A little basketball lookahead in the midday, as schedules continue to trickle out.
Today’s subject: Perennially woebegone Maryland-Eastern Shore.
How woebegone? How about seven straight seasons with an RPI in the 300s. That’s not good.
But every team in the Delmarva/D.C. has its day, and this just happens to be the Hawks’.
The condensed plot: The optimist would point out UMES managed to win as many games last season in Frankie Allen’s debut as the two previous years combined. The realist would simply say winning seven games typically doesn’t constitute a whole lot of success, regardless. The Hawks did go 5-6 at home, but the need to pay a whole lot of bills led to yet another losing season in Princess Anne. A 2-16 road record plus a first-round ouster in the MEAC tournament will do that.
Home/road/neutral schedule split: 12/16/2
Home highlight: It’s not every year that a nonconference opponent fresh off a couple NCAA tournament appearances makes it all the way to Somerset County. That will happen Nov. 28 when American pays a visit.
Best road venue: Lloyd Noble Center. The Hawks’ stretch of paydays includes visits to Marquette and Nebraska, but Oklahoma might just have the rowdiest crowd this season – especially if point guard Willie Warren continues to develop.
Best opponent: Oklahoma. For reasons already stated. On the bright side for UMES, it doesn’t have to deal with Griffin Two (Blake) or Griffin One (Taylor) in this season’s visit to Norman.
Glad to see you come: New to the schedule from last season are American, Ball State, Central Connecticut, Eastern Michigan, Marquette, Missouri State, Northern Illinois and Wright State.
Pivotal stretch: Though spread out by more than a month, the Hawks’ first two MEAC games are at home. An 0-2 hole with losses to Delaware State and South Carolina State would simply hint at yet another miserable season. A split might at least maintain hope heading into a four-game swing to the league’s Florida and Baltimore schools.
Delmarva/D.C. head-to-head: American (Nov. 28), Delaware State (Dec. 5), Navy (Dec. 9), @Coppin State (Jan. 23), @Morgan State (Jan. 25), Howard (Jan. 30), Hampton (Feb. 1), @Norfolk State (Feb. 6), Coppin State (Feb. 20), Morgan State (Feb. 22), @Howard (Feb. 27), @Delaware State (March 4).