By Josh Hyber/Photo by Allen Sharpe
Get out a red pen, go to your calendar and circle Thursday, Feb. 1.
Make sure you have no plans, because Geno Auriemma and his Connecticut Huskies are coming to Colonial Life Arena that day to face Dawn Staley, South Carolina and the defending women’s basketball national champions.
While you’re at it, circle Sunday, Dec. 3, the day Duke comes to town, and Dec. 21, the day Staley returns to Philadelphia to face her former team, Temple.
The three matchups highlight the Gamecocks’ 2017-2018 non-conference schedule, which was released Thursday. The team’s full-season schedule is now complete, with game times still to be announced.
“Every season we try to put together a competitive non-conference schedule to prepare our team and fans for postseason play,” Staley said in a release. “This year, we accomplished just that.”
With the 13 non-conference games — in addition to the SEC schedule previously released — South Carolina could play as many as 17 of its 29 games against teams that played in the 2017 postseason, including 15 against 2017 NCAA Tournament participants.
As many as nine of the Gamecocks’ upcoming foes finished last season ranked in the top 25, and up to 15 of South Carolina’s matchups could come against teams that won at least 20 games last season.
The non-conference slate includes eight home games and up to six games against teams that played in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Complete 2017-2018 schedule
(Home games bolded)
Fri., Nov. 3 — Coker (Exhibition), TBA
Fri., Nov. 10 — Alabama State, TBA
Mon., Nov. 13 —Maryland, TBA
Thu., Nov. 16 — Clemson, TBA
Sun., Nov. 19 — Wofford, TBA (Gulf Coast Showcase)
Fri., Nov. 24 — Rutgers (Naples, Fla.), 1:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 25 — St. John’s/Western Michigan (Naples, Fla.), 11 a.m./5 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 26 — ETSU/Notre Dame/USF/Washington St. (Naples, Fla.), 11 a.m./1:30/5/7:30 p.m. Thu., Nov. 30 — Western Carolina, TBA
Sun., Dec. 3 — Duke, TBA
Tue., Dec. 5 — College of Charleston, TBA
Sun., Dec. 17 — Savannah State, TBA
Thu., Dec. 21 — Temple, TBA
Sun., Dec. 31 — Texas A&M, TBA*
Thu., Jan. 4 — Ole Miss, TBA*
Sun., Jan. 7 — Missouri, TBA*
Thu., Jan. 11 — Auburn, TBA*
Sun., Jan. 14 — Tennessee, TBA*
Thu., Jan. 18 — Vanderbilt, TBA*
Sun., Jan. 21 — Kentucky, TBA*
Thu., Jan. 25 — Arkansas, TBA*
Sun., Jan. 28 — Missouri, TBA*
Thu., Feb. 1 — UConn, TBA
Mon., Feb. 5 —Mississippi State, TBA*
Thu., Feb. 8 — Alabama, TBA*
Sun., Feb. 11 — Florida, TBA*
Thu., Feb. 15 — Georgia, TBA*
Sun., Feb. 18 — Kentucky, TBA*
Thu., Feb. 22 — LSU, TBA*
Sun., Feb. 25 —Tennessee, TBA*
SEC Tournament in Nashville
Wed. Feb. 28 — First Round
Thu., Mar. 1 — Second Round
Fri., Mar. 2 — Quarterfinals
Sat., Mar. 3 — Semifinals
Sun., Mar. 4 — Final