Basketball teams moving toward Nov. 25 start

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

Now that there is a start date in place for the 2020-21 college basketball season, the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Eastern are in the process of organizing their schedules.

Each team originally had games scheduled to begin on Nov. 10, now the organization on the non-conference season will have to be adjusted, according to Eastern Athletic Director Tom Michael.

“There’s a 15-day difference in starting later, which obviously has caused both of our programs to start looking at different scheduling models and figuring out how to put their non-conference schedule together,” Michael said.

For the men’s team, one of the games that was scheduled before Nov. 25 was a showdown with Kansas on Nov. 16, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation when the season was canceled in March. Also originally on the non-conference schedule for the men’s team is Butler on Dec. 22.

For the women’s team, the biggest non-conference matchup was scheduled for Dec. 20 against Minnesota.

“It’s one of the games that we’re still trying to work with them to see what fits,” Michael said. “It obviously won’t be that early in the season, so we’re still having conversations with (Kansas), still having conversations with Butler on the men’s side, and just trying to see what works. It’s really, in a lot of ways, it’s kind of been frantic with both coaches trying to make phone calls and put this schedule together for the non-conference season.”

Michael said that Eastern is still awaiting confirmation from the OVC on how the conference season will unfold

“Right now we’re waiting on the OVC to confirm the conference schedule and exactly what that’s going to look like and when that might start,” he said. “Once we have that in place, which hopefully will be no later than next week, that we’ll be able to really nail down our non-conference schedule too.”

There of course are some college sports happening right now, most notably football. Michael said he expects the basketball season to start on time on Nov. 25, but believes that there may be some postponements and cancellations like have happened in football in recent weeks.

Moving away from basketball, it has been a month since the semester began. Michael said that he has been mostly pleased so far with how the teams on campus are adjusting to protocols and handling practices.

“I think it hasn’t gone perfect, but I think it’s gone relatively well,” he said. “We continue to work with all of our student-athletes and our programs to keep finding ways to do things better on campus as we all deal with the different environment that we’re in right now.”


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]