Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Coug MBB sets non-conference slate

Herald Sports Staff | August 8, 2023 3:30 PM

PULLMAN — The Washington State men’s basketball team will play in seven home non-conference games along with four neutral site non-conference contests in this upcoming season, the school’s athletic department announced Monday.

"We've put together a competitive nonconference schedule this season,” WSU head coach Kyle Smith said in the release. "This selection of opponents will give us the opportunity to build confidence and face teams with recent postseason resumes."

WSU opens the 2023-24 season at home against Idaho in the 278th all-time meeting between the two programs in The Battle of the Palouse. Washington State has won the previous four matchups against the Vandals, the last being a 109-61 win on Nov. 18, 2021.

"We look forward to welcoming Idaho to Pullman again this year," Smith said. "As our closest regional opponent, we are happy to continue this historic series with the Vandals."

After a home game against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 10, the Cougars will travel to Uncasville, Conn. for the 2023 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Event against Mississippi State on Nov. 18 and Northwestern of Rhode Island on Nov. 19.

"We're looking forward to playing in this year's Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off," Smith said of the event. "Since my time coaching at Columbia, the Hall of Fame Committee has carried forward the sport and this event with prestige. This year's tournament is no different and presents an excellent opportunity for our team. We're honored to be included in a competitive field, and we know it will provide a great experience early in the season."

WSU returns home for five-straight home contests against Utah Tech (Nov. 24), Eastern Washington (Nov. 27), Portland State (Dec. 2), UC Riverside (Dec. 6) and Grambling State (Dec. 10). After the home stretch, the Cougars will head to Phoenix, Ariz. for a matchup against Santa Clara in the Jerry Colangelo Classic.

"We're looking forward to facing Santa Clara this December," Smith said. "Santa Clara is an emerging program on the west coast. They are a consistent post-season program coached by Herb Sendek. This will be an excellent non-conference opportunity for both programs."

WSU closes its non-conference slate in a neutral site game against Boise State at the Spokane Arena, part of Numerica Holiday Hoops.

"We look forward to facing Boise State again this season," Smith said. "It's a great opportunity to host a competitive game in front of our Spokane fans and raise funds for a worthwhile cause."


What are you looking forward to in fall sports this year? Drop us a line at ibivona@columbiabasinherald.com.