With what should be a return to normal in the number of games, travel and fans in the stands, the Weber State’s men’s basketball schedule for the 2021-22 season is coming together.
While the Wildcats return a load of experience, and will boast five seniors after adding guards Koby McEwen and JJ Overton from the transfer portal, they’ll compete against one of the better home schedules in some time.
Games and dates are secured as early holiday presents, according to game contracts obtained by the Standard-Examiner, as Weber State will welcome both BYU (Dec. 18) and Fresno State (Dec. 23) to the Dee Events Center in the week before the usual late-December break.
Fresno State’s trip to Ogden was originally scheduled for 2018 as part of a three-game series. That was changed to 2019, at which point an agreeable date was not found for that season, and was again neutralized in 2020 when the season’s start date was moved back several weeks by the NCAA.
While a date is not official, WSU is also expected to host Utah State in Ogden this season after their date in 2020 ended up canceled due to COVID-19 issues in USU’s program. That series picks back up this season with the fourth of a six-game contract currently in place between the in-state schools.
The Wildcats have also built an East Coast road trip around a buy game and a multi-team event. WSU will travel to play Duquesne, an Atlantic 10 Conference school in Pittsburgh, on Nov. 15, then play three games at the Jersey Mike’s Classic in Florida from Nov. 18-21.
The Jersey Mike’s Classic, usually in Jamaica, will temporarily move to Florida this season and be hosted at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. The tournament’s website listed nothing more than date and place information as of Thursday night, so the format is not currently known.
What would be at least a four-team event will also include Green Bay (the Horizon League team announced its participation in May) and Ball State (the MAC team from Indiana is in, according to the Muncie Star Press).
In addition to the game at Duquesne, Weber State will also play road games at Dixie State and Tarleton State, both of the WAC. Last season’s road game at Dixie State was nixed due to COVID-19 protocols and that two-game series is expected to be pushed back and remain as planned, with Dixie then traveling to Ogden in 2022.
WSU’s in-season addition of a home game against Tarleton State in January brought with it an agreement for the Wildcats to return the trip. WSU will play at Tarleton on Nov. 27, Dec. 4 or Dec. 11.
Outside of knowing the field for the Jersey Mike’s Classic, it seems the addition of two home games against non-Division I teams is likely to round out a schedule of 11 nonconference games before a 20-game Big Sky Conference slate begins just before the new year.
Here’s a look at what opponents are currently contracted for the season that begins Nov. 9.
HOME: BYU, Fresno State, Utah State
ROAD: Dixie State, Duquesne, Tarleton State
NEUTRAL: 3 games at the Jersey Mike’s Classic. Full field TBD