NEW ORLEANS – Defending Sun Belt Conference men's basketball champion Louisiana will officially open its league schedule at home as the 2018-19 men's and women's basketball schedules were released by the conference office on Tuesday.
The conference will utilize an 18-game conference schedule for each men's and women's basketball program for a third-straight year in 2018-19. The conference schedules will feature a mirror schedule format for the first time as men's and women's teams will play at different venues, and not play doubleheaders, over the course of a Thursday-Saturday conference game week.
The 2018-19 conference schedules will feature other aspects from previous seasons as well. In addition to maintaining the Thursday-Saturday format, league contests will continue to be played using travel partners for two-game road trips to maximize rest, minimize travel times and limit missed class time. Men's and women's basketball teams will only travel four times for two-game road trips and will each take just one, single-game road trip all season. Those single-game road trips will be for rivalry games. Selected rivalry games will still be played as doubleheaders, per requests from those competing institutions.
Louisiana, which finished 27-7 overall and 16-2 in SBC play last season, opens league play on Jan. 3 against Arkansas State at the Cajundome before facing Little Rock on Jan. 5.
The Ragin' Cajuns will face SBC rivals South Alabama (Jan. 24) and Troy (Jan. 26) for the only time during the regular-season at the Cajundome while also hosting Georgia Southern (Feb. 7), Georgia State (Feb. 9), ULM (Feb. 16), Coastal Carolina (Feb. 28) and Appalachian State (March 2) at the Cajundome.
A Jan. 10 date at defending SBC Tournament champion Georgia State opens the Ragin' Cajuns SBC road slate and continues with visits to Georgia Southern (Jan. 12) and ULM (Jan. 19). Louisiana will visit Appalachian State (Jan. 31) and Coastal Carolina (Feb. 2) before heading to face UT Arlington (Feb. 21) and Texas State (Feb. 23) in the only regular-season meeting between the schools.
Louisiana will close out the regular-season on the road for the first time since the 2014-15 season with a trip north beginning on March 7 at Little Rock before facing A-State in Jonesboro on March 9.
The Sun Belt Conference Basketball Championships, which will feature 10 teams, will begin on March 12 with the bottom four seeds playing at campus sites. Eight teams will then advance to compete at New Orleans' Lakefront Arena beginning on March 14 with the SBC Championship Game scheduled for March 17.
The No. 1 seed and No. 2 seed will receive byes to the semifinals and the No. 3 seed and No. 4 seed to receive byes to the quarterfinals.
Louisiana's non-conference schedule and TV schedule will be released at a later date.
Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsMBB), Facebook (Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsMBB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Men's Basketball.
David Collins, Athletics Communications Assistant
NEW ORLEANS – On Tuesday the Sun Belt Conference announced the 2018-19 conference schedule and for the fourth straight year Louisiana Women's Basketball will open up Sun Belt Conference play with the Arkansas swing, before returning to the Cajundome to tipoff their home slate of conference games by hosting the Georgia schools.
MIRROR SCHEDULING: The Sun Belt Conference has decided to switch things up this season and go with a mirror scheduling format during the 2018-19 conference season. It is a change from the doubleheaders that the SBC has used for the past few years.
The mirror scheduling format means that when Louisiana Men's Basketball is on the road the women will be playing at home. And the reverse is true for when the women are on the road, the men will be home.
SBC CHAMPIONSHIPS ARE SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT: The Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Championships will be played in the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans for one final time this season, but the format has been tweaked just a bit from previous seasons.
The slight change is with the First-Round games, which will be played on Monday, Mar. 11. Instead of playing the two first round games at the Lakefront Arena, the games will be played at campus sites. In the No. 7 vs. No. 10 seed games, the seven seed will host. And the same can be said for the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed game, with the eight seed hosting the game.
Following the First-Round games the championships will move to New Orleans starting with the Second-Round games on Wednesday, Mar. 13. There will be no break in-between games, like there has been in past seasons, with the Quarterfinals being played on Thursday, Mar. 14, the Semifinals on Friday, Mar. 15 and the Finals on Saturday, Mar. 16.
FIVE RETURNING: Head coach Garry Brodhead returns five players from the 2017-18 squad that finished 17-16 for the Cajuns fourth straight winning season, the best stretch in school history. The Cajuns made a deep run in the SBC Championships reaching the Semifinals for the fourth straight season, dropping a close game to the Texas State Bobcats, to finish the season.
Last season's leading scorer, sophomore Skyler Goodwin, leads the returning five Cajuns for the 2018-19 season. Goodwin finished with 9.6 points per game and led the team in minutes with 32.0 minutes per game.
