tuneups against mid-majors that should serve as an appetizing buffet for a team attempting to return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011. UW was 17-15 last season, including 8-5 in nonconference contests. The Huskies begin Nov. 6 with an exhibition at home against Division III Saint Martin’s and will face South Carolina State on Nov. 14 in the season opener. The Huskies play Seattle University on Nov. 21 at KeyArena.
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Washington also makes an appearance in the inaugural Marv Harshman Classic against Pacific at KeyArena. Washington hosts Eastern Washington (Dec. 14), Grambling State (Dec. 17), Tulane (Dec. 22) and Stony Brook (Dec. 28), as well.
The 10 UW nonconference opponents that have been determined combined for a 161-161 record last season. Only four teams (SDSU, Oklahoma, Pacific and Stony Brook) had winning records.