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Florida game highlights Bonnies' non-conference schedule

Six home games, a neutral site contest against Florida and the Lone Star Showcase in Austin, Texas, highlight St. Bonaventure's 2016-17 non-conference men's basketball team schedule, the school announced Tuesday.

The Bonnies will play 12 non-conference games in all – six at the Reilly Center, two at true road sites and four on neutral courts. Of the nine known opponents, two reached the NCAA Tournament last season, Buffalo and UNC-Wilmington, with two more, Florida and Hofstra, reaching the NIT. In addition to those four teams, Siena also won 20 games last season.

The schedule includes the tradition of the Big 4 rivalry games and the Franciscan Cup contest against Siena.

St. Bonaventure's three opponents in the Lone Star Showcase as well as the tournament's format will be announced later this summer. Other teams that so far have been reported as entered in the event include Sam Houston State, Central Michigan, Pepperdine, Little Rock and Southern Illinois. The event will be held at Cedar Park Center, which is home to the NBA Developmental League's Austin Spurs.

"Overall, this is a strong schedule," said St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt. "We will need to play well right from the start, and that will be a challenge with so many new guys in our rotation. But I think from just about any standpoint, this is a schedule that is exciting."

After the opener, the Bonnies will travel to Lakeland, Fla., to face the University of Florida Gators on Nov. 17 at Lakeland Center. Florida's home court, the O'Connell Center, is being renovated this year. The Gators are playing all of their home games at arenas around the state. St. Bonaventure and Florida met just once before, in the Gator Bowl in 1977.

The Atlantic 10 Conference schedule will be announced in early September. It is anticipated that A-10 play will begin on or around Dec. 29. Last season, St. Bonaventure finished 22-9 and shared the Atlantic 10 regular season title with a mark of 14-4.

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