Temple men's basketball sets non-conference schedule, American conference opponents

Temple's men's basketball program has unveiled the dates for its non-conference games and the breakdown of American Athletic Conference teams it will host and/or visit for the 2013-14 season.

The Owls will tip off their campaign on November 9 with a Big 5 game against Penn at the Palestra. Their other Big 5 road game will be at La Salle, and they'll host Saint Joseph's and and Villanova.

That game against the Hawks will come three days before a meeting with Texas at the Wells Fargo Cener.

The other non-conference highlight is a trip to South Carolina on the weekend before Thanksgiving for the Charleston Classic. Other teams in the field (the bracket hasn't been set yet) include Davidson, Massachusetts, Clemson, Georgia, New Mexico, Nebraska and Alabama-Birmingham.

The only non-conference game that doesn't have a firm date yet is against Villanova. But the fact that Temple listed the game seems to ensure that it will be played, which is a good sign that the full round-robin will continue this year.

We do know that every home game will be televised as part of the American Athletic Conference's rights deal with ESPN.

Here's Temple's non-conference schedule so far, with tip times and TV information still to be set. 

Saturday, November 9: at Penn 
Monday, November 11: vs. Kent State
Friday, November 15: at Towson

Thursday, November 21: vs. TBA at Charleston Classic
Friday, November 22: vs. TBA at Charleston Classic
Sunday, November 24: vs. TBA at Charleston Classic

Wednesday December 4: vs. Saint Joseph's
Saturday, December 7: vs. Texas at the Wells Fargo Center
Wednesday, December 18: vs. Texas Southern
Saturday, December 21: vs. LIU-Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Saturday January 18: at La Salle

In conference play, Temple will play home-and-away against the other nine teams in the American Athletic Conference: Cincinnati, Central Florida, Connecticut, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rutgers, Southern Methodist and South Florida. Those dates have not been set yet.

A lot of people, myself included, still aren't too fond of the American Athletic Conference as a name. But it's hard to argue against a league that brings Louisville, UConn, Memphis and Cincinnati to your gym.

It will be one of the toughest seasons Temple has ever faced, but I can't help thinking it's going to be a lot of fun.

By the way, a side note about that Penn game (since I know people will ask): Their schedule doesn't usually come out until much later in the summer, but I suspect Temple will be their season opener.

That weekend is homecoming at Penn, and I can't remember there being a basketball game on homecoming weekend for quite some time. Last year's season opener was also on November 9, but homecoming was a week earlier to coincide with the football schedule.

It's not like football-basketball doubleheaders on 33rd Street are new, of course; there's usually one every year or two. But it usually happens in one of the two later weeks of the football season. 

So if you're planning to be on Locust Walk that weekend, clear your calendar for two big events: football vs. Princeton in the afternoon and basketball vs. Temple at night.