Tuesday was a busy day for WAC Hoops Digest. Tarleton State released its full schedule. Utah Valley shared that information on an additional game to its non-conference slate. And New Mexico State is heading to Phoenix to prep for the 2020-21 season. Interviews, press conferences, preparing content and so forth made it a busy day.
So, let’s take a look at the scheduling additions that were presented by WAC institutions.
Tarleton State Begins Division I Era
Head coach Billy Gillispie said at WAC Media Days that the Texans won’t shy away from playing anyone. And four games on the Texans’ non-conference slate prove that. Tarleton State will take on the big boys of college basketball.
? GAME ON ?
Our 2020-21 schedule is complete! ? The season opener is on Nov. 25 in Wisdom Gym! Tickets and game times are available on our schedule page at https://t.co/qhCsxnEVmE#TexanNation | #HereComeTheTexans pic.twitter.com/ewuMZOQzYT
— Tarleton Men's Basketball (@TarletonMBB) November 17, 2020
After a pair of winnable games to open the Division I era, Tarleton State has a brutal four-game road trip. It starts on Dec. 2 at Gillispie’s old stomping grounds in College Station. The Texans take on Texas A&M at the Reed Center where Gillispie coached for three seasons from 2004-2007.
On Dec. 8, the Texans travel to top-ranked Gonzaga. Five nights later, Tarleton State travels to Allen Fieldhouse to take on top-ranked Kansas. Tarleton State guard Isaiah Range said at WAC Media Days that “we’re just hoopers that want to play and compete.” Well, the Texans will get their chance to compete.
Mixed in between the Texas A&M contest and the trip to Spokane is a trip to Abilene, TX to take on Abilene Christian on Dec. 5.
“I believe it is a great schedule, one that will definitely prepare us for conference play,” added Gillispie. “We have some of the most recognizable names in college basketball on our schedule and will look forward to those challenges as we begin our Division I ascent. Come and watch this young team grow. It should be fun!”
Tarleton State comes for three games after playing in Lawrence with three games against non-DI opponents. Perhaps the most intriguing game on the non-conference slate is a trip to Malibu, CA to take on Pepperdine of the West Coast Conference on Dec. 23.
Utah Valley Adds Additional Mountain West Foe
On Tuesday afternoon, Utah Valley announced it will play at Air Force on Dec. 23. It is the first-ever game between the Wolverines and the Falcons. With this addition, Utah Valley now has two games against Mountain West Conference foes. Wyoming comes to Orem on Dec. 12.
— UVU Men’s Basketball (@UVUmbb) November 17, 2020
Along with a pair of MWC foes, Utah Valley also plays a pair of Big Sky schools, and a pair of Pac-12 schools. Utah Valley opens its season at head coach Mark Madsen’s alma mater Stanford on Nov. 25. The Wolverine also have in-state games at BYU, at Utah and home against Southern Utah.