THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The 2018-19 Cal Lutheran men's basketball season will feature two tournaments, the UC Santa Cruz Tournament and the Cal Lutheran Holiday Classic, 13 home events and lots of top-notch competition.
The regular season consists of 25 games, with 16 of those being Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) matchups. CLU will prepare for a rigorous season with two exhibition games against UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton.
"Our exhibition games against two Division I programs provide our guys with a unique opportunity to compete against teams that we will not see during our regular season," said head coach Tim Fusina.
The Kingsmen start their season at the UC Santa Cruz Tournament, Nov. 16-17. CLU will play the host, UC Santa Cruz, Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. The very next day, Cal Lutheran and Linfield will play a neutral game at 5 p.m.
The rest of the non-conference schedule includes George Fox, Pacific (twice), Lewis & Clark, UW-Stevens Point, Whitman and another game with UC Santa Cruz.
"This year, we are finally playing a full Division III schedule," said Fusina. "This is a huge factor for us in becoming a competitive program in the west region.
"Being able to play a full Division III schedule for the first time shows the commitment our university and program have to making Cal Lutheran basketball a nationally recognized program. We have a highly competitive schedule with multiple NCAA Tournament teams on it and we are excited to see those teams on our court this December."
CLU plays four non-conference games before getting their first taste of SCIAC competition. Cal Lutheran's conference-opener is Wednesday, Dec. 5, as the Kingsmen travel to Orange, Calif., to take Chapman at 7 p.m.
The big test from the non-conference schedule is at the Cal Lutheran Holiday Classic. The Kingsmen host two NCAA tournament teams from the 2017-18 season.
"Our classic will be one of the most competitive in the country this year with three NCAA Tournament teams participating in it.," said Fusina. "To get our program to where we think it can get to, we must play the best teams we possibly can."
Cal Lutheran takes on UW-Stevens Point Friday, Dec. 28, and then Whitman on the 29. Both games are set for the tip at 8 p.m. Whitman made to the Elite Eight last year and UWSP was in the Sweet Sixteen. The fourth team at the classic is Illinois Wesleyan, which lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
After the classic, the Kingsmen jump right back into SCIAC action. Cal Lutheran will host three straight conference games. The Violet and Gold get Caltech on Wednesday, Jan. 2, Pomona-Pitzer on Monday, Jan. 7, and Redlands on Wednesday, Jan. 9. All three games will start at 7 p.m.
The remaining home conference games continue with Whittier (Jan. 19), Chapman (Jan. 23), Occidental (Feb. 2), La Verne (Feb. 6) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Feb. 16). The game with CMS is senior night and will start at 7 p.m.
The top-four SCIAC teams advance to the postseason. The top seeds host the semi-finals and championship game at their venues. The tournament is held Feb. 22-23.
2018-19 Schedule: Kingsmen Basketball
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director