Bulldogs unveil non-conference schedule

Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland released his non-conference schedule on Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland released his non-conference schedule on Tuesday. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Ben Howland has unveiled his non-conference schedule for his second season at Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs will battle eight non-league foes at Humphrey Coliseum beginning with Norfolk State on Nov. 11. MSU will also host Lehigh (Nov. 25), Northwestern State (Nov. 28), Oregon State (Dec. 1), Georgia State (Dec. 4), East Tennessee State (Dec. 14), Morehead State (Dec. 22) and Missouri-Kansas City (Dec. 29).

The Bulldogs will also meet four opponents on a neutral floor as well. State will take part in the Charleston Classic Nov. 17-20 playing three games in a four day span. The Bulldogs’ opponents at the event have not been announced but the field consists of Wake Forest, UTEP, Central Florida, Boise State, Western Michigan, host College of Charleston and defending NCAA Champion Villanova.

I feel we have put together a quality schedule that will get us ready for SEC play,” Howland said. “We certainly face a challenge in Charleston, with the likes of Villanova and Wake Forest.”

As was revealed over the weekend, Mississippi State will begin a four-year series with Southern Miss at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson starting on Dec. 19. It will be the first time in 15 years the Bulldogs and Golden Eagles have met on the hardwood.

I’m really excited about adding Southern Miss for four years, and it will be a game both fan bases will look forward to in Jackson and the type that will create a lot of buzz statewide. It’s great that both schools agreed to renew this series.”

MSU went 14-17 in Howland’s first season at the helm. Senior I.J. Ready and sophomores Quinndary Weatherspoon and Aric Holman are the only returning members of last year’s squad to play. Howland signed a top 10 recruiting class to join transfer guard Xavian Stapleton and redshirt forward Joe Strugg.

We are a young team, but one I’m looking forward to coaching,” Howland said. “They will be tested early, but that’s what you want going into league play.”

The remainder of the Bulldogs’ schedule is expected to be released next month by the SEC office.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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