Paige Sports Arena will see plenty of action during its inaugural season.
The Missouri men’s basketball team announced its 2004-2005 schedule Friday, and it includes 20 games at the new 15,000-seat, $75 million facility.
The schedule has four more home games than last year when the Tigers finished a disappointing 16-14 and played their final season at Hearnes Center.
Paige’s christening will be Nov. 4 when Missouri plays Central Missouri State in an exhibition game. The Tigers will also play an exhibition game against Northwest Missouri on Nov. 10 at Paige.
Missouri’s regular season starts Nov. 15 against Brown in the Guardians Classic at Paige.
The Tigers, who won the Guardians Classic in 2001, will have to get past Brown, Sam Houston State and Houston in regional play to advance to the final two rounds of the tournament Nov. 23-24 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.
After the Guardians Classic, Missouri will open a five-game homestand Nov. 28-Dec. 19, its longest in four seasons. The schedule includes games against Arkansas, Indiana and Murray State.
The annual Braggin’ Rights game against Illinois is Dec. 22 at Savvis Center in St. Louis, and then the Tigers will try to avenge last season’s 87-80 overtime loss at Gonzaga, when the Bulldogs visit Columbia on Dec. 30.
For the second straight season, the Tigers open Big 12 Conference play against Iowa State. The Cyclones visit Columbia on Jan. 8.
Missouri’s biggest road tests will come Jan. 11 against Oklahoma State and Jan. 31 against Kansas.
The Cowboys, last season’s Big 12 champions, have two John R. Wooden Preseason All-Americans in Joey Graham and John Lucas III.
Wayne Simien and Keith Langford were also named to the team for the Jayhawks.
Missouri’s season finale is March 6 against the Jayhawks in Columbia.
STOKES INELIGIBLE:Wesley Stokes, a former Missouri point guard, is academically ineligible for the fall semester of his senior season at San Diego State, head coach Steve Fisher told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Thursday.
Stokes, who averaged 12.1 points and 5.8 assists last season for the Aztecs, spent the summer trying to gain eligibility but failed to meet minimum NCAA requirements.
He will remain at school and on scholarship and could return to play in the second semester if he earns a high enough GPA.
Stokes spent two seasons at Missouri before transferring to SDSU. As a sophomore he helped guide the Tigers to an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.