Pac-12 basketball is on its way back.
In a statement released Thursday, the conference announced it will have 20-game men’s basketball season, as well as a 22-game women’s basketball schedule in 2020-21.
“The Pac-12 Athletic Directors, Senior Woman Administrators and basketball coaches’ groups voted to continue with an inaugural 20-game league schedule for men’s basketball and approved an expanded 22-game league schedule for women’s basketball for the upcoming 2020-21 seasons. The Conference continues to work on specific schedule models and television broadcast details for each, with announcements to come once finalized.”
The Pac-12 voted to expand the men’s schedule to 20 games back in spring 2019. The women’s schedule was expected to stay at 18, but that has since been altered.
It’s been a challenging few months for both the Ducks and Beavers programs, to say the least.
Oregon women’s basketball (33-5, 16-2 in 2019) coach Kelly Graves told NBCSNW’s Jordan Kent that the coronavirus pandemic will have long-term effects on his Ducks program.
“I think the recruiting has been a little bit difficult for us,” Graves told NBCSNW’s Jordan Kent. “We’re the type of program that -- we’re very people-oriented and you can get a real family feel when you get on campus... We haven’t been able to get recruits on campus because of the NCAA regulations.”
Oregon State men’s basketball (18-13, 7-11 in 2019) coach Wayne Tinkle also spoke about some of the challenges his team faced during voluntary workouts in June.
“We’re really being conservative right now,” Tinkle told Ron Callan on the Talkin’ Beavers podcast. “I think they’re going to be allowed four (hours) in the gym, one at the basket by himself, with his own ball, no rebounder, just to make sure we’re following all the protocols and being safe… we’ll proceed cautiously of course.”
Now that the Pac-12 has reversed course in its decision to cancel fall sports, there’s a lot of optimism around the return of basketball this upcoming season.
While there's yet to be a date put in place for its eventual start, a scheduling format is a solid step in the right direction. The NCAA Division I Council recently revealed plans to start the 2020-21 college basketball season on Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.