By Lauren Kirschman
McClatchy News Service
SEATTLE — The Washington men’s basketball team has found a new season opener.
Last Saturday, UW announced the cancellation of the Husky Classic due to COVID-19 related shutdowns for two of the programs scheduled to participate in the season-opening tournament on Nov. 25, 27 and 28. Because of the cancellation, it appeared the Huskies wouldn’t play their first game until Dec. 3 at Utah.
But on Thursday night, the Huskies announced a game against No. 2 Baylor in Las Vegas on Sunday. The game is tentatively set for 3 p.m. Broadcast information has yet to be announced.
“We’re excited to officially get the season started against some great competition in Baylor,”’ UW head coach Mike Hopkins said in a statement. “When our MTE was canceled or looking like it could be canceled, we were already working to see what our plan B could be because we wanted to get our guys the opportunity to play. Our staff worked non-stop exploring all options and this started to come together which was really exciting for us.
“We obviously want to make sure we’re taking the right safety precautions and not just jumping into a game for the sake of it and this was the right choice. Having the opportunity to play one of the best teams in the country on our first weekend is going to be a great experience for our guys.
“As a team, you always want to play the best teams that you can and this is going to be a good test for us. The way this year is going, you just have to be ready for anything and that’s what we’ve been telling our guys from day one. This is a great opportunity and we’re going to be ready for it.”
Baylor had its first three games canceled this season after head coach Scott Drew tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the second straight season UW is opening against the Bears. The Huskies defeated Baylor, 67-64, last year.