MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois men’s basketball program unveiled the schedule for the upcoming 2023-24 season on Monday afternoon.
The slate features road games at multiple Big Ten programs as well as matchups both home and away against several mid-major schools. The Leathernecks also make their debut in the Ohio Valley Conference playing league Thursday and Saturday doubleheaders with the Western Illinois women.
“We’re trying to schedule to put us in a position to get better in the first three months and prepare us to the tough OVC competition,” Western Illinois coach Chad Boudreau said.
The Leathernecks open the season on November 6, making a trip to Texas for a pair of games in the Lone Star State.
On November 6, Western Illinois tips off the season at Texas-San Antonio. The Leathernecks head north to Dallas on November 8, taking on Southern Methodist.
Western returns home the next week to play its first game inside Western Hall of the season, taking on St. Ambrose November 12 and Southern University on November 17.
The Leathernecks then hit the road for a difficult stretch Thanksgiving Week, playing at Valparaiso on November 21, at Illinois on November 24 and at Wisconsin on November 27.
“Scheduling is difficult at this level for everybody, getting good home games but also understanding what we have to get for road games,” Boudreau said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to play Brad Underwood and Illinois, we’re excited about going to Wisconsin to see Greg Gard, early trip to UT-San Antonio will be a good test for us right out the gate as we try to build for the OVC.”
Western Illinois then returns home for three straight matchups inside Western Hall, hosting Hannibal-LaGrange (Nov. 30), South Dakota (Dec. 3) and Coe College (Dec. 6) then plays at Green Bay (Dec. 9) before taking nine days off for finals week.
The Leathernecks wrap the non-conference portion of the schedule, hosting Eureka on December 18 and traveling to Central Arkansas on December 20.
After taking time off for Christmas break, the Leathernecks make their OVC debut on New Years Eve, playing at SIU-Edwardsville on December 31.
“We’re excited about the OVC, there are a lot of unknowns for us, we’ll be taking a lot of the first semester and looking at the OVC, preparing for it, but we’re excited about it,” Boudreau said. “We don’t know anything about them but we’re going to go in there, take first semester, bring it all in, then see what happens.”
Western Illinois begins the home portion of league play the next week, hosting Southeast Missouri (Jan. 4) and Lindenwood (Jan. 6).
The Leathernecks return to the road in the OVC, playing at UT-Martin (Jan. 11) and in-state rival Eastern Illinois (Jan. 13). Western Illinois hosts a single game the following week, taking on Tennessee State (January 20).
The Leathernecks then hit the road for four straight conference games, playing at Southern Indiana (Jan. 25), Morehead State (Jan. 27), Lindenwood (Feb. 1) and Southeast Missouri (Feb. 3). Western Illinois is back in Macomb, taking on Little Rock (Feb. 8) and UT-Martin (Feb. 10) before their final league road trip at Tennessee Tech (Feb. 15) and Tennessee State (Feb. 17).
Western Illinois closes out Ohio Valley play with four straight home games, taking on Morehead State (Feb. 22), Southern Indiana (Feb. 24), Eastern Illinois (Feb. 29) and SIU-Edwardsville (March 2). The Ohio Valley Conference Tournament is held in Evansville, Indiana March 6-9.
Copy Provided By Western Athletics Communications