Fifth-year Murray State men's basketball coach Matt McMahon wasn't kidding on Wednesday, when he mentioned the complete 2019-20 Racer schedule could be coming out soon.
Less than 24 hours later, officials revealed the full tab of games, which includes a renewed series with both Southern Illinois (Missouri Valley) and Middle Tennessee State (Conference USA), a home opener against SWAC-squad Southern Jaguars (Nov. 9) and a bit of a homecoming for former MSU assistant Amir Abdur-Rahim, who's bringing his Kennesaw State Owls to the CFSB Center on Dec. 16.
"We are thrilled that our 2019-20 schedule features 16 home games at the CFSB Center," McMahon said in a release. "We feel this challenging non-conference schedule will prepare us well for (Ohio Valley Conference) play."
Other revealed contests include an exhibition game against Martin Methodist (Nov. 4), and the typical return-from-Christmas warm-up comes against Cumberland on Dec. 28 before MSU opens OVC play at home against UT Martin on Jan. 2, 2020.
• Murray State's first opponent of the season, Southern, is helmed by a familiar face. Former University of Kentucky standout and Morehead State head coach Sean Woods was hired on April 12, 2018, and went 7-24 (6-12 SWAC) with the Jags during the 2018-19 season.
• MSU's exhibition opponent, Martin Methodist, is based in Pulaski, Tennessee. After six years in the Southern States Conference, school officials -- alongside Bethel and Freed-Hardeman -- announced a move to the Mid-South Conference, beginning in the 2020-21 athletic term.
• Following one year playing at Garden City CC, Abdur-Rahim transferred to Southeastern Louisiana to play for then-head coach Billy Kennedy. After three years of All-Southland Conference-type play, Abdur-Rahim joined Kennedy at Murray State -- first as a graduate assistant, and then as a full-time assistant.
In 2011, he moved on to Georgia Tech and was a director of player personnel for the Yellow Jackets before spending two years as an assistant at the College of Charleston, four more years with Kennedy as an assistant at Texas A&M ... and finally, this past season as an assistant under Tom Crean with the Georgia Bulldogs.
On April 18, Abdur-Rahim was named head coach of Kennesaw State and successor to Al Skinner, who resigned after more than 30 years of coaching at Rhode Island, Boston College and the Owls.
• Thanksgiving week finds MSU in Estero, Florida, at the Gulf Coast Showcase (Nov. 25-27). The Racers take on La Salle on Nov. 25 and meet either Weber State or Wright State Nov. 26. MSU's third game will come against Northeastern, South Alabama, Drake or Miami (Ohio).
2019-20 Murray State Men's Basketball Schedule
Nov. 4 Martin Methodist (Exh.)
Nov. 9 Southern
Nov. 12 at Tennessee
Nov. 16 Brescia
Nov. 19 Southern Illinois
Nov. 25 at Gulf Coast Showcase, Estero, Fla.
Nov. 26 Gulf Coast Showcase, Estero, Fla.
Nov. 27 Gulf Coast Showcase, Estero, Fla.
Dec. 3 at Missouri State
Dec. 7 Middle Tennessee
Dec. 16 Kennesaw State
Dec. 21 at Evansville
Dec. 28 Cumberland
Jan. 2 *UT Martin
Jan. 4 *Southeast Missouri
Jan. 9 *at Jacksonville State
Jan. 11 *at Tennessee Tech
Jan. 16 *at UT Martin
Jan. 18 *at Southeast Missouri
Jan. 23 *Belmont
Jan. 25 *Tennessee State
Jan. 30 *Eastern Illinois
Feb. 1 *SIUE
Feb. 6 *at Belmont
Feb. 8 *at Tennessee State
Feb. 13 *at Austin Peay
Feb. 15 *Morehead State
Feb. 20 *at Eastern Illinois
Feb. 22 *at SIUE
Feb. 27 *Eastern Kentucky
Feb. 29 *Austin Peay
March 4-7 OVC Tournament, Evansville, Ind.
*Denotes OVC contest