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Weber State men’s basketball finalizes road-heavy 2022-23 schedule

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Sep 23, 2022

Bridget Mayfield, EWU Athletics

Weber State players huddle during a game against Eastern Washington on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Cheney, Wash.

Weber State men’s basketball announced a finalized 2022-23 schedule Friday, a road-heavy slate anchored in the West, the bulk of which was already known via previous Standard-Examiner reporting.

The Wildcats will play seven road games in nonconference play, including early-season trips to Washington and Colorado State and late-December games against Utah State and BYU. WSU also plays Tarleton State on the road (a return game from the 2020-21 series signed on short notice), a buy game at Cal Baptist and a contest at Cal Poly.

The Cal Poly game was arranged by the Big Sky Conference, an effort to connect basketball games for full Big Sky members with the two football affiliate members (Cal Poly and UC Davis). The Mustangs should return the game to Ogden next season.

Weber State plays a multi-team event in the greater Las Vegas area this season called Vegas 4, perhaps providing some fans a unique travel opportunity not often available. Just before Thanksgiving, WSU will take on UC Riverside, Abilene Christian and Wright State at The Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nevada, a new arena that’s home to the Big West Conference basketball tournament.

The Wildcats’ short home schedule opens with an exhibition against Adams State, sees WSU host Utah Tech on a return trip from last season, and Division II opponents Western Colorado and Saint Martin’s (Washington) come to the Dee Events Center.

“Our non-conference schedule is very challenging this year as postponed games over the last few years due to COVID has resulted in more road games than normal,” first-year head coach Eric Duft said in a statement. “It’s a challenge we fully embrace and know that it will prepare us for the Big Sky Conference schedule. We will attack it and expect to do well.”

In-state games may tick up in future years; Utah continues to avoid playing in-state games nearly altogether, and Weber could not arrange dates with Utah Valley or Southern Utah this season.

Nonconference play goes from Nov. 7 to Dec. 22. The 18-game Big Sky schedule begins Dec. 29 with a homestand against Northern Colorado and Northern Arizona.

Though the conference slate is only 18 games instead of 20 (with the departure of Southern Utah), the elimination of the early-December conference series and moving up the Big Sky tournament schedule to claim better TV windows means teams will play a couple of Monday games during conference play.

According to WSU’s online schedule page, home conference games are slated for 7 p.m. on both Thursday and Saturday matchups, aside from an afternoon game on New Year’s Eve.

The Wildcats return five players from last year’s squad, including All-Big Sky player Dillon Jones and senior Zahir Porter. WSU also brought in four Division-I transfers: senior guard Junior Ballard (Fresno State), junior guard Steven Verplancken Jr. (Southern Illinois), sophomore guard Keith Dinwiddie Jr. (San Diego State), and redshirt freshman center Handje Tamba (Tennessee).

2022-23 MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

Nov. 2: vs. Adams State (exhibition)

Nov. 7: at Washington

Nov. 10: vs. Western Colorado

Nov. 14: at Colorado State

Nov. 21: vs. UC Riverside (Vegas 4)

Nov. 22: vs. Abilene Christian (Vegas 4)

Nov. 23: vs. Wright State (Vegas 4)

Nov. 29: at Tarleton State

Dec. 3: vs. Utah Tech

Dec. 7: at Cal Baptist

Dec. 10: vs. Saint Martin’s

Dec. 17: at Cal Poly

Dec. 19: at Utah State

Dec. 22: at BYU

Dec. 29: vs. Northern Colorado

Dec. 31: vs. Northern Arizona

Jan. 7: vs. Idaho State

Jan. 12: at Montana

Jan. 14: at Montana State

Jan. 19: vs. Portland State

Jan. 21: vs. Sacramento State

Jan. 26: at Idaho

Jan. 28: at Eastern Washington

Feb. 4: at Idaho State

Feb. 6: at Northern Colorado

Feb. 9: vs. Montana State

Feb. 11: vs. Montana

Feb. 16: at Sacramento State

Feb. 18: at Portland State

Feb. 23: vs. Eastern Washington

Feb. 25: vs. Idaho

Feb. 27: at Northern Arizona

March 4-8: Big Sky Tournament, Boise ID

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