Since arriving to Tempe, Bobby Hurley hasn’t shied from putting his Sun Devils against top competition during the non-conference slate.
In his first year as Arizona State’s head coach, Hurley’s squad faced North Carolina State and Marquette at the Legends Classic, Creighton and Kentucky on the road, and Texas A&M at home. This past season, his group took on Kentucky and Purdue at neutral sites, along with San Diego State on the road before hosting Creighton.
That said, it should come as no surprise ASU is due for another challenging non-conference draw in 2017-18 after the program unveiled its tentative arrangements for next season on Thursday.
ASU Men’s Basketball 2017-18 non-conference schedule
|Friday, Nov. 10||Idaho State|
|Tuesday, Nov. 14||San Diego State|
|Friday, Nov. 17||Northern Arizona (Continental Tire Invitational - Tempe)|
|Sunday, Nov. 19||UC Irvine (Continental Tire Invitational - Tempe)|
|Thursday, Nov. 23||Kansas State/Xavier/George Washington (Continental Tire Invitational - Las Vegas)|
|Friday, Nov. 24||Kansas State/Xavier/George Washington (Continental Tire Invitational - Las Vegas)|
|Saturday, Dec. 2||San Francisco|
|Friday, Dec. 8||St. John's (HoopHall Classic - Staples Center)|
|Sunday, Dec. 10||at Kansas|
|Sunday, Dec. 17||Vanderbilt|
|Tuesday, Dec. 19||Longwood|
|Friday, Dec. 22||Pacific|
Home matchups against San Diego State and UC Irvine preclude duels against two of either Kansas State, Xavier or George Washington in Las Vegas, followed by a bout with St. John’s in Los Angeles, a visit to Kansas (the first of a scheduled home-and-home series), and a home tilt against Vanderbilt.
In a statement, Hurley said the team looks “forward to starting next season with a great non-conference schedule, knowing that our senior leadership of Tra Holder, Kodi Justice and Shannon Evans II will be second-to-none. Every season we want to make our schedule challenging, and play in great environments, and we feel we have accomplished that again. ... The schedule is balanced and will get us ready for a solid Pac-12 Conference season.”
Last year, the Pac-12 featured three teams that each finished the regular season ranked within the top 10 of the AP Poll in UCLA, Oregon and Arizona. The upcoming campaign’s conference schedule will still be daunting. Regardless, the program reaffirmed its willingness to contend against high-level competition.
ASU Athletics vice president Ray Anderson was also quoted in the release, mentioning that it was a “priority to schedule quality programs and getting NCAA Tournament teams from last year” when configuring the new season’s course.
“Coach Hurley and our staff have done a great job of being creative and efficient in making sure the program is visible in December, and we want that to continue as momentum builds,” Anderson said.
Although the schedule is considered tentative (television scheduling may alter dates), the opponents are set in stone.
For now, ASU is expected to open its season on Friday, Nov. 10, in a home matchup with Idaho State.