Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) In his second season at the helm of the Bearcats, Binghamton head men’s basketball coach Tommy Dempsey has set up a challenging schedule. The school released its 13-game non-conference slate on Tuesday and it features NCAA Final Four team Syracuse, NIT participant St. Joseph’s and five teams that won 18 or more games last season.
There are five home games and eight on the road before the team’s 16-game America East slate begins in January. That conference schedule will be released in the next week.
“We have put together a schedule that will prepare us well for America East conference play,” Dempsey said.
The team’s fifth game against now-ACC member Syracuse highlights the schedule. The teams haven’t played since 2004 when they completed a four-year run of games at the Carrier Dome.
Binghamton opens with an exhibition game against Bloomsburg on November 2 at the Events Center. Then BU welcomes Patriot League member Loyola (Md.) for the regular-season opener on November 8. The Greyhounds, a 2012 NCAA participant, are coming off a 23-win season that included two postseason wins in the CollegeInsider.com tournament.
Back-to-back road games at Ivy League foes Brown (Nov. 10) and Cornell (Nov. 13) precede two straight at home when BU hosts Navy (Nov. 16) and Radford (Nov. 23) for the first time. The Midshipmen return all 15 team members and the game against the Big South member Highlanders is the return game from the Bracketbusters pool matchup two years ago. An away game at St. Peter’s (Nov. 26) closes out the month.
In December, BU will host Colgate (Dec. 1) before playing four straight on the road. After a tough matchup at Mt. St. Mary’s (Dec. 4), BU will face the Orange on December 7. Syracuse went 30-10 last season and won four games in the NCAA tournament to reach the national semifinals. The 2013 BIG EAST runnersup went 17-2 at home.
Binghamton also faces Monmouth (Dec. 14) and Buffalo (Dec. 23) on the road before hosting Bryant on December 28. The Bulldogs, from the Northeast Conference, won 19 games and played in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) last season.
On New Year’s Eve, BU will head to Philly to face Atlantic-10 member St. Joseph’s for the first time. The Hawks won 18 games last year before losing to St. John’s at the buzzer in the NIT first round.
“I know the players are really looking forward to playing in Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve and also the opportunity to play Syracuse at the Carrier Dome,” Dempsey said.
Dempsey returns eight letterwinners, including all-conference selection Jordan Reed and 2011-12 leading scorer Robert Mansell.
2013-14 BU men's basketball non-conference schedule
11/2 BLOOMSBURG (exhib.) 2:00 pm
11/8 LOYOLA (Md.) 8:00 pm
11/10 @ Brown TBA
11/13 @ Cornell 7:00 pm
11/16 RADFORD 2:00 pm
11/16 NAVY 2:00 pm
11/26 @ St. Peter’s 7:00 pm
12/1 COLGATE 2:00 pm
12/4 @ Mt. St. Mary’s 7:00 pm
12/7 @ Syracuse TBA
12/14 @ Monmouth 7:00 pm
12/23 @ Buffalo 12:00 pm
12/28 BRYANT 2:00 pm
12/31 @ St. Joseph’s 2:00 pm