Already believed to be among favorites in MAAC this season, Steve Masiello and Manhattan released nonconference schedule this morning. (Photo courtesy of the New York Daily News)
The wait is over, as Manhattan College today became the first team in the area to release its complete nonconference schedule, a ledger that is equal parts challenging and favorable for Steve Masiello as he begins his third season at the helm in Riverdale.
Before the season begins, the Jaspers will travel to the Bahamas for three exhibition games in the first week of August, and will open the season in Philadelphia on November 9th at the Tom Gola Arena, where they will face reigning Sweet 16 participant La Salle. Three days later, Manhattan will visit Levien Gym for the second consecutive season, when they take on Columbia University for their second contest of the year. The Jaspers' home opener takes place on a Saturday this year, and it comes against Mike Lonergan and George Washington on November 16th, four days before Manhattan travels to Illinois State to take on a Redbirds team who will be rebuilding this season without their inside/outside scoring tandem of Jackie Carmichael and Tyler Brown, both of whom graduated in May.
Manhattan's second nonconference home game is the annual Battle of the Bronx, which will be held this year on Tuesday, November 26th, when Tom Pecora's Fordham Rams make the trip to Draddy Gym. The Rams lose the services of Chris Gaston, but now have an exciting young backcourt, as freshman Jon Severe joins senior point guard Branden Frazier and sweet-shooting sophomore Mandell Thomas on Rose Hill. On November 30th, the Jaspers will get to catch up with Joe Mihalich, their former adversary at Niagara who is now the coach at Hofstra, as Manhattan renews its rivalry with the Pride inside the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead.
Following a two-week break for both final exams and the start of MAAC play, Manhattan visits UNC Wilmington on December 15th to return a BracketBuster contest that was played at Draddy in the 2011-12 season. Two days later, Manhattan travels to South Carolina to meet Frank Martin and the Gamecocks in a rematch of their hotly-contested defensive battle at the Barclays Center last December. Speaking of Brooklyn, Manhattan's final nonconference game will be played at the home of the Nets on December 21st as part of the Holiday Invitational tripleheader. The Jaspers will face Buffalo and new coach Bobby Hurley on a day where Michigan takes on Stanford, while LIU Brooklyn hosts Temple.
We'll have a detailed breakdown of Manhattan's nonconference schedule, and hope to have quotes from head coach Steve Masiello if we can get them, in the coming days. In the meantime, please continue to follow A Daly Dose Of Hoops for all MAAC and Manhattan College news during the offseason.