Wichita State men's basketball is returning to Intrust Bank Arena.
The Shockers will play Alabama-Birmingham on Nov 25 — the Friday after Thanksgiving — at the downtown arena, according to athletic department sources. WSU plans to release more details about the game Monday.
The Shockers played the first basketball game in the arena in December 2010 against Tulsa. In that situation, WSU moved a scheduled game from Koch Arena. The November game will be organized by a promoter specifically for the downtown arena, according to the sources.
Alabama-Birmingham, a member of Conference USA, earned an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament in 2011. The 12th-seeded Blazers lost to Clemson in the NCAA First Four games in Dayton, Ohio. UAB finished 22-9 and won the Conference USA regular-season title.
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Coach Mike Davis, who led Indiana to the 2002 national championship game, loses senior guards Aaron Johnson, the C-USA Player of the Year, and Jamarr Sanders. Forward Cameron Moore, a senior-to-be, averaged 14 points and 9.3 rebounds.
UAB has won 20 or more games in four straight seasons and played in the National Invitation Tournament in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
WSU, which won the NIT in March, returns five of its top six scorers. Four seniors, all of whom started at least 14 games, are gone from a team that won a school-record 29 games.
WSU defeated UAB 61-52 at Koch Arena in 2007.
WSU has not released its schedule, although several dates and opponents are known. Utah State visits Koch Arena on Dec. 10 and UNLV visits Koch on Dec. 4 as part of the Mountain West Conference-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge Series.
The Shockers travel to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off for games Nov. 17, 18 and 20. Alabama, Colorado, Maryland, Iona, Purdue, Temple and Western Michigan complete the field.
WSU will return a game to Tulsa. The Shockers defeated Tulsa 82-79 at Intrust Bank Arena last season in front of 14,112 fans.
Clemente plans change — Former Shocker Ramon Clemente will not try out for the Puerto Rican national team, he said in a text message.
Clemente said he could not reach an agreement with the organizers and decided not to attend.
Clemente, WSU's leading rebounder in 2008 and 2009, was one of 16 players scheduled to compete for a spot on Puerto Rico's Pan Am Games team.
He was looking forward to the tryout and believed that he had a good chance to make the team. Clemente, whose father is Puerto Rican, said he has improved his outside shooting while playing professionally in Israel and Puerto Rico.
"I've opened up my game a lot," he said. "I've been hitting a lot of three-pointers."