Here it is! The official 2017-18 @AlabamaMBB non-conference slate. Full release to come soon! #RollTide #BuckleUp pic.twitter.com/D1bryHc3CN— Alabama M Basketball (@AlabamaMBB) July 14, 2017
As I've previously said, I think this is one of the tougher non-conference schedules we've seen in many years. It covers the bases that you want for a non-conference schedule: a good mix of home, road and neutral site games vs quality opposition. My only criticism is that I would have pursued a different opponent for the Huntsville game. You and I know how good Bob Hofmann and Mercer can be, but I'm not sure it's a great draw for the casual fan. I was hoping we might see a mid-major with a little more name recognition, such as a Murray State, Middle Tennessee, etc. Then again, the Huntsville crowd for the game against Arkansas State last season was one of the better crowds we saw all season so it's possible the good folks of Huntsville will turn out regardless of the opponent.
The December slate is absolutely insane. Our guys kick off the month against a quality mid-major in Louisiana Tech, back-to-back home games vs UCF and Rhode Island (both potential NCAA tournament teams), a road trip to Arizona, the Huntsville game against an always tough and well-coached Mercer team, and the game in Birmingham vs Texas (and potential #1 pick Mo Bamba). That schedule will put hair on your chest.
I will write up a preview of each opponent as we get closer to the start of the season. Buckle Up!