BYU guard Nick Emery will be available for in-state games vs. Utah State and Utah, after missing the first nine contests of the 2018-19 season due to NCAA sanctions.
That’s the most significant finding in the Cougars’ non-conference basketball schedule of 15 games, announced Thursday. Several opponents and dates had been reported previously, so the question became where Game 10 would fall on the schedule, enabling Emery to play in his return to basketball after withdrawing from the school in November.
BYU recently announced that Emery was reinstated, following the NCAA’s review of his case involving improper benefits provided by a booster, as The Tribune previously reported. The Cougars will host Utah State on Dec. 5 in their 10th contest, then will meet Utah three nights later in the Beehive Classic at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
That game long ago was scheduled for Dec. 8. Factoring in a Christmas break, there’s practically no way it could have come at Game 9 or sooner on BYU’s schedule.
Emery, who averaged 14.7 points through two seasons, will miss games against highly ranked Nevada, plus Utah Valley, Houston and Weber State, among others.
BYU’s Nov. 6 opener at Nevada marks the first time in seven years that the Cougars will start a season on the road. A six-game homestand over 16 days follows, ending with Houston on Nov. 24 — the day of the Utah-BYU football game in Salt Lake City. The football kickoff time will be announced 12 days before the game, at the earliest. No basketball tipoff times have been set.
The Cougars also have a home basketball game vs. Alabama A&M on Nov. 17, the same date as a football game vs. New Mexico State in Provo.
In the second half of December, the Cougars will have a spread-out schedule of three high-profile road games, each on a Saturday. They will meet UNLV at the technically neutral site of T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 15, then visit San Diego State and Mississippi State.
The 16-game West Coast Conference schedule (reduced from 18 games) will begin Jan. 3. Those dates usually are announced in August. BYU will meet Pepperdine (road) and Santa Clara (home) once each in this season’s format.
BYU NONCONFERENCE BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Nov. 1 – Westminster (exhibition).
Nov. 6 – at Nevada.
Nov. 9 – Utah Valley.
Nov. 13 – Northwestern State.
Nov. 15 – Oral Roberts.
Nov. 17 – Alabama A&M.
Nov. 21 – Rice.
Nov. 24 – Houston.
Nov. 28 – at Illinois State.
Dec. 1 – at Weber State.
Dec. 5 – Utah State.
Dec. 8 – Utah (Vivint Smart Home Arena).
Dec. 12 – Portland State.
Dec. 15 – UNLV (T-Mobile Arena).
Dec. 22 – at San Diego State.
Dec. 29 – at Mississippi State.