Early season tournaments continue to emerge and increase from a competition standpoint. Non-conference schedules have gotten tougher and college basketball fans prepare for premier match-ups and upsets even in November.
Let’s take a look at the 2K Sports Classic.
Tournament Date(s): November 9, 11, 15-18 & 21, 2012.
Tournament Location(s): At regional host sites.
Tournament Field: Alabama, Villanova, Purdue, Oregon State, Marshall, Bucknell, Hofstra, South Dakota State, West Alabama, Niagara, New Mexico State, University of the District of Columbia and Northern New Mexico.
Tournament Summary: The 2K Sports Classic has multiple rounds with a ton of teams in it. The Regional rounds happen first, with the games being played at the sites of the regional hosts, Alabama, Villanova, Purdue, and Oregon St. Then there are the subregional rounds in which the smaller schools play in. Finally, there are the championship rounds which is what everyone will be watching. Villanova plays Purdue in a battle between schools who are in similar but different places. The Wildcats have had some rough sledding the past few years and lost Maalik Wayns. Seniors Dominic Cheek and Mouphtaou Yarou look to get this team back on the right track. The Boilermakers lost Robbie Hummel, a huge piece of their team, as well as Lewis Jackson. However, they’ve been much more successful than Villanova. Alabama is in the same boat after losing JaMychal Green, but Trevor Releford is looking to break out in his junior year. Finally, the Beavers are suffering from what else? Losing their best player. Jared Cunningham left for the NBA Draft, so the junior duo of Devon Collier and Ahmad Starks will need to shoulder the load.
Player to Watch: Trevor Releford, Alabama: Ever since Anthony Grant became head coach, the Crimson Tide program has seen great success. Maybe not as much as the football program, but still a good amount. Despite discipline problems, the Tide made it to the big dance last year. After losing Green, Releford will need to step up and be the man for this team. Playing the point guard position, he’ll have to do more than ever. The continued success of Alabama is resting on the shoulders of Releford.