By Bob Hertzel
Times West Virginian
West Virginia’s 13-game non-conference schedule, released Thursday, includes the kind of games Coach Bob Huggins likes to schedule to test his team before it moves into conference play.
This year’s opening non-conference game is a Nov. 12 trip to Spokane, Wash., to face Gonzaga, a regular visitor to postseason play, as part of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. The Mountaineers then will play three games in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.
Featured in the Old Spice Classic are Vanderbilt, Clemson, Davidson, Marist, Oklahoma, UTEP, Gonzaga and WVU.
There will be two true road games, one a trip to Pittsburgh on Dec. 11, but it won’t be arch-rival Pitt who provides the opposition. This game, instead, is a return for WVU assistant coach Ron Everhart of Fairmont, who returns to Duquesne, where he was fired as head coach after last season.
The other true road game is a tough battle against the Big Ten’s Purdue at West Lafayette, Ind., on Jan. 19.
The annual Capital Classic battle with Marshall is slated for Dec. 5 in Charleston, an earlier date than normal.
Perhaps the non-conference highlight, however, is a Dec. 15 matchup in Brooklyn, N.Y., that pits Bob Huggins against his WVU predecessor John Beilein and his Michigan Wolverines.
The Mountaineers’ non-conference home games will be against Virginia Tech, VMI, Oakland, Mich., Radford and Eastern Kentucky, coached by former John Beilein assistant Jeff Neubauer. Ryan Parsons, son of WVU deputy athletic director Mike Parsons, plays for Neubauer at EKU.
Perhaps the most fun part of the preseason could be the lone exhibition game when Huggins and WVU host Glenville State, which has Huggins’ former players Joe Mazzulla, a Coliseum favorite, and Rob Summers on the coaching staff.
Contact Bob Hertzel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.