Gator Hoops Schedule Challenging Again

For the second year in a row the Gator Basketball team will face a significantly tougher non-conference schedule in the 2010-11 season. The tougher slate – and some keys wins in it -- was credited with helping Florida make a return to the NCAA Tournament and similar results this year could help ensure the same result.

Florida released its schedule Tuesday afternoon and offered up this comment from head coach Billy Donovan.

"I think we benefited last year from a challenging non-conference schedule and getting a couple of quality wins early in the season. We're going to stay with the same scheduling philosophy and we've put together another competitive non-conference schedule."

Highlighting the home schedule is a return to Gainesville by Ohio State on November 16. The Buckeyes played in the O'Dome four years ago as part of a home-and-home against the Gators. NIT semi-finalists Rhode Island wraps up the home schedule on January 3.

Away from Gainesville the Gators will face Florida State in Tallahassee on the Sunday after the football game between the schools (Nov. 28). The Gators also travel to Cincinnati for a rematch with Xavier on New Year's Eve. The Musketeers beat the Gators in Gainesville last season.

Other featured games away from the O'Dome include a big game against powerful Kansas State in the Orange Bowl Classic down in Sunrise as well as debuting in the new arena in Orlando with a December 1 game against UCF and former Gator assistant Donnie Jones. Bill Donovan will also take his team to Washington, D.C. on December 5 to face American.


The Gators should be well equipped to face this schedule and get off to a good start. Florida returns all five starters from last season's 21-13 squad. All five of those players scored in double figures last season led by the backcourt of Kenny Boynton (14.0) and Erving Walker (12.6). The front court will feature three seniors in Chandler Parsons (12.4/6.9), Alex Tyus (11.8/6.9) and Vernon Macklin (10.6/5.5). Erik Murphy (3.5/2.4) provides size off the bench and he'll be joined in reserve by a large and talented freshman class headlined by forward Patric Young and swing man Casey Prather.


This will be Donovan's 15th season at the helm of the Gator program. Donovan has led the Gators to post-season play in each of his last 13 seasons in Gainesville, including 10 NCAA bids and consecutive NCAA Titles in 2006 and 2007. This is the first time since 2007 that the Gators return all five starters.

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