Right off the bat on November 8th, the Division II Stonehill Skyhawks come to The Dunk for an exhibition game. The talent gap on the floor will be wide but it should be interesting to see Ed Cooley coach against his alma mater and former team in Stonehill. Florida State and a battle with an old Big East foe, Notre Dame, highlight the early season Hall of Fame Tip Off at Mohegan Sun on November 22nd and 23rd.
The quality of competition figures to give Cooley useful insight into the makeup of his team as they prepare for life without Bryce Cotton running the show. November 30th at Kentucky in famous Rupp Arena might prove to be the toughest test for the Friars in non-conference play. It will surely be a boost to their strength of schedule. A win would look great at the top of their resume come March. Regional rivalries with Boston College, Brown, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts will make the beginning of December an exciting time for the team and their fans.
The Friars will face the Miami Hurricanes at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on December 22nd in a game that I wrote about here. New Year's Eve in Friartown will feature an exciting beginning to conference play as Creighton rolls into town to square off with Providence in a rematch of the Big East Championship game from March. The distance between the two schools is the greatest in the conference and the road teams did not fare well in their regular season meetings of a year ago.
Another matchup to keep an eye out for in conference play will be when the Friars travel to Villanova on February 24th. Providence had a disastrous trip to Philly last year but it served as a rallying point for their season. It will be another tough test this year against Jay Wright's Wildcats who are a popular pick to win the conference.