San Diego State’s Xavier Thames, right, who averaged 9.5 points per game last season, will welcome Arizona for a nonconference game in San Diego on Nov. 14.

Lenny Ignelzi / The Associated Press 2011


• Location: San Luis Obispo, Calif.

• Game date: Nov. 8, McKale Center

• Series with UA: One-time appearance ($90,000 fee)

• Last season: 18-14 (12-6 Big West)

• Coach: Joe Callero 202-193 (overall), 63-63 (Cal Poly)

• Top returnees: F Chris Eversley (15.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg), G Jamal Johnson (2.75 assist-turnover ratio), C Brian Bennett (9.3 ppg, 52.4 FG%), G Maliik Love (medical redshirt in 2012-13)

• Key losses: G Dylan Royer (10.1 ppg), G Chris O’Brien (48.5 FG%), G Drake U’u (2-1 assist-turnover)

• Impact newcomers: G David Nwaba (juco transfer), G Markel Leonard, G Ridge Shipley

• Overview: The Mustangs are tough to deal with when in their element, having won 13 of 14 home games last season while reaching the Big West Tournament semifinals and a postseason berth in the tournament. The Mustangs also have a solid forward in Eversley and a promising freshman point guard in Leonard.

• Number: 31: Percent increase in Cal Poly’s home attendance since 2008-09, the final year before Callero took over.

• Did you know?: Cal Poly has officially shed its hometown from its name, even though there is a Cal Poly Pomona in Division II

• On the Web:


• Location: Long Beach, Calif.

• Game date: Nov. 11, McKale Center

• Series with UA: One-time appearance ($95,000 fee)

• Last season: 19-14 (14-4 Big West)

• Coach: Dan Monson 274-214 (overall), 104-91 (LBSU)

• Top returnees: G Michael Caffey (all Big-West, 12.0 ppg, 3.8 apg), C Dan Jennings (8.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg), F Kris Gulley (3.9 ppg)

• Key losses: F James Ennis (16.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg), G Keala King (9.8 rpg, 4.8 rpg), F Tony Freeland (11.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg)

• Impact newcomers: F David Samuels (juco transfer), G Tyler Lamb (UCLA transfer ineligible until December), G A.J. Spencer (juco transfer)

• Overview: The 49ers are going after what would be a record-tying fourth straight Big West title (set by UNLV), but it won’t be easy after losing NBA draftee Ennis and being without King and Freeland, who were dismissed from the program last spring. But having Caffey back at the point, plus West Virginia transfer Jennings inside, gives LBSU something to work with.

• Number: 8: New players this season, including Lamb and five juco transfers.

• Did you know?: Long Beach State has had a participant in every Olympics since the school’s founding in 1949, more than 100 in all.

• On the web:


• Location: San Diego

• Game date: Nov. 14, Viejas Arena, San Diego

• Series with UA: Second of two-game series (started in 2011-12 at McKale Center)

• Last season: 23-11 (9-7 Mountain West)

• Coach: Steve Fisher 465-253 (overall), 281-171 (SDSU)

• Top returnees: G Xavier Thames (9.5 ppg), F J.J. O’Brien (7.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg), F Winston Shepard (5.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

• Key losses: G Jamaal Franklin (17.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg), G Chase Tapley (13.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg), F Deshawn Stephens (5.1 rpg), G James Rahon (7.0 ppg)

• Impact newcomers: F Josh Davis (Tulane grad transfer), F Dakarai Allen (onetime UA target), G D’Erryl Williams

• Overview: Angelo Chol won’t be eligible this season after transferring from Arizona, and the Aztecs could use him right away after losing so much production from last season. But Davis could take over a go-to role right away, as a three-year veteran from Tulane. Sacramento freshmen Allen and Williams are also highly regarded.

• Number: 23: Minimum number of games SDSU has won over the past five seasons

• Did you know?: The Aztecs have won 33 straight against teams from the state of California.

• On the Web:


• Location: Teaneck, N.J.

