STARKVILLE (HailState.com) – Year 2 of the Ben Howland Era officially gets underway on Nov. 11 when Mississippi State ushers in the 2016-17 campaign against Norfolk State at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs’ non-conference schedule features 12 games, eight at home and three at the Charleston Classic in South Carolina on Nov. 17-20. It’s a field that features the likes of defending NCAA champion Villanova, Wake Forest, UTEP, Central Florida, Boise State, Western Michigan and hostCollege of Charleston.
“I feel we have put together a quality schedule that will get us ready for SEC play,” Howland said. “We certainly face a challenge in Charleston, with the likes of Villanova and Wake Forest.”
MSU, led by the return of All-SEC Freshman Quinndary Weatherspoon, also returns to Jackson on Dec. 19 in a highly-anticipated matchup against in-state rival Southern Miss, marking the first outing between the two since the Bulldogs claimed a 75-68 win in the opening round of the 2001 NIT.
Mississippi State owns a 14-4 series advantage against the Golden Eagles, but USM holds a 2-1 lead in Jackson. The two last played at Mississippi Coliseum in December of 1980, with MSU dropping a 68-53 decision.
This is a four-year series, with all games played in the capital city.
“I’m really excited about adding Southern Miss for four years, and it will be a game both fan bases will look forward to in Jackson and the type that will create a lot of buzz statewide. It’s great that both schools agreed to renew this series.”
The Bulldogs also have return games against Oregon State on Dec. 1 and Missouri-Kansas City on Dec. 29. The Beavers were 19-13 last year and lost to VCU in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, 75-67.
Looking at the rest of the schedule, MSU plays host to Lehigh on Nov. 25 and Northwestern State on Nov. 28.
Then in December, the Bulldogs face Georgia State on Dec. 4 before playing East Tennessee State 10 days later. Sandwiched between the USM and UMKC games is a date with Morehead State on Dec. 22.
We are a young team, but one I’m looking forward to coaching,” Howland said. “They will be tested early, but that’s what you want going into league play.”
2016-17 Basketball Schedule
N11 Friday Norfolk State
N17 Thursday # Charleston Classic
N18 Friday # Charleston Classic
N20 Sunday # Charleston Classic
N25 Friday Lehigh
N28 Monday Northwestern State
D1 Thursday Oregon State
D4 Sunday Georgia State
D14 Wednesday ETSU
D19 Monday ! Southern Mississippi
D22 Thursday Morehead State
D29 Thursday University Missouri Kansas City
# - Charleston, S.C.
! – Jackson, Miss
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