Radford head coach Mike Jones announced Thursday his team’s schedule for the upcoming 2014-15 season. The lineup features a 15-game home schedule, plus three non-conference games against teams from the Commonwealth of Virginia and two more from the District of Columbia. The Highlanders will also take part in the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Highlanders carry a lot of momentum into the season coming off a 2013-14 campaign where they tied the Division I school record for wins with 22 and posted the school’s first ever NCAA postseason victory with an opening round win at Oregon State in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).
RU opens the 2014-15 season on the road with back-to-back games at in-state rivals, Richmond and James Madison. The Highlanders and the Spiders will tip off the season on Friday, November 14 at the Robins Center in Richmond. Three days later, RU travels to Harrisonburg to face the Dukes.
The Howard Bison visit the Dedmon Center on Thursday, November 20 for the home opener vs. Jones’ alma mater. The Highlanders also enjoy a five-game homestand in the latter half of December which includes Siena, Cornell, and the Big South opener on New Year’s Eve against UNC Asheville.
“This year’s non-conference schedule is the most challenging one we have had during our tenure at Radford,” Jones said. “Our team will get a stiff test each and every night out to help prepare us for the toughest Big South schedule we have faced as well. Games against Howard, Siena, and Cornell will be great home games for our fans.”
The non-conference schedule also includes road games at Georgetown, Virginia Tech, and TCU.
“The trips to our in-state opponents will be the highlights for me to go along with one of the better preseason tournaments in the country with the Corpus Christi Classic,” Jones said. “Playing Georgetown gives us a chance to play an NCAA Tournament caliber team in a tournament caliber arena, and visit our nation’s capitol.”
The Big South portion of the schedule features an unbalanced 18-game slate with no divisions after the departure of VMI from the conference this season. All 11 teams will qualify for the league tournament with the top five seeds receiving a bye into the second round. The tournament will be held for the third straight season at the HTC Center in Conway, S.C. and is scheduled for March 4-9.
After hosting UNC Asheville to open the conference slate on the final day of 2014, Radford plays four of its next five games on the road against Big South opponents. Following road games at Longwood on January 3 and Gardner-Webb on January 8, Presbyterian will visit the Dedmon Center on January 10. The Highlanders then travel to Campbell on January 15 and Winthrop on January 17 before returning home to face High Point and Liberty on January 22 and 24, respectively.
Radford wraps up the month of January at Charleston Southern on the 28th and at home hosting Winthrop on the 31st before heading to the final eight games of the regular season in February.
After a trip to High Point on February 3, RU hosts Charleston Southern and Longwood on the 6th and 11th, respectively. The Highlanders travel to Presbyterian before hosting defending Big South champion Coastal Carolina on February 16. It is the only meeting of the regular season between the Highlanders and the Chanticleers.
The Highlanders end the regular season with trips to UNC Asheville and Liberty before returning home on February 28 against Gardner-Webb for Senior Day.
“Our league is the toughest it’s been in years,” Jones said. “Several teams have a lot coming back and everyone has improved. We all will be beating each other up on the way to a championship.”
Each Radford home contest and road conference games are carried live on-line for free on the Big South Network. A more detailed broadcast schedule, including the Big South’s conference TV package, will be released at a later date.