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SLU, Butler to play two-year basketball series

BYU Saint Louis Basketball

Saint Louis head coach Travis Ford watches during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against BYU, Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The rebuilding process at St. Louis University has led to a near turnover of the roster under coach Travis Ford. However, the new look next season also will include a revamped schedule.

SLU announced Thursday that it will play a home-and-home series against Butler starting next season in Indianapolis. Those games will help fill the void created by the conclusion of a four-year series against Wichita State.

Ford said after the season that he was torn between building a schedule with significant challenges or something less daunting. The only games set thus far are Butler and a trip to New York for the 2K Classic, where SLU will play two undetermined games against a field that includes Providence, Virginia Tech and Washington.

The games will renew a series that was played during the brief time that Butler was a member of the Atlantic 10. SLU leads the all-time series 19-11.

The Billikens won both meetings during the 2012-13 season. Butler was ranked No. 9 nationally when the teams played at Chaifetz Arena and No. 15 for their meeting at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

"We are thrilled to get a regional road game of this caliber on a weekend to make it easier for our fans to travel," Ford said in a statement. "I hope to see plenty of Billiken blue inside Hinkle Fieldhouse on Dec. 2.”

The Billikens currently have four scholarship players returning and six newcomers. Division I transfers Javon Bess (Michigan State), D.J. Foreman (Rutgers), Ty Graves (Boston College; eligible second semester) and Adonys Henriquez (Central Florida) will be eligible next season. Incoming freshmen Jordan Goodwin (Althoff High) and Hasahn French are ESPN Top 100 recruits.

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