The 2017-18 non-conference schedule is starting to take shape for Duke Basketball after the Blue Devils announce a matchup with a new opponent in December.
Duke Basketball recently added a home game against the University of Evansville for a non-conference matchup this season. The game will be in Cameron on December 20th over winter break and should be the last game for the Blue Devils before the Christmas.
Evansville will be an interesting opponent for the Blue Devils. The small Indiana school will have an experienced team next season despite losing two transfers compared to Duke, who will feature a young team that will miss key players from last year. The Purple Aces also have a great men’s basketball program, winning five NCAA Division II national titles before joining Division I in 1977. They are coming off a down year, finishing 16-17 overall and 6-12 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
UE is the second team Duke will face next season for the first time in program history next season, joining South Dakota who will also make a trip to Durham in December. Aces Head coach Marty Simmons had this to say about his team’s excitement for playing at Duke:
"“The opportunity to play in front of the Cameron Crazies at Cameron Indoor I think can be an experience not only for our players and coaches but our fans and the community of Evansville can talk about for a long time…You just don’t get the opportunity to go and play against a program that’s had the success and the history and everything that goes with being at Duke. Our players will be fathers and grandfathers someday and I think it’s something they can look back upon and be really proud of the experience.”"
After the announcement of the Evansville game, here’s what the Duke Basketball fall schedule looks like so far– two preseason exhibition games in the Dominican Republic, the first game of the season against Elon on Nov. 10th, Utah Valley on Nov. 11th, Michigan State in Chicago for the Champions Classic on Nov. 14th, the PK80 Invitational Tournament in Portland Nov. 23rd-26th, South Dakota on Dec. 2nd, a Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup at Indiana, and Evansville.
Duke Basketball will have a talented but inexperienced roster for the upcoming season. The Blue Devils will be tested early, which will hopefully allow the team to gain chemistry before conference play begins.