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Jessup men’s basketball announces schedule for 2016-17 season

Warriors look to return to Nationals; GSAC starts Dec. 10
By: Brianna Campbell for The Placer Herald/News Messenger
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William Jessup University Athletic Director and men’s basketball head coach Lance Von Vogt announced his team’s schedule for the 2016-17 season.

The Warriors are coming off of their best season in school history, which culminated with an appearance in the second round of the 2016 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship.

"When you build out a schedule it is important to look at the pieces you have in your program to make sure that they are challenged and prepared to be the best team they can be," said Von Vogt. "The team we have this year is capable of big things and that is why we scheduled such a difficult slate. We want to get tested at every corner.

“This is the deepest roster we've had since my arrival and it will be interesting to see how all this depth plays out during the season."

The season is set to begin Oct. 24, when Jessup plays host to Pacific Union College at 5:30 p.m. The Warriors will follow that game with two games later in the week at the California Maritime Academy.

The team will then return home for the annual Bill Holtz Warrior Classic, which is set to take place in the Warrior Arena on Nov. 4-5.

“Our home non-conference schedule this season is really robust," added Von Vogt. "We open the season early on Oct. 24 against our old CALPAC rival Pacific Union, which is always a good early-season challenge. And we really beefed up the competition in our annual Bill Holtz (Classic) by bringing in Eastern Oregon University along with national power Oregon Tech."

Jessup will again paraticipate in the Midland Empire Classic, an annual event held at the Oregon Institute of Technology, which is slated for Nov. 18-19. The Warriors will also compete in the Chandler-Gilbert Classic, held in Chandler, AZ, for the second consecutive season. Those games will come at the end of the preseason, occurring Dec. 20-21.

During the preseason stretch of Jessup’s schedule, the Warriors will take on four members of the California Pacific Conference, both home and on the road. The Warriors will also add new opponents Eastern Oregon University, Shepherd University, Olivet University, and Montana State University-Northern. Jessup will also head to Davis on Saturday Dec. 17 to take on UC Davis.

“It was great when Coach (Jim) Les invited us to play at the Pavillion this season.  We didn't hesitate to say yes,” added Von Vogt. “(Les) runs a great program and it will be a formidable test for us, but we feel we can perform well it this environment and it will only help to prepare us for our GSAC conference season.”

The 2016-17 Golden State Athletic Conference calendar will officially begin on Dec. 10, as the Warriors travel to La Mirada to take on defending conference champions Biola University. The conference home-opener is set for Thursday Jan. 10, as Vanguard University will be in Rocklin.

The GSAC features four teams ranked in the last NAIA Top-25 Coaches Poll that came out in March, with Biola taking the highest spot in the conference at No. 5. Hope International ranked at No. 14, with Arizona Christian snagging the No. 17 spot.

Jessup finished last season ranked at No. 23, their highest postseason finish in school history.

“Our GSAC conference is loaded as usual with national powers coming to town almost every game,” said Von Vogt. “Last year, five of the seven home conference contests were versus ranked opponents and this year should be no different.”

Jessup will play 16 conference games in 2016-17, with half coming on the road and the other half occurring in the Warrior Arena. The final home conference game of the year will take place on Feb. 23, Jessup’s annual Senior Day, against Hope International University. Jessup defeated Hope International in Rocklin last year, 70-61.

Following the regular season, the GSAC postseason for men’s basketball will occur March 3-7. The quarterfinals and semifinals for the GSAC are set to take place at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, with the championship game taking place at Hope International.

“Our schedule is designed to prepare us for both the GSAC championships as well as the NAIA national tournament,” concluded Von Vogt. “We are heading to Arizona again for the No. 1 NAIA Christmas tournament in the country. We believe playing a tough schedule like this will pay dividends when competing in our conference play and at nationals.”

Follow WJU athletics at www.jessupathletics.com or on Facebook and @JessupAthletics (Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat).