Basketball season is officially underway. Our first official practice took place Oct. 15. We have one month to get our system drilled into our athletes before our first game.
We begin our season Nov. 13 against the Missouri Tigers in Columbia. Missouri advanced to the Division I Elite Eight last season. I have a good feeling we won’t be the favorite in this one, but we hope to go in and compete at a high level!
Following our battle with a Big 12 foe we come home to Bearcat Arena and battle four non-conference NAIA teams: Manhattan Christian (Nov. 16), Benedictine (19th), Baker (24th) and Graceland (28th). We will not be on the road this Thanksgiving. As much as I have loved Ryan’s and the Golden Corral on Thanksgiving for the past seven years, it will be nice to maybe get home for a quick home-cooked dinner! With the home games we hope we can get our fans excited and create a great home-court atmosphere to take into the conference season.
December will hit us with colder weather and tough MIAA opponents. Our conference is arguably the best in Division II. Actually, I’m not going to argue..it is THE BEST in Division II. Our first conference game will be at home against Coach David Moe’s Emporia State Hornets Dec. 2. It’s funny how the sub-plot games usually happen right away (I think we know the sub-plot for that one).
Following Emporia at home we will face the always tough Washburn Ichabods Dec. 5 before traveling to one of the toughest venues in DII in the Fort Hays State Tigers Dec. 9. One more home game against UNO on Dec. 12 will complete our pre-christmas conference start. These games will really tell us something about our young team!
Our Christmas break schedule doesn’t get any easier. Our team will catch a flight to Las Vegas and bump into C.W. Post who posted (pun intended) a 30-1 record last season and a tough in-region Drury team. They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I’m sure our scores will make it in the local papers back in the Midwest so we better play well. This trip to Vegas will also give our guys a chance to bond even more away from home. This trip will only bring us closer together as a unit.
Following a nice long 4-5 day Christmas Vacation we will prepare for the Pitt State Gorillas (Dec. 30). Following that we host Cameron University and former Northwest Assistant Nate Gamet (assistant at Cameron) as our last non-conference game of the year. Then it’s down to St Joe to battle our local friends, including one of my favorites in Coach Nicholson, and the Missouri Western Griffons.
Now it’s straight MIAA action all the way through March!! No easy games and a lot of hard work! (http://www.nwmissouri.edu/sports/mensbball/schedule.htm) Link to our complete schedule so I can stop rambling on!
I look forward to seeing everyone back for homecoming this weekend!! This week’s shout out goes to the 2001-2002 Bearcat Basketball Team who will be inducted into the Northwest Hall of Fame this weekend. Should be a fun one!!!