Florida Gators men's basketball coach Billy Donovan will find himself in a unique situation on Nov. 3.
The Gators will open the season with an exhibition game against Catholic University, which just happens to have Donovan's son, Billy, Jr. on the roster.
After being left out of the NCAA Tournament a couple of years, partly because of his weak non-conference schedule, Donovan has made a concerted effort the past few years to make sure the non-conference schedule is competitive. And this year appears to continue that trend. Florida will play six games against teams in the 2011 NCAA Tournament field, three of which finished in the Sweet 16 or better. The Gators will play eight games against teams that appeared in postseason play last season, along with playing four in-state opponents in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Sunrise.
The Gators' schedule includes games at Ohio State and Syracuse - part of the Big East/SEC Challenge. The Gators will host Florida State and Arizona, and face Texas A&M in a neutral site game in December.
"We've made it a practice to play a difficult non-conference schedule, and this is perhaps the toughest one yet," Donovan said. "That's something that really helps prepare us for the NCAA Tournament. We're also looking forward to playing games in front of our great fans from several different areas of Florida, and we host some exciting matchups on our home court, as well."
Here is the Gators' full 2011-12 men's basketball non-conference schedule:
Nov. 3 Catholic University (Exh.); Nov. 11 Jackson State; Nov. 15 at Ohio State; Nov. 17 North Florida; Nov. 21 Wright State (Tampa, St. Pete Times Forum); Nov. 25 Jacksonville University; Nov. 28 Stetson (Orlando, Amway Arena); Dec. 2 at Syracuse; Dec. 7 Arizona; Dec. 9 Rider (Jacksonville); Dec. 17 Texas A&M (Sunrise, FL); Dec. 19, Mississippi Valley State; Dec. 22 Florida State; Dec. 29 at Rutgers; Dec. 31 Yale; Jan. 3 UAB.