HELENA — As mid-September rolls around, college basketball season draws closer.

Carroll’s men’s basketball team released its 2022-23 schedule earlier this month and the women’s team followed on Tuesday.

Both programs participated in their respective NAIA Basketball Championship Tournaments last season, with the men’s team advancing into the Round of 32. The Carroll women appeared in the Round of 16 in Sioux City, Iowa.

A number of All-Conference contributors, namely Jovan Sljivancanin and Shamrock Campbell from the men’s team, and Dani Wagner and Christine Denny from the women’s team, either graduated or transferred following last season.

Nevertheless, the Saints figure to once again be competitive in the Frontier Conference and on the national stage.

Let’s take a look at those schedules:

Carroll men’s basketball

2021-22 record: 29-5 (13-2 Frontier)

Frontier Conference Regular-Season co-Champion (Montana Tech)

Frontier Conference Tournament Runner-up

NAIA Basketball National Championship Tournament Round of 32 appearance

Carroll will kick off the year with their traditional Purple & Gold Scrimmage on Oct. 21, before hosting a pair of Canadian schools, Lethbridge and SAIT, the last weekend of October.

The Saints have scheduled a number of early season tournaments filled with talent that should provide a challenge for a young Carroll squad, including stops in Arizona for the Cactus Classic, California for the Westmont Classic and South Dakota for the Small College Classic.

“Our preseason schedule is going to be really tough.” Paulson said. “We have some great opponents on our schedule and will be playing in some really good tournaments.”

The 2021 Frontier Conference Regular Season Champions will begin league play on Dec. 1, hosting Montana Western. The Saints will then take a trip to Havre to square off with MSU-Northern before a long break in conference play.

Carroll will play a total of 15 conference games, three against each opponent. The conference will once again follow the Thursday-Saturday scheduling model for league play.

Andrew Cook vs. Western

Carroll's Andrew Cook soars above the rim for a one-handed dunk in the first half of the Saints' 84-73 win against Montana Western on Jan. 20.

Carroll will host the Comfort Suites Classic at the PE Center in early December, facing off with Cascade Collegiate Conference members Bushnell and Corban.

“With only four returning upperclassmen plus one junior-college transfer, I am excited for our guys to get some tough competition under their belts before we jump into league play.” Paulson said.

“Everyone in the league has gotten considerably better, so it will be good for our guys to be tested early on. I am excited to get this thing started and go out there and battle with the group of guys that we have.”

From January on, Carroll will play the bulk of their Frontier Conference games, six of which will take place with the home-court advantage provided by Saints fans at the PE Center.

The Saints will face regular-season co-champ and Frontier tournament champion Montana Tech on Jan. 5 (away), Jan. 21 (home) and Feb. 9 (away).

The full schedule is as follows:

Oct. 21 – Purple/Gold Scrimmage

Oct. 28 – Lethbridge (Can.), home

Oct. 30 – SAIT (Can.), home

Nov. 4 – MSU Billings (exhibition), away

Nov. 6 – Dickinson State, away

Nov. 18 – Morningside (Small College Classic), away

Nov. 19 – Dakota Wesleyan (Small College Classic), away

Dec. 1 – Montana Western (Frontier), home

Dec. 3 – MSU-Northern (Frontier), away

Dec. 9 – Bushnell (Comfort Suites Classic), home

Dect. 10 – Corban (Comfort Suites Classic), home

Dect. 17 – Ottawa (Az.) (Cactus Classic), away

Dec. 18 – Olivet Nazarene (Cactus Classic), away

Dec. 19 – Menlo (Cactus Classic), away

Dec. 20 – Vanguard (Cactus Classic), away

Dec. 29 – Westmont – (Westmont Classic), away

Dec. 30 – Vanguard (Westmont Classic), away

Jan. 5 – Montana Tech (Frontier), away

Jan. 7 – Rocky Mountain College (Frontier), away

Jan. 12 – Providence (Frontier), home

Jan. 14 – MSU-Northern (Frontier), home

Jan. 19 – Montana Western (Frontier), away

Jan. 21 – Montana Tech (Frontier), home

Jan. 26 – Rocky Mountain College (Frontier), home

Jan. 28 – Providence (Frontier), away

Feb. 2 – MSU-Northern (Frontier), away

Feb. 4 – Montana Western (Frontier), away

Feb. 9 – Montana Tech (Frontier), away

Feb. 11 – Rocky Mountain College (Frontier), home

Feb. 16 – Providence (Frontier), home

Carroll women’s basketball

2021-22 record: 27-8 (11-4 Frontier)

