Marquette Basketball’s 2016-2017 Non-Conference Schedule

(Photo courtesy of Alex Lahr, Marquette '14)

What do you get when an IUPUI Jaguar, a San Jose State Spartan and a Grambling State Tiger plan to travel to Milwaukee to play basketball? Disappointment. This past month Marquette’s 2015-2016 non-conference basketball schedule was released to the public. Despite an enthusiastic fan base that lives and breathes college basketball from November onward, there was a lackluster response to the schedule. If you haven’t checked out the schedule yet, give it a quick look. Teams that earned a winning record during 2014-2015 season are underlined. Yeah…there were only three.

  • Nov. 9: Valley City State (Exhibition)
  • Nov. 13: Belmont (Legends Classic)
  • Nov. 16: IUPUI (Legends Classic)
  • Nov. 19: Iowa (Gavitt Tip-OFF Games)
  • Nov. 29: Jackson State
  • Dec. 2: Grambling State
  • Dec. 5: Maine
  • Dec. 8: San Jose State
  • Dec. 12: at Wisconsin
  • Dec. 22: Chicago State
  • Dec. 27: Presbyterian
  • Dec. 27: Stetson

The schedule is about as impressive as my golf game, which is likewise decidedly brutal. It includes only three teams who recorded winning records last year: Belmont, Iowa and Wisconsin. There were three teams who failed to even break the five win mark: Grambling State, Maine and San Jose State. Bonus points for Maine because I’d always schedule them on Campus Legend mode in NCAA Football 07 so I could pad my player’s stats and virtually ensure a Heisman trophy. All is not lost though, because if Marquette plays better than last year (it’d be hard to play worse…) they could begin Big East Conference play with ten plus wins. Coach Wojciechowski has said time and time again that he wants to play the best, but if this is his version of “the best,” perhaps someone else should plan the scheduling. Since it’s never too early to look forward to next NEXT season, here are the most likely candidates for Marquette’s 2016-2017 non-conference schedule. We’ll take an in depth look at the three most likely candidates, and list the rest.

Marquette has a long way to go before they capture another Big East title. Will this year’s light schedule help or hinder their cause? (Photo courtesy of bettingsports.com)

The Wisconsin Lutheran Warriors:

2014-2015 record: 14-12

Marquette played a fierce exhibition game with this squad to open up the 2014-2015 basketball season. Well, Marquette won 115-47, but do you honestly expect any of these teams besides Iowa, Wisconsin or Belmont to do any better? The Warriors finished the season with a winning record AND they got over the five game hump. I know they’re a Division III team, but they’re already more impressive than a majority of Marquette’s non-conference schedule, and that’s why this could be a great rivalry. Both Wisconsin Lutheran and Marquette are located in the same city, less than six miles away from each other. It already has all the criteria for a great in-state, non-conference rivalry. Plus their current mascot, the Warrior, is Marquette’s former mascot, just significantly more politically correct. Marquette’s strength of schedule couldn’t possibly get any worse, so it makes complete sense to schedule Wisconsin Lutheran. Only this time, schedule them for the regular season. Prepare to see this rivalry go right up there with Alabama-Auburn, Notre Dame-USC and Duke-UNC.

The Wisconsin Lutheran Warriors are what some may call a “scrappy team.” But a future rival with Marquette? Possibly. (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Lutheran Sports)

The University of Phoenix Online:

2014-2015 record: N/A

Okay…so the University of Phoenix is an online college that doesn’t actually have a basketball team. Just roll with me on this one. I’ve done the research and found that former basketball players Shaquille O’Neal & Randy Livingston, NFL player Larry Fitzgerald, and rapper Lil Wayne are all alumni of the University of Phoenix. Certainly they’d be willing to come together for some publicity since most of them are past their prime. Although free throws and substance abuse might be a problem for the team, they should prove to be a tough squad. Shaq is taller than anyone on the Golden Eagle’s roster, Larry Fitzgerald has great hands, Shaun Livingston is still playing basketball, and Lil Wayne? Well…Lil Wayne could write the world’s first college fight song that requires a parental advisory warning label. The downside of this star studded lineup? They only have four players. This means they’d have to call up several other current students to fill the remaining roster spots. All things considered, they’re still off to a better start than Grambling State or San Jose State.

Shaq read good. Play sportsball good. Graduate from University of Phoenix online good too. (Photo courtesy of @WorldStarFunny on Twitter.)

 

Creighton Preparatory School:

2014-2015 record: 24-2, Nebraska State Class A Champions

Now you may be asking yourself, “Jamey, isn’t Creighton Prep a high school?” And you’d be correct. But this is the match-up the fans have been begging for. At 24-2, the Junior Jays were by far the most dominant basketball team in Nebraska last season. They essentially coasted their way to a state championship, and ended their year with a victory against Omaha South in the state title game. So what makes a possible match-up with Marquette so juicy? Both are private Jesuit schools. My God, just imagine all the salmon colored shorts, Sperry and polo shirts that would be worn in the student sections. You’d be unable to tell which fan base is which. Both schools also feature avian mascots: the Creighton Prep Junior Jays and the Marquette Golden Eagles. So when the game ends, both fan bases would fly the coop pretty quickly, making cleanup for the custodial staff a breeze. Most importantly though, since coach Wojo essentially scheduled high school caliber teams this year, he might as well play against one that isn’t mediocre.

Where will you be when the Jr. Jays go marchin’ in? (Photo courtesy of NEPrepZone.com)

Other likely opponents for the 2016-2017 season:

  • The Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Want to Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too
  • The Xenon International School of Hair Design
  • The Philadelphia 76ers
  • One of Marquette’s numerous intramural basketball teams.
  • Sky High
  • Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
  • James K. Polk Middle School, the school from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide
  • The University of Wisconsin’s Women’s Basketball Team.

Who would you like to see the Golden Eagles play next year? Real or fictitious, I’d love to hear what you have to say, please comment below!

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