The Dolphins play at Miami, an NIT participant last season, on Nov. 16 and go to Bloomington, Ind., Dec. 28 to play the Hoosiers, who made the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament last season.
“We play some extremely good teams in the non-conference portion of our schedule,’’ JU head coach Cliff Warren said. “Two of them were in post season tournaments last season and they will help us prepare for what will be a challenging race in the Atlantic Sun Conference.”
Following the Miami trip, the Dolphins, coming off an 8-21 season (6-12 in the A-Sun) will participate in the four-game Hoops for Hope Classic.
The Hopes for Hoops Classic is unique in that the first two games will be at Missouri State (Nov. 19) and at Arkansas-Little Rock (Nov. 21) with the final two games scheduled for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Nov. 24 and 25.
“It’s a unique tournament format and we look forward to the challenge of playing teams of that caliber,’’ Warren said. JU also plays a Southeastern Conference team when it travels to South Carolina on Dec. 7.
The Dolphins begin their A-Sun schedule on New Year’s Eve with a home game against newcomer Northern Kentucky and follow with another home game, against Lipscomb, on Jan. 2.
The Dolphins play cross-town rival North Florida Jan. 18 and Feb. 15 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena where all JU home games are scheduled to be played. The Jan. 18 game is UNF’s home game in the series.
The Dolphins wind down the season with three home games (UNF, South Carolina Upstate and East Tennessee State) and two on the road at Lipscomb and Northern Kentucky on March 2.
“The A-Sun is a highly competitive and challenging league and is well balanced from top to bottom,’’ Warren said. “It is always challenging and so balanced, every game is a fight.’’