RICHMOND, Ky. – The 2010-11 Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball schedule features 13 home games plus road non-conference games against opponents from the Big Ten and SEC.
“We are very excited about the challenges that have made their way on to our schedule for this season,” EKU head coach Jeff Neubauer said. “For us to start our season against teams from the Horizon and Missouri Valley Conferences is an unusual way for us to begin. Since we do have nine new faces joining our program, we are going to treat all of our experiences in November and December as learning experiences that will prepare us for the last third of the season.”
The Colonels travel to Chicago on opening weekend (Nov. 12-14) to play at the Loyola Classic. EKU will face three teams in three days – host Loyola (Ill.), UTPA and Indiana State.
Eastern’s home opener is slated for Nov. 17 against SIU Edwardsville. The Colonels return the trip to their future OVC opponent on Jan. 18. The SIU Edwardsville games will officially count as OVC games in 2011-12.
Following the SIUE home opener, EKU plays five more home games in a row including the conference opener against defending league champion Murray State on Dec. 2.
“I expect the OVC to be better this year than in any of the previous five years that I have been in the league,” Neubauer said.
On Dec. 11, the Colonels travel to Minnesota to face the Golden Gophers for just the second time in program history. That game will be a homecoming of sorts for senior Justin Stommes, who hails from Cold Spring, Minn.
The final non-conference highlight game takes place on Dec. 31 when EKU will battle Georgia. The Colonels nearly upset Georgia in Neubauer’s first season as head coach, but eventually fell to the Bulldogs in the 2005 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, 76-68.
Eastern Kentucky wraps up its home schedule on Feb. 16 when the Colonels take on rival Morehead State.
The OVC tournament will once again include only the top eight teams in the league standings, but will have a new format. All of the tournament games will be played in the Nashville Municipal Auditorium beginning on March 2. The top two seeds in the tournament will automatically be placed in the semifinals.
The Colonels tip off their season on Friday, Nov. 5 with a home exhibition against Alice Lloyd College. The game is open to the public and free to all fans. Season tickets are on sale now. Contact the EKU ticket office at 859-622-2122 for more information.