Weber State’s 2012-13 men’s basketball schedule was released this morning. The obvious thing that jumps out about this schedule is the 20-game Big Sky Conference regular season, which for Weber State begins with a pre-Christmas road trip to Eastern Washington (Dec. 20) and Portland State (Dec. 22. Keep an eye on this one, Damian Lillard fans, for the possibility of a 2-for-1 Weber State/Trail Blazers road trip).
The next thing you notice is a trip to Dayton, Ohio, the site of the NCAA Tournament’s First Four games on Nov. 28, to face the Dayton Flyers (named in honor of the Wright Brothers) of the Atlantic 10 Conference
Weber State play-by-play announcer Carl Arky’s job is a little easier after Damian Lillard passed up his senior year to enter the NBA Draft, since he won’t have to call this point guard matchup between Lillard and Kevin Dillard, Dayton’s senior PG.
Here’s a look at Dayton’s UD Arena and its “Red Scare” crowd. The Flyers were 20-13 last season and went to the NIT for their fifth straight postseason appearance. Dayton ranked 28th in the country in attendance.
This link is to a video of Dayton coach Archie Miller talking about the non-conference schedule. For some reason, I couldn’t get the audio to work, so let me know if he says anything about the Wildcats: http://www.godaytonhoops.com/index.php/video/featured_videos/107
Weber State plays five games against four in-state opponents, traveling to Utah State (Nov. 24) and getting both Utah County schools, BYU (Dec. 15) and Utah Valley (Dec. 5) at home. They’ll play new Big Sky Conference rival Southern Utah twice in the regular season, Jan. 10 in Cedar City, Feb. 9 in the Dee Events Center.
Two California schools make up the other notable non-conference contests, at San Jose State on Nov. 15 and home against UC Irvine on Dec. 8.
Like Utah State, San Jose State will be playing its final season in the WAC before moving to the Mountain West. The Spartans were 9-22 last year and just 1-13 in the WAC regular season. Wildcats fans will remember their trip to Ogden last December for Damian Lillard’s 41 points in a 91-89 double-overtime win.
The Anteaters were the seventh seed in the Big West Tournament last season and lost in the tourney semifinals to Long Beach State.
In the Big Sky schedule, note the four-game road swing in late January and ending on Groundhog Day: Montana State, Montana, North Dakota and Northern Colorado in a 10-day span. WSU does get to wrap conference play with six of eight at home.
The Weber State men’s basketball team has released the 2012-13 schedule. This year’s schedule is highlighted by 15 regular season home games, five games against Utah schools and 20 Big Sky Conference games.
“Our goal every year is to put together a challenging schedule and we feel we’ve done that again this year,” said Weber State head coach Randy Rahe. “We are always looking to play a tough schedule to challenge ourselves and this year is no exception. We always look forward to the in-state games and the other preseason games to prepare us for the Big Sky season and this year we’re excited an expanded conference schedule.”
For the second-straight season the Wildcats will face 15 regular season home games. WSU will play three games against teams from Utah, playing at Utah State and home against Utah Valley and BYU. The Wildcats will also play two games against Southern Utah, a new member of the Big Sky Conference. The ‘Cats and Thunderbirds will play Jan. 10 in Cedar City and Feb. 9 in Ogden.
After a home exhibition game on Nov. 5 the Wildcats open the season with a home game on Nov. 9 against Arizona Christian. The ‘Cats will then hit the road for three games at San Jose State (Nov. 15), Utah State (Nov. 24), and the University of Dayton (Nov. 28). That game will be the first ever with the Flyers and just the sixth game ever against a team from the Atlantic 10 Conference.
The Wildcats will then return home for three straight games hosting Utah Valley (Dec. 5), UC Irvine (Dec. and BYU (Dec. 15). They will also have a home game against the University of the Southwest on Dec. 29.
