UTU
Frank Staine Jr. and Utah Tech face a very difficult first month of the 2022-23 season. Courtesy Breanna Biorato/VisuallyBreanna.

UTU Non-Conf Schedule, SFA News, And More WAC Hoops News

News continues to trickle out about the 2022-23 season as teams start releasing their non-conference schedule. With it comes the reality that some teams have the benefit of playing a lot of home games while others will be road warriors entering conference play. Utah Tech (UTU) is one of those teams.

California Baptist was the first WAC school to release its non-conference schedule. The Lancers put out their non-conference slate three weeks ago and it features quite a bit of home games. In fact, CBU will play eight of its 13 non-conference games at the CBU Events Center.

Well, Utah Tech released its non-conference slate on Wednesday. And it looks much different. We will get to it in just a bit.

Also starting to trickle out is schedule news about Stephen F. Austin. The Jacks are starting a home-and-home series against a good Conference USA squad this season. And the Jacks will face a familiar foe in their non-conference slate.

So, let’s get to it.

Utah Tech Has Brutal Non-Conference Slate

Well, to say Utah Tech will be extremely tested heading into WAC play is an understatement. Perhaps it has to do with money or lack thereof, or maybe another reason, the Trailblazers will not be playing at the Burns Arena very much in the first two months of the 2022-23 season.

Perhaps the good news is that UTU will finish its non-conference slate with four straight home games. The problem is that just one of those four games is against Division I competition.

Yes, Jon Judkins has a veteran squad returning. Cam Gooden, Isaiah Pope, Frank Staine Jr. Dancell Later, Noa Gonsalves, Trey Edmonds, Jacob Nicolds and Trevon Allfrey all return. And maybe that is why Judkins put together the brutal non-conference schedule the Trailblazers will face in 2022-23.

Or perhaps it is knowing that seeding is on the line for the WAC tournament now that the Trailblazers are eligible to compete at WAC Vegas. Either way, November is going to be extremely difficult.

Utah Tech opens at Mountain West foe Nevada on Nov. 7. The Trailblazers then return home for the lone game at the Burns Arena in November to host CSU Northridge.

Then the travel gets tricky. UTU goes to Seattle to face UW, then to Tucson three days later to face Arizona. And two days, the Trailblazers are in Moscow, Idaho to face the Idaho Vandals. If that wasn’t enough, UTU has to travel to Grand Forks, N.D. over Thanksgiving for an MTE where they will face North Dakota on Nov. 25 and Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 26.

The following week, UTU gets a pair of in-state games when it travels to Logan to take on Utah State and Ogden to take on Weber State.

As you can see, the first month of the season will be brutal. But, December eases up a bit with three Non-DI opponents before finishing up the slate by hosting OVC foe Lindenwood.

SFA Schedule Starting to Trickle Out

There hasn’t been a lot of news about the SFA men’s basketball schedule so far this offseason. Most of that is because the Jacks are struggling to find teams that will play them. But, earlier this week, Rocco Miller broke some news about the Jacks.

SFA has set up a home-and-home series with Conference USA foe Louisiana Tech. The Jacks will travel to Ruston on Dec. 14 and the return game will be part of the 2023-24 season.

The Bulldogs finished the 2021-22 season with a 24-10 overall record and 12-6 in CUSA play. La Tech finished the 2021-22 season with a KenPom ranking of 100. SFA finished the 2021-22 season with a 22-10 overall record and 14-4 finish in WAC play to earn a share of the WAC regular season crown. The Jacks had a KenPom ranking of 123 at the end of their first season in the WAC.

Along with the La Tech news, former Southland Conference foe Northwestern State put out its non-conference schedule on Thursday morning. And SFA will host the Demons on Dec. 1. This will probably be one of a very small number of home games for the Jacks. At least against Division I competition.

Aggies Staff Issues, Open Practice

On Wednesday morning, New Mexico State beat writer Stephen Wagner broke the news regarding defensive analyst Edmond Pryor. Amid allegations of forging employment records for criminal defendants, Pryor is no longer associated with the school and no longer a member of the coaching staff.

Pryor was hired onto Greg Heiar’s staff on July 1, 12 days before he was charged with a single count of forgery, a Class 3 felony in the state of Illinois.

Get all your New Mexico State Aggies fan gear at Fanatics. 

This news comes two weeks after the Aggies finished up a trip to the Bahamas. And a few days before they will have a practice which is open to the public. It will be a good opportunity for Aggie fans to meet a roster full of new faces for the 2022-23 season. And it is all part of the festivities leading up to the New Mexico State football season opener on Saturday night.

 

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