Wednesday, August 10, 2016
HAMPTON, Virginia -- With a veteran team last year, Hampton University men’s basketball coach Buck Joyner scheduled trips across the country. Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Nevada ... it was a fun experience that paid off. The Pirates doubled up as Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champions.
But this season, having lost five of his top six scorers, Joyner is taking a different approach with his non-conference schedule. The farthest places Hampton will go are Princeton, N.J., and Manhattan, Kan. The remaining six non-conference road games are in Virginia or North Carolina.
“We want to make sure they’re athletically acclimated but also academically ready for the rigorous (MEAC) schedule we have,” Joyner said. “We’re going to be young this year, no doubt about that. I feel like the schedule should progress us through the year and get us ready for the MEAC.”
Hampton, which went 21-11 last season and won its second consecutive MEAC championship, will play at Princeton and Kansas State on the road before Thanksgiving. Princeton finished second in the Ivy League last year and lost to Virginia Tech in the National Invitation Tournament. HU’s season ended with a loss to No. 1 seed Virginia in the NCAA tournament.