BERKELEY – The California men’s basketball program has announced its non-conference schedule for the 2015-16 season.
The Golden Bears’ competitive non-conference slate includes games against 2015 NCAA Tournament teams Virginia, San Diego State and Wyoming away from Berkeley, and eight exciting home games at a newly-renovated Haas Pavilion this season.
Cal and Virginia will begin a two-game series, with the Bears traveling to Charlottesville, Va. on Dec. 22, 2015 and hosting the Cavaliers at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley in 2016. UVA, which advanced to the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament and completed last season 30-4 overall for a No. 6 national ranking, returns three starters from last year’s team.
The Bears will join San Diego State, West Virginia and Richmond in the 2015 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena Nov. 26-27. Cal will face San Diego State on Thanksgiving evening at 9 p.m. PT, and will take on either West Virginia or Richmond on Friday, Nov. 27. The Aztecs return three starters from last year’s team that won 27 games and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. WVU advanced to the Sweet 16 of last season’s NCAA Tournament and Richmond won 21 games, reaching the quarterfinal round of the NIT last year.
The Bears will host Carroll College of Montana in an exhibition game on Monday, Oct. 9. It will be the first men’s basketball game in a newly renovated Haas Pavilion, where a $10 million construction project made possible through the generous gift from the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund is nearing completion. A new center hung video board is the centerpiece of a massive construction project that also includes upgraded sound and lighting systems to enhance the fan experience.
Cal tips off the regular season on Friday, Nov. 13 against Rice in the first of four-straight games at Haas Pavilion in the month of November. The Bears will also host UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 16) and face East Carolina (Nov. 20) and Sam Houston State (Nov. 23). The East Carolina and Sam Houston State contests are part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
The Bears open the month of December against Seattle at Haas Pavilion on Tuesday, Dec. 1.
Four days later, they will travel to Laramie, Wyo. to face the University of Wyoming. Cal defeated Wyoming, 45-42, at Haas Pavilion last season.
Three of their final four non-conference games will be at home, beginning with University of the Incarnate Word on Dec. 9. Sandwiched around the Bears’ trip to Virginia will be home games against Coppin State (Dec. 19) and Davidson (Dec. 28).
Game times will be announced at a later date, once television agreements are finalized. Cal’s conference schedule is expected to be announced in September.
The Bears return four of their top five scorers and top rebounder from last season, led by First Team All-Pac-12 and Bob Cousy Award Finalist Tyrone Wallace. The rising senior point guard was the only individual in the Pac-12 to rank in the top-five in the conference in points (17.1 4th, ppg., rebounds (7.1 5th, rpg.) and assists (5th, 4.0 apg.) last season. Cal returns three starters overall, including rising junior guards Jabari Bird (10.5 ppg.) and Jordan Mathews (13.6 ppg.). The Bears have signed a consensus top-five national recruiting class that will help bolster and experienced roster for head coach Cuonzo Martin, who begins his second season with the Golden Bears in 2015-16.