COLLEGE BASKETBALL POWERHOUSE LOUISVILLE HEADLINES 2015 BROOKLYN HOOPS™ EVENTS AT BARCLAYS CENTER

Aug 10, 2015

BROOKLYN (August 10, 2015) - Barclays Center will host an impressive field of teams for the fourth annual Barclays Center Classic presented by Honda on November 27-28 and the BROOKLYN HOOPS™ Holiday Invitational on the evening of November 28. The two events are part of the venue’s 2015-16 college basketball schedule that will feature more than 40 games in Brooklyn.

On November 27 in the Barclays Center Classic presented by Honda, Cincinnati will play Nebraska at 6:30 p.m., followed immediately by George Washington vs. Tennessee. On November 28, the consolation game will begin at noon and the championship game will follow.   Later in the evening, the BROOKLYN HOOPS Holiday Invitational will feature Louisville and Saint Louis at 8 p.m.

The teams represent several of the nation’s top conferences, including the American Athletic Conference (Cincinnati), the Atlantic Coast Conference (Louisville), the Atlantic 10 Conference (George Washington and St. Louis), the Big Ten (Nebraska), and the Southeastern Conference (Tennessee).

“This is our fourth season hosting BROOKLYN HOOPS events and we are thrilled to continue showcasing teams from the nation’s top conferences,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center. “We are ready for another exciting season of college basketball, culminating in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.”

Tickets for both events will go on sale Thursday, August 20 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased via Ticketmaster by visiting www.barclayscenter.com, or www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center beginning Friday, August 14 at noon. Tickets are available for groups by calling 855-GROUP-BK.

Barclays Center is also offering the BROOKLYN HOOPS Pick Plan presented by Applebee’s, which is available beginning Thursday, August 13 at 10 a.m. on barclayscenter.com.  The customizable ticket plan allows fans to purchase a ticket to either the CBS Sports Classic or the A-10 Championship Final and receive a 10% discount on at least three other select BROOKLYN HOOPS events. 

Barclays Center’s college basketball franchise BROOKLYN HOOPS is presented by Ticketmaster, with other partners including adidas, Applebees’s, GEICO, High Point Solutions, Honda, McDonald’s, Modell’s, JetBlue, and, Powerade.

BARCLAYS CENTER CLASSIC TEAMS

Cincinnati returns nine letter winners and all five starters from last season’s squad that went 23-11, finished third in the American Athletic Conference, and advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament. The Bearcats are led by senior forward Octavius Ellis (9.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.0 bpg) and sophomore forward Gary Clark (7.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg). Both players ranked among the top six players in the American Athletic Conference for rebounds, field-goal shooting percentage and blocks. Other team standouts include junior guard Troy Caupain (9.6 ppg, 3.6 apg), an offensive leader, and senior guard Farad Cobb (8.5 ppg), who led Cincinnati with 53 three-pointers one year ago. The Bearcats ranked among the nation’s best in scoring defense (sixth with 55.8 points allowed), blocked shots (12th at 5.4) and field-goal percentage defense (15th at .388) in 2014-15.

A new chapter of Tennessee basketball begins with the 2015-16 season, as legendary head coach Rick Barnes takes over in Knoxville. The Volunteers have made five Sweet 16 appearances since 2000, most recently in 2014, but last season’s squad struggled to a 16-16 (9-7 SEC) finish and missed postseason play. Tennessee looks to replace All-SEC point guard Josh Richardson, who led the team in scoring, assists and steals last year. Four returning players started 20 or more games last season, but this marks the first year since 1996-97 that the Vols’ top returning scorer has fewer than 550 career points (senior Armani Moore has 504). Five scholarship newcomers join a core of returning lettermen for UT this season, with Moore (10.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and fellow seniors Derek Reese (6.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Devon Baulkman (4.7 ppg, .382 3FG) and Kevin Punter (10.3 ppg, .352 3FG) projected to lead the way.

Under the direction of fourth-year coach Tim Miles,  Nebraska returns a pair of starters in 2015-16, including senior forward Shavon Shields, who paces NU’s returnees in scoring (15.4 ppg), rebounding (6.0 rpg) and assists (2.2 apg), and Benny Parker (4.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.7 apg). Shields, who has more than 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds at Nebraska, is a three-year starter who had nine 20-point games in 2014-15, including a career-high 35 points against Omaha.  The Huskers also welcome a nationally ranked seven-member recruiting class which includes freshmen Ed Morrow Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr., both of whom are ranked in the top-75 nationally by ESPN.com. In addition, the Huskers also gain the services of guard Andrew White III, who sat out last season after transferring from Kansas.

George Washington will feature an experienced starting line-up in 2015-16, headlined by the senior trio of Patricio Garino, Kevin Larsen and Joe McDonald, who have been starting since they were freshmen. Junior Tyler Cavanaugh will join Larsen down low after sitting out last season following his transfer from Wake Forest. Sophomore Yuta Watanabe, who is the fourth-ever Japanese born player to play at the D1 level,  will also start, and like Garino (Argentina) spent the summer of 2015 playing internationally for his country. The Colonials are seeking their third straight postseason bid after participating in the NCAA Tournament in 2013-14, and downing Pittsburgh in the NIT last season for the program's first-ever NIT win. 

BROOKLYN HOOPS™ HOLIDAY INVITATIONAL TEAMS

Despite losing four starters including a pair of NBA Draft picks, optimism is high for the University of Louisville, which posted a 27-9 record last season and reached its fifth NCAA Elite Eight in the past eight years.  In addition to an incoming top ten freshman class, UofL Coach Rick Pitino bolstered his roster with a pair of senior graduate transfers in 6-6 guard Damion Lee, who was the nation’s fourth-leading scorer at Drexel last season (21.4 ppg) and 6-2 guard Trey Lewis, who led Cleveland State with a 16.3 scoring average and made a school-record 96 three-pointers.  A pair of 6-10 front court returnees gained experience in international competition over the summer as sophomore Chinanu Onuaku won a gold medal as a member of the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team, while junior Mangok Mathiang competed with Australia and led the 2015 World University Games in rebounding.

Saint Louis returns nine scholarship players from last year’s squad, which was one of the youngest in the country. The youthful Billikens finished 11-21 overall and 3-15 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Among the returnees is sophomore forward Milik Yarbrough, an A-10 All-Rookie team selection a year ago. Yarbrough was one of five freshmen in the country to lead his team in scoring (10.0 ppg) and rebounding (4.8 rpg) average. First-year players Davell Roby and Marcus Bartley led the team in steals and assists, respectively, meaning the Billikens were one of two teams nationally that featured freshmen team leaders in points, rebounds, steals and assists. Ash Yacoubou, the Billikens’ lone senior, was second on the team with 9.1 ppg. SLU welcomes three newcomers to the roster – Jermaine Bishop (Queens, N.Y.), center Matt Neufeld (Victoria, British Columbia) and Elliott Welmer (Columbus, Ind.). Neufeld played with Canada in the 2015 FIBA U-19 World Championship this past summer. Two-time A-10 Coach of the Year Jim Crews enters his fourth season at the helm.

Previously announced men’s college basketball events for the 2015-16 season at Barclays Center include Legends Classic on Nov. 23 and 24; CBS Sports Classic on December 19, 2015 featuring four of the nation’s winningest college basketball teams, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State and UCLA; the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship on March 9-13, 2016; and the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship on March 18 and 20, 2016.