Junior guard Jasmine Thomas, last season's team leader in assists with 59, averaging 2.6 assists per game, returns to run the point for the Cajuns. Thomas is joined by junior forward Kimberly Burton, second on the team last year in rebounds per game (4.7), sophomore center Ty'Reona Doucet, 5.1 points per game last season and sophomore guard Jomyra Mathis, who finished with 3.3 ppg., last season.
SEVEN NEW CAJUNS: Coach Brodhead refreshed his roster with seven new players, four freshman and three transfers. Freshmen Andrea Cournoyer, Brandi Williams, Diamond Morrison and Jazmyn Womack will all begin their collegiate careers this season. While junior's Caroline Rivera and Kendall Bess, along with redshirt freshman Kristen Daniels, will all continue their careers in a Cajuns uniform.
FOURTH TIME IN ARKANSAS: Louisiana opens up their conference play in Jonesboro, Arkansas when they face the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. The Ragin' Cajuns will then wrap up their first road swing of the conference season with a visit to the defending conference regular season and tournament champion Little Rock Trojans on Saturday, Jan. 5.
During the past three seasons, the Cajuns have gone 3-3 on their opening swing in Arkansas. With a 2-1 record against Arkansas State and a 1-2 record against Little Rock. Last season the Cajuns dropped their opening game against Little Rock before bouncing back to snag their second straight road win against the Red Wolves to open the 2017-18 conference season 1-1.
THREE GAME HOME SWING: For the second straight season, the Cajuns will return from Arkansas to play a three-game homestand to open up the Cajundome for conference play. Louisiana will welcome the Georgia State Panthers on Thursday, Jan. 10, before finishing the weekend hosting the Georgia Southern Eagles on Saturday, Jan. 12.
Louisiana will then wrap up their conference opening swing at the Cajundome with in-state rivals, the ULM Warhawks, on Saturday, Jan. 19. Last season the Cajuns went 3-0 in the same three-game swing, including a win over the Warhawks to wrap up the stand.
AWAY AND HOME: Louisiana then begins a four-game stretch where they spend a weekend on the road before again returning to the Cajundome. The Cajuns start the stretch with a visit to Alabama, starting with South Alabama on Thursday, Jan. 24, before heading to Troy, Ala., to face the Troy Trojans on Saturday, Jan. 26.
The Cajuns then return to the Cajundome to host the Carolina schools over the first weekend in February. On Thursday, Jan. 31 the Appalachian State Mountaineers visit Lafayette. Louisiana has won four out of the last five matchups with the Mountaineers and they've never lost to App State at the Cajundome.
Louisiana then welcomes the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers to the Cajundome for only the second time in history and second straight year, on Saturday, Feb. 2, to wrap up Louisiana's quick weekend in Lafayette.
A TRIPLE THREAT ROAD TRIP: The Cajuns begin their longest stretch away from Lafayette on Thursday, Feb. 7 when they visit Statesboro, Georgia to take on the Eagles of Georgia Southern. Louisiana's weekend in Georgia wraps up in Atlanta when the Cajuns visit Georgia State on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Louisiana then remains on the road, with a trip up to northern Louisiana during the next weekend. The Cajuns will visit Monroe, La., to take on ULM on Saturday, Feb. 16, wrapping up a three-game road trip to tipoff the second half of the 2018-19 conference schedule.
FOUR OUT OF SIX AT HOME: Louisiana wraps up the 2018-19 conference swing playing four out of their final six games at home. They'll start their final stretch with UT-Arlington coming to Lafayette, on Thursday, Feb. 21. The Cajuns then wrap up their weekend hosting the Texas State Bobcats on Saturday, Feb. 23.
The Ragin' Cajuns then begin their final road trip of the season, when they make the long trek out to the Carolinas for the first time since the 2016-17 season. Louisiana will begin their adventure to the east coast with a visit to Conway, S.C., and a matchup with Coastal Carolina on Thursday, Feb. 28. A visit to Appalachian State, on Saturday, Mar. 2, wraps up Louisiana's 2018-19 slate of road games for the 2018-19 season.
Louisiana returns to the Cajundome to wrap up the 2018-19 regular season when, for the second straight season, the Cajuns host the Arkansas schools to finish the season. On Thursday, Mar. 7, the Little Rock Trojans come to Lafayette, followed by Arkansas State on Saturday, Mar. 9 to finish the regular season.
