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UConn’s schedule is a little soft, but is that so bad?


Mike Miller

Connecticut’s non-conference schedule is loaded with pushovers. So what else is new?

The Huskies, fresh off their third national title since 1999, took a few hits for filling the 2011-12 slate with a series of underwhelming opponents. Maybe it’s a way to ensure they won’t have a post-championship hangover. Or maybe it’s the best way to transition to the post-Kemba Walker era.

Whatever the reason, it probably doesn’t matter. Mike DeCourcy writes that all Jim Calhoun’s trying to do is prepare his team for conference play. As Syracuse discovered long ago, the Big East is usually challenge enough for any team. Hell, UConn was 9-9 in Big East play last year after handling everything its rough non-conference schedule dished out.

That seemed to work out.

So what’s that schedule look like? Have a peek:

  • Nov. 2 AIC (exhibition)
  • Nov. 6 (exh.) CW Post
  • Nov. 11 Columbia
  • Nov. 14 Wagner
  • Nov. 17 Maine
  • Nov. 20 Coppin State
  • Nov. 24-26 Battle 4 Atlantis (Bahamas) UConn, Harvard, Florida State, Utah, Massachusetts, Central Florida, College of Charleston, UNC-Asheville
  • Dec. 3 Arkansas (BIG EAST/SEC Challenge)
  • Dec. 7 Harvard
  • Dec. 18 Holy Cross
  • Dec. 22 Fairfield
  • Jan. 21 at Tennessee

Aside from featuring the usual pushovers to start November, it’s not the worst schedule.

Florida State and its nasty defense won’t be an automatic win. Arkansas has a new coach, but Mike Anderson’s style and personnel should provide a test. (Besides, blame the Big East/SEC Challenge folks for whiffing on that one.)

And Tennessee? Well, OK. That game blows. But it should’ve been a marquee matchup if Bruce Pearl hadn’t lost his marbles.

Besides, if you’re making a schedule with a roster that has a few questions, setting up killer game after killer game might backfire.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.