Challenging opponents and seven contests inside the friendly confines of Reed Arena highlight the Texas A&M men’s basketball team’s 2014-15 non-conference schedule as Friday the program announced its complete slate of non-SEC games.
“This is one of the most difficult non-conference schedules Texas A&M basketball has faced in some time.” Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said. “I’ve really been impressed by the leadership, talent and maturity of this year’s team during the spring and summer workouts. It will be the best group since I’ve been here and we’re looking forward to the challenge of facing tough competition on the court.”
The new campaign will officially get underway on Nov. 14 when the Aggies host Northwestern State at Reed Arena. Texas A&M enters the season having won 13 straight season-opening games and 14 consecutive home openers.
The Aggies’ first venture away from College Station will be a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Nov. 20-23 for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The event’s impressive field is headlined by defending national champion Connecticut and also includes Boston College, College of Charleston, Dayton, George Mason, New Mexico and West Virginia. The Aggies’ opponents at the tournament are expected to be set in the near future.
After returning to Aggieland from Puerto Rico, Texas A&M will host three consecutive home games beginning Nov. 28 when the team faces New Orleans before returning to the court against Sam Houston State on Dec. 3.
The early-season homestand concludes on Dec. 6 when the Aggies welcome Arizona State to Reed Arena for the first time since 1998. The Sun Devils represent the first of four A&M opponents (Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas State and Mercer) in a six-game stretch that are coming off an appearance in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
On Dec. 9, Texas A&M and Baylor will revive the Battle of the Brazos on the hardwood as the Aggies travel to Waco, Texas, to face the Bears at Ferrell Center. The former Southwest Conference and Big 12 Conference rivals, whose home arenas are separated by 88 miles, have met 205 previous times on the basketball court with the Aggies holding a 127-78 edge in the all-time series, which dates back to the 1914-15 season.
After hosting Youngstown State at Reed Arena on Dec. 13, Texas A&M will once again hit the road, this time traveling to Kansas City’s Sprint Center for a date with former Big 12 foe Kansas State on Dec. 20.
Texas A&M will conclude non-conference play with back-to-back home contests beginning on Dec. 30 against Mercer. Last season, the Bears upset third-seeded Duke to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Aggies’ finale tune-up before SEC play will come on Jan. 3 when they host Hartford.
The SEC is expected to announce the league’s full conference schedule in August. The Aggies’ slate in league play will include home contests against Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt.