bmcgair@pawtuckettimes.com

PROVIDENCE – It’s certainly going to be a couple of busy months leading up to the Big East portion of the Providence Friars’ 2019-20 season.

PC unveiled its non-conference slate on Thursday, a 13-game card that will consist of games in four different states. The Friars will play seven home games, road games at Northwestern (Nov. 13) as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games and the annual in-state showdown with Rhode Island, plus four neutral site games.

PC’s in-season tournament is the California Wooden Legacy that unfolds over Thanksgiving weekend (November 28 through December 1) and features a field that includes possible matchups against Arizona, UCF, or Wake Forest. The Friars and Wildcats last met in 2015 as part of the Wooden Legacy tournament. The last time PC squared off against Wake Forest, it was 2004 with the Demon Deacons led by Chris Paul and ranked No. 1.

The trip out west comes after the Friars’ longest stretch of home games during non-conference play. A three-game homestand will open against Saint Peter’s (Nov. 16) and be followed with contests against Division I newcomer Merrimack (Nov. 19) and Penn (Nov. 23). The matchup between PC and Penn will be the first since 2004.

The Friars head to the Ryan Center to face URI on December 6, which is a Friday. The last time the Friars and Rams did not play on a Saturday was during the 2014 season. PC won last season’s matchup against the Rams and has captured eight of the past nine meetings.

Between the trip to California, the road matchup against URI, and the exam break, the Friars will go nearly three weeks without playing at The Dunk. That streak will come to an end with a matchup against Stony Brook (Dec. 14), a team that PC last played in 2017.

After Stony Brook, the slate leading into Christmas will consist of two games against schools hailing from Power Five conferences. PC heads to New York to a site that’s yet to be determined to face Florida (Dec. 17). The Friars and Gators haven’t crossed paths since 2006.

The final non-conference test features the crown jewel as far as home opponents are concerned as Texas comes to town on December 21. The Friars won at Texas last season and last hosted the Longhorns in a memorable encounter in 2004.

The Texas game is one of five non-conference home games the Friars will play on a Saturday.

For the 12th straight season, the Friars will usher in the new season with a home game. The 2019-20 season tips off on Nov. 5 against Sacred Heart and will be followed by another home game against NJIT (Nov. 9). The Friars last played Sacred Heart in 2017 while NJIT last appeared on the schedule in 2015.

For the second straight year, the Friars will not face Brown. Contracts with New England rivals Boston College and UMass expired last season and for now remain on the backburner as far as continuing series with both New England schools. PC has publicly stated its intentions of striking up a series with former Big East rival UConn but that’s not going to happen this season.

PC’s 2019 NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

NOVEMBER

5   (Tuesday) SACRED HEART

9 (Saturday) NJIT

13 (Wednesday) at Northwestern (Gavitt Games)

16 (Saturday) SAINT PETER’S

19 (Tuesday) MERRIMACK

23 (Saturday)  PENNSYLVANIA

28 (Thursday) Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, Calif.), Opponent TBA

29 (Friday) Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, Calif.), Opponent TBA

DECEMBER

1 (Sunday) Wooden Legacy (Anaheim, Calif.), Opponent TBA

6 (Friday) at Rhode Island

14 (Saturday) STONY BROOK

17 (Tuesday) vs. Florida, Location TBA

21 (Saturday) vs. TEXAS

Games in bold are home games

Follow Brendan McGair on Twitter @BWMcGair03

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