Seven non-conference home games, including the second home tournament since 1993-94, headline the Arkansas State men’s basketball non-conference schedule under fifth-year head coach Mike Balado.
The seven non-conference home games at First National Bank Arena are the most since seven the 2004-05 season had seven home non-conference contests on the slate.
Following an exhibition game against Blue Mountain College on Nov. 2, Arkansas State opens the regular season at home against Harding on Tuesday, Nov. 9, the second time in the last seven seasons to open the regular season at home. The Red Wolves then hit the road to face Illinois on Friday, Nov. 12, the first meeting between the two sides.
A-State hosts Central Baptist College (Nov. 15) and visits Southeast Missouri (Nov. 19) before hosting Eracism Invitational Nov. 26-28 at First National Bank Arena. The event features A-State, Morehead State and Kansas City. A-State plays Morehead State on Friday, Nov. 26 and Kansas City on Sunday, Nov. 28. The Red Wolves meet Kansas City, formerly UMKC, for the seventh all-time meeting. A-State and Morehead State, a 2021 NCAA Tournament team, played last season with the Eagles edging the Red Wolves 69-61 in the first meeting between the two programs.
After a Saturday, Dec. 4 contest against Central Arkansas, the Red Wolves hit the road for games at Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Dec. 8), Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 11) and Texas Tech (Dec. 14). Back-to-back home games against Air Force (Dec. 19) and Champion Christian (Dec. 21) round out the non-conference slate ahead of the conference opener against Georgia State on Thursday, Dec. 30 at First National Bank Arena.
The Red Wolves return 13 of 14 letterwinners from a season ago, including Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Conference pick Norchad Omier and Second Team All-Conference selection Marquis Eaton. The 2021-22 season will mark the first time an A-State squad returns two all-conference players since J.J. Montgomery and Dewarick Spencer earned the accolades in the 2003-04 season and returned for the 2004-05 campaign. Overall, the Red Wolves return 97.9 percent of scoring and 97.1 percent of minutes played last season, sixth-most nationally in each category entering the 2021-22 season.
A-State added Arkansas transfer Desi Sills to the roster for the upcoming season. Sills averaged 7.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while playing 20.8 minutes per contest as the Razorbacks finished the 2020-21 season at 25-7 and advanced to the Elite Eight, losing to eventual national champion Baylor. He was the only player to compete in all 98 of Arkansas’ games over the last three seasons, logging nearly 2,240 minutes.
A two-time, first team 6A All-State selection at JHS, Sills helped the Hurricane to back-to-back 6A state championships. He averaged 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists alongside Eaton as the duo led Jonesboro to a perfect 32-0 record and the state title in 2017, the first undefeated season since 1954. In his senior season, Sills averaged 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists and was rated the No. 3 player in the state of Arkansas by 247Sports.com and ESPN while being a consensus top 50 pick among the nation’s top point guards.
The fourth annual ‘Boots and Ballers’ event will be held Thursday, Sept. 30 at First National Bank Arena. At the event, fans can watch practice, meet the team and much more. To reserve a table, visit RedWolvesFoundation.com. The annual Red versus Black Scrimmage is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 20, with free admission.
Season tickets to see the Red Wolves inside First National Bank Arena are on sale now. Season tickets are available for purchase through the A-State Ticket Office, located at First National Bank Arena’s lower red entrance, in person, by phone at 870-972-2781 or online by visiting AStateRedWolves.com.
Complete game times will be added as they become available.