"The tournament in Chicago with Notre Dame, Northwestern and Iowa State gives us the chance to face two first-round draft picks, if not lottery picks, in Luke Harangody from Notre Dame and Tony Brackins from Iowa State," Majerus said. "Northwestern has the best team in its history with the anticipation of an NCAA Tournament bid, as well as a pro prospect in Kevin Coble. The only reason we are not playing teams like Boston College is because they will not play us. We are hoping to renew the B.C. series, but associate head coach Porter Moser is working hard to secure a series with Gonzaga as well as with a Big East team. Our hope is that for basketball in the state, Missouri will want to play us again. We have virtually every major power conference covered this season with games against the Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC."
The Billikens, who are in their second season in the state-of-the-art Chaifetz Arena, open the season Saturday, Nov. 14, when Southeast Missouri State comes to town. Big 12 foe Nebraska, which is coming off an 18-13 slate and an NIT bid, visits St. Louis Wednesday, Nov. 18.
SLU hosts the first two games of the Chicago Invitational Challenge Sunday, Nov. 22, versus Kennesaw State and Tuesday, Nov. 24, against Mississippi Valley State. The tournament moves to Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., for the final two tilts. The Bills play Iowa State Friday, Nov. 27, and either the Big Ten's Northwestern or Notre Dame, which is led by two-time All-American Luke Harangody, Saturday, Nov. 28. Both the Wildcats and the Irish qualified for the NIT last season. The Billikens make a trip to Athens, Ga., to face Southeastern Conference member Georgia Wednesday, Dec. 2.
SLU starts a six-game home stand Saturday, Dec. 5, when Missouri Valley Conference foe Southern Illinois comes to town. Division II Rockhurst makes the trek across Missouri for a Dec. 12 contest, before Belmont, coming off a 20-13 record and postseason tournament play, visits Wednesday, Dec. 16. The Bruins qualified for the NCAA Tournament two years ago and feature Drew Hanlen, whose younger sister, Ashley, plays for the SLU women's squad. In-state foes Missouri State and UMKC visit for games on Dec. 19 and Dec. 22, respectively. After hosting Eastern Illinois Dec. 29, SLU's final non-conference game is Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, at Bowling Green, which went 19-14 and earned an NIT bid last year.
Earlier, the Atlantic 10 Conference announced matchups for the 2009-10 season. The A-10 schools the Billikens will play both home and away are Dayton, Duquesne and Richmond. At Chaifetz Arena, the Billikens will also host Fordham, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Temple and Xavier. Additional A-10 road games will be at Charlotte, George Washington, La Salle, Massachusetts and Saint Joseph's. The A-10 Tournament begins with first-round games at campus sites Tuesday, March 9, and continues at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., March 12-14.
SLU will play an exhibition game against St. Ambrose (Iowa) at Chaifetz Arena Saturday, Nov. 7, and one other home exhibition game may be added to the schedule. Season tickets are available by calling (314) 977-4SLU or by visiting www.slubillikens.com. Game times and the television schedule will be released at a later date.