Four non-conference home games does not seem like a lot, but it is an improvement. Also, the recent announcement of new series with ULM and Northwestern State show that the staff is committed to bringing quality teams to the Thomas Assembly Center.
The ULM and Northwestern State series have other benefits as well. The two traditional Louisiana Tech rivals are short distances away. Both teams will draw good crowds to the TAC and it will be cheaper to travel for the Bulldogs when they go on the road.
Speaking of short trips, Tech will face off with Grambling State twice this season. Just five miles down the road, Grambling will bring fans to the TAC and Tech fans will be able to go see both games.
Louisiana Tech also plays regional teams TCU, UALR, ULL, Centenary, McNeese State, Samford, and Houston Baptist; giving Tech fans from all over a chance to see the Dawgs.
The TCU and Houston Baptist games are in Ruston, with Tech making a return trip to TCU next season. The TCU series is the best opponent to sign a home and home agreement with Tech since DePaul in the mid-nineties.
UCLA is by far the biggest name on the schedule. Tech travels out west right after Christmas to take on the Bruins. UCLA lost Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook to the draft, but you can be assured that they reloaded. J'mison Morgan, the "little" brother of former Bulldog Ronnie Morgan will be a freshman on the team along with Jrue Holiday. Scout ranks Morgan as the #3 center and Holiday as the #1 shooting guard in the 2008 class. The Bruins added three four-star players as well, utting together a young, but loaded roster.
One veteran player, senior point guard Darren Collison with return for Bruin Coach Ben Howland. Collison decided to come back for his fourth year and will be one of the top candidates for the Naismith Award. UCLA did lose veteran Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to the draft along with Love and Westbrook.
The UCLA game should be a good test for Coach Rupp to see how his team stacks up to the best in the country.
The Great Alaska Shootout is another chance for Tech to measure itself against the rest of the country. Louisiana Tech, along with Northern Illinois and San Diego State, headline a field of eight that will tip off in November.
The home games and the nearby road games give the Bulldogs a chance to win some early games and they give Tech fans a chance to see their team play numerous times.
This is one of the best schedules that Tech basketball has seen in recent years and it looks to only get better in the future.