Texas released its complete basketball schedule for the upcoming season, and a couple of points stand out.
* The early non-conference home schedule stinks -- but it should help a squad that will probably have its entire rotation consist of freshmen and sophomores get valuable playing experience while also picking up some wins.
* The non-conference schedule away from Austin borders on brutal and will give that young rotation a taste of NCAA Tournament level play.
*Texas will play on national TV a lot, maybe as many as 18 times.
* And yes, Texas will also have three games on the Longhorn Network.
The December home schedule is filled with the usual suspects: Coppin State, Fresno State, Sam Houston State, Texas-Arlington, Texas State and Rice. The one jewel in the home slate is a Dec. 19th matchup with North Carolina.
The Coppin State game somehow is folded into the Maui Invitational this year. Texas will host the Eagles on Nov. 12th before heading out to Hawaii where they will play Chaminade Nov. 19th and then either USC or Illinois the next round. The teams on the other side of the bracket are Marquette, Mississippi State, Butler and North Carolina.
December has several quality games squeezed around a home game with Texas State. The Horns will play Georgetown Dec. 4th in Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V. Classic and then face UCLA down in Houston at Reliant on Dec. 8th.
Texas hosts Texas State on the 15th followed by North Carolina on the 19th. Texas will then travel to East Lansing to play Michigan State on Dec. 22nd. With the exception of the Texas State contest, the rest should be televised nationally.
Thanks to the Big 12 round robin schedule for basketball, the Erwin Center will see quality opponents in January and February and 11 of the 18 conference games on the Horns schedule will be telecast nationally. Kansas comes to Austin on Jan. 19th and CBS will televise the contest. The Horns return trip to Lawrence on Feb. 16th has already been picked by ESPN to get the College Gameday treatment.
The Longhorn Network will televise three Big 12 Conference home games this year -- Texas Tech on Jan. 26th. TCU on Feb. 2nd and Kansas State on Feb. 23rd.
This schedule should be a good mixture of glorified scrimmages and elite opponents to give a ridiculously young team a chance to mature and prepare for post-season play.