MOREHEAD, Ky. – Morehead State’s men’s basketball team will be one of 12 team participating in the 2011 TicketCity Legends Classic this season. The field for the prestigious event was unveiled Thursday.
The Eagles will open the event at the Raleigh, N.C., Regional against Atlantic Coast Conference foe North Carolina State on Sunday, Nov. 13. MSU will also play three additional games in the tournament at the Lewisburg, Pa., Subregional with games to be played at Bucknell University’s Sojka Pavillion
Morehead State will face West Alabama on Friday, Nov. 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Eagles will battle Princeton on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. ET and finish the event with host Bucknell on Sunday, Nov. 27.
“To be chosen to play in the Legends Classic is a great honor for our basketball program,” said MSU head coach Donnie Tyndall. “To open on the road at North Carolina State in the ACC will be a huge challenge for our team and to also be playing Princeton and Bucknell , who were both NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, that makes for a great field for this event.”
Texas, Vanderbilt, North Carolina State, and Oregon State will serve as the four regional round hosts of the TicketCity Legends Classic. Each will play two games on campus before advancing to the Championship Rounds, Nov. 19 and 21, at IZOD Center in the New Jersey Meadowlands Sports Complex.
In all, nine teams in the field played in the postseason last year - six in the NCAA Tournament, two in the College Basketball Invitational, and one in the NIT. Bucknell and Rhode Island will serve as Subregional Round hosts for games played Nov. 25-27.
Tyndall guided the Eagles to one of the best seasons in school history, going 25-10, winning the Ohio Valley Conference title, and advancing to the third round of the NCAA Tournament with an upset of fourth-seeded Louisville. This season two starters and four other players are back, led by senior guards Terrance Hill, who averaged 10.7 ppg, and Ty Proffitt, who added 7.9 ppg and 61 assists.
NC State enters the 2011-12 season under the direction of new head coach Mark Gottfried, who previously coached at Murray State and Alabama, leading the Crimson Tide to the Elite Eight in 2004. The Wolfpack return 10 players from last season, including sophomore forward CJ Leslie (11.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg), a member of the ACC all-freshman team, and junior forward Scott Wood (9.7 ppg), who has more three-pointers (135) after his sophomore season than any player in school history after two seasons.
Mike Newell is in his first season as coach of the West Alabama Tigers after nine years of success at Arkansas-Monticello. Junior forward Ryan Fitch is UWA's lone returning starter, having posted averages of 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds a game last season.
Mitch Henderson returns to his alma mater at Princeton as head coach after 11 years as an assistant at Northwestern. Princeton returns four starters from last year's 25-7 Ivy League championship team, including junior forward Ian Hummer, who averaged 13.8 points and 6.8 rebounds a game en route to second-team all-league honors. Also returning is senior Douglas Davis (11.9 ppg, team-high 38 steals), whose last second basket in the Ivy playoff game against Harvard sent the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament.
Bucknell posted a 25-9 record last year in earning the Patriot League title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Bison return four starters, led by Mike Muscala, the Patriot League Player of the Year who averaged a team-best 14.9 points per game. Brian Cohen (7.0 ppg), who repeated as the PL Defensive Player of the Year, also returns for the 2011-12 season. Dave Paulsen was named PL Coach of the Year last season.