Schools are continuing to progress towards completing their non-conference schedules for the upcoming season, and on Thursday it was announced that Saint Louis and Wichita State have agreed to a home-and-home series.
Saint Louis will host the first meeting on December 1, 2013, with the return game being played during the 2014-15 season. No date for the 2014-15 meeting at Koch Arena in Wichita has been announced.
Given the amount of success that both programs enjoyed last season (and have the potential to enjoy in 2013-14), this is certainly an attractive non-conference matchup.
Wichita State won 30 games and made its first Final Four appearance since 1965, and despite losing players such as guard Malcolm Armstead and forward Carl Hall the Shockers will likely be the early favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference.
As for Saint Louis, the Billikens won 28 games and the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament crowns. Head coach Jim Crews loses guard Kwamain Mitchell and forward Cody Ellis, but like Gregg Marshall he’ll also have some key contributors back and should once again contend for the Atlantic 10 title.
The December 1 meeting will be the first between the two schools since 1975, with Saint Louis currently holding a 42-18 edge in the series. That date will also be a bittersweet one, as it will mark the one-year anniversary of former SLU head coach Rick Majerus’ passing.
Saint Louis didn’t mention that in the release announcing the series, but it’s likely safe to assume that the school will honor their former coach at Chaifetz Pavilion on that day.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.
Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.
How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?
Well, it seems.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.
And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.
“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”
He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.
But credit the Cardinals for responding.
Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.
Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.
Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.
According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.
Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.