2018-2019 Men’s basketball schedule filled with non-conference tests

Ryan Pye

The Georgia Southern men’s basketball 2018-2019 non-conference schedule was finally released last week, highlighted by teams like Bradley, George Mason and ETSU at home, a trip to in-state opponent Mercer, and a matchup with defending Pac-12 champion Arizona.

The path to success for the Eagles will not be an easy one, as they will face off with three teams who were in the top-100 in the NCAA RPI last season.

Head Coach Mark Byington claims there is no weak opponent listed on their schedule. He said, “Almost every team on our schedule is picked to finish top of their conference.”

Byington added that he will rely on his older, more experienced group of guys to lead the team through the tough schedule.

“It’s a cliché to say it’s another game, but it truly is,” Byington said of playing national powerhouse Arizona. “I’m gonna prepare as hard as I can for every single game.”

Regarding how his team would react to playing in such a large-scale environment like Tucson, Arizona, Byington added that they have been in similar situations before, and many of the players on the roster have already played against perennial powers while at Georgia Southern, such as when they traveled to Duke two years ago.

Byington said he wants his team to keep doing what they are supposed to be doing, no matter the opponent. If they do that, he added, they can contend, and possibly even win, against a team heavily favored, like they did against Wake Forest just last year.

Although the season doesn’t officially begin for nearly two months, the anticipation surrounding the Eagles’ 2018-2019 season is growing, as they set out to reach over 20 wins in back-to-back seasons.

Ryan Pye, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu