In a year of change, the ASUN men’s and women’s basketball schedules already have been switched up, months before the conference season starts.
The conference released revised men’s and women’s schedules Tuesday. The league will maintain its 16-game schedule, but conduct it with a single-site format.
In the new format, league teams square off against one another in a two-game series on the same weekend with a one-day break in between. Unanimously recommended by the Athletics Administrators Committee and supported by the athletic trainers and the ASUN Medical Advisory Board, the ASUN Presidents’ Council unanimously approved the new schedule.
The amended format dramatically reduces the amount of contact among all league teams to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus and incidence of COVID-19.
“This scheduling model gives our teams and student-athletes the greatest chance to complete a full slate of conference games,” ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart said in a release. “The health and safety of our student-athletes and our university communities remain at the forefront of all our decisions on athletic competition. We recognize the possibility of a competitive interruption due to the pandemic, but this plan provides the greatest opportunity for our teams to compete safely.”
Men’s basketball conference games will start on New Year’s Eve and conclude on Feb. 27, with league games taking place on Thursdays and Saturdays. The women’s schedule starts on New Year’s Day and wraps up on Feb. 28 with Friday and Sunday contests.
FGCU’s nonconference schedules are still in the process of being finalized.
Other than FGCU athletic director Ken Kavanagh indicating a rescheduled men’s game with Dartmouth would be played Dec. 5, no other nonconference games have been mentioned, besides canceling the scheduled season opener against USC due to the Pac-12’s decision.
FGCU men’s coach Michael Fly had said on the first day of practice on Oct. 14 that the Eagles would open the season on Nov. 25, but could not say where or against whom. However, the Santa Barbara News-Press reported Oct. 21 that the Eagles will play in a tournament at UC Santa Barbara, facing Florida A&M on Nov. 25, and then the host Gauchos on Nov. 27. Fly did not respond to a text message requesting confirmation Tuesday.
Also on Oct. 14, FGCU women’s coach Karl Smesko confirmed that the school was in talks with the Gulf Coast Showcase, an annual tournament normally held at nearby Hertz Arena, about having all or part of that event at Alico Arena, with the Eagles being a participant.
Season tickets are now on sale but are risk-free with options because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. For more information, call 866-FGCU-TIX or visit fgucathletics.com.
Due to the pandemic, attendance will be limited to ticket package holders and FGCU students, according to guidelines sent out by the school, but the school also mentioned the possibility of adjusting that depending on any changes to guidelines made by local, state, or federal governments. Masks/facial coverings will be mandatory inside Alico Arena, and social distancing will be in place. The university has increased cleaning/sanitation measures across campus, and hand sanitizer stations will be available inside.
Both the men’s and women’s teams are scheduled to have scrimmages on Friday, Nov. 6.
ASUN games also include new member Bellarmine, which is located in Louisville, Kentucky.
The conference still has not released information on its men’s or women’s postseason tournaments.
Home games in bold
Thursday, Dec. 31 — North Alabama, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 2 — North Alabama, TBA
Thursday, Jan. 7 — at Liberty, Lynchburg, Va., TBA
Saturday, Jan. 9 — at Liberty, Lynchburg, Va., TBA
Thursday, Jan. 14 — Bellarmine, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 16 — Bellarmine, TBA
Thursday, Jan. 21 — at Lipscomb, Nashville, TBA
Saturday, Jan. 23 — at Lipscomb, Nashville, TBA
Thursday, Feb. 4 — Stetson, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6 — Stetson, TBA
Thursday, Feb. 11 — at Kennesaw State, Kennesaw, Ga., TBA
Saturday, Feb. 13 — at Kennesaw State, Kennesaw, Ga., TBA
Thursday, Feb. 18 — Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 20 — Jacksonville, TBA
Thursday, Feb. 25 — at North Florida, Jacksonville, TBA
Saturday, Feb. 27 — at North Florida, Jacksonville, TBA
Friday, Jan. 1 — at North Alabama, Florence, Ala., TBA
Sunday, Jan. 3 — at North Alabama, Florence, Ala., TBA
Friday, Jan. 8 — Liberty, TBA
Sunday, Jan. 10 — Liberty, TBA
Friday, Jan. 15 — at Bellarmine, Louisville, Ky., TBA
Sunday, Jan. 17 — at Bellarmine, Louisville, Ky., TBA
Friday, Jan. 22 — Lipscomb, TBA
Sunday, Jan. 24 — Lipscomb, TBA
Friday, Feb. 5 — at Stetson, DeLand, TBA
Sunday, Feb. 7 — at Stetson, DeLand, TBA
Friday, Feb. 12 — Kennesaw State, TBA
Sunday, Feb. 14 — Kennesaw State, TBA
Friday, Feb. 19 — at Jacksonville, TBA
Sunday, Feb. 21 — at Jacksonville, TBA
Friday, Feb. 26 — North Florida, TBA
Sunday, Feb. 28 — North Florida, TBA