Redhawks basketball will play Memphis, SIU, SLU in 2009-10

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Southeast men also will host Nutt's former school Arkansas State next season.

The Southeast Missouri State men's basketball schedule for 2009-10 has not been finalized yet.

But a partial list of opponents announced by the university Thursday should excite Redhawks fans.

Coach Dickey Nutt's first Southeast team will play Southern Illinois-Carbondale and Arkansas State at home, while facing Memphis and Saint Louis on the road.

Nutt said the Redhawks, 3-27 last season and winless in the Ohio Valley Conference, are not ready for that type of competition. But he's pleased those squads are on Southeast's schedule.

"You want to schedule opponents according to what type of team you are expected to have," Nutt said. "I've departed from that this season somewhat in order to give our fans the opportunity to see us play the top teams in our region, but more importantly to enhance our recruiting.

"Everywhere I have gone since taking the Southeast job, fans always want to know when we are going to play SIU. Well, we're playing them at home this season."

The Redhawks will open the season Nov. 14 in St. Louis by going against the Billikens at the new Chaifetz Arena. Southeast's athletic department will receive $75,000 from SLU.

"We want to make St. Louis one of our top recruiting areas and try and have great presence in this city," Nutt said. "Our fan base is strong in St. Louis and we want to do everything we can to give our fans a chance to see us play a quality opponent."

Southeast and SLU last played during the 2004-05 season, with the Redhawks winning 65-49 at the Savvis Center. The Billikens lead the all-time series 7-4.

The Redhawks will open their regular-season home schedule Nov. 18 against Arkansas State, Nutt's former team. Nutt coached the Red Wolves for 13 seasons, with his final campaign 2007-08.

"This will be an interesting game to say the least," Nutt said.

ASU beat Southeast 86-67 last season in Jonesboro, Ark., in the renewal of a long series that Southeast leads 38-25. The last time ASU played at the Show Me Center, Southeast beat the Nutt-coached squad 74-71 in 1999.

The anticipated renewal of the SIU series will be Dec. 9, with Southeast returning the game to Carbondale, Ill., next season.

SIU leads the longest series in Southeast history 68-44. The teams last met during the 2004-05 season, with the Salukis winning 72-68. The last victory by Southeast was 87-84 in 2000, when current SIU coach Chris Lowery was an assistant at Southeast.

"Chris and I just talked about the two years for right now, but I know the two athletic directors have visited and have talked about a four-year deal," Nutt said. "I think it's a game that needs to happen on a yearly basis."

The Redhawks will play nationally prominent Memphis on Dec. 22 at the FedExForum in another guarantee game that will net Southeast $85,000.

The Memphis-Southeast series is tied 2-2. The teams last met during the 1993-94 season, with Memphis winning 109-83.

"Memphis will have an outstanding team, but again, we want to have presence in Memphis," Nutt said. "In my opinion, Memphis is the biggest basketball city in the south and we want to use this game somehow to our advantage."

The remainder of the Southeast schedule that will feature 14 regular-season home games, along with two home exhibition contests, will be released soon after all contracts are signed.

While not announced by the university, Southeast also will host Eastern Michigan, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and NAIA Williams Baptist College, in addition to the nine OVC home games.

Among other road dates will be a game at Northern Illinois -- the Huskies beat Southeast at the Show Me Center last year in the BracketBuster -- and a tournament at Illinois State featuring contests against the host squad, St. Bonaventure and Norfolk State.

Southeast will receive $60,000 for the Illinois State tournament, meaning the Redhawks will bring in a total of $220,000 for the athletic department.

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