Kansas State, Ohio State highlight Gators' non-conference basketball schedule
When SEC Commissioner Mike Slive challenged his basketball coaches to beef up their non-conference schedules last season, Florida coach Billy Donovan took that to heart.
This season he appears to be following a similar pattern.
Florida's 2010-11 men's basketball non-conference schedule released this afternoon includes games against Ohio State, Kansas State, Rhode Island, Florida State and Xavier.
The Gators' schedule also includes nine games against teams that advanced to the postseason in 2009.
“I think we benefitted last year from a challenging non-conference schedule and getting a couple of quality wins early in the season,” Donovan said. “We’re going to stay with the same scheduling philosophy and we’ve put together another competitive non-conference schedule.”
Florida opens the exhibition season on Oct. 28 against Florida Tech, then begins regular season play 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.
Donovan will welcome former UF assistant coach Donnie Jones back to the state when the Gators play UCF in the Florida Citrus Shootout at the Amway Arena on Dec. 1. The Gators will host Kent State on Dec. 9, then travel to play Kansas State in the Orange Bowl Classic on Dec. 18. K-State advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament last season.
Florida's conference schedule and television availability will be announced later. The Gators return all five starters from last year’s team that won 21 games and lost to BYU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.