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Southern Utah announces men’s basketball schedule

By Kyle Newhouse

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 29 2014 1:56 p.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, Aug. 29 2014 1:56 p.m. MDT

Coach Nick Robinson

Kyle Newhouse

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CEDAR CITY — The Southern Utah University men’s basketball schedule was announced Tuesday, a slate of games that will see the Thunderbirds take on teams from all across the country.

SUU fans will have the chance to watch their team square off against Eastern Kentucky, St. Katherine’s and in-state rival Utah Valley in the Centrum Arena as part of Big Sky conference season. The road schedule will see the Thunderbirds visit Kansas State of the Big 12, Miami (Ohio) from the MAC, UT-San Antonio of Conference USA, as well as Mountain West's Boise State and UNLV.

“Each year we seek to prepare our team for conference play by scheduling well-coached teams from good programs that have had recent post-season experience. This year Kansas State, Utah Valley, Eastern Kentucky, Boise State and UNLV fit that profile,” said SUU head coach Nick Robinson. “I believe these opponents not only help us prepare for the next game, but also provides our team with experiences at the highest level of competition and exposure.”

The Thunderbirds open Big Sky play at Portland State Jan. 1, 2015. That trip will be followed by two more to Sacramento State on Jan. 3 and Northern Arizona on Jan. 10, before SUU hosts Idaho State in its conference home-opener on Jan. 15 against Idaho State. The rival Wildcats of Weber State will make their visit to Cedar City that Saturday.

“This year we host Utah Valley for the first time since 2008 and play Weber State twice during Big Sky play,” Robinson said. “The opportunity to compete against in-state programs always has the chance to develop into a respectful rivalry.”

The University of Idaho returns to the Big Sky this fall, making the conference a 12-team basketball league and allowing modifications to the scheduling format.

“We accept the Big Sky schedule as it comes. The new format provides balance week in and week out from a travel and rest perspective. Plus, each team has a travel partner now that we have 12 teams in the league,” Robinson said. “The Big Sky will be just as competitive, if not more, than last year and we enjoy the high level competition each game provides.”

The Thunderbirds close out the regular season at home by taking on Sacramento State and Portland State March 5 and 7. Southern Utah looks to return to the Big Sky Tournament March 12 through 14.

“Each game on our schedule prepares us for the next game. When you look at the entire schedule, it provides great competition throughout and an opportunity for this team and our program to improve,” said Robinson.

SUU opens the year with a pair of exhibition contests against San Diego Christian on Nov. 1 and Arkansas-Fort Smith on Nov. 8. For more information on the season, visit suutbirds.com. Season tickets will be available in the coming weeks and can be purchased online at tbirdtickets.com or through the SUU ticket office at 435-586-7872.

2014-15 SUU Men’s Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent

Sat, Nov 1 San Diego Christian (Exhibition)

Sat, Nov 8 Arkansas - Fort Smith (Exhibition)

Fri, Nov 14 at Kansas State

Sun, Nov 16 at Miami (Ohio)

Sat, Nov 22 Utah Valley

Wed, Nov 26 Eastern Kentucky

Sun, Nov 30 at UTSA

Sat, Dec 6 St. Katherine's

Sun, Dec 14 at Boise State

Fri, Dec 19 at Loyola-Chicago

Las Vegas Classic

Mon, Dec 22 Arkansas Pine Bluff

Tue, Dec 23 South Carolina State or Abilene Christian

Sat, Dec 27 at UNLV

Big Sky Conference

Thu, Jan 1 at Portland State

Sat, Jan 3 at Sacramento State

Sat, Jan 10 at Northern Arizona

Thu, Jan 15 Idaho State

Sat, Jan 17 Weber State

Thu, Jan 22 at Montana State

Sat, Jan 24 at Montana

Sat, Jan 31 Northern Arizona

Thu, Feb 5 North Dakota

Sat, Feb 7 Northern Colorado

Thu, Feb 12 at Weber State

Sat, Feb 14 at Idaho State

Thu, Feb 19 Eastern Washington

Sat, Feb 21 Idaho

Thu, Feb 26 at Northern Colorado

Sat, Feb 28 at North Dakota

Thu, Mar 5 Sacramento State

Sat, Mar 7 Portland State

Mar 12 - Mar 14 Big Sky Conference Tournament

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