SEATTLE – Two hundred and seventy days, or nearly nine months, after Seattle U last played a basketball game, the Redhawks return to the hardwood, opening the 2020-21 season at the U.S. Bank Portland Invitational, hosted by the University of Portland. Seattle U will officially tip off on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. against Idaho. The Redhawks will break for the Thanksgiving holiday before returning to action on Friday, Nov. 27 with a 12 p.m. tip-off against William Jessup. Both games can be heard on KTTH 770 AM in the Seattle area, and online at mynorthwest.com. Live stat links are available at GoSeattleU.com. No live video streaming will be available.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the 2020-21 NCAA DI basketball season was pushed back two weeks to Nov. 25. This marks the latest start to a season for Seattle U since tipping off the 1984-85 season on Nov. 26.
Seattle University will be seeking its second consecutive season-opening win when the season begins Wednesday versus Idaho. The Redhawks won their 2019-20 season-opener in convincing fashion, 98-64, over Pacific Lutheran. The last time Seattle U won a road or neutral-site game to open the season was on Nov. 9, 1996 with a 72-65 victory at Concordia (Ore.).
ABOUT THE SERIES VS IDAHO
Seattle U and Idaho are meeting for the 33rd time in the history of the two basketball programs, with Seattle U holding an 18-14 series advantage. The last meeting came on Nov. 30, 2019 with the Redhawks running away with a 74-55 victory. Terrell Brown finished with 20 points and seven boards off of a career-high four three-pointers with Aaron Nettles just behind with 15 of his own off the bench.
The series between the two schools dates back to the 1949-50 season. Seattle U held a 12-game winning streak in the series between 1961-62 and 1968-69. Idaho would win the next five meetings. Starting in 1985- 86, continuing in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and extended further with two Idaho victories during the 2009-10 campaign. Seattle U defeated Idaho in the 2010 Elgin Baylor Classic at KeyArena, but the Vandals responded with five straight wins in the series, starting with a 78-69 victory March 5, 2011, in Moscow. Idaho swept the season series in 2011-12. In the first game as WAC rivals in 2012-13, Idaho rallied from a seven-point deficit with six minutes remaining in the second half to defeat Seattle U, 71-64, at KeyArena. In the rematch at the Cowan Spectrum, the Vandals held off a Redhawk rally for a 76-72 victory. Seattle U returned the favor by sweeping the Vandals in 2013-14, starting with a 68-67 victory in Moscow on Feb. 1, 2014. On March 1, 2014 at KeyArena, Seattle U once again came from behind, this time winning 76-68. On March 16, 2016, the teams faced off in the first round of the CBI in the Redhawk Center with Seattle U claiming a 68-63 victory.
ABOUT THE SERIES VERSUS WILLIAM JESSUP
This marks the first all-time meeting between the Redhawks and Warriors.
- Seattle U returns just four letterwinners to its squad in 2020-21, with just four known programs in the nation to have fewer returners (Kentucky, Arkansas, East Tennessee State, Georgia Southern). Eight additional programs are known to also have four returning letterwinners. Among the four Redhawks, junior forward Riley Grigsby stands as the lone returning starter, while senior guard Aaron Nettles was also a significant contributor in 2019-20.
- All told, the Redhawks lost 78.8 percent of their scoring from one season ago, the 11th most in the nation.
- The addition of 11 newcomers, including two graduate transfers, four junior college transfers and five freshmen, also ranks among the most in the nation as three other schools equal 11 newcomers (Alcorn State, Arizona, South Dakota) while Arkansas tops the list with 12.
While the Redhawks’ squad features 11 new faces, they are not all new to each other including a trio of junior college transfers from City College of San Francisco. Nate Robinson, Darrion Trammell and Emeka Udenyi spent the 2019-20 season as teammates for the Rams, who went a perfect 30-0 while averaging more than 100 ppg.
Junior forward Riley Grigsby earned the first league recognition of his career, being named to the Coaches Preseason All-WAC Second Team. The San Jose, Calif., native is the Redhawks’ lone returning starter and is coming off of a sophomore campaign that saw him average 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Grigsby led Seattle U in scoring twice and collected three double-doubles, including career highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Grand Canyon on Feb. 20.
WAC PRESEASON POLLS
The Redhawks were selected to finished fifth in the Western Athletic Conference in both the WAC 2020-21 Preseason Coaches Poll and Media Poll. Reigning WAC champion NM State was selected to repeat the feat in 2020-21, earning eight of nine first-place votes in the Coaches’ Poll. Coaches could not vote for their own team or players. The Aggies were also the first-place pick by the media. Grand Canyon was picked second in both polls, followed by UTRGV in third and California Baptist in fourth.
Russell is the Content Director for the Eli Network. He studied broadcast journalism at Eastern Oregon and North Dakota State University. Mostly covers soccer and basketball in the Seattle area and is the current play-by-play voice for Seattle Redhawks basketball. You can follow him @brussbrwn.