CANYON – West Texas A&M first-year head coach Tom Brown has announced the 2014-15 Buffalo basketball regular season schedule. The Buffs return four players, seniors Antjuan Ball, Tez Dumars, and Miles Gatewood and redshirt freshman Rylan Gerber, from last year’s squad. They will look to improve upon last year’s last place finish in the Lone Star Conference.
WT welcomed in its 17th head coach in program history earlier this spring in Brown who comes to Canyon after an impressive career as the Associate Head Coach at Winona State, one of the most successful Division II men’s basketball programs in recent history. Brown coached the Warriors to two National Championships and three appearances in the title game while at WSU. His accomplishments there also include four Elite Eight appearances, six conference championships, five conference tournament titles, 10-straight 20 win seasons, 10 All-Americans and three National Players of the Year.
Brown will be joined on the bench by first-year Associate Head Coach Chris Gove and Assistant Coach Quincy Henderson. Gove, like Brown, comes to WT after a 16-year stint as an assistant at WSU. After spending the previous two years on the coaching staff at Illinois Wesleyan and previously playing under Brown and Gove at WSU, Henderson begins his first season with the Buffs as well.
The Buffs’ 2014-15 regular season schedule features 28 regular season games against 20 different opponents across three-and-a-half months. Of those contests, 16 will be played on home court at WT’s First United Bank Center (FUBC). All times are still to be determined.
“Scheduling is always tough no matter what school you are at,” noted Brown. “It was a little more challenging this year as there were a lot of holes to fill when we took over in late April/May. However, our schedule is complete and is very balanced. We have some very challenging non-conference games early in the season and as always, the ultra-tough LSC schedule. We have 23 DII games and our NAIA opponents are usually ranked. Our trip right before winter break will really challenge our players and hopefully set us up for the second semester games.”
The Buffs will open up their 2014-15 campaign with a third-straight appearance in Colorado State-Pueblo’s Al Kaly Shriner’s Classic. They will take on the host ThunderWolves to begin the season on Friday, Nov. 14 followed by a neutral-site showdown with Western State (Colo.) the next day. WT will return to the Lone Star State on Tuesday, Nov. 18 as it travels to Plainview to meet the Pioneers of Wayland Baptist.
For their home opener and first contest in a six-game homestand, the Buffs will host a rematch with CSUP at the FUBC on Saturday, Nov. 22. WT will commence a busy Thanksgiving week on Wednesday, Nov. 26 as it faces off against the Gorillas of Pittsburg State. After the holiday festivities, the Buffs will host the annual Pak-A-Sak WT Thanksgiving Classic, featuring Emporia State, Harding, and LSC rival Eastern New Mexico. They will battle HU and ESU on Nov. 28 and 29, respectively.
WT will play four games during the month of December, the first being a home contest against Lubbock Christian on Wednesday, Dec. 3. The Buffs will then conclude their six-game homestand on Saturday, Dec. 13 against NAIA member and Sooner Athletic Conference representative St. Gregory’s. It will be the first-ever meeting between the Buffs and Cavaliers.
To close out the 2014 calendar year, the Buffs will travel to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. for two games at NSU Arena on the campus of Nova Southeastern. WT will tip off against the host Sharks on Thursday, Dec. 18 followed by another neutral site matchup, this time against Missouri-St. Louis on Saturday, Dec. 20.
The Buffs will get right back to the hardwood to kick off the New Year with back-to-back home contests against Mid-America Christian and Hillsdale Baptist on the weekend of Jan. 2-3.
Conference play will commence for WT on Wednesday, Jan. 7 as it travels to Midwestern State for a First United Bank Highway 287 Challenge Cup matchup with the Mustangs. The Buffs will then play the next two LSC games at home against Cameron (Jan. 10) and Angelo State (Jan. 14) followed by road trips to Texas A&M-Kingsville (Jan. 17) and defending regular season and tournament champion Tarleton State (Jan. 21).
WT will host Texas A&M-Commerce at the FUBC on Saturday, Jan. 24 before closing out its non-conference schedule at home against Langston on Tuesday, Jan. 27. The Buffs will then wrap up their January schedule on the 31st with a short trip west to ENMU to face off with the Greyhounds.
WT will return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at ASU before back-to-back home matchups with TAMUK (Feb. 7) and MSU (Feb. 11). On Saturday Feb. 14, the Buffs will hit the road again as they travel to CU followed by a home rematch with TSU on Wednesday, Feb. 18.
The Buffs will conclude their LSC road schedule with a trip to TAMUC on Saturday, Feb. 21 and its home slate on Saturday, Feb. 28 against ENMU.
The LSC Tournament will return to Allen, Texas and will be held on March 4-7. The top seed in the region will then host the eight-team NCAA South Central Regional Tournament on March 14-17, followed by the NCAA Division II Elite Eight on March 25-28 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind.