PULLMAN, Wash. – The Ernie Kent Era of Washington State University men’s basketball begins with five home nonconference games, as well as the return of the Cougar Hardwood Classic, a trip to the Great Alaska Shootout and a solid Pac-12 schedule, as announced by Kent in the release of the 2014-15 schedule, Wednesday.
The Cougars’ nonconference schedule is set, as well as all home opponents. The Pac-12 will announce the completed conference schedule in conjunction with the Pac-12 Networks following television selections by the networks. The completed schedule with dates, opponents and times is expected to be released in late August.
Washington State’s home nonconference schedule will include; Idaho State, Idaho, UTSA, San Jose State and UC Davis, while its Pac-12 home schedule includes: Oregon State, Oregon, California, Stanford, Arizona State, Arizona, Washington, Colorado and Utah. The home schedule includes eight teams that appeared in the postseason last season, including five NCAA-Tournament teams.
“With the opportunity to play a variety of different opponents during the nonconference season, we will see several different styles of play that will have us ready for another competitive Pac-12 race,” Kent said.
For the first time since 2006-07, the Cougars will open the season outside of the state of Washington, as they head to Texas to take on UTEP at El Paso, Friday, Nov. 14. WSU will remain in Texas as it travels to Fort Worth to take on TCU, Monday, Nov. 17. The Cougars hosted both the Horned Frogs and Miners last season as they fell to TCU, 64-62, and to UTEP, 64-51. The Miners went on to compete in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), falling in the first round.
WSU will open its home season, Friday, Nov. 21, as it hosts Idaho State. Following a trip to the Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 26-29) where they will face a field featuring; 2014 NCAA Tournament-participant Mercer, CollegeInsider.com participants Missouri State and Pacific, Alaska Anchorage, Colorado State, Rice and UC Santa Barbara, the Cougars will return home for two-straight home games against Idaho (Dec. 3) and UTSA (Dec. 6).
Washington State will take a 15-day break away from Pullman as it heads to Spokane for a neutral-site game against Gonzaga at Spokane Arena, Dec. 10, and takes on Hawaii in the return of the Cougar Hardwood Classic, Dec. 13 at Seattle’s KeyArena.
The Cougars will close their nonconference season hosting San Jose State, Sunday, Dec. 21 and UC Davis, Sunday, Dec. 28, at Beasley Coliseum.
Although the Pac-12 schedule won’t be set until August, when television selections are made, WSU will open the Pac-12 season with three-straight road games. First off will be a trip to the Bay Area as it takes on Stanford and California the week of Dec. 29-Jan. 4, at Berkeley and Stanford, respectively. The Cougars will then cross the mountains to take on cross-state rival, Washington at Seattle, the week of Jan. 5-11.
The Cougars open their home Pac-12 season hosting Oregon and Oregon State the week of Jan. 12-18, before heading to Boulder and Salt Lake to face Colorado and Utah, respectively, the week of Jan. 19-25. California and Stanford make their return trips to Pullman the last week of January (Jan. 26-Feb. 1), as the Cougars make their return trips to Oregon and Oregon State, Feb. 2-8.
For the second-straight season, WSU will face the Arizona and Los Angeles schools just once apiece as it will host Arizona and Arizona State the week of Feb. 9-15 and head to L.A. to take on UCLA and USC the week of Feb. 23 through March 1. Sandwiched between those two weeks is WSU’s second meeting with Washington on the season as the Huskies make the trip to Pullman the week of Feb. 16-22.
The Cougars host Colorado and Utah in their final Pac-12 series of the season the week of March 2-8, before heading to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament slated for March 11-14 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.