Florida attempts to beef up its 2009 basketball schedule
When SEC Commissioner Mike Slive met with league basketball coaches last May in Destin, one of his messages was simple: if you want more than two teams in the NCAA Tournament, schedule tougher non-conference opponents.
After being ridiculed for its weak non-conference schedule for several years now, Florida announced its 2009-10 schedule, which includes five non-conference teams that made it to postseason play last year - including a game in Tampa.
The Gators have a neutral site game against 2009 national runner-up Michigan State, home games with NCAA Tournament teams Florida State and Xavier, and an appearance in the SEC/Big East Challenge against Syracuse in Tampa among its highlights.
“This is as challenging a non-conference schedule as I can remember us having,“ UF head coach Billy Donovan said. “It’s a great mix of getting some experience playing high level teams on neutral courts and getting a few really good road games in, but also being able to bring a number of high caliber opponents to Gainesville for our fans, that part was really important to us as well. This schedule will definitely challenge us and prepare us for our conference season.”
Here's the full non-conference schedule:
Date Opponent Site
2 St. Leo University (Exh.) Gainesville
9 Webber International (Exh.) Gainesville
15 Stetson Gainesville
18 Georgia Southern# Gainesville
20 Troy# Gainesville
24 Florida State Gainesville
27 Michigan State/UMass or Rutgers Atlantic City, N.J.
28 Michigan State/UMass or Rutgers Atlantic City, N.J.
1 Florida A&M Gainesville
4 Jacksonville Jacksonville.
10 Syracuse% Tampa
19 Richmond@ Sunrise
22 South Alabama Gainesville
28 American Gainesville
30 Presbyterian Gainesville
3 North Carolina State Raleigh, N.C.
13 Xavier Gainesville