Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team toughens schedule this season

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Southeast men's basketball team will visit Missouri, Bradley and Oregon

Southeast Missouri men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt likes his team's 29-game regular-season schedule that was released Thursday.

Nutt considers it a difficult schedule but one he believes will challenge his third Southeast squad.

"We've got a really good schedule. It's a tough one but a good one," Nutt said. "I think it's one our fans can appreciate. I hope they do.

"We're trying to improve our RPI so it's important we play quality teams. This is our third year now, and I feel like we're ready to take the next step."

The Redhawks will play 14 regular-season home games along with a Nov. 7 exhibition contest at the Show Me Center against Division II Harding (Ark.).

This will mark the first season for Southeast to have just one exhibition game.

Division I teams are allowed either two exhibitions against non-Division I teams or one exhibition and a closed scrimmage, which can be against a Division I squad.

Nutt chose the second option. Although the contract has not been signed, the Redhawks are likely to face Lipscomb (Tenn.) in Memphis.

"A lot of people are doing that now with the closed scrimmage," Nutt said. "We thought we would try that this year, to play another Division I team."

Southeast opens with three of its first four games on the road. All three are the Redhawks' annual "guarantee" matchups to raise money for the athletic department.

The Redhawks open the season at Missouri on Nov. 11 for $90,000. The contest will be televised by Fox Sports Midwest.

After hosting NAIA Harris-Stowe on Nov. 14, the Redhawks visit Bradley on Nov. 16 for $70,000 and Oregon on Nov. 20 for $90,000.

"Those money games are naturally going to be tough, but I think our guys will look forward to that," Nutt said.

Other nonconference home games will be against SMU (a return from last season), Missouri-Kansas City (a return from last season), Miami of Ohio (a return from the 2009-10 BracketBuster), Southeastern Louisiana and NAIA Hannibal-LaGrange.

"We bring in some good teams to the Show Me Center. I think our fans will like the home schedule," Nutt said.

Other nonconference road dates include Arkansas State (the Red Wolves played at the Show Me Center last season), Sacramento State (the BracketBuster opponent at the Show Me Center last season), Central Arkansas and the BracketBuster.

That's in addition to the new 16-game Ohio Valley Conference schedule after the 18-game slate of recent years in which each conference team was played twice. The change was made because there is an additional OVC team this season with SIU-Edwardsville joining the conference.

The Redhawks will play OVC members Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Jacksonville State, Murray State, SIU-Edwardsville and Tennessee-Martin both home and on the road.

Southeast will play the remaining four OVC squads just once, hosting Morehead State and Tennessee State while visiting Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee Tech.

The Redhawks open league play Dec. 28 at home against defending OVC tournament champion Morehead State.

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