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Mississippi State releases 2014-15 non-conference basketball schedule

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We got a look today at what the non-conference portion of the schedule will look like for year three of the Rick Ray era.

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a season where it showed promise early but faded late, Mississippi State heads into the 2014-15 season still looking to take the next step under head coach Rick Ray.  Part of the path to that next step was unveiled today as Mississippi State released its 2014-15 non-conference schedule.  The schedule, which kicks off with MSU facing Western Carolina at home on November 14th, includes eight home games as well as the annual trek to Jackson's Mississippi Coliseum.  While the schedule does include plenty of games State should win such as Clayton State, South Carolina Upstate and others, it also features a bit more beef, as teams such as TCU, Florida State and 2013-14 ranked Saint Louis dot the pre-conference schedule.  Here's the full list of games:

November
  • 6th - Delta State (exh)
  • 14th - Western Carolina
  • 17th - Mississippi Valley State
  • 22nd - Utah State
  • 24th - Clayton State
  • 28th - St. Louis (Corpus Christi Challenge)
  • 29th - Bradley/TCU (Corpus Christi Challenge)
December
  • 6th - @ Tulane
  • 13th - @ Oregon State
  • 17th - Arkansas State
  • 20th - USC Upstate (Jackson, MS)
  • 23rd - Jacksonville
  • 30th - McNeese State
January
  • 2nd - Florida State

Mississippi State will be looking to make postseason play for the first time since the 2011-12 season when they kick off the season on November 14th.  While Coach Ray has spent the first several seasons trying to beef up the roster, he finally has a strong core group of returning talent in year three led by juniors Fred Thomas, Craig sWord and Gavin Ware.  MSU will also add much-needed low-post depth this season with newcomers Travis Daniels, Fallou Ndoye and Johnny Zuppardo.

Here's to hoping the Bulldogs can do some damage in this part of the schedule this fall.

Hail State