2014-15 Non-Conference Dates:
Nov. 08 - NORTHWOOD (Fla.) (Exhibition)
Nov. 14 - NEW MEXICO STATE
Nov. 18 - vs. Memphis #
Nov. 23 - NEWMAN
Nov. 29 - TULSA
Dec. 03 - at Utah
Dec. 06 - SAINT LOUIS !
Dec. 09 - SETON HALL
Dec. 13 - at Detroit
Dec. 16 - ALABAMA
Dec. 22 - vs. Loyola Marymount %
Dec. 23 - vs. Hawaii/Nebraska %
Dec. 25 - vs. Colorado/Depaul/George Washington/Ohio %
BOLD CAPS - Home Game
# - Sanford Pentagon (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
! - INTRUST Bank Arena (Wichita, Kan.)% - Diamondhead Classic (Honolulul, Hawaii)
Wichita State will put the nation’s longest regular season winning streak to the test against perhaps the toughest non-conference schedule of the Gregg Marshall era.
The 2014-15 pre-Missouri Valley Conference slate, released Friday, includes a nationally televised neutral site battle with Memphis, home contests with three 2014 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, and a much-anticipated trip to Hawaii for the Diamondhead Classic.
The schedule – which could see as many as 10 different conferences represented - includes two true road games, four neutral site contests and a return to INTRUST Bank Arena in downtown Wichita.
The Shockers, winners of 31-straight regular season games, will appear six times at Charles Koch Arena during the months of November and December, beginning with an exhibition contest against Northwood (Fla.). WSU posted a 16-0 record on its home floor last season and is 44-3 overall at Koch Arena, dating back to the start of the 2011-12 campaign.
Each of the Shockers’ first five Division I opponents were 20-game winners last year, a run that begins with New Mexico State in the regular season opener. The Aggies (26-10) finished second in the WAC regular season standings a year ago but punched an NCAA ticket by winning the WAC Tournament.
WSU travels to Sioux Falls, S.D. on Nov. 18 to meet Memphis in a 1 p.m. tip on ESPN as part of the network’s 24-hour Tipoff Marathon. The Tigers (24-10) advanced to the 3rdRound of the NCAA Tournament last March.
A local showdown with NCAA Division II Newman comes Nov. 23.
Tulsa invades Nov. 29, marking the fifth-straight season that the longtime rivals have gone head-to-head. The Hurricane rallied to win the Conference USA Tournament last March to secure their first NCAA bid since 2003.
WSU will look to continue its recent success in Salt Lake City with a Dec. 3 visit to face Utah in the first meeting between the two programs since the 1991-92 season. The Shockers launched their run to the Final Four with second and third round victories in Salt Lake City during the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
For the fifth-consecutive year, the Shockers will make downtown INTRUST Bank Arena their home away from home, when they host Saint Louis on Dec. 6. WSU handed the Billikens their only loss of the 2013 non-conference slate. SLU went on to win the Atlantic 10 regular season title and earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Dec. 9 brings a home court battle with Seton Hall of the Big East.
The Shockers travel to Detroit, Dec. 13, in their final Bracket Busters return game. WSU dealt the Titans a 94-79 setback in Feb. 2013 at Koch Arena. The game is scheduled for air on ESPNU at 11 a.m. CST.
WSU and Alabama lock horns for the fourth time in five seasons. The Shockers have taken two of the first three in the series, including a win in the 2011 NIT title game and another last December in Tuscaloosa.
Winners of the 2012 Cancun Challenge and the 2013 CBE Classic, WSU will look to lock up a third-consecutive in-season tournament title against a strong field at the Diamondhead Classic, Dec. 22, 23 and 25.
The Shockers meet Loyola Marymount in the opener in a 10 p.m. CST tipoff, then take on either Nebraska or Hawaii on day two. The Huskers advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament, as did potential final round foes Colorado and George Washington.
WSU (35-1, 18-0 MVC in 2013-14) returns three starters and four of its top five scorers from a team that captured both the regular and postseason Missouri Valley Conference titles and became the first Division I team in 23 years to reach the NCAA Tournament with an unbeaten record.
Juniors Ron Baker (13.1 points) and Fred VanVleet (11.6 pts, 5.4 assists) were First Team All-MVC selections. Also returning is senior Tekele Cotton (10.3 pts, 4.0 rebounds), a Second Team All-MVC choice and the reigning MVC Defensive Player of the Year. Senior power forward Darius Carter (7.9 pts, 4.5 reb) was selected to the MVC All-Bench Team as one of the league’s top reserves.
- Wichita State -