Amid the coronavirus pandemic, there was uncertainty whether college basketball teams in smaller conferences would be able to schedule nonconference opponents. Coppin State made it happen.
The Eagles scheduled two blue bloods (Duke and Georgetown) and two local rivals (Towson and UMBC) among its 10 nonconference matchups, the program announced Monday.
Coppin State’s season will begin on the road against Marshall on Nov. 25, the teams' first meeting since 2012, as part of the Marshall Memorial Multi-Team Event (MTE). The Eagles will face Tennessee State on Nov. 26 as part of the round-robin tournament in West Virginia.
Their biggest test will come on the road Nov. 28 against coach Mike Krzyzewski and five-time national champion Duke, which was ranked No. 9 in the Associated Press preseason poll. It is the first-ever meeting between the teams.
Coppin State will take on Georgetown on Dec. 8 in Washington for their first meeting since 2017, and the game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. The Eagles will also face Virginia Tech on Dec. 19 in Blacksburg, Virginia, their second straight meeting and fourth all-time.
Local matchups include a road game at Towson on Dec. 3, a home opener against UMBC on Dec. 13 and a short trip to Fairfax, Virginia, to face George Mason on Dec. 16. The Eagles and Tigers will meet for the first time since 2015.
Coppin State will also play road games at Drexel (Dec. 6) and Rider (Dec. 29). It will only be the second time that Coppin State has faced Drexel after their first meeting Dec. 15, 1985. Rider has played Coppin State each of the past two seasons.
The Eagles will begin Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play by heading to Norfolk State on Jan. 2. Their next three games will be home conference matchups against Howard (Jan. 9), Delaware State (Jan. 11) and Norfolk State (Jan. 18).
Under coach Juan Dixon, the Eagles finished the 2019-20 season 11-20 overall and 7-9 in the MEAC and were seeded sixth in the conference tournament before the coronavirus pandemic cancelled the rest of the season.
Seniors DeJuan Clayton and Koby Thomas were named to preseason All-MEAC first team, and the Eagles were picked to finish fourth of six Northern Division teams in a preseason poll of coaches and sports information directors.
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Here is Coppin State’s full nonconference schedule:
- Nov. 25: at Marshall
- Nov. 26: vs. Tennessee State
- Nov. 28: at Duke
- Dec. 3: at Towson
- Dec. 6: at Drexel
- Dec. 8: at Georgetown
- Dec. 13: UMBC
- Dec. 16: at George Mason
- Dec. 19: at Virginia Tech
- Dec. 29: at Rider