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WSU men’s basketball announces UNLV matchup at MGM Grand

Who’s ready for a little vacation?

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It’s been a big week for Washington State men’s basketball. Earlier this week, the team announcing the signing of highly touted French guard Kymany Houinsou, a player that our Bryce Hendricks is very excited about. On Tuesday, the team made another announcement, officially adding a non-conference contest against UNLV this December inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The matchup will take place on December 10 as part of a doubleheader that will also feature Arizona taking on Indiana. The Cougs will tip off at 1:30 p.m. on FS1 and the night cap is set to get started at 4:30 p.m. on FOX. The event has been dubbed the “Las Vegas Clash: Live at MGM Grand.”

“We are excited to participate in the Las Vegas Clash,” WSU head coach Kyle Smith said in the team’s official release. “This is an opportunity for us to go on the road and compete against a quality opponent in Las Vegas. It will give our kids a good prep for our conference tournament.”

Of course, the Cougs are coming off of a 22 win season that saw them make the NIT semifinals. Despite the success, it’s been a rocky offseason for the Cougars. The team lost leaders like Efe Abogidi, Noah Williams and Tyrell Roberts. But the future still looks bright for coach Smith and company. The team returns key players like TJ Bamba, Mouhamed Gueye and Andrej Jakimovski, who looks primed for a breakout season this winter. They added promising recruits including Houinsou and four-star center Adrame Diongue while also picking up Tennessee transfer guard Justin Powell.

”With our strong finish last year and our growth as a program, we have made a commitment to playing in nonconference events that will get us ready for the Pac-12 and NCAA,” Smith added. “The Las Vegas Clash is a perfect fit for our philosophy. To be associated with storied programs like UNLV, Arizona, and Indiana in a high-profile event is a tribute to the hard work that our players have put into the program.”

This announcement helps us fill in a little more of WSU’s non-conference schedule this fall. The UNLV matchup is the second high-profile “neutral” site game the team has announced. The Cougs will travel to Dallas on December 18 to take on Baylor in the nightcap of a men’s and women’s quadruple-header that has the catchy name of the “Pac-12 US LBM Coast-to-Coast Challenge.” As of right now, those are the only two non-conference games we know about. But we do know of rivalry game that WSU won’t be playing in this year. As we reported last month, WSU will take at least one year off of their century-plus long series with Idaho due to a Pac-12 rule about quality of non-conference competition.

Tickets for WSU’s matchup with UNLV go on sale this Saturday and start at $49. One ticket will get you in to both games of the doubleheader.

Cougs to Play UNLV in Las Vegas Clash at MGM Grand - Washington State University Athletics
The Washington State men's basketball team was named as a participant in the upcoming Las Vegas Clash.

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