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On Monday evening, Missouri officials delivered on a nearly two-year-old promise.
In late October of 2011, the University's Board of Curators expressed a desire to maintain a presence in the city of Kansas City regardless of conference affiliation by scheduling football and/or basketball games in town. This afternoon, Mike Alden informed a group assembled at Oakkwood Country Club for the Tiger Club of Kansas City's golf tournament that the Tiger basketball team would make an appearance in the city next season.
The Tigers will face the University of Hawaii at the Sprint Center on November 16th.
"After our first season in the SEC, even before that, we talked about doing everything we can to make sure we get the Tigers into the Kansas City area to have a presence," Alden said. "This gives us an opportunity for a first step in doing that. And we're looking forward to it, to provide an opportunity for the Tigers to be in Kansas City."
The Tigers searched for an opponent who would fit into the schedule in Kansas City. They made calls to Division One schools across the country.
"We tried like crazy, because what we needed was a game that didn't require a return game, and that was important because we're playing NC State on the road to give us a good home game coming back," head coach Frank Haith said. "So we needed a team to come in here and play just one game. Those are hard to find and we're real fortunate that we were able to get an opponent as good as Hawaii. "
Alden said the Tigers are looking for a game in Kansas City in 2014 (they will play in the CBE Classic in 2015). The announcement came as part of the release of Mizzou's entire 2013-14 non-conference schedule.
The slate includes a much-speculated game at North Carolina State on December 28th with the Wolfpack slated to make a trip to Columbia the following season. Mizzou also faces UCLA in the second of a home-and-home series. That game is at Mizzou Arena on December 7th.
Other contests that were already known are a December 5th game against West Virginia in the Big 12-SEC challenge and the annual Braggin' Rights Game against Illinois on December 21st in St. Louis. Games against Northwestern and Nevada will be played in Las Vegas on November 28th and 29th.
Southeastern Louisiana, Southern Illinois, Western Michigan and Long Beach State will all visit Columbia to complete the Tigers' 13-game non-conference schedule. The SEC will release the league schedule later in the summer.
"We have a lot of quality opponents. The key is to not play those teams in the 300 RPI club," Haith said. "You go from Long Beach State to Western Michigan, those two teams won 20 games last year. Hawaii, they'll contend for their championship in their league. That's the key, when you play those games, you play really quality teams and then the power conferences -- you look at West Virginia, Illinois, UCLA, NC State, all those teams are very good."
Here is the complete non-conference schedule with all times to be determined. The RPI of each opponent from last season is listed in parentheses. All games are in Columbia unless otherwise noted:
Friday, Nov. 8 vs Southeastern Louisiana (227)
Tuesday, Nov. 12 vs Southern Illinois (188)
Saturday, Nov. 16 vs Hawaii (224) (Kansas City)
Saturday, Nov. 23 vs TBA (Las Vegas Invitational exempt game)
Monday, Nov. 25 vs TBA (Las Vegas Invitational exempt game)
Thursday, Nov. 28 vs Northwestern or Nevada (163/180) (Las Vegas)
Friday, Nov. 29 vs Northwestern or Nevada (163/180) (Las Vegas)
Thursday, Dec. 5 vs West Virginia (151)
Saturday, Dec. 7 vs UCLA (32)
Sunday, Dec. 15 vs Western Michigan (113)
Saturday, Dec. 21 vs Illinois (38) (St. Louis)
Saturday, Dec. 28 at North Carolina State (37) (Raleigh)
Saturday, Jan. 4 vs Long Beach State (119)
Carter Moving On: On Monday afternoon, PowerMizzou.com broke the news that assistant coach Rick Carter was leaving the staff. Initial indications were that Carter was headed to Xavier, but Carter said he has not been offered or accepted a job with the Musketeers.
"It's a process and he's looking into it, we're moving on in terms of we've got somebody in play. Rick was great for us for a year and we're happy with that," Haith said. "We'll move quickly."
Sources have said Haith already has a coach in place to replace Carter. A name that has been floated in multiple places is former Drake head coach Mark Phelps, who has also served as an assistant at NC State and Arizona State.
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