If the Washington State men’s basketball team take advantage of a schedule loaded with home games early on, then the Cougars should rebound nicely from a disappointing 13-18 first year with coach Ernie Kent.
WSU begins the 2015-16 season with a six-game homestand that includes an 8 p.m. Dec. 2 date with Gonzaga. After playing eight of their first nine games at home, the Cougars travel to Honolulu, Hawaii to participate in the Diamond Head Classic.
Washington State returns home for three straight games to start Pac-12 play beginning with a New Year’s Day 6 p.m. showdown against USC. WSU hosts UCLA at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 3 before cross-state rival Washington visits Pullman on Jan. 9 at noon.
The Cougars play seven of their first 11 conference games at Beasley Coliseum, including games against Utah (Jan. 21, 8 p.m.), Colorado (Jan. 23, 6 p.m.), Arizona (Feb. 3, 7 p.m.) and Arizona State (Feb. 6, 3:30 p.m.).
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Washington State was 8-6 at home last season.
Five of WSU’s final seven games are on the road, including the regular-season finale at Washington, which is 8 p.m. March 2.
Due to the Pac-12 unbalanced schedule, the Cougars do not play road games at California and Stanford and will not host Oregon and Oregon State.
The Pac-12 Tournament is March 9-12 in Las Vegas.