STILLWATER — With a veteran team bent on a big year, Oklahoma State basketball coach Travis Ford went looking for an upgraded nonconference schedule.
Nearly complete and released Wednesday, the early portion of the schedule offers several highlights, including games against Memphis, Purdue, South Carolina and Colorado, along with potential matchups with Butler, Memphis (again), LSU, Washington State, Saint Joseph's and Sienna at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.
And there's one more major piece to come, with the opponent for the All-College Classic yet to be named, although there are strong indications that it could be Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are coming off a 27-win season — second-best in program history — in which they appeared in the Top 25 for the first time in 28 years, dating back to Karl Malone's days in the program.
Tech returns all five starters from a lineup that advanced to the second round of the NIT and brings back eight of its top 10 scorers.
“We have some very exciting games during the nonconference portion of our schedule,” Ford said. “We will play some challenging games, both at home and away. It will not only help us prepare for the Big 12 schedule, but the postseason as well.
“Ultimately, we want to give our team an opportunity to get better over the course of the season, and also provide our fans with some enjoyable games inside Gallagher-Iba Arena.”
Following two exhibition games against teams still to be determined, OSU opens its regular season on Nov. 8 against Mississippi Valley State.
Home games against Utah Valley State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff lead into a marquee clash with Memphis on Nov. 19 inside Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cowboys head for Florida after that, facing South Florida in Tampa on Nov. 25, before moving up to Orlando for the Old Spice Classic over the Thanksgiving Holiday, matched with Purdue in the opener.