Last year around this time, it seemed like a great idea to run down the schedules of all the Division I men’s basketball teams in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District.
Of course, then football season came, and that clunky idea went out the window.
So the goal now is to actually roll through all 27 schools without giving up around No. 10. Easy? Probably not. But this format is a little less dense, so maybe that will help.
The first schedule out? None other than the defending Big South champion Radford, which is also probably the school furthest from D1scourse’s Glen Burnie headquarters.
No matter. Brad Greenberg’s team was a great story last year, and it’ll be curious to see if Big Art Parakhouski and the Highlanders can make back-to-back NCAA trips.
The condensed plot: Greenberg waited until his 50s to finally take over a program, holding a handful of jobs (NBA GM, Internet writer, radio commentator) most guys typically don’t get before their first head-coaching gig. With some hustle, a little recruiting luck and shrewd roster management, the Highlanders reached their first NCAA tournament in more than a decade before losing to eventual national champ North Carolina in the first round.
Home/road/neutral schedule split: 15/14/0
Home highlight: Getting George Mason to come in for the back end of a home-and-home on Dec. 30 is a perk. So, too, is the opportunity to host a BracketBuster game in February. If the Highlanders can produce a decent nonconference record and then play well in the league early, it could lead to a TV-worthy game.
Best road venue: Cameron Indoor Stadium. Radford visits Duke on Nov. 21, a fantastic early-season trip that will probably generate some quality exposure for the program. It’s also the Highlanders’ lone game against an ACC team this year.
Best opponent: Just little ole likely preseason No. 1, Kansas. The Jayhawks welcome Radford to Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 9. It’s one of three marquee opponents (Duke and Louisville) to grace the Highlanders’ schedule this year.
Glad to see you come: New to the schedule from last season are Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Lynchburg and Roanoke.
Pivotal stretch: Radford won’t leave the state of Virginia in February, playing six home games while making trips to Liberty and VMI. The Highlanders went 7-1 in that month in ‘09 to secure the top seed (and home court) in the Big South tournament.
Delmarva/D.C. head-to-head: Navy (Nov. 13), at James Madison (Dec. 19), William & Mary (Dec. 22), George Mason (Dec. 30), VMI (Jan. 21, @Feb. 2), Liberty (Jan. 23, @Feb. 16).