UF's challenging men's basketball schedule

In this April 5, 2014 file photo, Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan watches his team against the Connecticut Huskies in Final Four game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 1:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 1:13 p.m.

Florida released its 2014-15 non-conference schedule Wednesday, and once again, it should challenge the Gators heading into Southeastern Conference play.

The schedule features up to eight possible games against major conference opponents, depending on UF’s draw in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas on Nov. 26-28.

“You learn a lot about yourselves as a team when you are challenged early in the season, and those experiences have really helped us in the NCAA tournament the past several seasons,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said.

Florida opens its season Nov. 14 against William & Mary, a team that returns its top four scorers from a 20-12 season. William & Mary barely missed an NCAA tournament bid, losing 75-74 to Delaware in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament title game. The time for the William & Mary game hasn’t been announced, but it will be part of a doubleheader (with Kentucky’s opener at Rupp Arena against Grand Canyon) to be aired on the SEC Network.

After William & Mary, Florida will host in-state rival Miami on Nov. 17 and Louisiana-Monroe on Nov. 21 before heading to the Bahamas. In the Bahamas tournament, Florida will play three games in a field that includes North Carolina, UCLA, Wisconsin, Georgetown, Butler, Oklahoma and UAB.

The Gators will return stateside to play Dec. 5 at Kansas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Other key remaining non-conference games include Wake Forest (Dec. 20, Orange Bowl Classic, at Sunrise), at Florida State (Dec. 30) and a Final Four rematch with Connecticut (Jan. 3, O’Connell Center).

Here's UF's full non-conference schedule:

Nov. 6 -- Barry (exhibition)

Nov. 14 -- William & Mary

Nov. 17 -- Miami

Nov. 21 -- Louisiana-Monroe

Nov. 26-28 -- Battle 4 Atlantis (North Carolina, UCLA, Wisconsin, Georgetown, Butler, Oklahoma, UAB), Paradise Island, Bahamas

Dec. 5 -- at Kansas (SEC-Big 12 Challenge)

Dec. 8 -- Yale

Dec. 12 -- Texas Southern

Dec. 14 -- Jacksonville

Dec. 20 -- Wake Forest (Orange Bowl Classic), Sunrise, Fla.

Dec. 30 -- at Florida State

Jan. 3 -- Connecticut

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