A NEW ERA DAWNS: For the first time in 33 years, the Seattle University men's basketball team begins the regular season as a member of an NCAA Division I conference. as the Redhawks join the Western Athletic Conference. Seattle U begins the non-conference portion of the schedule with the annual Elgin Baylor Classic, hosting Montana State at KeyArena. Elgin Baylor is scheduled to be in attendance and will present the MVP Award to the best player in the game as voted on by the assembled media.
SCOUTING MONTANA STATE: The Bobcats played one exhibition game in preparation for the start of the 2012-13 season, defeating South Dakota State School of Mines, 93-61, last Saturday. Antonio Biglow led the Bobcats with 21 points, while Michael Dison and Calen Coleman finished with 13 points apiece. Montana State forced 29 turnovers, 18 of them in the second half as it pull away after going into the locker room ahead by only four points at halftime. Last season, Montana State posted a 12-17 overall record, including a 7-9 record within the Big Sky Conference, finishing in a tie for fifth in the final standings. Xavier Blount is considered the team's top returner after averaging a team-high 11.7 points per game last season.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the 38th meeting all-time between Seattle U and Montana State, with Seattle U holding a 28-9 series advantage. The teams first met for two games in Bozeman during the 1947-48 season, splitting the contests. They met again back-to-back in Bozeman in 1951-52, with Seattle U winning both games. In 1952-53, Seattle U defeated Montana State twice at the old Civic Auditorium. In fact, Seattle University had an eight-game winning streak over Montana State from 1948 through an 82-74 loss in Bozeman in 1959. The teams met twice every season home-and-home from 1957-58 to 1969-70, with a three-game series taking place in 1962-63. The teams met once in 1970-71 as well as in 1971-72, which was the last meeting before the teams renewed their rivalry in 2010-11. A double-double for Aaron Broussard, including a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:38 remaining in regulation, helped Seattle University earn a come-from-behind 72-70 victory over Montana State Nov. 29, 2010, at KeyArena. Broussard finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Shawn Reid led the Bobcats with 23 points. Last season, Seattle U defeated Montana State in Bozeman, 85-73. Broussard scored 23 points and Eric Wallace chipped in 18 points and eight rebounds as Seattle U shot 56 percent from the field and 88 percent from the free throw line. Xavier Blount led Montana State with 17 points.
JOINING THE WAC: Seattle University officially joined the Western Athletic Conference July 1, 2012. The Redhawks is part of the WAC in 17 of the 20 sports offered at Seattle U, with men's soccer and men's swimming staying in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and women's rowing competing as a Division I independent. Seattle U will face the following schools in conference play this season: Denver, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, and Utah State.
FROM WAY DOWNTOWN: In two full seasons, Sterling Carter has already moved into third place on Seattle U's all-time list for made three-pointers with 154, passing Chris Gweth (2006-10) and Andre Lang (1991-95) on the all-time made three-pointers list during the eight-three-pointer barrage against Longwood last Feb. 29. Also, in the Feb. 11 game at Longwood, Chad Rasmussen set the school single-game record for attempted three-point shots with 17.
LOOKING AHEAD: Losing just three players to graduation should help Seattle University as it moves into the 2012-13 campaign. Besides 18 games within the Western Athletic Conference, the Redhawks also host Washington again at KeyArena. Seattle U welcomes Northern Illinois to town Dec. 19, a return game from the 2010-11 season when the Redhawks traveled to DeKalb, Ill., for a BracketBuster game. Seattle U will travel to both Stanford and Virginia this season to complete those agreements that brought the Cardinal and the Cavaliers to KeyArena last season. The Redhawks play just three non-conference road games this season, with Eastern Washington also on the travel docket in the team's first game after final exams. On the other hand, Seattle U plays seven home non-conference games at KeyArena, with Montana State, Pacific Lutheran, Boise State, Jackson State, and Campbell joining the visitors already mentioned above. Finally, for the second straight season, Seattle U will play a game at the ShoWare Center in Kent, this time facing CSU Bakersfield Wednesday, March 6.