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Brigham Young Cougars guard TJ Haws (30) dribbles the ball while guarded by St. Mary's Gaels guard Tanner Krebs (0) at the Marriott Center in Provo on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)
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Early Trips To Gonzaga & SMC Highlight BYU’s 2019-20 WCC Schedule

Brigham Young Cougars guard TJ Haws (30) dribbles the ball while guarded by St. Mary's Gaels guard Tanner Krebs (0) at the Marriott Center in Provo on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – The West Coast Conference released their 2019-20 Men’s Basketball schedule on Tuesday.  BYU head coach Mark Pope acknowledged that the Cougars had received their schedule this past Friday, but now the slate of games in BYU’s ninth year in the WCC is available to the public.

Blockbusters

When you think WCC schedule, you’re probably wondering, when does BYU play Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s?  Both teams appear early on the schedule and on the road.

A trip to Moraga, California is up first on Thursday, January 9th to take on projected pre-season Top 25 squad Saint Mary’s.  McKeon Pavilion is undergoing Phase II of their renovation project of the historic venue.  The expectation is that there will now be a locker room for the visitors.  Yes, there wasn’t a visitor locker room before.

Then the Cougars travel to WCC juggernaut Gonzaga in The Kennel on Saturday, January 18th.  Like St. Mary’s, Gonzaga is a projected preseason Top 25 team as head coach Mark Few enters his 21st season as the head coach of the Zags.

St. Mary’s and Gonzaga make return visits to Provo on Saturday, February 1st and Saturday, February 22nd respectively.  BYU hosting the Zags on the 22nd will mark the Cougars senior day in the Marriott Center.

Time To Grind

BYU’s shortened conference weekends with only one game take place on the opening and closing weekends of league play.  BYU is the only team in the conference that will play seven consecutive weeks with multiple conference games in a weekend.

Toughest Road Stretch

Starting with Gonzaga on Saturday, January 18th, BYU will then have a pair of road games the following weekend against Pacific on Thursday, January 23rd and a trip to the Hilltop to take on San Francisco on Saturday, January 25th.

Traveling for a home game?

Former BYU head coach Dave Rose wasn’t always the biggest fan of the West Coast Conference scheduling methods for Men’s Basketball.  One of the peculiar quirks to WCC schedules is that sometimes teams will have to travel for a home game.  BYU will have two weekends of league play where they will play on the road for the Thursday game and then travel back to Provo for a Saturday night home game.

BYU’s second week of league play will see that happen as the Cougars will take on St. Mary’s in Moraga on Thursday, January 9th, then travel to Provo to take on Portland on Saturday, January 11th in the Marriott Center.  The other time it happens on the schedule is Thursday, February 6th, BYU will face the Pilots of Portland then head back home to host San Francisco on Saturday, February 8th.

One game

This is the second year of the WCC’s modified men’s basketball schedule.  The 16-game schedule is the result of changes adopted by the WCC Presidents’ Council.  With the modified schedule, two teams on each school’s conference schedule appear only once.

BYU’s one-time opponents are Pacific and Santa Clara.  The Cougars will travel to Pacific on Thursday, January 23rd and will host Santa Clara on Thursday, February 20th.

*****

BYU’s non-conference hasn’t been released yet.  Head Coach Mark Pope told the media this past Friday that he was waiting on one more contract to agree to before releasing the schedule.

BYU’s 2019-20 West Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Schedule

January 4th (Sat) – LOYOLA MARYMOUNT

January 9th (Thu) – @ Saint Mary’s

January 11th (Sat) – PORTLAND

January 16th (Thu) – SAN DIEGO

January 18th (Sat) – @ Gonzaga

January 23rd (Thu) – @ Pacific

January 25th (Sat) – @ San Francisco

January 30th (Thu) – PEPPERDINE

February 1st (Sat) – SAINT MARY’S

February 6th (Thu) – @ Portland

February 8th (Sat) – SAN FRANCISCO

February 13th (Thu) – @ Loyola Marymount

February 15th (Sat) – @ San Diego

February 20th (Thu) – SANTA CLARA

February 22nd (Sat) – GONZAGA (Senior Day)

February 29th (Sat) – @ Pepperdine

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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