news 3 days ago

Northern Arizona men's and women's hoops wrap up first official week of practice

The Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff — Lance Hartzler The Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff

Oct. 18-- Oct. 18--After a winding and longer than normal offseason, the college basketball season is just around the corner.

The Lumberjacks are back on the hardwood after just finishing up the first official days of preseason practices. Each team has a schedule, at least a Big Sky Conference one, and is waiting to finalize the rest of the nonconference slate.

Northern Arizona men's basketball head coach Shane Burcar did give a small glimpse into the nonconference slate, saying the team is scheduled to open Wednesday, Nov. 25, in Tucson at the University of Arizona. An in-state match-up with the Wildcats makes sense considering teams across the NCAA are looking to cut travel expenses and avoid long road trips due to the ongoing pandemic.

That puts the men at 21 games assuming Arizona doesn't pull out of the match-up and the 20-game Big Sky slate goes as planned. The NCAA changed the max for men's hoops to 25 for teams not competing in a multi-team event, which are the in-season tournaments such as the Maui Invitational or the Battle 4 Atlantis. The max is 27 if a team does compete in a multi-team event.

The NAU men were scheduled to compete against San Diego in the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix, but there has been no announcement made about the status of the event.

The season is officially allowed to start Nov. 25 -- two weeks later than the usual Nov. 10 start date -- so the Lumberjacks have about six weeks until games will begin.

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