• Game date: Nov. 18, McKale Center

• Series with UA: First-round NIT Season Tip-Off game

• Last season: 7-24 (2-16 NEC)

• Coach: Greg Herenda 95-56 (overall), 0-0 (FDU)

• Top returnees: G Mustafaa Jones (5.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg), G Sidney Sanders (4.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg)

• Key losses: F Kinu Rochford (14.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg), G Melquan Bolding (13.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg), G Lonnie Robinson (8.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg)

• Impact newcomers: F Andre Gillette (Niagara transfer), G Matt MacDonald, F Mike Owona

• Overview: Herenda left UMass-Lowell just before it transitioned into Division I to take over a team that is struggling to survive in Division I. The Knights have lost at least 20 games in the past six years, and two-thirds of their scoring from last season is gone. That’s some work to do.

• Number: 300: Fairleigh Dickinson’s RPI at the end of last season.

• Did you know?: Fairleigh Dickinson is the largest public university in New Jersey, with campuses also in England and Vancouver, B.C.

• On the Web:


• Location: Lubbock, Texas

• Game date: Dec. 3, McKale Center

• Series with UA: Second of two-game series (started in 2012-13 at Lubbock)

• Last season: 11-19 (3-15 Big 12)

• Coach: Tubby Smith 511-266 (overall), 0-0 (Texas Tech)

• Top returnees: F Jaye Crockett (12.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg), F Jordan Tolbert (9.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg), G Dusty Hannahs (6.7 ppg)

• Key losses: G Josh Gray (9.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg), G Trency Jackson (6.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg)

• Impact newcomers: G Robert Turner (juco transfer), F Alex Foster

• Overview: The Red Raiders’ recent plight almost makes Arizona’s tricky transition after Lute Olson look like cake. Now veteran coach Tubby Smith comes in to clean up the mess with a roster that has been under three coaches (Pat Knight, Billy Gillespie and Chris Walker) in three seasons, with Gillespie leaving last fall when there were allegations of player abuse.

• Number: 6: Years since Texas Tech last played in the NCAA tournament (under Bob Knight)

• Did you know?: Forward Kader Tapsoba is from Burkina Faso, a country of about 16 million in West Africa, some 6,330 miles away from Lubbock.

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• Location: Las Vegas

• Game date: Dec. 7, McKale Center

• Series with UA: First of four games through 2016-17

• Last season: 24-11 (14-4 Mountain West)

• Coach: Dave Rice 51-19 (overall), 51-19 (UNLV)

• Top returnees: G Bryce Dejean-Jones (10.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg), F Khem Birch (7.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg)

• Key losses: F Anthony Bennett (No. 1 NBA draft pick), G Katin Reinhardt (transferred to USC), F Mike Moser (transferred to Oregon), G Anthony Marshall (10.4 ppg), F Quintrell Thomas (3.7 ppg), G Justin Hawkins (4.9 ppg)

• Impact newcomers: F Roscoe Smith (transferred from UConn), F Chris Wood, F Jelan Kendrick (transferred from Memphis), G Deville Smith (transferred from Mississippi State)

• Overview: Instead of meshing together a solid roster in his third season at UNLV, coach Dave Rice will have to rebuild after an astounding loss of talent. Not only did Bennett jump to the NBA after a year but Reinhardt was a starter and Moser was a former all-leaguer.

• Number: 71: Percent of scoring UNLV lost from last season.

• Did you know?: UNLV assistant coach Todd Simon coached Brandon Ashley and Nick Johnson at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.

• On the Web:


• Location: Las Cruces, N.M.

• Game date: Dec. 11, McKale Center

• Series with UA: One-time appearance ($95,000 fee)

• Last season: 24-11 (14-4 WAC)

• Coach: Marvin Menzies 127-79 (overall), 127-79 (WAC)

• Top returnees: C Sim Bhullar (10.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg), G Daniel Mullings (13.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg), G K.C. Ross-Miller (5.3 ppg, 2.3 apg)

• Key losses: F Bandja Sy (11.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg), F Tyrone Watson (10.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg)

• Impact newcomers: G Travon Landry

• Overview: The Western Athletic Conference is almost unrecognizable this season (Chicago State? Really?), but that’s good news for the veterans from Las Cruces. The Aggies are clear favorites to win the retooled league, having six of eight rotation players back from a team that made its third appearance in the NCAA tournament over the past four years. Big man Tshilidzi Nephawe returns from a hand injury that cost him last season.

