Aug. 25, 2010
PULLMAN, Wash. - A possible matchup with national runner-up Butler at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu and home games against Gonzaga and Kansas State highlight the 2010-11 Washington State University men's basketball schedule as announced by head coach Ken Bone, Wednesday.
WSU will play 14 games in Pullman and `home' games at Spokane Arena and Seattle's KeyArena.
"This is a very competitive schedule for what is still a pretty young team," Bone said. "We are in for some real challenges leading right into our Pac-10 season."
The Cougars open up the season hosting Southern University of Baton Rouge, La. Saturday, Nov. 13. They remain home for their next game as they host border-rival Idaho Tuesday, Nov. 16.
For the sixth-straight season, Washington State will host an opponent in Seattle in the annual Cougar Hardwood Classic (Nov. 23). This year WSU will face Portland, which participated in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament last season, in the Emerald City. The day after Thanksgiving, the Cougs hit the road to take on Fresno State in Fresno, Calif. (Nov. 26), before heading back to Pullman for three-straight games at Beasley Coliseum.
The three-game homestand begins with Sacramento State (Nov. 30), before the Cougars welcome 2010 NCAA `Elite Eight' participant, Kansas State, to Pullman for the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series (Dec. 3). The game will be played in conjunction with Apple Cup weekend, as the WSU football squad will take on Washington the following day, Dec. 4, at Martin Stadium.
The Cougs host their final nonconference game in Pullman Dec. 8, and the last game at Beasley until Jan. 6, as Washington State hosts Gonzaga Wednesday evening.
Washington State hosts Texas-Pan American at Spokane Arena Dec. 10, beginning seven-straight games away from Pullman. Following the game in Spokane, the Cougs hit the road to play at Santa Clara (Dec.19).
From there WSU heads to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Dec. 22-25). The Cougars face Mississippi State in the first game of the tournament (Dec. 22), meeting the Bulldogs for the second time in three years. Depending on the first game outcomes, Washington State will take on either Baylor or San Diego (Dec. 23), both of whom it has faced within the last two seasons, in the second game of the tournament. The Diamond Head Classic features four teams that reached the postseason in 2009-10, including national runner-up Butler. Baylor advanced to the `Elite Eight' of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual national champion Duke. Florida State made the NCAA field of 65 and Mississippi State advanced to the second round of the NIT.
"Being a part of ESPN's Diamond Head Classic is a great opportunity for our program," Bone said. "This tournament showcases an outstanding field of competition."
There's little rest for the Cougs as they open up Pacific-10 Conference play in Los Angeles, just days after leaving Hawai`i. Washington State begins league play at UCLA (Dec. 29), followed by a trip to USC (Dec. 31) in a rare Wednesday/Friday series.
The Cougars host their first home conference game of the season Jan. 6 as Oregon State (away, Feb. 5) and Oregon (Jan. 8/ away, Feb. 3) come to town. Washington State returns to the road as it heads to the Bay Area to take on California (Jan. 13/home, Feb. 12) and Stanford (Jan. 15/ home, Feb. 10). WSU wraps up the first round of Pac-10 play with three-straight home games hosting Arizona State (Jan. 20/away, Feb. 19), Arizona (Jan. 22/away, Feb. 17), and Washington (Jan.30/away, Feb. 27).
Washington State concludes the regular season hosting USC (March 3) and UCLA (March 5). The Pac-10 Tournament will take place March 9-12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.