A trip to San Juan for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and a road trip to Florida State highlight Mississippi State's out of conference schedule. While the lack of brand names may be disappointing to State fans, the Bulldogs will be opening up against a NCAA tournament team in Eastern Washington and with potential ACC sleepers Miami and Florida State on the docket the Bulldogs will face enough quality competition to head into SEC play with much needed experience.
Following an exhibition game against Fort Valley State, Ben Howland will be coaching against Eastern Washington in his debut game at The Hump. While not known for their basketball prowess, the Eagles had an impressive 2014-2015 campaign, knocking off the Indiana Hoosiers on their way to winning the Big Sky Tournament.
Other notable games on the schedule include Florida State, Tulane and Northern Colorado. While the Bulldogs did upset Florida State last season, the Seminoles have recruited well and are expected to be an ACC dark horse this season under head coach Leonard Hamilton. Along with a revenge game against the Green Wave, Mississippi State will return to Jackson for their annual game in the state capital, this time to face off against Northern Colorado.
This is a very manageable schedule and with some luck Ben Howland could guide the Bulldogs to their most wins in the non-conference since 2011.
2015-16 Non-Conference Schedule
Nov. 6 Friday Fort Valley State (Exhibition)
Nov. 13 Friday Eastern Washington
Nov. 16 Monday Southern University
Nov. 19 Thursday Puerto Rico Classic (Miami Hurricanes)
Nov. 20 Friday Puerto Rico Classic (Texas Tech/Utah)
Nov. 22 Sunday Puerto Rico Classic
Nov. 28 Saturday UT Martin
Dec. 2 Wednesday Texas Southern
Dec. 12 Saturday at Missouri-Kansas City
Dec. 16 Wednesday at Florida State
Dec. 19 Saturday Tulane
Dec. 23 Wednesday vs. Northern Colorado (Jackson, Miss)
Dec. 31 Thursday North Carolina Central
The SEC schedule is still expected to be released in August.