Man, who knew going out after a day’s work on Monday would allow me to miss the highlight basketball announcement of the summer: the 2009-2010 Non-Conference schedule, ladies and gentlemen.
First thought: DeChellis finally got the message and he wants us all to know it. I asked who knew because this is by far the earliest the schedule’s been released in recent memory. It generally dropped along with the conference schedule in August or September. It was released ‘early’ last year at the end of July.
Don’t you love the PR spins in the official release?
Penn State’s nine guaranteed non-conference opponents will bring an average RPI of 134, based on RPIs at the end of 2008-09 campaign, into the 2009-10 season. That is better than 80 RPI points lower than the average of last seasons 13 non-conference opponents entering the season.
“We consulted several people in the conference and nationally to make sure we were making the right decisions in regards to effecting our RPI and tournament resume should we be able to put ourselves in that position at the end of the season.”
After 6 seasons, DeChellis was finally forced to solve the RPI puzzle to scheduling after getting beaten to death with the topic in March. At least the lesson has been learned. My only gripe is there is an absence of an ‘elite’ team. Va Tech with Delaney and Allen returning will be pretty good. South Carolina will be talented if we meet them in the CC. But it would’ve been nice to have a sure top 25 opponent that could help our young team prepare for what looks to be a rugged Big Ten, next season.
Here’s the schedule (with 08-09 RPI #’s):
11/13/09 – Penn (258)
11/16/09 – Robert Morris (109)
11/19,20,22/09 @ Charleston Classic – (Miami 65, South Carolina 57, South Florida 190, Davidson 69, Tulane 188, LaSalle 112, UNC Wilmington 277)
11/25/09 – Sacred Heart (182)
11/30/09 – @ Virginia (114)
12/05/09 – @ Temple (30)
12/08/09 – Maryland Baltimore County (163)
12/12/09 – Virginia Tech (61)
12/19/09 – Gardner-Webb (218)
12/21/09 – American (73)
I will have more on why this schedule, despite the absence of big name schools, will be loaded with RPI juice. I might not have to if David Jones’ article covers the job. I look forward to reading his relief and joy about this year’s slate after following 5 straight embarrassing schedules.
Our OOC resume will be much more appealing come next March. At the very least, it won’t prevent us from making the Dance. Unless, of course, we lose a lot of these games – which is how it should be.