Head coach Donyell Marshall and the Central Connecticut men's basketball team has released its non-conference schedule for the 2016-17 season it was announced Wednesday. It will be the Blue Devils' first campaign under Marshall and will feature three non-conference home games, including the season-opener on Friday, November 11 against Hartford to commence a five-game series between the local rivals.
"It's been exciting to go through the process of putting together a schedule," Marshall said. "I thought it was important for us to continue playing Hartford with the local rivalry we have and I'm happy we will be able to do that. We will also play Yale, who made the NCAA Tournament and made a postseason run."
The 11-game slate features opponents from the America East, Atlantic 10, BIG EAST, Big Ten and Ivy League Conferences. Central will face a pair of teams that won their conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in Seton Hall (BIG EAST) and Yale (Ivy League).
The Blue Devils will open against local rival, Hartford, for the second consecutive season. Last season's opener came in the CT6 and was an exciting double-overtime contest won by the Hawks. This year's meeting will begin a five-year agreement between the programs, with CCSU hosting the first game in the series, before the next two games move to Hartford. The two will meet at Detrick Gym again for the 2019-20 season before returning to Hartford in 2020-21 for the final meeting in the series.
Following the opener, Central will take to the road for a pair of away contests. CCSU will travel to Seton Hall on Sunday, Nov. 13 and then play at Binghamton on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
CCSU will return to New Britain to host Penn on Tuesday, Nov. 22, before a trip to Maine on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The Blue Devils will host Brown on Saturday, Dec. 3 for their final home game of the non-conference slate before embarking on a five-game road swing.
Over a three-week span, Central will play five games to wrap up the non-conference slate. CCSU will play at Rutgers on December 6, followed by Duquesne (Dec. 10) and Yale (Dec. 13). The Blue Devils will close out the road swing with games at UMass Lowell (Dec. 18) and Fordham (Dec. 21) before the holidays.
"We have a good schedule for a team looking to boost its RPI," Marshall said. "I'm looking forward to coming back to some of these schools as a coach after having played against them as a player [at UConn]."
This will be Marshall's first season at the helm of the Blue Devils. Marshall's squad returns three of its top four scorers, including senior Khalen Cumberlander, junior Mustafa Jones and sophomore Austin Nehls, along with welcoming six newcomers for the upcoming season.
Season ticket information for the men's and women's basketball season will be available at a later date.