The Big Ten released dates for the 2015-2016 basketball schedule tonight. Rutgers schedule is now complete, let's take a look at what is ahead for Eddie Jordan's squad in his third season as head coach.
- After opening with Rutgers-Newark and Howard, Eddie Jordan brings his team to St. John's for their first meeting against new coach Chris Mullin. This game is part of the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games, named for Big East founder Dave Gavitt. St. John's overhauled their roster and there is an opportunity to leave Jamaica, Queens with a big early season victory. Jordan and Mullin are battling it out for several players in the upcoming two recruiting classes, including JUCO All-American Bashir Ahmed. It would be nice to pick up a W against our old Big East foe.
- Rutgers plays in Las Vegas the week of Thanksgiving in the MGM Grand Main Event. They open against Creighton and play either Clemson or UMass in their next game of the tournament. Rutgers topped Clemson last season in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
- After returning from Las Vegas, Rutgers hosts Wake Forest in this season's Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This will not be an easy game, but Danny Manning is rebuilding and will be coming off some tough games from the Maui Invitational where they open against Indiana.
- The Garden State Hardwood Classic between blood rival Seton Hall is at the RAC on Saturday, December 5th at high noon. Mark it on your calendar now.
- Another notable non-conference matchup is at George Washington in mid-December. This game is sandwiched between winnable matchups against Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth and UMass-Lowell. It is a must for Rutgers to avoid losses to teams that have no business beating them on paper.
Rutgers' opening week in Big Ten play: Indiana at home Dec. 30, at Wisconsin Jan. 2, at Maryland Jan. 6. Eight-day span. Wow that's rugged.— Jerry Carino (@NJHoopsHaven) August 27, 2015
- Welcome to the Big Ten Corey Sanders and Deshawn Freeman. That is quite a three game stretch to open Big Ten play. I actually like getting two of the most difficult road games out of the way early.
- Nebraska at home January 9th, directly after that grueling three game stretch to open conference play, is a must win.
- The next set of conference games are as follows: at Ohio State, home against Purdue and Iowa, at Michigan and Michigan State. Brutal. Iowa is a possibility, the other four games will require maximum effort and execution to beat those teams on the road. Purdue is going to be very good this year.
- Time to exhale as a possible stretch emerges to put together a winning streak. Home against Illinois, at Nebraska and then a week off before a rematch with Ohio State at the RAC. Illinois should be good but if this team can get the RAC to rock, they have a shot. At Nebraska will not be easy as no Big Ten road game is, but it's not daunting. A week off to prepare for a home rematch with a young Ohio State team playing on the road in mid-February gives RU a fighting chance.
- The last two weeks of the regular season include home games against TTFP and Minnesota and a road game at Northwestern. Winnable contests to finish out the season.
Rutgers full schedule can be viewed here.