WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - William & Mary head men’s basketball coach Tony Shaver announced a loaded and difficult non-conference schedule on Monday to round out the Tribe’s 2015-16 slate. Highlighting the non-conference ledger are road ventures to NCAA Tournament teams in N.C. State, Dayton and Virginia, while the six-game home schedule includes contests against NIT Semifinalist Old Dominion, Big South Regular Season Champion High Point and Mid-American Conference regular season winner Central Michigan.
Of the Green and Gold’s 11-game slate prior to CAA play, seven contests will be against teams that competed in the post season in 2015, six of those squads posted 20-win seasons and to cap it off, four won either their conference regular season or tournament championships. In total, Tribe non-conference opponents averaged nearly 20 wins and posted a winning percentage near 60 percent last season.
W&M opens the year with a pair of road games. The Tribe travels to 2015 NCAA Sweet 16 participant N.C. State on Friday, Nov. 13, before heading to Liberty on Nov. 17. The Wolfpack posted a 22-14 mark last season, picking up NCAA Tournament wins over LSU and Villanova on the way to the Sweet 16. W&M and Liberty will meet for the seventh time in the last eight years. Ritchie McKay returns to the Flames' sideline as head coach in 2014-15 after spending the last six seasons as the associate head coach at Virginia.
The Tribe opens its home slate against NAIA foe Washington Adventist on Nov. 19, before facing back-to-back NCAA Tournament teams prior to Thanksgiving. W&M travels to Dayton on Saturday, Nov. 21. Last season the Flyers advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing with a 27-9 mark. They welcome back four starters, including Dyshawn Pierre and Kendall Pollard who both averaged 12.7 points per game.
The Green and Gold returns home to play its second straight NCAA Tournament opponent in Hampton on Thanksgiving Eve (Wednesday, Nov. 25) as part of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. The Pirates won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament title a season ago, before winning its first round game against Manhattan in March. It will be the 18th time in the last 21 years that the Hampton Roads teams have squared off, and W&M leads the series at 10-7.
For the sixth straight season, W&M and Howard will meet, and it will be the Tribe’s second straight game against one of the top teams in the MEAC on Saturday, Nov. 28, in Washington, D.C. The Bison return four starters, including leading scorer James Daniel III (16.7 ppg), to go along with welcoming back forward Prince Okoroh, who missed 2015 due to injury after averaging 13.8 points per game in 2014. Howard finished last season at 16-16 and 10-6 in the MEAC.
The Tribe plays four its final five non-conference games in the friendly confines of Kaplan Arena during December. W&M and Old Dominion square off for the 43rd straight season when the Green and Gold hosts the Monarchs are Dec. 1. ODU returns its top two scorer from last season, including All-Conference USA guard Trey Freeman, from a team that went 27-8 and advanced to the NIT Semifinals.
W&M’s final non-conference road test comes at reigning ACC regular season champion Virginia on Dec. 5. The Cavaliers advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament last season and finished with a 30-4 record, including a remarkable 15-1 ledger at home. UVa returns two All-ACC players, headlined by All-American Malcolm Brodgdon.
Following a two-week break for final exams at the College, W&M will have two home games prior to Christmas. The Tribe welcomes Division III counterpart Mary Washington to Williamsburg on Dec. 18, before hosting High Point on Dec. 21. HPU has won three straight Big South Regular Season Championships and finished last season at 23-10 while advancing to the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). The Panthers return three-time First Team All-Big South player John Brown, who averaged 19.3 points and six rebounds per game in 2014-15.
The Tribe wraps up the non-conference slate against MAC Regular Season Champion Central Michigan on Dec. 29 in another men's and women's doubleheader. The Chippewas return all five starters and a trio of double-digit scorers from a squad that posted a 23-9 record in 2014-15. After winning the MAC regular season, CMU fell in the championship game of the league tournament before taking part in the NIT. Chris Fowler, who was a First Team All-MAC selection, is Central Michigan’s top returning scorer at 16.2 points per game.
The CAA released the league portion of the schedule on Aug. 24. Click HERE for the complete release. Highlighting the league slate, W&M will have a pair of national TV contests on the NBC Sports Network against Delaware on Feb. 6 in Williamsburg and at James Madison on Feb. 27. The Green and Gold opens the league schedule on New Year’s Eve against Towson, before hosting College of Charleston on Jan. 2.
The Tribe returns four starters, including a pair of All-CAA selections, from last season's team that won the CAA regular season championship, played in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) and finished the year at 20-13. Senior Terry Tarpey, who led the CAA in rebounding and steals, returns after being named Second Team All-CAA, Second Team NABC All-District and the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2015. Junior Omar Prewitt, who ranked second on the team at 13.5 points per game last season, was a Third Team All-CAA selection in 2015 and earned a spot on the CAA Championship All-Tournament team. Along with Tarpey and Prewitt, junior Daniel Dixon returns after averaging 11.1 points per game last season, while senior Sean Sheldon (6.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg) rounds out the group of returning starters. Over the last two season, W&M leads the CAA in victories (40) and has played in the NIT on two occasions in the last six seasons.
|2015 W&M NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN|
2015 POST SEASON
||at N.C. State||22-14
|It will be only the third meeting between the former Southern Conference counterpart since 1970 and the first meeting since 2007.|
|Nov. 17||at Liberty||8-24||-||Tied,
|W&M, 84-72 (11/12/13)||The teams will meet for the seventh time in the last eight years, and W&M has won three straight in the series.|
|Nov. 19||Washington Adventist
|27-9||NCAA Third Round||First meeting||First Meeting||-|
NCAA Second Round
|HU, 77-69 (11/8/13)||It will be the 18th meeting in the last 21 years and the teams have split the last six, while W&M had won the last four in Williamsburg.|
|W&M, 56-49 (11/18/14)||The teams will meet for the sixth straight season. W&M won last three meetings, including an 84-79 OT win in Washington in 2013.|
|Dec. 1||Old Dominion||27-8||NIT Semifinalist||ODU,
|ODU, 69-62 (12/22/14)||It will mark the 43rd straight season that the teams have played and W&M has won three of the last four meetings.|
|30-4||ACC Champion/NCAA Third Round||UVa,
|UVa, 76-56 (11/12/10)||It will be the first meeting since 2010.|
|8-19||-||First Meeting||First Meeting||-|
|23-10||Big South Champion/CIT||HPU,
|HPU, 66-63 (12/6/14)||The teams will play for the fourth straight season with the Panthers winning the last two meetings.|
|23-9||MAC Champion/NIT||First Meeting||First Meeting||W&M will play its second MAC opponent in four years after facing Miami (Ohio) in 2012 and 2013.|