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Villanova men's basketball announces 2022-23 non-conference schedule

07/21/2022, 2:15pm EDT
By Owen McCue

Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

Villanova first-year head coach Kyle Neptune will have little time to get his feet wet as he takes over the program following Jay Wright’s 21-season run at the school.

The Wildcats announced another loaded non-conference schedule on Thursday following last year’s Final Four run. Last year's non-league slate included matchups with four eventual NCAA Tournament teams, including two Sweet 16 squads.

Villanova’s 2022-23 campaign begins with two Big 5 games — home at Finneran Pavilion against La Salle on Nov. 7 and at Temple on Nov. 11. The matchup with the Owls is the first since Feb. 16, 2020.

Caleb Daniels, above, will be Villanova's top returning scorer when the Wildcats open their season Nov. 7. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

After hosting Delaware State on Nov. 14, the Wildcats travel to Michigan State for the Gavitt Tipoff Games as part of a series between the Big 10 and Big East. The two storied programs have played each other only four times in their histories, including just twice in the last 53 years (1989 and 2002). 

The Spartans and Wildcats then head to Portland, Ore. for three games in the PK85 Invitational from Nov. 24-27. The event, in celebration of Nike founder Phill Knight’s 85th birthday, features two eight-team men’s brackets. Villanova is part of a field that includes Michigan State, Alabama, Iowa State, UConn, Oregon, Portland and 2022 national runner-up North Carolina. Six of the eight teams were in the NCAA tournament a season ago, including half of the Final Four with the Tar Heels and Wildcats.

Villanova’s challenging stretch continues Dec. 3 against Oklahoma in the Wells Fargo Center as part of the Big 12-Big East Challenge. The teams last met when the Wildcats drubbed the Sooners, 95-51, in the 2016 Final Four on the way to a national title. Neptune’s squad then returns to the Big 5 with a home game against Penn on Dec. 7. 

The next non-league stop is Newark, N.J. where Villanova plays former Big East rival Boston College on Dec. 10 at the Prudential Center. It's the programs' second meeting in three years after a 15-year hiatus following the Eagles’ move to the ACC. The matchup will mark the two teams’ 78th all-time meeting. Seton Hall, Providence, St. John’s and Georgetown are the only teams the Wildcats have played more in their history. 

Villanova’s non-league slate concludes with a road trip to St. Joe’s on Dec. 17. The complete 2022-23 schedule, including game times, will be released in September.

Neptune will face the early-season stretch without the Wildcats’ top three scorers from last season on the floor with Collin Gillespie (15.6 ppg) and Jermaine Samuels (11.1 ppg) in the pro ranks and Justin Moore (14.8 ppg) still recovering from a torn right Achilles tendon injury suffered during the NCAA Tournament.

With Moore likely sidelined throughout the non-conference slate and at least the early part of the Big East portion of the schedule, the Wildcats will rely on redshirt-senior Caleb Daniels (10.3 ppg), who started just three games as the team’s sixth man last season, and redshirt-junior Eric Dixon (9.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and senior Brandon Slater (8.5 ppg), who both started all 38 games last season. 

Neptune should have plenty of other options for the rest of the rotation. Senior Chris Arcidiacono is another experienced guard and sophomore Jordan Longino showed flashes of his future potential as a freshman. Trey Patterson, Nnanna Njoku and Angelo Brizzi are other recent recruits yet to get an expanded role. Five-star recruit Cam Whitmore and four-star recruits Mark Armstrong and Brendan Hausen will add to the talent pool as well.

Villanova’s MBB 2022-23 Non-Conference Schedule
(All game times TBD unless otherwise noted)

Mon., Nov. 7 vs. La Salle
Fri., Nov. 11 at Temple
Mon., Nov. 14 vs. Delaware State

Gavitt Tipoff Games
Fri., Nov. 18 at Michigan State

PK85 Invitational (‘Bama, Iowa St., Mich. St., UNC, Oregon, Portland, UConn)
Thurs., Nov. 24 TBD (Portland, Ore.)
Fri., Nov. 25 TBD (Portland, Ore.)
Sun., Nov. 27 TBD (Portland, Ore.)

Big East-Big 12 Challenge
Sat., Dec. 3 Vs. Oklahoma (Wells Fargo Center)

Wed., Dec. 7 vs. Penn

Never Forget Tribute Classic
Sat., Dec. 10 vs. Boston College (Newark, N.J.)

Sat., Dec. 17 at St. Joe’s

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