CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois men's basketball schedule has still not been released. But through the Illini's 2019-20 opponents releasing their own schedules, the nonconference slate for Brad Underwood's squad can be pieced together.
The latest additions to Illinois' not-yet-official (at least from Illinois) nonconference schedule are a game against The Citadel and one against Hampton. The Illini will play the Bulldogs for the first time ever on Nov. 20 at State Farm Center and then face the Pirates on Nov. 23 also in Champaign.
The Citadel is coming off a 12-18 season, which has basically been the standard for coach Duggar Baucom. Heading into his fifth season with the Bulldogs, Baucom is 45-82 for the Charleston, S.C., based program.
Baucom's Bulldogs have to replace their top three scorers from 2018-19. The top returning player is 6-foot-6 junior forward Kaiden Rice, who averaged 11.3 points and 3.1 rebounds and shot 36 percent from three-point range.
Illinois and Hampton have played once before, with the Illini winning 73-55 on Dec. 17, 2014, thanks to a 16-point game from Kendrick Nunn. The Pirates are coming off an 18-17 season and return their top scorer in 6-foot guard Jermaine Marrow (24.4 ppg).
The games against The Citadel and Hampton make for eight known nonconference game for Illinois. Also on the schedule are games at Grand Canyon (Nov. 8) and Arizona (Nov. 10), home games against Hawaii (Nov. 18), Miami (Dec. 2) and Old Dominion (Dec. 14) and the Braggin' Rights game in St. Louis against Missouri (Dec. 21).