WASHINGTON – On the first day of practice for The Catholic University of America men's basketball team, head coach Steve Howes has announced the 2015-16 slate for Cardinals.
"We have what may be the most challenging schedule since I have been associated with our program as it features as many as five teams that were in the NCAA Tournament last season," said Howes. "The goal is that our strength of schedule will prepare us for conference and hopefully postseason play."
Catholic, which was tabbed No. 4 in Sporting News' Preseason Poll, will potentially face off against two other nationally ranked opponents and up to five teams that made last season's tourney.
CUA opens the season at home against a 2015 NCAA Tournament team on November 14, hosting Neumann at 2 p.m.
The Cards are then off to preseason No. 3 Marietta's 45th Annual Shrine Tournament. Should both the Cards and Pioneers both advance in their games on November 20, it could potentially be an early-season matchup of top-5 teams on November 21.
Catholic also plays host to NCAA-qualifier St. Vincent on December 7, before heading to Dickinson on December 11. The Red Devils also made the tourney last year and were tabbed 15th in the country by Sporting News.
The Cardinals tip-off Landmark play with back-to-back road games against Susquehanna and Moravian on December 2 and 5, respectively.
Catholic once again continues its post-Christmas tournament in 2015-16, hosting Waynesburg, Usrinus and Williams on December 29 and 30 in the CUA-Holiday Inn College Park Classic.
The New Year sees CUA play all conference games as the Cardinals play its first home, Landmark game against Elizabethtown on January 5, at 7 p.m.
The initial rematch of last season's Landmark Championship game will take place on January 16 at Scranton with the second meeting coming in the final game of the season at CUA on February 20.
With all five returning starters and 15-of-16 student-athletes from last season, the Cardinals are a seasoned, veteran team poised for success yet again. All-American and Landmark Player of the Year Bryson Fonville returns to lead the Cards. Reigning Rookie of the Year Jay Howard, the team's leading scorer last season, also looks to build on an impressive freshman campaign. Coach Howes aims for his seventh 20-win season, 10th postseason berth, fourth league title and fifth trip to the Big Dance.