NC State officially announced its 2014-15 men's basketball non-conference schedule on Wednesday afternoon. Even without Missouri on the slate--the return trip to Mizzou was supposed to happen this year but got pushed back a season--it includes some challenging games, especially during the latter half of December. Not that we should expect anything less from Mark Gottfried.
Nov. 14 -- vs. Jackson State
Nov. 17 -- vs. Hofstra
Nov. 20 -- vs. Jacksonville
Nov. 23 -- vs. South Florida
Nov. 26 -- vs. Richmond
Nov. 28 -- vs. Boise State
Dec. 2 -- at Purdue
Dec. 12 -- vs. Charleston Southern (Reynolds Coliseum)
Dec. 14 -- vs. Wofford (Reynolds Coliseum)
Dec. 17 -- vs. Tennessee (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Dec. 20 -- vs. West Virginia (Madison Square Garden)
Dec. 23 -- vs. Louisiana Tech
Dec. 30 -- vs. Cincinnati
The big break between Purdue and Charleston Southern exists because it turns out we have a conference game sandwiched between them. The Wolfpack hosts Wake Forest on Dec. 6. (Earliest-scheduled NCSU conference game ever?)
State's set up well for a good, confidence-building start start, and the Pack will get several opportunities later to put some early bullet points on its NCAA tourney résumé. Tennessee, Cincy, Louisiana Tech (and WVU, maybe? Not sure how the Mountaineers are going to look after losing so much this offseason) all would look good in the win column, and none of those games are away from home.