July 22, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State men's basketball team will play 14 of its 27 regular season games during the 2005-06 season against schools that participated in 2005 postseason play, as announced by Cougar Head Coach Dick Bennett, Friday.
WSU will play 16 "home" games, including 13 in Pullman, two at the Spokane Arena and one at Seattle's KeyArena.
"It's a good schedule and one we paid our dues for two years to set up," Bennett said. "We have more home games and are going to go to some places where Cougar fans who do not often see us will have a chance to watch us play."
The Cougars will host BYU (Nov. 22) and 2005 NCAA regional finalist Arizona (Dec. 29) in Spokane. In addition, WSU will square off against 2005 NCAA participant Utah (Dec. 22) at KeyArena in Seattle.
"The Spokane trips are a little different this year. Instead of two conference games, we are taking a very good nonconference game and an excellent Pac-10 game up there," Bennett said. "Playing one game at a time will not seem so much like a road trip."
Other 2005 NCAA Tournament teams on this season's schedule include Gonzaga (away, Dec. 8), Washington (away, Jan. 7, home, Feb. 4), UCLA (away, Jan. 14, home, Feb. 9) and Stanford (away, Jan. 26, home, Feb. 25).
WSU will also play 2005 NIT teams Arizona State (home, Dec. 31, away, March 2) and Oregon State (home, Jan. 21, away, Feb. 16).
The remainder of the home schedule includes the season opener against UC Riverside (Nov. 19), Idaho (Nov. 26), Wyoming (Nov. 30), Kansas State (Dec. 3), Portland (Dec. 17), Oregon (Jan. 19), USC (Feb. 11) and California (Feb. 23).
The Cougars will play at San Diego State (Dec. 10), USC (Jan. 12), California (Jan. 28), Oregon (Feb. 18) and Arizona (March 4).
The Pacific-10 Tournament, which for the first time since returning in 2003 will include all 10 teams, takes place at Staples Center in Los Angeles, March 8-11.
"Most all of the opponents are recognizable and from good conferences," Bennett said. "We hope to continue to develop the schedule to open some new rivalries with other major conferences. That is the aim and we are still working on that."
Cougar fans will have their first opportunity to see the 2005-06 squad when WSU hosts Lewis-Clark State in an exhibition game, Nov. 15.