The Redhawks will play a challenging schedule this season
Southeast Missouri State women's basketball coach John Ishee figures his young team will get all it can handle from the Redhawks' 2009-10 schedule that recently was finalized.
The 11-game nonconference slate is highlighted by visits from Wisconsin-Green Bay, Southern Mississippi and Texas-Arlington.
Wisconsin-Green Bay went 29-4 last year on its way to an 11th straight Horizon League regular-season title. The Phoenix advanced to the NCAA tournament for their 12th consecutive postseason berth.
Southern Mississippi, of Conference USA, won 20 games, while Southland Conference regular-season champion Texas-Arlington won 22 games and advanced to the WNIT.
"Those are three excellent teams that will be coming to the Show Me Center," Ishee said.
Other nonconference home games will be against future Ohio Valley Conference member Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Division II Missouri-St. Louis and NAIA Bethel.
Among Southeast's five nonleague road contests are dates with Arkansas-Little Rock, Alabama-Birmingham of Conference USA and Missouri Valley Conference squads Missouri State and Indiana State.
Arkansas-Little Rock went 26-7, won the Sun Belt Conference West Division title and advanced to the WNIT.
Southeast also visits Southland Conference member Central Arkansas.
Those nonconference opponents are in addition to Southeast's 18-game OVC schedule.
The Redhawks will have nine freshmen, two sophomores, one junior and one senior on the 2009-10 roster.
"I think it's a really tough schedule with nine freshmen, but we play a tough schedule for three main reasons," Ishee said. "One, it helps in recruiting. Two, it prepares you for the OVC. And three, we like the competition.
"We know the fans in the community want to see good basketball at the Show Me Center."
Southeast will have just one exhibition game, Nov. 9 at home against Christian Brothers. Ishee again has elected to play an outside opponent in a closed scrimmage instead of a second exhibition.
The season opens Nov. 13 at home against Missouri-St. Louis. The OVC opener is Dec. 3 at Austin Peay.