Mississippi State recently (and finally) got its non-SEC schedule set in stone, so let's take a brief look at each of the opponents.
I've done a little homework on each and give you the basics here (hat tip to Blue Ribbon and Athlon for the bulk of info). You'll see only 12 opponents here; MSU will play 14 non-conference games, but two of those will be against teams yet to be determined at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii (Dec. 22-25). MSU opens that tourney against Washington State; I'll take a closer look at all the participating teams when the tourney draws nearer.
The RPIs are from the end of last season. Enjoy.
Team, Conference, Record (Postseason), RPI
• Tennessee State, Ohio Valley, 9-23, 260: Solid sophs Robert Covington (6-foot-8 forward) and Jacquan Nobles (6-4 sharpshooter) give this team a good inside-outside combo.
• Appalachian State, Southern, 24-13 (CIT semis), 102: Donald Mims is back after leading the conference in scoring last year (20.4 ppg).
• Detroit, Horizon League, 20-14, 163: Freshman point guard Ray McCallum Jr. was a McDonald's All-American and is son of the head coach.
• Troy, Sun Belt, 20-13 (NIT first round), 109: All five starters and 80 percent of scoring from last season are gone.
• Florida Atlantic, Sun Belt, 14-16, 218: Senior Brett Royster, a 6-8 post player, is the reigning Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year and made 90 blocks.
• East Tennessee State, Atlantic Sun, 20-15 (NCAA first round), 115: Returns two starters from team that won the A-Sun tourney, lost to Kentucky in the first round of the NCAAs.
• North Carolina A&T, MEAC, 11-22, 299: Lost its top three scorers from last season.
• Nicholls State, Southland, 11-19, 277: Ranked 21st in the country with 8.6 steals per game last year.
• Alabama State, SWAC, 16-15, 271: Four of its top six scorers, including top two, are gone from last season.
• Virginia Tech, ACC, 25-9 (NIT third round), 56: Hokies, who return top 11 scorers from last season, are ranked No. 21 in the AP preseason poll.
• Washington State, Pac-10, 16-15, 169: Cougars, who finished last in the Pac-10 last season, don't have a single senior on their roster but return all five starters.
• St. Mary's, West Coast, 28-6 (NCAA Sweet 16), 29: Has lost big men Omar Samhan, Ben Allen, who combined for 32.0 ppg, 18.5 rpg last season.