On Wednesday, Duquesne basketball announced the completion of its 2022-23 non-conference schedule with the addition of a home game against New Mexico State.
The Dukes will host the Aggies on Sunday, Dec. 11.
The two programs have not played against one another since 1972, when NMSU took down the Dukes by a score of 84-74.
Last season, New Mexico State finished 27-7, winning the WAC regular season championship, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, and beating UConn in the first round of the big dance. Arkansas then eliminated the Aggies by a score of 53-48 in the second round.
The Aggies finished last year ranked as the No. 80 team in the nation, per Kenpom.com. After NMSU head coach Chris Jans was hired by Mississippi State this offseason, the Aggies went out and hired Greg Heiar to lead their team this year and beyond.
This season’s squad has a much different look, with none of last year’s top five leading scorers returning. However, the Aggies brought in a strong transfer class that includes LSU transfer Xavier Pinson, Missouri transfer DaJuan Gordon, Arizona transfer Kim Aiken Jr., and several others.
Duquesne’s non-conference slate includes games against Montana, Colgate, Alabama State, UC Santa Barbara, Ball State, Marshall, DePaul, Indiana State, Winthrop, and New Mexico State.
PSN rates Duquesne’s five toughest non-conference opponents
The Blue Demons lost their top two scorers from last year, but bring in top freshman prospect Zion Cruz, as well as impressive transfers Umoja Gibson (Oklahoma), Jalen Terry (Oregon), and Caleb Murphy (USF), among others.
2. UC Santa Barbara
The Gauchos should be a tough opponent for Duquesne. They finished last season 17-11 (No. 135 – Kenpom.com) and return two of their top three scorers from a year ago with Ajay Mitchell and Miles Norris.
The Eagles lost a few key players from last year’s 23-9 squad, but added a few transfers and brought back Cory Hightower, Kelton Talford, and Michael Anumba who should pose a serious threat to the Dukes.
Colgate went to the tournament last season behind guard Nelly Cummings (now at Pitt) and others in a very strong year. This year, it returns Tucker Richardson, Keegan Records, and others and will compete once again in the Patriot League.
5. New Mexico State
With a new head coach and ten new players, the new-look Aggies are certainly a mystery. However, they brought in lots of talent with Xavier Pinson, DaJuan Gordon, Kim Aiken Jr., and others from the transfer and JuCo routes.