The 2014-15 campaign may be considered a rebuilding year for the Boston University men’s basketball team, but the Terriers are taking no steps back in terms of their opponents.
Fourth-year coach Joe Jones announced the team’s official schedule Monday, which is highlighted by a pre-season trip to Italy, several key non-conference matchups – including a visit to 2014 NCAA runner-up University of Kentucky – along with major Patriot League bouts.
After beginning practice in early August, Jones and his squad will set off for Italy, where the Terriers will play four games against top teams from across the country and visit destinations such as Rome, Venice and Lake Como.
“The trip to Italy is a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity for these young men to experience foreign travel and to also immerse themselves in another culture with their teammates,” Jones said in a statement. “We are looking forward to defending our [regular season] Patriot League title, and with the addition of two transfers and three freshmen to the rotation, the extra time spent together before the school year starts will allow everyone to get on the same page in preparation for the regular season.”
With the trip to Italy behind them, the Terriers will turn their attention to the regular season, which sees the team square off against several top-tier opponents that are coming off successful postseason appearances.
“The schedule is a challenging one with trips to three opponents who won a game in the NCAA tournament, and they along with the other non-conference teams will make us battle tested for the Patriot League,” Jones said. “The guys are anxiously awaiting for the chance to play in front of our great fans and also represent BU proud at exciting locations like Rupp Arena [at Kentucky] and TD Garden.”
For the fifth consecutive year, the Terriers will tip-off their season against Northeastern University, playing at TD Garden as part of the second annual Coaches vs. Cancer Tripleheader Nov. 16. In last year’s contest, BU walked away with a 72-69 victory in a thrilling back-and-forth affair.
Following the tilt with the Huskies, BU will head down south, where it will try to avenge last season’s overtime loss to Norfolk State University Nov. 19. Two days later, the team will travel to the fabled Rupp Arena where it will take on John Calipari’s Wildcats.
The Terriers will then visit former America East Conference foe University of New Hampshire (Nov. 25) before finally coming to Case Gym for a three-game home stand against the University of Massachusetts – Lowell (Nov. 30), Binghamton University (Dec. 3) and St. Peter’s University (Dec. 6).
Jones’ team will round out its non-conference schedule with matchups against crosstown rival Harvard University (Dec. 8), Quinnipiac University (Dec. 14), University of Dayton (Dec. 20) and Wentworth Institute of Technology (Dec. 29).
On Dec. 31, the team will officially set off on its quest to defend its conference title when it takes on College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. BU will then play its final game at Case Gym Jan. 3 when it faces off against Lehigh University. All remaining home league contests will be held at Agganis Arena, culminating with BU’s regular-season finale Feb. 28 against the Crusaders.
Despite losing six players last season, including key contributors such as guard Mo Watson Jr. (transfer), guard D.J. Irving (graduation) and forward Dom Morris (graduation), the Terriers still have a lot of talent returning in players such as junior guard John Papale, junior forward Nathan Dieudonne and sophomore guard Cedric Hankerson.