Basketball season is officially here. Northwestern opened the new Welsh-Ryan Arena already with an exhibition game, but the Wildcats are set to face New Orleans in the first official game in the new building.
The New Orleans Privateers already played their first game of the season, beating Division III foe Spring Hill Tuesday. New Orleans finished 15-16 last season, but hung around is games against Houston, SMU and Memphis, despite losing all of those games. The Privateers went 20-12 in 2016, when they made the NCAA Tournament and lost to Mount St. Mary’s in a First Four game.
For Northwestern, it will be interesting to see how head coach Chris Collins distributes playing time. Jordan Ash and Miller Kopp started the exhibition, but Collins said he doesn’t really put much stock in who starts the game, adding that he feels he has 10 playable players (and 11 once Aaron Falzon comes back from injury). The crowd will also be a storyline — there weren’t a ton of people at the exhibition, and this game likely won’t be all that different, though it will be cool when the new arena gets filled and loud for the first time (even if that’s probably not going to happen against New Orleans).
Game Time: 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: AM 1160 WYLL or WNUR
Mobile: BTN2Go app