The leaves are falling, as is the rain typical of the Pacific Northwest at this time of year. It is time to move indoors, from bundling up for fall sports such as soccer and cross country, to relaxing in a seat at KeyArena or the Connolly Center and watching Division I collegiate basketball, as sponsored by Seattle University.
Both the men's and women's basketball teams have been practicing since the summer, as new NCAA rules allow for summer sessions as long as the student-athletes are enrolled in summer school. The practices started to focus on the 2014-15 campaign in early October, and now both squads are just days away from seeing their first outside competition of the season.
At the Western Athletic Conference Basketball Preview in Las Vegas Oct. 15, it was announced that the expectations for each team would be high, as both squads were picked to finish in the top three of their respective leagues by both the conference coaches and the media.
The Seattle U men bring back several experienced players ready to take the Redhawks to the next level, led by 2013-14 Second Team All-WAC selection Isiah Umipig (pictured above). Head coach Cameron Dollar enters his sixth year at the helm, and he is looking for success both in the regular season and in the conference tournament. The Seattle U men open the season with 10 games in the Puget Sound area in November and December, including home games against Texas State, Washington, and Eastern Washington.
After reaching the WAC Tournament title game in each of the past two seasons, the Seattle U women's basketball team is striving to break through and win the tournament, earning the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament that goes along with that. Eight players who saw action last season are back for the Redhawks in 2014-15, as well as several newcomers hoping to make an immediate impact upon Joan Bonvicini's program.
Everyone is invited to Midnight Madness Thursday, Oct. 30, from 10 p.m. to midnight. The women's basketball team will host Central Washington (Nov. 1, 4 p.m.) and Northwest University (Nov. 5, 7 p.m.) in exhibition games before the true home opener Sunday, Nov. 16, against Portland State, starting at 5 p.m. The Redhawk men's basketball team opens the regular season at KeyArena against Texas State Friday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. Season tickets for both teams are available by going to the Seattle U Athletics website (www.goseattleu.com/sutickets) or by calling 206-398-GOSU (4678).