The FGCU men’s and women’s basketball teams will face a challenging slate of games when the 2023-24 seasons tip off in November.
The men will face five Power Five schools in the non-conference portion of their schedule, including a season-opening game at Indiana on Nov. 7. The Eagles will also visit Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Minnesota before hosting Florida Atlantic, a surprise Final Four team last season, at Alico Arena on Dec. 30.
Indiana and Pitt both earned at-large berths to the NCAA Tournament last season.
“I do want to challenge these guys because they’re older and I think this is the year to challenge them,” FGCU men’s basketball coach Pat Chambers said, in reference to the Eagles’ nonconference schedule. “It’s probably one too many high majors for my liking, but that’s just the way it worked out.”
The FGCU women’s team is set to face three Power Five opponents in road tilts against USC and Duke and at home against Kentucky on Nov. 19. The Eagles will also host defending Big South Conference champion Gardner-Webb on Dec. 7.
The women will also compete in a pair of tournaments, starting with the Gulf Coast Showcase at Hertz Arena during Thanksgiving Week. FGCU will open with Delaware on Nov. 24 with a potential second-round matchup against NCAA Tournament runner-up Iowa and reigning National Player of the Year Caitlin Clark on Nov. 25.
The Eagles will also host the Homewood Suites Classic at Alico Arena on Dec. 20-21 where they will face Drexel and Southern Mississippi.
"We play a tremendously challenging schedule this season," FGCU women’s coach Karl Smesko said. "Our players really enjoy the opportunity to play high-level competition. "
The FGCU men will head to the U.S. Virgin Islands in mid-November for a guaranteed three games at the Paradise Jam, starting with a matchup against Missouri State. The Eagles could also face Kent St., the defending Mid-American Conference champion.
The Eagles open ASUN Conference play on Jan. 4 against visiting Jacksonville. FGCU will face defending ASUN champion Kennesaw St. twice, first on Jan. 12 in Georgia and then on Feb. 22 at Alico Arena.
FGCU finished 17-15 in Chambers’ first season, including the program's first Gulf Coast Showcase title and the best non-conference winning percentage (76.9 percent, 10-3) in its history.
The FGCU women open the season at Brown on Nov. 6 and begin ASUN play at Jacksonville on Jan. 4.
Last season, FGCU finished with a 33-4 overall record and produced a 17-1 finish in the ASUN. That effort included the program’s 13th ASUN Conference regular season title, 10th ASUN Tournament Championship, and ninth NCAA Tournament berth.
The 12th-seeded Eagles defeated No. 5 Washington State 74-63 in the first round of the Women’s Tournament before falling to Villanova in the second round.
FGCU women's basketball schedule
Home games in bold
*ASUN conference game
Mon., Nov. 6 at Brown
Fri., Nov. 10 at USC
Tues., Nov. 14 vs. FIU
Sun., Nov. 19 vs. Kentucky
Fri., Nov. 24 vs. Delaware (Gulf Coast Showcase at Hertz Arena)
Sat., Nov. 25 TBA (Gulf Coast Showcase at Hertz Arena)
Sun., Nov. 26 TBA (Gulf Coast Showcase at Hertz Arena)
Wed. Nov. 29 vs. Ave Maria
Sun., Dec. 3 at Old Dominion
Thurs., Dec. 7 vs. Gardner-Webb
Sun., Dec. 10 at Duke
Wed., Dec. 20 vs. Drexel (Homewood Suites Classic)
Thurs., Dec. 21 vs. Southern Mississippi (Homewood Suites Classic)
Thurs., Dec. 28 vs. Webber International
Thurs. Jan. 4 at Jacksonville*
Sat., Jan. 6 at North Florida*
Sat., Jan. 13 at Stetson*
Thurs., Jan. 18 vs. Queens (N.C.)*
Sat., Jan. 20 vs. Kennesaw St.*
Thurs., Jan. 25 at Lipscomb*
Sat., Jan. 27 at Austin Peay*
Wed., Jan. 31 at Bellarmine*
Sat., Feb. 3 vs. Eastern Kentucky*
Thurs., Feb. 8 vs. Central Arkansas*
Sat., Feb. 10 vs. North Alabama*
Thurs., Feb. 15 at Kennesaw St.*
Sat., Feb. 17 at Queens (N.C.)*
Sat., Feb. 24 vs. Stetson*
Thurs., Feb. 29 vs. North Florida*
Sat., March 2 vs. Jacksonville*
Fri., March 8 TBA (ASUN Tournament)
Sat., March 9 TBA (ASUN Tournament)
Tues., March 12 TBA (ASUN Tournament)
Sat., March 16 TBA (ASUN Tournament)
FGCU men's basketball schedule
Home games in bold
*ASUN conference game
Tues., Nov. 7 at Indiana
Fri., Nov. 10 vs. Ave Maria
Mon., Nov. 13 at Pittsburgh
Fri., Nov. 17 vs. Missouri State (U.S. Virgin Island Paradise Jam)
Sat., Nov. 18 TBA (U.S. Virgin Island Paradise Jam)
Mon., Nov. 20 TBA (U.S. Virgin Island Paradise Jam)
Sat., Nov. 25 vs. UNC-Wilmington
Wed., Nov. 29 at FIU
Sun., Dec. 3 at Cincinnati
Tues., Dec. 5 vs. New College of Florida
Sat., Dec. 9 at Minnesota
Sat., Dec. 16 at Mercer
Tues., Dec. 19 at Georgia Southern
Fri., Dec. 22 vs. Florida Memorial
Sat., Dec. 30 vs. FAU
Thurs., Jan. 4 vs. Jacksonville*
Sat., Jan. 6 vs. North Florida*
Wed., Jan. 10 at Queens (N.C.)*
Fri., Jan. 12 at Kennesaw St.*
Sat., Jan. 20 vs. Stetson*
Thurs., Jan. 25 vs. Lipscomb*
Sat., Jan. 27 vs. Austin Peay*
Thurs., Feb. 1 at Central Arkansas*
Sat., Feb. 3 at North Alabama*
Wed., Feb. 7 at Eastern Kentucky*
Sat., Feb. 10 vs. Bellarmine*
Sat., Feb. 17 at Stetson*
Thurs., Feb. 22 vs. Kennesaw St.*
Sat., Feb. 24 vs. Queens (N.C.)*
Wed., Feb. 28 at North Florida*
Fri., March 1 at Jacksonville*
Mon., March 4 TBA (ASUN Tournament)
Tues., March 5 TBA (ASUN Tournament)
Thurs., March 7 TBA (ASUN Tournament)
Sun., March 10 TBA (ASUN Tournament)
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: FGCU basketball schedules feature showdowns against FAU, Kentucky