William & Mary releases 2017-18 non-conference hoops schedule
William & Mary head men’s basketball coach Tony Shaver announced the program’s non-conference schedule for the 2017-18 season on Thursday.
The Tribe hosts five games in Kaplan Arena and faces four teams that competed in the post season last year, including the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Champion and another semifinalist from the event. The Green and Gold also squares off a four programs from the state of Virginia highlighted by meetings with former Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rivals Old Dominion and George Mason.
For the fourth-straight season, W&M faces a pair of Power 5 Conference opponents in Ohio State (Dec. 9) and TCU (Dec. 22). In total, the Tribe’s Division I non-conference opponents won nearly 56 percent of their games and averaged 18 wins last season.
For the 10th time in the last 12 years, the Tribe begins the season on the road when it travels to High Point on Friday, Nov. 10, for an 8 p.m. tip. It marks the fifth time in the last six years that the two teams have met. They split four games between 2012-15, including a 78-75 Tribe overtime win during the last meeting in Williamsburg.
W&M’s home opener is set for Wednesday, Nov. 15, when it welcomes in-state foe Hampton to Kaplan Arena. The teams meet for the 20th time in the last 23 seasons with the Tribe holding an 11-8 advantage in the series. The Pirates picked up a win in Hampton last season and went on to earn a berth in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
The Green and Gold hits the road once again to take on NIT semifinalist Central Florida on Saturday, Nov. 18. It is the first meeting between the programs since UCF posted a 69-65 home victory in 1989. Last season, the Knights posted a 24-12 record, including an 11-7 mark in the American Athletic Conference.
The Tribe plays three-straight home games, beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 21, against Shenandoah. W&M follows with a pair of Conference USA opponents in Old Dominion (Nov. 25) and Marshall (Nov. 29). The game with the Monarchs will be part of a women’s and men’s Tribe basketball doubleheader, and the latter contest begins at 7 p.m. The Tribe has won five of the last six meetings with Old Dominion, including a 65-54 win in Norfolk last season.
W&M hosts Marshall for the first time on Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. The Thundering Herd won 20 games last season under the direction of Dan D’Antoni and advanced to the C-USA Championship game. D’Antoni is the father of former Tribe captain Nick D’Antoni, who played for head coach Tony Shaver and gradated from W&M in 2005.
The Green and Gold plays four of its final five non-conference games on the road, including three-straight to start the month of December. W&M travels to Savannah State on Saturday, Dec. 2. Last season in the first meeting between the teams, the Tribe connected on a school-record 19 3-pointers in downing the Tigers, 112-85.
After playing 34-straight years between 1980-2013, the Tribe and George Mason rekindle a long-standing rivalry on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Both programs were charter members of the CAA and played every season until the Patriots departed the league to join the Atlantic 10. Last season, Mason posted 20 wins and finished 9-9 in the A-10.
W&M wraps up the three-game road swing against its first Big Ten opponent since 2012, heading to Ohio State on Saturday, Dec. 9. The Buckeyes posted a 17-15 ledger a season ago. The Tribe last faced a Big Ten foe when, despite leading at halftime, it fell at Purdue, 73-66, in 2012.
The Tribe hosts Appalachian Athletic Conference opponent Milligan on the Saturday of finals week at the university. The Dec. 17 game will be part of the second men’s and women’s Tribe basketball doubleheader and carries a 2 p.m. start. The women host Old Dominion later in the day. Last season, W&M downed the Buffaloes, 113-59, inside Kaplan Arena.
The Green and Gold wraps up the non-conference slate against potentially its toughest opponent in reigning NIT Champion TCU on Friday, Dec. 22. The Horned Frogs recorded a 24-15 ledger last season and advanced to the Big 12 Semifinals with a win over Kansas. It will be the first meeting between the programs since the 1964 Sun Carnival Classic in El Paso, Texas, which TCU won 76-71.