Chris Bengel (@clbengel)
With many of the City 6 basketball teams releasing their schedules last week, we take a look at the Lafayette Leopards, who released their 2012-13 slate last month.
The non-conference portion of the schedule features some very high-profile opponents. The Leopards will participate in the Barclays Center Classic in early November. In the Classic, Lafayette will face LIU-Brooklyn on Nov. 12 to begin the four-game tournament.
The Leopards will have their toughest task of the season on Nov. 16 when they travel to Rupp Arena to face defending national champion Kentucky. The Wildcats will feature an all-new starting lineup but is restocked with talent courtesy of coach John Calipari, including top-ranked center Nerlens Noel and five-star shooting guard Archie Goodwin.
Lafayette will then travel to Morehead State on Nov. 18 and finish off with Maryland. The Terrapins are coming off a 17-15 season but coach Mark Turgeon has revamped the team with top freshmen such as Shaquille Cleare and Jake Layman.
Lafayette also have some solid local opponents coming to Easton, Pa. this year. Ivy League school Princeton will visit on Nov. 24. The Tigers are coming off a 20-12 (10-4) season and appeared in the CBI Invitational postseason tournament.
Delaware will be travelling to Lafayette just four days later. The Blue Hens are one of the favorites in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) this year, returning all but one of their players from an 18-win team that ran off a nine-game win streak near the end of last season.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier with a pair of high-major opponents next on the schedule; Lafayette will travel to Stanford and Minnesota in late December.
The Leopards will face off with City 6 school Penn in a battle at the Palestra on Jan. 8.
One of the most important games on the schedule will take place on Jan. 26 when Lafayette will face their local rivals in Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. The Mountain Hawks are coming off one of the most impressive season in team history. They upset second-seeded Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year thanks in large part to guard C.J. McCollum, who will be returning for his junior season. The Leopards will face Lehigh again at home on Feb. 23.
Lafayette’s 2012-13 Men’s Basketball Schedule
(All game times TBA unless otherwise noted, all home games at Kirby Sports Center unless otherwise noted; *=Patriot League game):
Fri November 9 vs. St. Francis (NY) (15-15, 12-6 MAAC)
Fri November 12 vs. LIU-Brooklyn (25-9, 16-2 Northeast) (Barclays Center Classic)
Fri November 16 @ Kentucky (38-2, 16-0 SEC) (Barclays Center Classic)
Sun November 18 @ Morehead State (18-15, 10-6 Ohio Valley) (Barclays Center Classic)
Tues November 20 @ Maryland (17-15, 6-10 ACC) (Barclays Center Classic)
Sat November 24 vs. Princeton (20-12, 10-4 Ivy)
Mon November 26 @ Monmouth (12-20, 10-8 Northeast)
Tue November 28 vs. Delaware (18-14, 12-6 CAA)
Sat December 1 @ LIU-Brooklyn (25-9, 16-2 Northeast)
Tue December 4 vs. St. Francis (NY) (15-15, 12-6 MAAC)
Fri December 7 @ Fairleigh Dickinson (3-26, 2-16 Northeast)
Sun December 9 vs. Sacred Heart (14-18, 8-10 Northeast)
Tue December 18 vs. Arcadia
Sat December 22 @ Minnesota (23-15, 6-12 Big 10)
Sat December 29 @ Stanford (26-11, 10-8)
Wed January 2 vs. NJIT (15-17, 5-5 Great West)
Tues January 8 @ Penn (20-13, 11-3 Ivy)
*Sat January 12 vs. Navy (3-26, 0-14)
*Wed January 16 @ Army (12-18, 5-9)
*Sat January 19 @ Bucknell (25-10, 12-2)
*Wed January 23 vs. Holy Cross (15-14, 9-5)
*Sat January 26 @ Lehigh (27-8, 11-3)
*Wed January 30 vs. Colgate (8-22, 2-12)
*Sat February 2 @ American (20-12, 10-4)
*Sat February 9 @ Navy (3-26, 0-14)
*Wed February 13 vs. Army (12-18, 5-9)
*Wed February 20 @ Holy Cross (15-14, 9-5)
*Sat February 23 vs. Lehigh (27-8, 11-3)
*Wed February 27 @ Colgate (8-22, 2-12)
*Sat March 2 vs. American (20-12, 10-4)