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Schmidt calls Bona's nonconference slate his most challenging

St. Bonaventure has put together a quality nonconference schedule to go along with its high hopes for the 2017-18 college basketball season.

The Bonnies, who return four starters from an 18-12 team, have games against Power Conference foes Maryland and Syracuse. Bona released its 12-game nonconference slate Tuesday.

"This is the most challenging nonconference schedule we've had since I've been here," said St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt, who is starting his 11th season. "It will be good to open with three straight home games, especially since we'll be away for five in row after that. We'll see a lot of veteran teams who will give us great tests. Overall, this schedule will really push us to perform at a high level."

The game at Syracuse (19-15 last year) on Dec. 22 is the second meeting with the Orange in three years. The game vs. Maryland (24-9) is part of the Emerald Coast Classic tournament and will be played in Emerald, Fla., on Nov. 24. Bona meets either Texas Christian or New Mexico the next day.

Bona foes Maryland and Vermont both made the NCAA Tournament last year. Reilly Center visitor Yale, which reached the Ivy League final last year, made the NCAA tournament in 2016 and is expected to be a power this season.

The schedule: Nov. 10, Niagara. Nov. 15, Maryland Eastern Shore. Nov. 17, Jackson State. Nov. 24, Maryland. Nov. 25, TCU or New Mexico. Nov. 29, at Siena. Dec. 2, at UB. Dec. 6, at Canisius. Dec. 9, Yale. Dec. 16, Vermont at Rochester. Dec. 20, Northeastern. Dec. 22, at Syracuse.

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