COLUMBIA — Kim Anderson won't get a chance to ease into his first season as Missouri's basketball coach.
On Friday, Missouri announced its men's basketball schedule for 2014-15, and it appears to be a challenging one. Five of the Tigers' nonconference opponents won 20-plus games last season, including Arizona, which the Tigers will meet in their Maui Invitational opener on Nov. 24.
The 33rd annual Bud Light Braggin’ Rights Game against Illinois will take place Dec. 20 in St. Louis.
Missouri begins a home and home series against Xavier on Dec. 13 in Columbia and faces former league rivals Oklahoma (Dec. 5) and Oklahoma State (Dec. 30).
“We have a very challenging and compelling nonconference schedule this season, a schedule that will give our young team a chance to play against some of the best programs in America night in and night out,” Anderson said in a news release.
Missouri is scheduled to have 15 regular-season games on ESPN networks and nine on the new SEC Network. That, Anderson said in the statement, is a big boost to the program he's trying to build.
“With the schedule and our great partnership with ESPN, we will also have the opportunity to showcase our program nationally like never before," Anderson said. "We will have a record number of national TV games this season and when we talk about recruiting elite players to Mizzou, playing on national TV and playing against other great programs is something we will always be able to offer.”
Missouri opens the Anderson era on Nov. 14 against UMKC. The Tigers' first Southeastern Conference game will be Jan. 8 at home against LSU.