Wichita State Shockers

Find out who is coming to Koch Arena in AAC play for 2018-19 basketball season

Wichita State forward Markis McDuffie shoots a three-pointer over Houston forward Cedrick Alley Jr. during the first half of their game at Koch Arena on Jan. 4.
Wichita State forward Markis McDuffie shoots a three-pointer over Houston forward Cedrick Alley Jr. during the first half of their game at Koch Arena on Jan. 4. The Wichita Eagle

Who is coming to Koch Arena and where are the Shockers headed on the road in the American Athletic Conference next season?

The AAC released its conference pairings on Thursday. Each team will play seven teams twice and the other four once (two at home and two on the road). Finalized dates will be announced later.

Wichita State will have home-and-home matchups against Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Memphis, SMU, Tulane and Tulsa. The Shockers will play Central Florida and Temple at home only, then play Houston and South Florida on the road only.

WSU is one of just two teams in the conference that doesn't return more than 50 percent of its production from last season. The Shockers have 11 percent of their minutes returning, which is expected to be one of the lowest numbers in the country.

After WSU was given an RPI-friendly schedule with more difficult games last season, the AAC appeared to ease up on the young and inexperienced Shockers. Of the four teams WSU has to play just once, UCF is expected to be a title contender while Temple and Houston are typically strong opponents.

The highlight of the home schedule might be Memphis' trip to Koch Arena. The Tigers are building plenty of offseason hype under first-year coach Penny Hardaway, which included convincing Alex Lomax, a former WSU prized recruit, to stay home. WSU coach Gregg Marshall ultimately released Lomax from his letter of intent, meaning Lomax will be eligible to play against the Shockers immediately.

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The road schedule is highlighted by two new trips for WSU fans: to New Orleans at Tulane and to Tampa at South Florida.

WSU has not released its non-conference schedule for the 2018-19 season, but many of the games are known.

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In what will likely be the second game of the season, WSU will play Providence in the one-game Veterans Classic on Navy's campus in Annapolis, Md., on Nov. 9. WSU will also play Baylor at Koch Arena on Dec. 1, then face Oklahoma in Oklahoma City on Dec. 8. Other non-conference opponents include Oral Roberts and Louisiana Tech.

The Shockers will play three games in the Charleston Classic on Nov. 15, 16, and 18 in an eight-team field that includes such notables as Purdue, Alabama, and Virginia Tech.

It was also confirmed that the Shockers will play in the Cancun Classic for their mid-season tournament in 2019. According to the tournament's web site, West Virginia, South Carolina and Northern Iowa appear to be in WSU's division.

Wichita State University's six Shocker seniors star in Carlos O' Kelly's latest queso commercial.

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