Washington State's nonconference schedule in men's basketball for the 2016-17 season features some new tests for the Cougars, who will play just one repeat opponent from last season.
Of course that opponent, Palouse rival Idaho, has beaten WSU in each of the last two seasons and will be one of the favorites in the Big Sky conference next year.
The schedule is highlighted by a Dec. 10 trip to the Sprint Center in Kansas City to face Kansas State in the first game of a home-and-home series, in which neither program will actually play at home. Next year the Wildcats will make a return trip to the Spokane Arena.
A three-game trip to the Virgin Island that begins with a Nov. 18 matchup against Creighton will also provide quality opponents for the Cougars, who will again play the bulk of their nonconference schedule at home, against mid-major opponents.
After opening the season on Nov. 11 against Montana State, the Cougars will travel to Kennewick to face Division II Central Washington. The last time the Cougars played in the Tri-Cities was 2013, and current WSU coach Ernie Kent was on the call for the Pac-12 Networks as a color analyst.
"Every year we try to put together the best nonconference scheduled to prepare us for a competitive Pac-12 season and help build excitement amongst our fans and supporters,” Kent said. “I think we did a good job of that this season, getting some home games during football weekends and playing Central Washington in the Tri-Cities, where we have a huge Cougar contingency."
Every other nonconference game will be played in Beasley Coliseum, including a four-game home stretch leading up to the Kansas trip that will see WSU play San Jose State, Utah Valley State, New Orleans and the Vandals. After facing the Wildcats, the Cougars will return home to wrap up their nonconference schedule against Santa Clara and Sacramento State.