Men’s basketball conference schedule released

The Western Athletic Conference announced the full slate of conference games which will begin on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Image courtesy of UVU Athletics.

The Western Athletic Conference announced the full slate of games for the men’s basketball 2020-21 season. As opposed to the usual format of playing a home-and-home series against each conference foe, teams will play back-to-back games at a single site every week in order to reduce travel risk.

The Wolverines have two non-conference games scheduled this season and will likely look to add a few more prior to the start of the conference season. UVU will play at Stanford on Wednesday, Nov. 25 before playing at BYU on Saturday, Nov. 28.

Here is what the conference schedule looks like for the Wolverines this season:

Jan. 8 and 9 – UVU vs. California Baptist – Orem, Utah

CBU finished second in the WAC last season with a 10-6 conference record but the Lancers lost six of their primary contributors from last year and will be hard pressed to repeat their success. Head coach Rick Croy is in his 7th year at the helm and has a 169-53 record with CBU.

The Lancers won both meetings between the two teams last season.

Jan. 15 and 16 – UVU at Seattle U – Seattle, Washington

Seattle U went 7-7 in conference play last year and is expected to be in the middle of the pack again this year. The Redhawks will be led by junior forward Riley Grigsby who was named to the Coaches Preseason All-WAC Second Team. Grigsby averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season.

UVU was blown out 83-50 by the Redhawks in their first meeting last year, but closed the gap in their second meeting and lost by only two points.

Jan. 29 and 30 – UVU vs. Tarleton State – Orem, Utah

TSU is a brand-new addition to the WAC this season after competing as a Division II school in the Lone Star Conference. The Texans went 18-12 last season and were eliminated in the second round of the Lone Star Conference tournament. They were picked to finish 6th in the preseason WAC Coaches Poll.

Feb. 5 and 6 – UVU at Chicago State – Chicago, Illinois

The CSU Cougars were the punching bag of the WAC last season and went winless in conference play. Things don’t look much better for the Cougars this year and they were picked unanimously by coaches to finish last yet again.

The Wolverines have a 20-5 record against CSU all time and their last loss came in 2017.

Feb. 12 and 13 – UVU vs. Dixie State – Orem, Utah

Dixie State is the other newcomer to the conference this year, reuniting an in-state rivalry between the Wolverines and the Trailblazers that dates back to their mutual membership in the SWAC from 1984-2003. 

Senior forward Hunter Schofield from Spanish Fork, Utah, will be a name to watch this season. Schofield averaged 16.3 points per game last year and shot nearly 54 percent from the field.

Feb. 19 and 20 – UVU at New Mexico State – Las Cruces, New Mexico

The Aggies had a 25-6 record last season and finished the year on a 19-game winning streak. NMSU has won three straight regular season conference titles and is a heavy favorite to get their fourth this season. Junior guard Jabari Rice averaged nearly 13 points last season and was selected for the All-WAC First Team this year.

UVU is only 3-11 against NMSU — their last victory over the Aggies came in 2018. NMSU won both regular season matchups against the Wolverines last season.

Feb. 26 and 27 – UVU vs. UT Rio Grande Valley – Orem, Utah

The Vaqueros finished 3rd in the conference last season and they look as if they can continue their upward trajectory again this season. Senior guard Javon Levi was last year’s WAC Defensive Player of the Year and finished the season with 60 steals.

UVU has had a lot of success against UTRGV historically, with a record of 26-4. The Wolverines had a 15-game winning streak against the Vaqueros until they lost 80-72 in February of this year.

March 5 and 6 – UVU at Grand Canyon – Phoenix, Arizona

The Antelopes are in their first season under new head coach Bryce Drew and are expected to turn things around significantly following their 13-17 record last season. They were ranked second in the WAC Preseason Coaches Poll. Jovan Blacksher Jr. won the WAC Freshman of the Year award and is poised to improve upon his numbers from last year, which included 10.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.

UVU won both games against the Antelopes last season and is 7-10 against GCU all time.

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