PROVO — It may not be the season opener, but BYU will host cross-county rival Utah Valley in an early season hoops contest on Nov. 28 in Provo.
The Wolverines announced the first two games of their 2020-21 college basketball season Friday, including the second of a three-game series scheduled with BYU beginning Nov. 28.
That will be UVU's second game of the season, following a season-opening road tip at Stanford on Nov. 25. The Wolverines' first-ever trip to Stanford will be a homecoming for second-year coach Mark Madsen, a Stanford Hall of Famer who played for the Cardinal from 1996-2000 and led the team to the Final Four in 1998.
BYU holds a 3-1 all-time record against UVU, including a 75-65 win in the two sides' last meeting in 2018. Cougars head coach Mark Pope previously coached the Wolverines from 2015-19, amassing a record of 77-56 before taking the over for former BYU coach Dave Rose in 2019 and leading the Cougars to a 24-8 record in his first season.
BYU is also currently scheduled to attend the Legends Classic, which will feature Southern California, UConn and Vanderbilt on Dec. 2-3 in Connecticut. But Pope reiterated during Wednesday's season-opening practice that even though the 2020-21 schedule remains in "flux," a priority remains in scheduling in-state opponents like UVU, Utah State and archrival Utah.
"Everything's so in flux," Pope said of the Cougars' nonconference schedule. "There are so many moving pieces.
"We feel like we're waiting on one contract to get signed, and as soon as we do, there are a bunch of others that will be fine. This is a brand-new experience that none of us has ever had, and we're just trying to figure it out."
Once again, the Wolverines' roster is loaded with transfers, including Georgia Tech graduate center Evan Cole, UNLV sharpshooter Trey Woodbury, former BYU guards Colby Leifson and Blaze Neild, and Weber State forward Tim Fuller. The Cougars also have a roster replete with Division I transfers, including Purdue center Matt Haarms and former UVU point guard Brandon Averette, who followed the coach who recruited him to Orem from Oklahoma State for his final season of collegiate eligibility.