The Weber State University men’s basketball team steps onto the court for their first matchup of their 2020-21 season on Nov. 25, taking on Adams State University.
The last match between the ‘Cats and the Grizzlies was an exhibition game in 2013 where WSU won 85-77.
The schedule for this season was only recently announced by the Big Sky Conference. The Wildcats will play Adams State and one other non-conference game with Dixie State before moving into conference play.
As of Nov. 11, the Wildcats were ranked in preseason polls as third by the coaches and fifth by the media.
“We don’t compare anything to last year; the only thing we did was change our roster,” said Randy Rahe, head coach. “Defense and rebounding is our strength and we’re working on a system for our offense, we work a lot with ball movement.”
Moving into their 2020-21 season, the Wildcats are welcoming nine transfer students and one true freshman to the team this year. With an almost completely-rebuilt team, they have been focusing on figuring out what will be the best way to approach these first few games.
A starting lineup has yet to be announced, but the momentum in practice has increased since the schedule has been released.
“We’re just playing against each other in practice. We’re trying to figure who comes off the bench first,” Rahe said. “Kids coming off the bench will have to figure out their roles, even though they know it can change.”
The major goal in rebuilding this team for Rahe was finding experience. You’ll expect to see many of these transfer players coming into their junior and senior years, with the goal of playing for each other and not individually.
The Wildcats, like the other Big Sky schools, faced months of practice with little word on what the season would look like. It was only a few weeks before they were set to play that they found out their schedules.
“We didn’t have a schedule for so long, and when you’re practicing and now there’s a schedule to it, the kids definitely have something to look forward to,” said Rahe. “We have a little bit more energy.”
WIth their first game on Nov. 25, the team will focus on learning what adjustments need to be made before they enter into Big Sky Conference play, visiting Portland State on Dec. 3.
Rahe stated he is aware that it can take three to four games before they figure out their groove for the upcoming season.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, spectators are not allowed in games, as of Nov. 9; the season anticipates keeping that decision until Dec 31, when they’ll review the situation.