The vote is in and the 2020-21 college basketball season will officially tip-off on Nov. 25.
The NCAA Division I Council approved the start date in a vote Wednesday afternoon. As part of the vote, some other provisions were set. According to Andy Katz, full practices can officially start Oct. 14. Although, according to CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander, teams can start practicing as much as 12 hours per week starting Sept. 21. Teams can have a maximum of 27 games, which is four less than in previous years. The minimum number of games is set at 13. There will be no scrimmages or exhibition games. And there is a recommendation of four non-conference games.
D-1 Council: Start date of college basketball season: Nov. 25; Start of practice: Oct. 14; Max number of games: 27 (reduced by 4); Minimum number of games: 13; No scrimmages/exhibitions. Recommendation for minimum 4 non-conference. Video breakdown coming w/NCAA SVP Dan Gavitt.
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) September 16, 2020
Recruiting is another portion that was on the agenda. The Council voted to keep recruiting visits banned until Jan. 1, 2021.
The mad scramble to being filling out schedules is about to begin. If the WAC schedules each team to play twice in conference play, that would leave 11 potential openings for non-conference games per team. Keep an eye out as teams announce upcoming games for the 2020-21 season.
Keep An Eye Out
New Mexico State begins the season with a 19-game win streak on the line. Utah Valley and California Baptist will have nearly brand new teams. Four of the five First-Team All-WAC members have moved on. Milan Acquaah (CBU), Ivan Aurrecoechea (NMSU), Terrell Brown (SU), and Lesley Varner II (UTRGV) don’t return to WAC hoops in 2020-21.
And, once again, the WAC Player of the Year isn’t returning. Milan Acquaah announced via his Twitter that he will continue to pursue a professional career rather than return to California Baptist for his final season of eligibility.
WAC Freshman of the Year Jovan Blacksher Jr. returns for GCU. And the WAC Defensive Player of the Year Javon Levi returns for his final season at UTRGV.
And last but not least, Don Haskins WAC Coach of the Year Chris Jans returns with a loaded lineup for New Mexico State. Jans is a 3-time winner of the Coach of the Year award and has led the Aggies to three consecutive WAC regular season championships. Had it not been for Covid-19, the Aggies were nearly a lock to win the WAC’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament for a third straight season.
Two new schools join WAC Hoops this season. Tarleton State and Dixie State both make the jump to the Division I ranks.
Dan Nielson looks to take the UVU women to greater heights after leading the Wolverines to their highest win total since 2012. Molly Miller takes over the GCU women’s program that finished second in the WAC standings last season. Billy Gillispie comes back to the Division I level in his first season as the Tarleton State men’s head coach. And Bryce Drew takes over for Dan Majerle at GCU.
Lot of new faces in college basketball, especially in the WAC this season. But, it is an exciting time.
College basketball is officially back and it all tips off on Nov. 25, 2020.