Ben Howland’s first non-conference schedule at Mississippi State is unimpressive

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Ben Howland’s first season in Starkville should result in a fairly favorable record for the Bulldogs, as Mississippi State’s newly-announced non-conference schedule is not exactly taxing.

The Bulldogs will play at Florida State, a potential tournament team, and UMKC, as well as potentially squaring off with Utah, Butler, Miami and Minnesota at the Puerto Rico Classic. But beyond that, MSU’s schedule is fairly unimpressive.

Eastern Washington made the 2015 NCAA tournament but lost star Tyler Harvey to the NBA Draft. North Carolina Central has been a powerhouse in the MEAC the last three years, but it’s the MEAC. Tulane is technically a high-major program now that they’re in the American, but a loss to Tulane would look much worse than a win would look good.

The good news? Star freshman Malik Newman should be able to make a run at leading the country in scoring heading into SEC play.

Here’s the full schedule:

Nov. 6: Fort Valley State (EXB)
Nov. 13: Eastern Washington
Nov. 16: Southern University
Nov. 19-22: Puerto Rico Classic (Utah, Butler, Miami, Minnesota, Temple, Missouri State, Texas Tech)
Nov. 28: UT Martin
Dec. 2: Texas Southern
Dec. 12: at Missouri-Kansas City
Dec. 16: at Florida State
Dec. 19: Tulane
Dec. 23: vs. Northern Colorado (Jackson, MS)
Dec. 31: North Carolina Central