Defending champion Duke will have a different roster for next season after stud freshmen like Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones declared for the 2015 NBA Draft. But the Blue Devils will still face plenty of stiff tests in the non-conference portion of the 2015-16 season.
The program released its non-conference schedule on Friday and its highlighted by neutral-site games in the 2K Classic, as well as a game against Kentucky in Chicago and a game against Sweet 16 opponent Utah in Madison Square Garden.
Duke starts its 2015-16 season at home for two games in the 2K Classic before journeying to Madison Square Garden for the final four of the tournament against Georgetown, Wisconsin and VCU. A potential title-game rematch against the Badgers would be an enticing matchup, even though both rosters look very different.
In the Champions Classic, the Blue Devils get John Calipari’s Wildcats, in what should be another interesting showcase of two of the nation’s best incoming recruiting classes. Utah could be another stiff test, as the Utes return much of the core of last season’s Sweet 16 team.
The other home games for Duke include Yale, Utah State, Buffalo, Georgia Southern, Elon and Long Beach State.
It doesn’t look like Duke scheduled any true road games for the non-conference portion of the 2015-16 schedule, so we’ll have to see how the defending champions look on the road for the first time during ACC play.