Clear your schedules, people! The Ben Howland No Excuses Tour schedule is out.
Following a relatively successful trip to China that saw some lows (Smith's conditioning) and some highs (Powell, Adams, and perhaps one Wear that may be able to play as Smith's replacement if he can do it against D1 competition), Bruin fans still have reason to expect a big season out of this year's team. Shabazz Muhammad's return is still a wildcard in all of this, but there is still time for the NCAA to get their act together before our November 9th date in Old Pauley Under Glass against Indiana State. Here's the schedule along with TV coverage and tipoff time after the jump.
Fri, Nov. 9 Indiana State Fox Sports Net 8:00 pm
Tue., Nov. 13 UC Irvine (Legends Classic) Pac-12 Networks 8:30 pm
Thu., Nov. 15 James Madison (Legends Classic) Pac-12 Networks 8:00 pm
Mon., Nov. 19 Legends Classic Semifinals @Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
(UCLA, Georgia, Indiana, Georgetown)
UCLA - Georgetown ESPN2 8:00 pm ET
Tue., Nov. 20 Legends Classic Finals @Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Indiana or Georgia ESPNU/ESPN 7:30/10:00 pm ET
Sun., Nov. 25 Cal Poly Pac-12 Networks 7:00 pm
Wed., Nov. 28 Cal State Northridge Pac-12 Networks 9:00 pm
Sat., Dec. 1 San Diego State (Wooden Classic) ESPNU 7:00 pm
Tue., Dec. 4 Cal State San Marcos (Exhibition) 7:30 pm
Sat., Dec. 8 Texas @ Reliant Stadium (Houston) ESPN 4:15 pm CT
Sat., Dec. 15 Prairie View A&M Pac-12 Networks 6:00 pm
Tue., Dec. 18 Long Beach State Pac-12 Networks 8:00 pm
Sat., Dec. 22 Fresno State Pac-12 Networks 8:00 pm
Fri., Dec. 28 Missouri ESPN2 7:00 pm
Thu., Jan. 3 California Fox Sports Net 8:00 pm
Sat., Jan. 5 Stanford Pac-12 Networks Noon
Thu., Jan. 10 @ Utah Pac-12 Networks 7:30 pm MT
Sat., Jan. 12 @ Colorado Pac-12 Networks Noon MT
Thu., Jan. 17 Oregon State ESPNU 6:00 pm
Sat., Jan. 19 Oregon CBS 1:00 pm
Thu., Jan. 24 @ Arizona ESPN2 7:00 pm MT
Sat., Jan. 26 @ Arizona State Fox Sports Net 8:00 pm MT
Wed., Jan. 30 USC Pac-12 Networks 7:00 pm
Thu., Feb. 7 Washington ESPN or ESPN2 6:00 pm
Sat., Feb. 9 Washington State Pac-12 Networks 7:00 pm
Thu., Feb. 14 @ California ESPN or ESPN2 6:00 pm
Sat., Feb. 16 @ Stanford ESPN or ESPN2 1:00 pm
Sun., Feb. 24 @ USC Fox Sports Net 12:30 pm
Wed., Feb. 27 Arizona State Pac-12 Networks 8:30 pm
Sat., Mar. 2 Arizona ESPN 6:00 pm
Wed., Mar. 6 @Washington State Pac-12 Networks 6:30 pm
Sat., Mar. 9 @ Washington CBS 11:00 am
Mar. 13 - Mar. 16 Pac-12 Tournament @ MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV
The official site excitedly proclaims that "all games will be televised on a national basis", although obviously a glance above shows that this is not true for those who do not receive the Pac-12 networks.
The Bruins will face some early tests, especially with a potential matchup with Indiana in the Legends Classic. Georgetown will be no slouch, and Texas and Missouri jump out as other big games for Howland's team. What Howland has to his advantage is that these big games are relatively spaced out over the nonconference season, and we will have to take at least a couple of these games to bolster our tournament profile. The PAthetiC-12 will once again be no help in terms of resume building if preseason projections are anything to go by, so we need to be sitting in good position with quality wins and no bad losses by the time we face Cal on January 3rd.
Also of note, the Pac-12 Tournament will no longer be held at Staples Center, but will be in Las Vegas this year. If Howland is to have a successful season, we will be playing and winning a couple of games at Staples anyway, as that is the location of the West Regional.
The stakes are high for Howland, and surely he knows what he needs to get done after years of garbage ball, losing seasons, and missed tournaments. There is no margin for error and no excuses. Cut down the nets at Staples or cut Howland loose.