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 leading up to another competitive conference season of Big Sky action. The road schedule will see the Thunderbirds visit Kansas State of the Big 12, Miami (Oh) from the MAC, UT-San Antonio of Conference USA as well as Mountain West powers 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,” stated 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 on the first of January. That trip will be followed by two more trips to Sacramento State on the third and Northern Arizona on Jan. 10 before SUU hosts Idaho State in its conference home-opener on Thursday, 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,” commented Robinson. “The opportunity to compete against in-state programs always has the chance to develop into a respectful rivalry.”
The remainder of the conference schedule is well-balanced for travel with alternating weekends of home and away series. The University of Idaho returns to the Big Sky this fall, making it 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 twelve teams in the league,” explained Robinson. “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, which will be hosted by the regular season champion from 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. Be sure to follow the Thunderbirds season at www.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
Sat, Nov 1 San Diego Christian (Exhib.)
Sat, Nov 8 Arkansas - Fort Smith (Exhib.)
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 Abiline 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
Tue, Mar 17 Portland State
Mar 12 - Mar 14 Big Sky Conference Tournament