We previously knew that the Basketball Buckeyes would take on Memphis next season in Miami, as part of the Hoophall Miami Invitational. The Buckeyes and Tigers aren't the only teams participating though, and the tournament released the full bracket of teams that Ohio State will face, in addition to Memphis. The Buckeyes will play host to Grambling State, UT Arlington, and Louisiana Tech, before their final match on Friday, November 27 against Memphis. The specific dates were not yet released, but mid-late November seems like a safe bet for every game.
The bad news is that Grambling could very well be the worst team in the entire country next season. They clocked in at 351 in KemPom last year, which is as low as you can possibly go, and also had the very worst official RPI. Grambling finished 2-27, and failed to beat a single D1 program. Ohio State should be able to give their young players plenty of shine in that game, as the Buckeyes should easily win by 30+, if they want.
The good news is that the other two games are perfectly fine mid/low-major early season matchups. UT Arlington finished 16-15 last season, and 5th in the Sun Belt. The Mavericks had an official RPI of 180 and a KenPom ranking of 194, which isn't great, but also isn't bad for a lower-tier squad on a major conference schedule. The Mavericks do graduate three of their top four scorers, but have some promising young talent on the roster, and as long as they don't fall off a cliff, shouldn't be a burden on Ohio State's computer rankings.
The real intriguing game here is Louisiana Tech. By every metric last season, the Bulldogs weren't just "good for a Mid-Major", they were good, period. Louisiana Tech finished 27-9, winning the Conference-USA regular season title with a 15-3 league mark. They were upset in the conference tournament and had to settle for an NIT bid, where they made it to the Quarterfinals before losing to Temple. The Bulldogs had an RPI of 48 and a KenPom ranking of 71. The Bulldogs lose leading scorer Raheem Appleby, and head coach Mike White, who is off to Florida, but retain enough weapons to be a real force in CUSA, and a potential NCAA team. This could be a legitimate test for a young Buckeye team.
These additions give Ohio State 10 confirmed games for next season, leaving only three remaining. We previously reported that while this isn't official, it is likely that one of these games will be against Northern Illinois. Given that the MAAC is the sponsoring conference of the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational, I figured that at least one of the games would be against a MAAC team, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Ohio State has often played an in-state team, so it's possible that one of the last two or three games could be a lower level MAC or Horizon League squad. The final games will almost assuredly be home games against non RPI 100 squads. I'd expect Ohio State to release the whole slate relatively soon.
2015-2016 Ohio State basketball schedule
Nov. 15 Mount St. Mary's
Nov. 27 Memphis (in Miami)
Dec. 1 Virginia
Dec. 5 or Dec. 6 VMI
Dec. 8 Air Force
Dec. 12 at UConn
Dec. 19 Kentucky (in Brooklyn)
TBA UT Arlington
TBA Louisiana Tech