With the addition of North Dakota and Southern Utah in the Big Sky the conference will have a 20 game regular season. The Wildcats will open conference play Dec. 20 at Eastern Washington and Dec. 22 at Portland State. WSU will face four of the first six and eight of the first 12 conference games on the road, including a trip to defending conference champion Montana on Jan. 26. WSU will have two Monday conference games, both against rival Idaho State when they play the Bengals Jan. 14 in Pocatello and Feb. 11 in Ogden. The ‘Cats will conclude the conference season with six of the final eight Big Sky games at home, concluding March 9 against Eastern Washington.
The Big Sky will also have a new look to the conference tournament beginning in 2013. The tournament will expand to a seven-team tournament, one more than the previous format and will be played March 14-16 at the site of the regular season champion. The No. 1 seed will earn a bye to the semifinals on Friday. During the past decade, the men’s tournament had a Saturday, Tuesday-Wednesday format with the regular-season champion hosting the semifinals and championship.
The Wildcats will also join all other Big Sky schools in participating in the Sears Bracketbusters and will play a road game on Feb. 23. The opponent of that game will be announced in late January.
Weber State is coming off a 25-7 overall record and a 14-2 Big Sky Conference record in 2011-12. For the fourth straight season the Wildcats advanced to postseason play, advancing to the second round of the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament. The ‘Cats also posted their best home record in school history last season, finishing the year a perfect 16-0 at the Dee Events Center. Coach Rahe returns for his seventh season as head coach of the Wildcats, posting a career record of 120-68 overall and 74-22 in Big Sky Conference games.
The ‘Cats lost three players off last year’s squad, including seniors Kyle Bullinger and Darin Mahoney and All-American Damian Lillard who was selected sixth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. Weber State returns seven players off of last year’s squad, including All-Conference performers Scott Bamforth and Kyle Tresnak. The Wildcats will welcome five new players to the squad as well as Davion Berry who sat out last season as a transfer.
Weber State once again led the Big Sky in attendance with 6,493 fans per game, the highest attendance in nine years. The Wildcats had the 13th best attendance of schools in the western United States.
Day Date Opponent Time Site
Mon. Nov. 5 Western State (Exhibition) – Ogden
Fri. Nov. 9 Arizona Christian- Ogden
Thu. Nov. 15 at San Jose State - San Jose, CA
Sat. Nov. 24 at Utah State - Logan, UT
Wed. Nov. 28 at Dayton - Dayton, OH
Wed. Dec. 5 Utah Valley - Ogden
Sat. Dec. 8 UC Irvine - Ogden
Sat. Dec. 15 BYU - Ogden
Thu. Dec. 20 *at Eastern Washington - Cheney, WA
Sat. Dec. 22 *at Portland State - Portland, OR
Sat. Dec. 29 University of the Southwest - Ogden
Thu. Jan. 3 *Northern Colorado - Ogden
Sat. Jan. 5 *North Dakota - Ogden
Thu. Jan. 10 *at Southern Utah - Cedar City, UT
Mon. Jan. 14 *at Idaho State - Pocatello, ID
Thu. Jan. 17 *Northern Arizona - Ogden
Sat. Jan. 19 *Sacramento State - Ogden
Thu. Jan. 24 *at Montana State - Bozeman, MT
Sat. Jan. 26 *at Montana - Missoula, MT
Thu. Jan. 31 *at North Dakota - Grand Forks, ND
Sat. Feb. 2 *at Northern Colorado - Greeley, CO
Sat. Feb. 9 *Southern Utah - Ogden
Mon. Feb. 11 *Idaho State - Ogden
Thu. Feb. 14 *Montana - Ogden
Sat. Feb. 16 *Montana State - Ogden
Sat. Feb. 23 at Sears Bracketbusters - TBA
Thu. Feb. 28 *at Sacramento State - Sacramento, CA
Sat. Mar. 2 *at Northern Arizona - Flagstaff, AZ
Thu. Mar. 7 *Portland State - Ogden
Sat. Mar. 9 *Eastern Washington - Ogden
Thu-Sat. Mar. 14-16 Big Sky Tournament - TBD