The Saint Martin’s University men’s basketball team will officially release its 2017-18 schedule later this month — but here’s a short preview.
Following a 17-13 finish last season, and a Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournament semifinal appearance, the Saints have scheduled three non-conference games against Division I opponents this winter.
They’ll kick off a road trip against two Pac-12 programs at the University of Washington on Nov. 2, and travel to Pullman on Nov. 5 to play Washington State. In December, they’ll meet Seattle U.
“To go out and play games against what we would consider three of the top programs in the state, that’s a great opportunity to bring some exposure to our university,” said SMU coach Alex Pribble, who is entering his third season with the program.
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UW is on a rotation to play the Saints every few years, and Pribble said he is intrigued to be on the Huskies’ schedule as part of coach Mike Hopkins’ first season. Pribble said he made calls earlier in the year to get WSU on the schedule.
“For us, it’s all about the opportunity to play against great competition,” Pribble said. “We have eight new players on our roster. If we can compete against top programs in the state, we’ll be able to see our strengths and weaknesses and evaluate ourselves early in the year.”
The Seattle U connection comes from Pribble’s days as an assistant coach at Eastern Washington. Pribble coached for two seasons in Cheney under Jim Hayford, who was hired by Seattle U in March.
“He’s going to be creating something really special at Seattle U,” Pribble said. “It’ll be a fun game to be reunited with him.”
Pribble said SMU’s full schedule will be finalized later this month.