LITTLE ROCK – Head men’s basketball coach Steve Shields has announced UALR’s schedule for the upcoming 2013-14 season, a challenging slate that begins with a Nov. 11 date against North Florida at the Jack Stephens Center and features seven games against 2013 NCAA Tournament opponents.
“I think we’ve put together a very challenging schedule. At least 12, and potentially 13 of our 30 games will be against teams that played in the postseason a year ago, including seven games against 2013 NCAA Tournament teams,” said Shields. “Our non-conference schedule is especially tough. Five of the six NCAA Tournament opponents we face this season come from our non-conference, including two in Memphis and Southern who won their conference tournaments. The early portion of our schedule will be tough, but games against quality opponents will help prepare us for the challenge of conference play.”
Season tickets are now available for purchase by contacting the UALR Ticket Office at (501) 565-UALR. You can also purchase tickets through the website by clicking here.
Following the Trojans’ opener against North Florida at the Jack Stephens Center on Nov. 11, UALR plays three consecutive road games against teams that advanced to the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The stretch begins with Florida, a team that won 29 games and advanced to last year’s Elite Eight, in Gainesville on Nov. 16. Coming off 28 wins and an NCAA Tournament bid, Middle Tennessee awaits UALR just two days later in Murfreesboro. The Trojans end their three-game road stretch with 2013 SWAC Champion Southern in Baton Rouge on Nov. 22.
UALR returns home to host Southern Arkansas on Nov. 26 before getting back on the road to face Oklahoma, its fourth 2013 NCAA Tournament opponent in five games, on Nov. 29 to wrap up the opening month of play. The Trojans’ game against OU will be televised through Sooner Sports TV.
The Trojans take on UA Fort Smith at the Jack Stephens Center on Dec. 3. Tulsa, who played in the 2013 College Basketball Invitational, hosts the Trojans on Dec. 7. UALR then faces Memphis in the FedEx Forum on Dec. 13.
UALR will play two games at the BVI Tropical Shootout in the British Virgin Islands, taking on Jacksonville State in its first game on the island of Tortola on Friday, Dec. 20, and facing either Southern Miss, a team that won two games in the 2013 National Invitational Tournament, or Coppin State the following day. The Trojans host Grambling at the Jack Stephens Center on Dec. 30 for their final game of 2013.
The Sun Belt Conference season begins with a trip to Texas to take on new league members Texas State (Jan. 2) and UT Arlington (Jan. 4). The Trojans host South Alabama on Thursday, Jan. 9 before a doubleheader with Troy at the Jack Stephens Center on Jan. 11. UALR hosts Texas State on Jan. 23 before playing the first of two matchups against instate rival Arkansas State on Saturday, Jan. 25.
Georgia State comes to the Jack Stephens Center for the first time on Feb. 5, while the Trojans host two-time defending Sun Belt Champ Western Kentucky in the back end of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 8. UALR closes the regular season with three of its final four games at home. UT Arlington (Feb. 22), Arkansas State (March 1), and ULM (March 8) all travel to Little Rock for Saturday doubleheader dates.
The Sun Belt Tournament moves to Lakefront Arena in New Orleans this season and will be played a week later than in recent years. The four-day event begins Thursday, March 13 and culminates with the title game on Selection Sunday (March 16).
UALR returns four starters and eight lettermen from last year’s team, which won 17 games and tied the Jack Stephens Center record for home victories in a season (13). Senior Will Neighbour earned All-Sun Belt honors for the second straight season and will have a chance to become the first three-time All-Sun Belt selection in school history.