So, ScarletReport.com's "30 lists in 30 days" segment continues, we take a look at the Top 5 non-conference games on the slate:
5. Dec. 8*, vs. Princeton: The Mike Rice era began with an overtime defeat last season at Jadwin Gym, and this time the Tigers travel to the RAC. It may not have the juice of playing Seton Hall, but it is a long-standing rivalry of schools separated by 18 miles.
Given Rutgers will have seven new players, and Princeton can live off backdoor cuts and change of direction in its motion offense, it will be a good test of the mental discipline of a young team.
4. Nov. 23, vs. Illinois/Richmond: This one comes at the Cancun Challenge, and will be against either a high mid-Major or a Big Ten team. Expect physical play, and will be a very good tune up for where the team in a few weeks into the season.
It may not look sexy, but it likely will be for the Cancun Challenge title, and for a young team, winning a tournament can do wonders for confidence early in a season.
3. Nov. 15*, at Miami: Nothing wrong with an early-season road test. The Hurricanes don't exactly play in an intimidating pit, but there are some pitfalls to playing such a game.
It's an ACC opponent on the road, South Beach is nice any time of year, and it will likely be the first road game of the careers of the heralded freshman class. The road is never easy, and this one can serve as a wonderful learning moment.
2. Dec. 3, vs. LSU: An SEC school comes to the RAC for the first time since 2001, when Auburn made the trip north and left a one-point loser. True, LSU is not Kentucky when it comes to SEC basketball, but this game is part of the Big East/SEC Challenge and will get plenty of air time.
A win against the Tigers won't be the end-all, but it will set up the second month of the season well.
1. Dec. 29*, Florida: Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario returns to the RAC, but as a member of the Gators. It is also the Scarlet Knights' last game before Big East play begins, and the atmosphere should be charged.
*Dates are tentative since the schedule is yet to be released