Wichita State will play Saint Louis at Intrust Bank Arena on Dec. 6, continuing its series of games at Wichita’s downtown arena.
The Shockers and Billikens will conclude a home-and-home series that started last season with WSU’s 70-65 win at Chaifetz Arena. Saint Louis went 27-7 last season and represented WSU’s best non-conference victory. However, its top four scorers graduated after leading the Billikens to the NCAA Tournament.
The Shockers are 4-0 at Intrust Bank Arena after last season’s 70-61 win over Tennessee in front of 14,356 fans.
WSU has also finalized a two-year contract with New Mexico State, according to senior associate athletic director Darron Boatright. The Aggies will serve as WSU’s regular-season opener on Nov. 14 at Koch Arena and return in 2015-16. New Mexico State went 26-10 last season and made its third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Like Saint Louis, New Mexico State is a former Missouri Valley Conference member. It last played WSU during the 1982-83 season.
The Shockers will play Northwoods (Fla.) University, an NAIA school coached by former Villanova coach Rollie Massimino, in an exhibition game on Nov. 8.
Boatright said WSU will fill its remaining open date with a non-NCAA Division I opponent.
WSU’s opponents in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii in December are also undecided and Boatright said organizers have not given him a timetable for when the bracket will be announced. WSU will join Nebraska, Colorado, Ohio, George Washington, Loyola Marymount, Hawaii and DePaul, a WSU opponent the past two seasons in holiday tournaments.
“We have asked to be opposite of DePaul,” Boatright said.
WSU’s non-conference schedule is highlighted by a game against Memphis, also an old Valley opponent, in Sioux Falls S.D. on Nov. 18.
Tulsa, another former MVC rival, visits Koch Arena on Nov. 29. On Dec. 3, WSU plays at Utah and it plays Seton Hall on Dec. 9 at Koch Arena. On Dec. 13, WSU finishes its BracketBusters responsibilities with a game at Detroit, a fifth former MVC member. WSU’s game against Alabama at Koch Arena has been moved to Dec. 16 at the request of ESPN.
WSU’s game against Memphis will tip at 1 p.m. as part of ESPN’s season-opening marathon coverage.