LITTLE ROCK - The UALR men's basketball team unveiled its 2010-11 schedule on Thursday, a challenging slate featuring eight postseason teams and 10 squads which won 20-or-more games during the 2009-10 season.
After playing the 14th-toughest non-conference schedule in the country last season, the Trojans will once again be put to the test prior to Sun Belt Conference play against the likes of Mississippi, Illinois State, Tulsa, Missouri State, Oral Roberts, Akron and Louisiana Tech.
"I think we've been able to put together a very competitive schedule for our guys and we'll find out where we are very early in the season," said UALR head coach Steve Shields. "What we've tried to do over the years is schedule in a way that prepares us for conference play."
Illinois State (Nov. 21), Tulsa (Dec. 5) and Ole Miss (Dec. 11) are three of the four teams on this year's schedule to compete in the 2010 National Invitation Tournament and will each visit the Jack Stephens Center during the non-conference portion of UALR's schedule. Illinois State and Tulsa went 22-11 and 23-12 during the 2009-10 season, respectively, while Ole Miss advanced to the semifinals of the NIT and finished with a 24-11 record.
"I don't think that we've had a more attractive home schedule for our fans since I've been here," said Shields.
UALR will play seven of its non-conference games at home, five on the road and three at a neutral site. The Trojans open the 2010-11 regular season with road contests at SMU (Nov. 12) and St. Bonaventure (Nov. 14), with additional away games against Oral Roberts (Nov. 24), Missouri State (Dec. 1) and Rice (Dec. 16).
The Trojans follow up the game at Rice with a trip to Las Vegas, Nev. to compete in the 2010 Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Arena (Dec. 21-23). UALR will take on Akron, Oral Roberts and Stetson on consecutive days prior to the holiday break, returning to action Dec. 30 with its Sun Belt opener at North Texas.
UALR's home conference schedule includes bouts against Troy (Jan. 8), Denver (Feb. 3), North Texas (Feb. 10), Western Kentucky (Feb. 17) and Middle Tennessee (Feb. 19). North Texas advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season by winning the Sun Belt Conference Championship, while Troy earned a spot in the postseason NIT.
The Trojans will take on in-state rival Arkansas State at the Jack Stephens Center on Saturday, Jan. 29, and close out the regular season in Jonesboro on Saturday, Feb. 26.
The 2011 Sun Belt Conference Tournament will take place March 5-8 at Summit Arena in Hot Springs, Ark.
For UALR season ticket information contact the Athletic Ticket Office at 501.565.8257.