2018-19 Sun Belt Conference Women's Basketball Schedule Thursday, January 3 South Alabama at Appalachian State Louisiana at Arkansas State Troy at Coastal Carolina Texas State at Georgia Southern UTA at Georgia State ULM at Little Rock
Saturday, January 5 Troy at Appalachian State ULM at Arkansas State South Alabama at Coastal Carolina UTA at Georgia Southern Texas State at Georgia State Louisiana at Little Rock
Thursday, January 10 Georgia State at Louisiana Arkansas State at South Alabama Coastal Carolina at Texas State Little Rock at Troy Georgia Southern at ULM Appalachian State at UTA
Saturday, January 12 Georgia Southern at Louisiana Little Rock at South Alabama Appalachian State at Texas State Arkansas State at Troy Georgia State at ULM Coastal Carolina at UTA
Thursday, January 17 UTA at Arkansas State Troy at Georgia Southern South Alabama at Georgia State Texas State at Little Rock
Saturday, January 19 Coastal Carolina at Appalachian State Texas State at Arkansas State South Alabama at Georgia Southern Troy at Georgia State UTA at Little Rock ULM at Louisiana
Thursday, January 24 Arkansas State at Appalachian State Little Rock at Coastal Carolina Louisiana at South Alabama Georgia State at Texas State ULM at Troy Georgia Southern at UTA
Saturday, January 26 Little Rock at Appalachian State Arkansas State at Coastal Carolina ULM at South Alabama Georgia Southern at Texas State Louisiana at Troy Georgia State at UTA
Thursday, January 31 Appalachian State at Louisiana Coastal Carolina at ULM
Saturday, February 2 Georgia State at Georgia Southern Arkansas State at Little Rock Coastal Carolina at Louisiana Troy at South Alabama Appalachian State at ULM Texas State at UTA
Thursday, February 7 Texas State at Appalachian State South Alabama at Arkansas State UTA at Coastal Carolina Louisiana at Georgia Southern ULM at Georgia State Troy at Little Rock
Saturday, February 9 UTA at Appalachian State Troy at Arkansas State Texas State at Coastal Carolina ULM at Georgia Southern Louisiana at Georgia State South Alabama at Little Rock
Thursday, February 14 Georgia Southern at South Alabama Arkansas State at Texas State Georgia State at Troy Little Rock at UTA
Saturday, February 16 Appalachian State at Coastal Carolina Georgia State at South Alabama Little Rock at Texas State Georgia Southern at Troy Louisiana at ULM Arkansas State at UTA
Thursday, February 21 Coastal Carolina at Georgia Southern Appalachian State at Georgia State UTA at Louisiana Texas State at ULM
Saturday, February 23 Little Rock at Arkansas State Appalachian State at Georgia Southern Coastal Carolina at Georgia State Texas State at Louisiana South Alabama at Troy UTA at ULM
Thursday, February 28 ULM at Appalachian State Georgia State at Arkansas State Louisiana at Coastal Carolina Georgia Southern at Little Rock Troy at Texas State South Alabama at UTA
Saturday, March 2 Louisiana at Appalachian State Georgia Southern at Arkansas State ULM at Coastal Carolina Georgia State at Little Rock South Alabama at Texas State Troy at UTA
Thursday, March 7 Little Rock at Louisiana Coastal Carolina at South Alabama Appalachian State at Troy Arkansas State at ULM
Saturday, March 9 Georgia Southern at Georgia State Arkansas State at Louisiana Appalachian State at South Alabama UTA at Texas State Coastal Carolina at Troy Little Rock at ULM
2019 SUN BELT WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS First Round at Campus Sites Monday, March 11 Game 1 - No. 10 Seed at No. 7 Seed, TBD Game 2 - No. 9 Seed at No. 8 Seed, TBD
Second Round at Lakefront Arena Wednesday, March 13 Game 3 - Game 1 Winner vs. No. 6 Seed, 11:30 AM Game 4 - Game 2 Winner vs. No. 5 Seed, 2:00 PM
Quarterfinals at Lakefront Arena Thursday, March 14 Game 5 - Game 3 Winner vs. No. 3 Seed, 11:30 AM Game 6 - Game 4 Winner vs. No. 4 Seed, 2:00 PM
Semifinals at Lakefront Arena Friday, March 15 Game 7 - Game 5 Winner vs. No. 2 Seed, 11:30 AM Game 8 - Game 6 Winner vs. No. 1 Seed, 2:00 PM
Championship Game at Lakefront Arena Saturday, March 16 Game 9 - Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 11:00 AM
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Ragin' Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsWBB) and Instagram (@ragincajunsWBB) for updates during the summer as Louisiana works towards the start of their 2018-19 season.