The Missouri State Bears will play four non-conference foes that played in the postseason a year ago and will square off with seven foes at JQH Arena prior to the start of Missouri Valley Conference play, head coach Dana Ford announced Monday with the release of his squad’s non-conference slate for the 2018-19 campaign.

“We always want to play a challenging non-league schedule moving forward,” said Ford. “I want our fan base to know we take them into consideration when we build our schedule. We understand their desire to watch us play against high-quality competition night in and night out.”

Missouri State’s non-conference schedule includes the season opener against Oral Roberts on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at JQH Arena in Ford’s first regular-season game as Bears’ head coach.  The ORU game kicks off a three-game home stand that also includes match-ups against Robert Morris (Nov. 9) and Stetson (Nov. 11) in the opening rounds of the Hall of Fame Classic.

The Bears then travel to Sprint Center in Kansas City for the first time, Nov. 19-20, when they take on Nebraska in the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Classic and then either USC or Texas Tech the following night.

MSU then plays three straight on the road for the only time in 2018-19 with a competitive stretch at Murray State (Nov. 24), Air Force (Nov. 28) and Oregon State (Dec. 1). The Air Force game is part of the MVC-Mountain West Challenge.

December continues with a return visit from Western Kentucky (Dec. 5), a second trip to North Dakota State (Dec. 15) in as many years, and the Bears’ first game against Arkansas State (Dec. 18) since 2011. The non-league schedule concludes with home contests against UAPB (Dec. 22) and William Woods (Dec. 30).

Including the Missouri Valley Conference schedule, which will be released by the league in the coming weeks, the Bears will have 16 games at home for Ford’s inaugural season at the helm.

“In Kansas City, we play Nebraska with the possibility of facing Texas Tech or USC on national TV,” Ford summarized. “Those are marquee names, and that doesn’t include hosting NIT semifinalist Western Kentucky or going to Murray State, which was an NCAA Tournament team last season.

The Bears return three lettermen (Obediah Church, Jarred Dixon, Ryan Kreklow) and four other squad members (Abdul Fofana, Ross Owens, Jarred Ridder, Darrian Scott) from an 18-15 campaign.

The team’s 2018-19 roster also includes five eligible newcomers — Keandre Cook (G, 6-5, 190, Jr., Baltimore, Md., Edmondson-Westside High, Odessa (Texas) College); Kabir Mohammed (F, 6-5, 225, Jr., Lagos, Nigeria, Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian Academy, San Jacinto (Texas) College); Josh Webster (G, 6-4, 175, Sr., St. Louis, Mo., CBC High School, South Plains (Texas) College, Texas Tech Univ.); Jan Wojcik (F, 6-10, 210, Fr., Pelczyce, Poland, International High School); and Szymon Wojcik (F, 6-10, 210, Fr., Pelczyce, Poland, International High School). Three additional players — Tulio Da Silva (F, 6-8, 210, Jr., Formiga, Brazil, Arlington (Texas) Country Day School) from South Florida; Josh Hall (G/F, 6-7, 195, Jr., Houston Texas, Genesis Academy) from Nevada; and Tyrik Dixon (G, 6-1, 184, Jr., Bentonville, Ark., Southwest Christian Academy) from Middle Tennessee — will have to sit out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules.