A game against a Pac-12 team, a preseason tournament in Alaska, three games against in-state opponents and a slate of Big Sky Conference games highlight the 2016-17 Weber State men’s basketball schedule. The full schedule was released Tuesday by Weber State head coach Randy Rahe.
“Every year we try to put together a schedule that will challenge us and prepare us for the Big Sky Conference season,” Rahe said. “We feel we have done that again this year and that this will be another difficult schedule that will prepare us for the rigors of the Big Sky. We’re excited to go to Alaska and play in another preseason tournament and we also have several challenging road games and three games against in-state teams. We are looking forward to the schedule and the season.”
The Wildcats won the Big Sky Conference title last season and will face a challenging preseason schedule before they begin defense of the title.
Following a Nov. 5 exhibition game against Black Hills State, Weber State opens the season on Nov. 11, when the ‘Cats host the University of Antelope Valley.
The next week, WSU hits the road for two games, playing Nov. 15 at Pepperdine and Nov. 17 at Stanford. The game against the Pepperdine Waves will be the first of a home-and-home series, with Pepperdine playing in Ogden in the 2017-18 season. The Wildcats and Waves have met five times before, but have not played since 1996.
The game against Stanford will be the first meeting ever between the two schools. It will be the fourth regular season game for the Wildcats against a Pac-12 team in the last six years.
The next week, Weber State plays in the Great Alaska Shootout as the ‘Cats play three games from Nov. 24-26. WSU opens up on Nov. 24, against UC Davis, then plays Drake or Iona on Nov. 25. The final game of the tournament will be against Alaska-Anchorage, Buffalo, Nevada or Oakland. It will be the third-straight season the ‘Cats will be in a preseason tournament.
Weber State opens December with a Dec. 3 home game against the University of Denver, followed by a road game at BYU on Dec. 7. The ‘Cats then have back-to-back home games as they host West Coast Baptist on Dec. 10 and Utah Valley on Dec. 17. The final non-conference game will be Dec. 21 at Utah State.
The Wildcats begin the defense of their Big Sky title on Dec. 29, when the 18-game Big Sky Conference schedule begins. WSU opens conference play with three games on the road, playing at Montana State on Dec. 29, at Montana on Dec. 31 and at Idaho State on Jan. 7.
The first conference home games will be Jan. 12 and 14, against Idaho and Eastern Washington, respectively. WSU will also host Idaho State in January, which will be played on Friday, Jan. 27.
WSU will also have home Big Sky games against Southern Utah (Feb. 2), Northern Arizona (Feb. 4), Northern Colorado (Feb. 16), North Dakota (Feb. 18) and will close out the regular season March 2 and 4, against Montana and Montana State, respectively.
The ‘Cats will have additional Big Sky road games at North Dakota (Jan. 19), Northern Colorado (Jan. 21), Sacramento State (Feb. 9), Portland State (Feb. 11), Eastern Washington (Feb. 23) and Idaho (Feb. 25).
With 12 teams in the conference, the ‘Cats will play seven teams twice and four teams once. WSU will play Southern Utah and Northern Arizona in Ogden but not on the road. The ‘Cats will also play Sacramento State and Portland State on the road, but those two teams will not come to Ogden.
Once again, the Big Sky Conference Tournament will be played in Reno, Nevada, with all 12 conference teams advancing to the tournament, which will be held March 7-11, at the Reno Events Center. The Wildcats won the tournament in Reno last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Weber State is coming off a 26-9 record during the 2015-16 season. WSU won the title at the Florida Gulf Coast Showcase and went on to win the Big Sky regular season title, the Big Sky Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Rahe just completed his 10th season as head coach of the Wildcats, is WSU’s all-time leader in coaching victories and is the Big Sky Conference’s all-time leader in conference wins.
Paul Grua is the Director of Athletic Communications at Weber State University.