ATHENS, Ohio –The Ohio men's basketball team has released its 2019-20 non-conference schedule, first-year head coach Jeff Boals announced today (Aug. 13). The schedule includes eight home games, including six in a row, and six road contests, three of which will take place at a neutral site during the 2019 Myrtle Beach Invitational. The 2019 non-conference schedule will see the Bobcats face off with Baylor, Villanova, Purdue and Iona - four teams that made last year's NCAA Tournament.
"We are looking forward to a challenging non-conference schedule that will help prepare us for Mid-American Conference play," Boals said. "We are playing four teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year, highlighted by a visit to the Convocation Center from Purdue. We are excited to be playing in the Myrtle Beach Invitational, where we will play Baylor in the first round."
The Bobcats begin things at home on Saturday, Nov. 2 when Ohio faces off with Capital for the annual Dad's Weekend exhibition match.
The Bobcats will the open the regular season on the road when they head to Olean, N.Y. to take on St. Bonaventure on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Ohio and the Bonnies will meet for the first time since 2015.
Ohio then returns to Athens on Saturday, Nov. 9 to host Heidelberg inside the Convo.
Ohio will then begin a stretch of five-straight road games starting on Wednesday, Nov. 13 when the Bobcats head to New Rochelle, N.Y. to take on Iona. The Bobcats and Gaels met last season in Athens, with Ohio coming out on top with the 89-65 victory. Iona went on to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Ohio will remain on the road when they head to Villanova, Pa. on Saturday, Nov. 16 to take on Villanova. Last season, Villanova advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Ohio and Villanova last met on Jan. 5, 1940.
Ohio will then head to Conway, S.C. for the 2019 Myrtle Beach Invitational. The Bobcats open play on Thursday, Nov. 21 when they take on Baylor at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2. This will be the first meeting between Ohio and the Bears, who made it to last year's NCAA Tournament. The following day (Nov. 22), Ohio will take on either Utah or Coastal Carolina, with the conclusion of the three-day tournament set to take place on Sunday, Nov. 24.
The Bobcats will then return to Athens for six-straight home games to close out the non-conference slate. Ohio will first host Detroit Mercy on Saturday, Nov. 30, followed by a home tilt with Rio Grande on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Last season, Ohio defeated Detroit Mercy, 63-61, on the road.
After a Sunday, Dec. 8 meeting with Tennessee Tech, Ohio will host Big Ten opponent Purdue inside the Convocation Center on Tuesday, Dec. 17. It will be the first time Ohio has welcomed a school from the Big Ten since Dec. 8, 2001, when Wisconsin made the trip to Athens. The Bobcats and Boilermakers met last season, with Purdue finishing its season in the 2019 Elite Eight.
Ohio will then host Morehead State on Saturday, Dec. 21, before concluding the non-conference schedule with a matchup against Campbell on Sunday, Dec. 29. Last season, the Bobcats faced off against Campbell, who at the time, was home to the nation's leading scorer in Chris Clemons. Ohio came away with the 81-73 victory inside the Convocation Center.
"Being home the whole month of December will allow us to play in front of our great fanbase before we start MAC play," Boals said.
The Bobcats enter the season under Boals, and will return Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year and MAC All-Freshman Team member Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wisc.), along with fellow All-Freshman Team member Jason Preston (Orlando, Fla.). Ohio will welcome seven newcomers to the roster: freshmen Ben Roderick (Columbus, Ohio), Marvin Price (Baltimore, Md.), Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y.), Michael Brown (Rochester, N.Y.), Lunden McDay (Akron, Ohio), Nolan Foster (Mattawan, Mich.) and graduate transfer Sylvester Ogbonda (Port Harcourt, Nigeria).
Stay tuned to OhioBobcats.com for the release of the conference schedule and game times.