Frontier Conference third-place finish (regular-season)

Frontier Conference Tournament Runner-up

NAIA Basketball National Championship Tournament Round of 16 appearance

Carroll will kick off the year with their traditional Purple & Gold Scrimmage on Oct. 21, followed by a trip out west highlighted by an exhibition with NCAA Division I power, Oregon, who the Saints also played last season.

The Saints have become accustomed to playing a tough schedule, and Carroll continues their trend of scheduling high-quality out-of-conference games featuring bouts with teams that are expected to be ranked to start the season.

Twice in the non-conference Carroll will play NCAA Division II competition. In addition to the exhibition with Oregon, the Saints will play NCAA Division I BYU on Nov. 23.

Nov. 4 will be a date to circle on the calendar for Saints fans, when defending NAIA National Champion Thomas More comes to the PE Center.

Carroll took Thomas More to overtime last season in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, before falling 74-73 to the eventual national champions.

Kamden Hilborn vs SEU 2021

Carroll's Kamden Hilborn surveys the defense during the Saints' 67-60 loss to Southeastern on Oct. 23, 2021.

“We are really excited about our 2022-23 schedule,” Sayers said. “We have once again put together one of the toughest preseason schedules in the country. We open up at home with MSU Billings and then right to Thomas More, the defending national champions.”

“We have eight teams on our schedule that competed in the national tournament last year and six of those won their conferences. We will definitely be challenged early. We are also excited to have another opportunity to play at Oregon and play at BYU. We have an experienced and veteran group and I know they will be up for the challenges that this schedule presents.”

Carroll will compete in the Leah Whittaker Memorial Classic in Indiana, where they will play Grace, Indiana Wesleyan and Marian.

Carroll’s non-conference schedule is dotted with five teams that appeared in last year’s final NAIA Coaches’ Top-25 Poll (Thomas More, Indiana Wesleyan, Marian, Lewis-Clark State and Southeastern).

Carroll will play a pair of conference games in early December, a home game with Montana Western, followed by a trip to Havre for MSU-Northern.

In late December, the Saints will go cross country to Florida for the Warner Classic, where they will play Webber, Warner and Southeastern.

The full schedule is as follows:

Oct. 21 – Purple/Gold Scrimmage

Oct. 27 - Western Oregon, away

Oct. 28 – Oregon (exhibition), away

Nov. 1 – MSU Billings, home

Nov. 4 – Thomas More, home

Nov. 9 – Grace, away

Nov. 11 – Indiana Wesleyan, away

Nov. 12 – Marian, away

Nov. 21 – Willamette, home

Nov. 23 – BYU (exhibition), away

Dec. 1 – Montana Western (Frontier), home

Dec. 3 – MSU-Northern (Frontier), away

Dec. 9 – Lewis-Clark State, away

Dec. 17 – Webber, away

Dec. 18 – Warner, away

Dec. 20 – Southeastern, away

Dec. 29 – Bethesda, home

Jan. 5 – Montana Tech (Frontier), away

Jan. 7 – Rocky Mountain College (Frontier), away

Jan. 12 – Providence (Frontier), home

Jan. 14 – MSU-Northern (Frontier), home

Jan. 19 – Montana Western (Frontier), away

Jan. 21 – Montana Tech (Frontier), home

Jan. 26 – Rocky Mountain College (Frontier), home

Jan. 28 – Providence (Frontier), away

Feb. 2 – MSU-Northern (Frontier), away

Feb. 4 – Montana Western (Frontier), away

Feb. 9 – Montana Tech (Frontier), away

Feb. 11 – Rocky Mountain College (Frontier), home

Feb. 18 – Providence (Frontier), home

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