Nicholls announces 2020-21 men’s basketball schedule

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THIBODAUX, La. — The Nicholls State University men’s basketball program announced its 2020-21 schedule Tuesday afternoon, compiling a vigorous 10-game non-conference lineup before heading into the teeth of an adjusted 16-contest Southland slate.

The Colonels kick off the campaign on Nov. 25 at the Silicon Valley Classic — a three-game tournament and the opening a five-game, seven-day California roadtrip — before shifting focus to Southland Conference play on Jan. 2, hosting league opponent Sam Houston State at Stopher Gym in Thibodaux, La.

Fresh off a four-year contract extension, head coach Austin Claunch enters his third season at the helm boasting a 35-27 overall record along with a 22-16 mark in Southland Conference play, guiding the Red & Gray on a second-place run last season despite an 11th-place preseason projection. Notably, Red & Gray managed to secure 20-plus victories for just the fourth time in program history, including an early-season road upset of Pitt as well as seven of the team’s final eight contests en route to capturing the No. 2 overall seed at the Southland Conference Tournament.

As Nicholls continues to prepare for the upcoming season, Claunch maintains how refreshing having a schedule on the books is, especially considering how the sport suffered a tumultuous ending this past March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I think there was a time over the past few months when were unsure if we were going to even get to this point, so to be sitting here in November, just a few weeks away from a game, is really exciting,” Claunch said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding college basketball, but I think to have a schedule gives our guys a lot of hope and just confidence that we’re going to be able to play. We’re just happy for our guys that we’re able to get this schedule out. It’s certainly exciting that basketball is right around the corner and I feel great about our Colonels this year.”

The season-opening tournament in Silicon Valley features the Colonels taking on both UC Davis and Idaho State on Nov. 25 & 26, respectively, before battling host Santa Clara on Nov. 27; just three days later, the Red & Gray continue their Bay Area tour with a Nov. 30 matchup against the University of California before wrapping up the roadtrip at St. Mary’s College on Dec. 1. Alll-in-all, Nicholls will manage to add three new series to the all-tiime record book — Idaho State, Santa Clara & St. Mary’s — and have the opportunity to earn their first victories against both UC Davis (0-2) and California (0-1).

“We go out to California and we’re going to play five games in seven days out there against really good competition,” Claunch added. “I would imagine a lot of teams out there don’t know a whole lot about Nicholls and what we’re about in our program and it’s going to be great for us to play five really good programs that we’re not accustomed to playing.”

After returning from California, the Colonels receive a week-long break before heading back on the road to face preseason AP No. 2 Baylor, traveling to Waco, Texas on Dec. 8 looking to upset the highly-ranked Bears. Later in the month, Nicholls will host the team’s first contests of the year against Campbellsville-Harrodsburg (Dec. 10), Carver College (Dec. 12) and Arlington Baptist (Dec. 15) before closing out non-conference play at Southern Illinois on Dec. 23.

Following the Jan. 2 Southland opener against Sam Houston State, the Red & Gray host another pair of league opponents (Lamar on Jan. 6 & rival Southeastern Louisiana on Jan. 9) before hitting the road for a three-game stretch. Notable conference contests include home-and-home series with preseason No. 3 Sam Houston State (vs. Jan. 2; at Feb. 6), preseason No. 5 Lamar (vs. Jan. 6, at Feb. 10) and preseason No. 6 McNeese (vs. Jan. 27; vs. March 3).

Dates and times will be subject to change throughout the season. For more details, check out the full 2019-20 men’s basketball schedule HERE.

Season tickets are now available by visiting Nicholls Ticket Central or calling the ticket office at 985-448-4790. New this season, fans have the option to purchase the Geaux BIG RED ticket package which will cover all home basketball, football, and baseball games.

For more information on Colonels Men’s Basketball, follow the team on Twitter (@Nicholls_MBB), Instagram (@geauxcolonels) and like their Facebook page (Nicholls Athletics).

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