With the roster seemingly in place and summer workouts underway on campus, the focus turns towards finalizing Green Bay’s 2022 non-conference schedule.
The Phoenix will play two more non-conference games than last year due to UIC’s departure from the Horizon League to the Missouri Valley Conference, leaving the Horizon with 11 teams and a 20-game conference schedule.
Here is what we know so far about the Phoenix non-conference schedule: (last update 6/21/22)
Green Bay is supposed to open the season at Indiana State on Tuesday, November 8th, however that is Election Day across the United States. The NCAA passed a rule in 2020 that states student athletes “will not practice and compete, among other countable athletically related activities, on the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 every year” in order to “provide a day each year dedicated to increasing opportunities for Division I athletes to participate in civic engagement.”
It is possible that teams are given a waiver to play on November 8th, otherwise the game would be played a day earlier on Monday, November 7th if the NCAA allows. Either way, the Phoenix will face Indiana State on opening day.
The game is the return leg of a home-and-home series with the Sycamores. Green Bay had a twelve-point second half lead against Indiana State in the season opener at the Kress Center last season but ultimately lost 81-77.
The Sycamores finished 11-20 overall last season and 4-14 in the MVC.
The Phoenix will also host UMKC in Green Bay this season on Saturday, December 10th in a return game from another home-and-home series. The Roos easily handled the Phoenix last season, turning a 3-point halftime lead into a double-digit lead for most of the second half enroute to a convincing 64-55 victory in Kansas City.
UMKC finished 19-12 overall and 12-6 in the Summit League last season, good for third place. However the team has a new head coach in Marvin Menzies, the former head coach at New Mexico State, after Billy Donlon stepped down during the offseason to take an assistant coaching job at Clemson.
Another Summit League team coming to town this year is the St. Thomas Tommies. The two programs signed a four-year home-and-home agreement this spring with each team alternating home games starting with the initial game this season in Green Bay on December 14th.
St. Thomas finished 10-20 overall in their first season as a Division I program, though 3 of those victories came against non-Division I opponents.
It’s a series that makes sense on several levels. St. Thomas is a drivable regional opponent in a peer mid-major conference and the Green Bay / Minnesota rivalry is fun.
There is also the fact that St. Thomas has successfully made in-roads recruiting the state of Wisconsin, most notably landing Andrew Rohde, the Brookfield Central star and #3 ranked prospect in the state, this season and Ben Nau, another former Brookfield Central star with multiple Division I offers, back in 2021.
For its part, despite fairing pretty well recruiting Wisconsin, Green Bay also appears to be getting a little more involved in recruiting to Twin Cities area as evidenced by their scholarship offer to Cody Pennebaker of Brooklyn Park, MN, who ultimately committed to Lamar. The Phoenix have faced Minnesota in Minneapolis in each of the past two seasons as well which may have helped increase their visibility in the area.
Green Bay will play a pair of games in Jamaica this November as part of the Jersey Mike’s Jamaica Classic in Montego Bay. The Phoenix participated in a scaled down version of this event in St. Petersburg, Florida last season but are back for the real thing this time around.
It is an 8-team event, though Green Bay is officially considered a “traveling” team meaning it will participate in the undercard against other mid-major opponents in Jamaica from November 18-20. The Phoenix will face either Utah Valley, Morgan State, or Queens University in their two games on the island.
The team will also play a road game at one of the four “main event” teams, likely prior to departing for Jamaica. Green Bay will play at either Wake Forest, Georgetown, La Salle, or Loyola Marymount as part of the event.
So with six “known” games, that still leaves five openings on Green Bay’s schedule to be finalized.
You can expect at least three of those to be road games against a power conference opponent for a payday. If history is any indicator then there will also likely be at least one non-Division I home game as well.
Green Bay’s 2022 non-conference schedule:
11/7 – at Indiana State
TBA – at Wake Forest / Georgetown / LaSalle / Loyola Marymount (Jamaica Classic)
11/18 – vs Utah Valley / Queens / Morgan State (at Jamaica Classic)
11/20 – vs Utah Valley / Queens / Morgan State (at Jamaica Classic)
12/10 – UMKC
12/14 – ST. THOMAS
5 games still TBA