Head coach Donyell Marshall and the Central Connecticut men's basketball team has released its non-conference schedule for the 2017-18 season it was announced Tuesday. Central will play teams from nine conferences in its second season under head coach Donyell Marshall.
"We're excited for the 2017-18 non-conference schedule and as we continue to build the program we're looking forward to every opportunity to get better," said Marshall of the schedule. "We'll start on the road at Hartford in what has become our annual opener, and we're excited to continue that rivalry with a local team. The Phil Sellers Showcase is a great chance for our guys to face some good teams, and to spend a lot of time together bonding as a team. This schedule is challenging, but in our second year we wanted to keep pushing forward to take that next step. The Northeast Conference schedule will be released later this week. We had a very productive summer and we're excited for everyone to be back on campus next week."
The 13-game slate features opponents from the America East, American Athletic, ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Horizon League, Ivy League, Mid-American and MEAC Conferences. The Blue Devils will also participate in the five-team Showcase on the Banks with Rutgers, East Carolina, Coppin State and Cleveland State.
Central will tip off the campaign with an exhibition game on Thursday, Nov. 2, against Nyack College. The game will be free and open to the public.
The Blue Devils will face local-rival Hartford in the season-opener for the third straight season. The teams will play on Friday, Nov. 10, at Hartford to begin the campaign. Last season's opener began a five-year agreement between the programs, with CCSU claiming a victory in Marshall's first game as head coach.
Following the season-opener, CCSU will travel to Rutgers on Sunday, Nov. 12; St. John's on Tuesday, Nov. 14; and East Carolina on Friday, Nov. 17.
CCSU will play its home-opener on Tuesday, Nov. 21, against Coppin State and then close out the Showcase on the Banks with a road contest at Cleveland State on Friday, Nov. 24.
The Blue Devils will return to Detrick Gymnasium to host North Carolina A&T on Thursday, Nov. 30, before hitting the road again in four road contests. Central will have a trip to Brown on Saturday, Dec. 2, and will then go to DePaul (Dec. 6), Northern Illinois (Dec. 9) and Boston College (Dec. 17) before playing its final two non-conference games.
Central will host Maine on Wednesday, Dec. 20, and then close out the non-conference slate at UMass Lowell on Saturday, Dec. 23.
The Blue Devils return three starters from last season, including top scorer, junior Austin Nehls (13.4 ppg) who started every game. Senior Mustafa Jones (10.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and sophomore Tyson Batiste (5.2 ppg, 2.9 apg) started 26 and 22 games, respectively, in 2016-17.
Season ticket information for the men's and women's basketball season will be available in October. The Northeast Conference schedule will be announced later in the week.