(Adapted from University of Providence media releases)
GREAT FALLS -- The Frontier Conference officially announced the schedule for the 2020-21 basketball season Thursday morning, giving a glimpse of the season ahead for the University of Providence men's and women's basketball teams.
In an effort to limit travel, most Frontier Conference games will take place as weekend doubleheaders. In most cases, the first game will take place Saturday night with a second game against the same opponent occurring Sunday afternoon. There are some instances throughout the year where games will be played on Wednesday nights. All teams will play each conference team four times throughout the course of the season for a total of 20 games.
The Argo women will begin their season Jan. 4 with a road game against Montana Tech. Their first home game will be Jan. 9 against Carroll College.
"It's going to be tough for us right off the bat," head coach Bill Himmelberg said. "It isn't going to be an easy road. I'm just happy we get to play."
Schools in the conference that have their students on campus for the first semester will begin play on Dec. 5 and will play for two weekends before winter break. Since the University of Providence has gone to online school for the first semester, the Argos won't begin play until January.
"We just talk about that we need to worry about ourselves," Himmelberg said. "Who cares that the other teams will have non-conference games before we get to play. We need to take care of the things that we can control. We can't control how much time the other teams have, we can only use the practice time we have for the best of our ability."
The Argos have high expectations for the season. The Argos return two All-Americans (Parker Esary and Emilee Maldonado) from last year's team. The team, which finished with a 21-12 record (10-9 in the Frontier Conference) last season, went on a legendary postseason run, winning three straight road games en route to claiming the Frontier Conference Tournament championship. The Argos were awarded a No. 6 seed in the NAIA national tournament, but the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19 before any games were played.
The Argo women's 2020-21 schedule can be found here: https://upargos.com/schedule.aspx?path=wbball
Like the Argo women, the men will begin their season Jan. 4 with a road game against Montana Tech. Their first home game will be Jan. 9 against Carroll College.
"We are very thankful and excited that we are able to fit in a schedule," head coach Steve Keller said.
"We are in a different time and we have to be able to prepare for that," he added. "I feel like our system is simple and that our new players will adjust quickly. We will be playing a lot of games in a short window. Keeping our players rested and healthy will be a big factor this season."
The Argos hope to repeat the success they found last year. They return All-American Zaccheus Darko-Kelly, the first player in NAIA history to win NAIA player of the week awards three times in a row, and NAIA honorable mention All-American Jaxen Hashley.The team finished last season 24-8 (11-7 in conference) and was awarded a No. 4 seed in the NAIA national tournament before the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Argo men's 2020-21 schedule can be found here: https://upargos.com/schedule.aspx?path=mbball
The Frontier Conference Tournament will take place from Feb. 25 to March 2. The play-in tournament will take place on March 12-13, and the 32-team national tournament will take place in Kansas City, Mo. on March 19-23.