CHAMPAIGN — While the full nonconference schedule for the upcoming Illinois men’s basketball season hasn’t been released yet, pieces of it are starting to come together.
Grand Canyon released its full schedule Wednesday, making official the Antelopes' Friday, Nov. 8, home game against Illinois. That's the sixth official game for the Illini for a nonconference slate that, based on last season, will probably be 11 total games outside the Big Ten.
"We try to play the best teams that we can," Grand Canyon coach Dan Majerle said in a release. "We'll continue to try to get teams to come here and we'll challenge ourselves and go play hard games on the road as much as possible. To get Illinois and Northern Iowa here is good. Hopefully, as we continue to grow as a program, we'll be able to get more teams here.
"Illinois is going to be really good so that's going to be a good way to start off our season in the second game. We're excited about that."
Illinois' trip to Phoenix to play Grand Canyon (a 9 p.m. CST tip) will be the front end of the team's two-game road trip out west. The Illini will also play at Arizona on Nov. 10 as part of a two-game series with the Wildcats. Arizona will play at State Farm Center during the 2020-21 season.
Other confirmed dates for Illinois include home games against Hawaii (Nov. 18), Miami (Dec. 2) and Old Dominion (Dec. 14). The Illini will also try to reclaim Braggin' Rights from Missouri with a Dec. 21 showdown in St. Louis.