Tuesday August 3, 2010Gator Men's Hoops Announces 2010-11 Non-Conference Schedule
Nine games with teams that competed in the postseason in 2009-10 highlight the University of Florida’s non-conference schedule, announced on Tuesday.
Highlighting the non-conference schedule are home games with Ohio State and Rhode Island, road games at Florida State and Xavier, and a neutral site game with Kansas State.
“I think we benefitted last year from a challenging non-conference schedule and getting a couple of quality wins early in the season,” said University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan. “We’re going to stay with the same scheduling philosophy and we’ve put together another competitive non-conference schedule.”
The Gators open exhibition play on Oct. 28 against Florida Tech, the earliest start in school history, and close exhibition play on Nov. 3 against Georgetown College (Ky.). Florida then opens the season on Nov. 12 against UNC-Wilmington in the opening round of the Global Sports Invitational, the first of four games of the event to be played in Gainesville.
The second game of the Global Sports Invitational will be one of college basketball’s top early season games, and a rematch of the 2007 national title game, as the Gators welcome Ohio State on Nov. 16. The two teams played a recent home-and-home with Florida winning in Gainesville in 2006 and Ohio State winning in Columbus in 2007, sandwiched around UF’s victory in the 2007 national title game. Ohio State reached the Sweet 16 a year ago.
The Gators wrap up the Global Sports Invitational with games against North Carolina A&T on Nov. 18 and 2010 College Basketball Invitational participant Morehead State on Nov. 21. Florida Atlantic comes to the O’Connell Center on Nov. 23 before the Gators travel to Tallahassee on Nov. 28 to face Florida State, an NCAA participant each of the past two seasons.
Florida continues its road swing at the Florida Citrus Shootout against UCF at the new Amway Arena in Orlando on Dec. 1. The Knights are coached by long-time UF assistant Donnie Jones. The Gators then travel to the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., to face American in the BB&T Classic on Dec. 5.
NIT participant Kent State makes its first trip to Gainesville on Dec. 9, before the Gators travel to Sunrise, Fla., on Dec. 18 for the Orange Bowl Classic and a showdown with a Kansas State squad that reached the Elite Eight a year ago.
Home games with NIT participant Jacksonville on Dec. 20, Radford on Dec. 22 and CIT participant Fairfield on Dec. 28 close out the calendar year at the O’Connell Center, before the Gators travel to Xavier for a New Year’s Eve match-up in Cincinnati. Xavier reached the Sweet 16 last season and defeated the Gators in Gainesville.
Florida closes out the non-conference schedule on Jan. 3 with a game home against Rhode Island, a squad that reached the semifinals of the NIT last season.
Times and television, as well as the conference schedule, will all be announced later this summer.
The Gators return all five starters from last year’s squad that won 21 games and reached the NCAA Tournament.