The Western Kentucky women’s basketball team released its full 2014-15 schedule Tuesday. You can check out the schedule as it stands – still with a few blanks for the Preseason Women’s NIT – below this post.
When the schedule comes out, I usually try to take a quick look at how it shapes up based on last year’s final RPI rankings and records.
Now, a few things to note with this process: First off, these are obviously last year’s results, so it’s hard to say what they mean for the year to come. But it does at least give us a look at where these programs are coming from, which is especially helpful for conference play as WKU dives into Conference USA.
Secondly, there are at least two – if not three – more games to pop up on the schedule in the Preseason WNIT. The Lady Tops open their season at home in that event against Central Arkansas, and they’re guaranteed at least three games. If they continue to play well and advance to some of the top talent in the field, that will obviously help these RPI/record numbers.
Lastly, WKU doesn’t know its second opponent in the Hofstra Thanksgiving tournament, but it will be the host Hofstra or Northern Iowa. For the sake of looking at numbers, I averaged those teams’ RPIs and records from last year into one potential opponent. They weren’t that far off anyway.
So away we go.
BEST NONCONFERENCE OPPONENT: Louisville — RPI: 8; last year’s record: 30-4
WORST NONCONFERENCE OPPONENT: Alabama A&M — RPI: 344 (of 347); last year’s record: 6-24
AVERAGE RPI OF NONCONFERENCE FOES (10 known so far): 186
WKU’S FINAL RPI LAST SEASON: 107
TOTAL RECORD OF NONCONFERENCE FOES LAST YEAR: 158-151
BEST CONFERENCE USA OPPONENT: Middle Tennessee — RPI: 17; last year’s record: 29-4
WORST CONFERENCE USA OPPONENT: Marshall — RPI: 270; last year’s record: 11-20
AVERAGE RPI OF CONFERENCE FOES: 148
TOTAL RECORD OF CONFERENCE FOES LAST YEAR: 220-186
AVERAGE RPI OF ENTIRE SCHEDULE: 165
TOTAL RECORD LAST YEAR OF ENTIRE SCHEDULE: 378-337
The Lady Tops will face some good competition in Conference USA, especially at the top with MTSU, Southern Miss (30 RPI) and UTEP (59). Two of the league’s best teams last year, East Carolina and Tulane, have departed, but WKU will still face Tulane in the Hofstra event.