• Number: 7: Teams who bolted the WAC after last season, replaced by six new members, including Phoenix’s Grand Canyon, which is transitioning to Division I.

• Did you know?: The Aggies have seven international players on their roster, with four from Toronto and others from France, Croatia and South Africa.

• On the Web:


• Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.

• Game date: Dec. 14, Crisler Center, Ann Arbor

• Series with UA: First game of two-game series to be completed Dec. 13, 2014, at McKale Center

• Last season: 31-8 (12-6 Big Ten)

• Coach: John Beilein 415-260 (overall), 112-85 (Michigan)

• Top returnees: F Glenn Robinson III (11.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg), F Mitch McGary (7.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg), G Nik Stauskas (11.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg), F Jordan Morgan (4.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg)

• Key losses: G Trey Burke (No. 9 NBA draft pick), G Tim Hardaway Jr. (24th NBA draft pick)

• Impact newcomers: G Derrick Walton, Jr. (Gatorade Michigan POY), G Zak Irvin (Indiana Mr. Basketball), F Mark Donnal

• Overview: Robinson and McGary could have ridden their Final Four fame off to the NBA draft but, unlike Burke and Hardaway, opted to return. Their presence suggests, after some retooling, that Michigan could make another long NCAA tournament run. But the Wolverines need the multitalented Walton to make up for the loss of Burke’s considerable presence at the point.

• Number: 10.7: Rebounds McGary averaged during six games of the 2013 NCAA tournament.

• Did you know?: No skeletal remains of a wolverine have ever been found in the state of Michigan, though there was a verified sighting of one in 2004.

• On the Web:


• Location: Baton Rouge, La.

• Game date: Dec. 19, McKale Center

• Series with UA: One-time appearance ($96,000 fee)

• Last season: 23-10 (l5-3 SWAC)

• Coach: Roman Banks 40-24 (overall), 40-24 (Southern)

• Top returnees: C Javan Mitchell (9.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg), G Malcolm Miller (15.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg), G Cameron Monroe (2.0 ppg)

• Key losses: G Derick Beltran (16.0 ppg), C Brandon Moore (6.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg). G Jameel Grace (9.0 ppg)

• Impact newcomers: G Trelun Banks

• Overview: The Jaguars don’t just look like one of those low-major teams that can make the first games of the NCAA tournament interesting … they are. Sixteenth-seeded Southern nearly shocked top-seeded Gonzaga before losing 64-58 last season. The Jags lose leading scorer Beltran but could have enough for another SWAC tourney title.

• Number: 11: Wins combined over the two seasons before Banks was hired.

• Did you know?: Southern was one of the hardest-hit schools in Academic Progress Rate penalties, losing two scholarships and eligibility for the 2012 postseason, before posting a strong 969 score this year.

• On the Web:



• Location: Flagstaff

• Game date: Dec. 23, McKale Center

• Series with UA: One-time appearance ($80,000 fee)

• Last year: 11-21 (8-12 Big Sky)

• Coach: Jack Murphy 11-21 (overall), 11-21 (NAU)

• Top returnees: G DeWayne Russell (14.4 ppg, 3.1 apg), F Gaellan Bewernick (6.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg), F Max Jacobsen (9.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg).

• Key losses: G Gabe Rogers (17.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg), G Stallon Saldivar (6.6 ppg, 4.2 apg)

• Impact newcomers: F Zach Reynolds (juco transfer), C Len Springs, G Travis Meeker, G Chris Miller

• Overview: You might not see it in NAU’s win total last season, but the Lumberjacks showed some improvement in their first year under Murphy, a former UA basketball staffer who also worked as an assistant under Josh Pastner at Memphis. They more than doubled their win total and tied for sixth in the Big Sky after being picked to finish last. But more upward movement will be tough this season after five seniors departed.

• Number: 28: Straight wins for UA over NAU, but only six of those games were in Flagstaff.

• Did you know?: NAU’s record home crowd of 8,234 came against Arizona in the 1990-91 season, the last time that the Wildcats visited Flagstaff.

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Compiled by Bruce Pascoe

Sportswriter for the Arizona Daily Star covering Arizona Wildcats basketball