Kentucky Wesleyan has added some quality opponents to the men’s basketball schedule by announcing three exhibition contests with Xavier, Western Kentucky and Evansville.
The Panthers will travel to Xavier to kick things off Nov. 1 in the first meeting the Panthers and Musketeers have ever had. The Musketeers went 29-6 last season before falling to Florida State in the NCAA Tournament. KWC head coach Drew Cooper said he’s looking forward to the game.
“We are thrilled Xavier chose Wesleyan as their lone exhibition,” Cooper said. “Coach Tyler Hochstetler and I have been fortunate to get to know the Xavier staff from our time in the Greater Cincinnati area. We cannot thank them enough for allowing Wesleyan to be a part of the beginning of the coach (Travis) Steele era, one that will surely be exciting for Musketeer fans.”
Two days later, Wesleyan will travel Bowling Green for another matchup with Western Kentucky University. The Hilltoppers finished with a 27-11 season last year, falling in the Conference USA Championship game to Marshall. WKU also marched to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden before falling 69-65 to Utah.
“Coach (Rick) Stansbury has preseason expectations as high as they’ve ever been for Hilltopper fans,” Cooper said. “We are grateful WKU was open to continuing the exhibition game relationship with Wesleyan. Especially given proximity, it’s a home run for us to have the good fortune of visiting Diddle Arena.”
KWC finished they’re preseason with a game at Evansville, who went 17-15 a year ago and will use the game with the Panthers as their regular season home opener at the Ford Center.
“I cannot thank Coach (Walter) McCarty and his staff enough for inviting us to come play,” Cooper said. “As he puts his stamp on the legacy of the University of Evansville basketball program, we are thrilled to be a part of it. As both he and I enter our first seasons, I am hoping it is the start of a long relationship.”
The Panthers will start their regular season on Nov. 10 against Kentucky State at the Sportscenter. A meeting with Trevecca Nazarene on Dec. 1 will serve as Wesleyan’s G-MAC opener.
Kentucky Wesleyan finished with a record of 15-16 last season, with a 9-11 mark within the G-MAC.