For those who thought the Sun Devils’ non-conference basketball schedule was weak last year, this year’s lineup should impress you.
Arizona State will start it’s season on Nov. 8 against Maryland-Baltimore County – the earliest start in school history – and within the first six games of their season, they’ll take on NCAA Tournament teams UNLV (Nov. 19 in Las Vegas, Nev.) and Marquette (Nov. 25 at Wells Fargo Arena).
Arizona State and Marquette will also take part in The Wooden Legacy, which is a new basketball tournament which will take place during the Thanksgiving holiday in Orange County.
The tournament will be held in two different locations: Titan Gym, on the campus of Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 28 & 29), and Honda Center, which will see four placement games played, including the championship game on Sunday, Dec. 1.
Joining the Sun Devils and Golden Eagles will be Creighton, ACC champion Miami (Fla.), San Diego State, Cal State Fullerton, College of Charleston and George Washington.
On Nov. 12, head coach Herb Sendek and the Sun Devils will take Miami of Ohio. This game is significant for Sendek, because that’s where he got his first head coaching job.
From 1993-96, Sendek and the RedHawks were 63-26 (.708) and had three postseason appearances, including an NCAA second-round appearance in 1995 where they shocked the University of Arizona.
DePaul visited Wells Fargo Arena this past season, so the Sun Devils will return the favor with a trip to Chicago, Ill., on Friday, Dec. 6.
It should be a home game of sorts for Arizona State, considering over 7,100 Sun Devil alumni live in the state of Illinois. Only California (35,000+), Texas (10,000+) and Colorado (8,200+) can claim more alumni in their state.
Sendek and the Sun Devils will take on Tubby Smith and the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 21. Sendek and Smith were on the same coaching staff under then-head coach Rick Pitino in the 1990’s.
Conference play begins the week of Jan. 1-5, 2014.