GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida released its non-conference basketball schedule Thursday, unveiling an early-season slate that will involve far less traveling than a year ago.
While the Gators spent the first month or so last season on the road while renovations continued on Exactech Arena at the O’Connell Center, they’ll face no such obstacles this time while launching a highly-anticipated season following their run to the Elite Eight last spring.
Florida hosts Tampa for an exhibition game on Nov. 5 and then opens the schedule with home games against Gardner-Webb (Nov. 13), North Florida (Nov. 16) and New Hampshire (Nov. 19).
The Gators then head to Portland, Ore., to face Stanford in the Phil Knight Invitational on Nov. 23 with additional games later in the week against either Ohio State/Gonzaga and either Butler/Duke/Portland State/Texas.
The rest of Florida’s non-conference schedule includes home games with Florida State (Dec. 4), Loyola Chicago, James Madison, Incarnate Word and Baylor in the Big 12/SEC Challenge (Jan. 27), and neutral-site games with Cincinnati in Newark, N.J., and Clemson in Sunrise, Fla.
The SEC schedule has not yet been released.
“First and foremost, Gator fans deserve to see us play this type of schedule,” Florida coach Mike White said in a statement. “It’s great preparation for the SEC season, of course, and it gives us an opportunity for the computers to like us. We’re all excited to get back to playing a full schedule at Exactech Arena, which our fans and the Rowdy Reptiles help make one of the great environments in college basketball.”
Florida finished 27-9 in White’s second season.
Game times and TV information will be announced later.
|Nov. 5||Sunday||Tampa (Exhibition)||Exactech Arena, Gainesville, Fla.|
|Nov. 13||Monday||Gardner-Webb||Exactech Arena|
|Nov. 16||Thursday||North Florida||Exactech Arena|
|Nov. 19||Sunday||New Hampshire*||Exactech Arena|
|Nov. 23||Thursday||Stanford*||Portland, Ore.|
|Nov. 24||Friday||Ohio State or Gonzaga*||Portland, Ore.|
|Nov. 26||Sunday||Butler/Duke/Portland St./Texas||Portland, Ore.|
|Dec. 4||Monday||Florida State||Exactech Arena|
|Dec. 6||Wednesday||Loyola Chicago||Exactech Arena|
|Dec. 9||Saturday||Cincinnati**||Newark, N.J.|
|Dec. 16||Saturday||Clemson***||Sunrise, Fla.|
|Dec. 20||Wednesday||James Madison||Exactech Arena|
|Dec. 22||Friday||Incarnate Word||Exactech Arena|
|Jan. 27||Saturday||Baylor (Big 12/SEC Challenge)||Exactech Arena|
*Phil Knight Invitational
**Never Forget Tribute Classic
***Orange Bowl Classic