When the 2013-14 men's college basketball begins for the new-look Siena Saints, head coach Jimmy Patsos will be looking at a difficult slate of non-conference games for November and December, an 11-game schedule that Patsos openly believes is one of the most difficult in program history. In the schedule released today, the Saints open the season at home in their annual match-up with the UAlbany Great Danes, but then face 10 more games against very worthy opponents.

Four of those games will come within a span of about a week, when the Saints participate in the Old Spice Classic. The competition begins November 24th at Big Ten representative Purdue, followed by games in Orlando, Florida on November 28th, 29th and December 1st. Siena will face perennial Conference USA monster Memphis on the 28th, followed by a game against LSU or Saint Joseph's on the 29th, while their December 1st opponent is TBD.

Between the UAlbany opener and the Old Spice Classic, the Saints play 3 of 4 games on the road, including last year's America East runners-up Vermont and La Salle, who reached the Sweet 16 in this past season's NCAA Tournament. The lone home game in that stretch is the Franciscan Cup against St. Bonaventure, winners of 3 straight against Siena.

Despite this difficult first 2 months of his first season as Siena head coach, Jimmy Patsos seems very calm and relaxed about it all:

Obviously, it's one of the toughest schedules Siena has ever played. It will be very challenging, but that's OK. My main concern is the MAAC, and all these games prepare you for the MAAC. Everybody has to be patient, because this will probably end up being one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country. We're a team that's going to get better as the season goes on.

To get a complete look at Siena's non-conference schedule for the 2013-14 men's basketball season, just click here.