New Northern Iowa basketball coach Greg McDermott feels the Panthers’ non-conference schedule for the upcoming season features good balance. U-N-I will open at the Texas Tech tournament, have games with Iowa and Iowa State and the schedule also includes a new series with Butler and Central Michigan. McDermott says he found out quickly how important scheduling is. He calls it the most difficult change at the division one level.McDermott says the trick is to provide home games for the fans and at the same time keep the strength of schedule to the point where the Missouri Valley Conference can continue to receive multiple bids into the N-C-A-A tournament.McDermott says tournaments are important for Missouri Valley schools because it provides them an opportunity to play schools from larger conferences that will not schedule a home and home series.McDermott feels next year’s schedule fulfills a number of goals, playing quality opponents that are familiar to fans.U-N-I’s conference schedule will be released in August.