The Gavitt Tipoff Games became official in the spring when the Big Ten and the Big East announced that they would be holding this annual eight-game series between the two conferences.
The way it works is simple: during the first full week of college basketball’s regular season, there will be two games a night for four nights — Tuesday through Friday — that pit a Big East program against a Big Ten team. It will be done to honor Dave Gavitt, one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Big East back in the late 1970s. Gavitt passed away in 2011.
It’s a really good idea for an event if for no reason other than the fact that we always need more quality early season matchups. But the kicker here is that some of the potential matchups that we are looking at simply ooze intrigue, none more than the chance to get Georgetown and Maryland onto the same court at the same time. According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, there is, as he terms is, “a chance” that those two will meet during the event, which is a big deal.
Let me explain: the Hoyas and the Terps have played just once since 1994, when they locked horns in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando in 2008. The cause for that dispute stems back to the aftermath of the last game these two teams played in the DMV. John Feinstein explains:
The teams did meet at what was then USAir Arena in November 1993 and Maryland, back on the rise under [former Coach Gary Williams], won a wonderful game in overtime. There was supposed to be a return game but [former Georgetown Coach John Thompson Jr.] refused to schedule it, claiming Maryland wouldn’t give his school enough tickets and he had voluntarily given up control of the tickets to the ’93 game to promoter Russ Potts.
The feud runs deeper than that, however. Back in 2012, Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said that the Terps and the Hoyas would not play in any sport until the basketball rivalry gets renewed. For what it’s worth, borth schools have top ten soccer programs and will play September 30th.
UNC-Asheville has gotten into the trick shot game.
The basketball program’s official Twitter account posted this video of guard Kevin Vannatta nailing a shot from the balcony of Kimmel Arena.
Nice shot, huh?
Vannatta, a junior from Upper Arlington, Ohio, started all 34 games for the Bulldogs last year, averaging 11.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from 3-point range. It looks, though , like he might be working on extending his range.
Northwestern has found a temporary home while its arena undergoes a nine-figure renovation.
The Wildcats will play the 2017-18 season at Allstate Arena, about 15 miles west of Evanston, Ill. in Rosemont, the school announced Tuesday.
“We are excited to partner with Allstate Arena to host Northwestern men’s basketball games during the 2017-18 season while Welsh-Ryan Arena is undergoing its renovation,” Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips said in a statement. “The venue has a rich college basketball tradition in the Chicagoland area. I know that our fans will enjoy cheering on our team at Allstate Arena during what will be an exciting season.”
Allstate Arena previously had been home to DePaul, which is moving into its own new building this year. Capacity is around 18,000 for basketball.
Northwestern had its best season under coach Chris Collins last year, going 20-12 overall and 8-10 in the Big Ten.
The renovation to Welsh-Ryan Arena will bring the building – which opened in 1952 and last renovated in 1983 – into the 21st century by replacing wood bleachers, widening concourses, adding concessions, improving arena technology and adding new locker rooms at the cost of at least $110 million.
Construction is slated to begin in spring of 2017 and be completed in the fall of 2018.
George Washington announced on Tuesday that Maurice Joseph has been named interim head coach for the 2016-17 season.
“I am eager and well prepared to begin this journey with the 13 student-athletes in our locker room and the tight-knit group of coaches that I will rely upon heavily,” said Joseph. “It is a distinct honor to have the opportunity to be a mentor to our team in this new role. I have the utmost confidence that I will validate the trust that Provost Maltzman and Patrick Nero have placed in me, and that we will deliver a product that makes our students, alumni and fans across the globe proud of GW Basketball and the university.”
Joseph has been a part of the GW coaching staff for the last five years, a full-time assistant for the last three.
He takes over for Mike Lonergan, who coached Joseph for three years at Vermont. Lonergan was fired two weeks ago stemming from an investigation into allegations of abuse.
Lonergan’s other two assistants, Hajj Turner and Carmen Marciariello, both were interviewed for the position as well, according to sources. Turner had been Lonergan’s associate head coach for the past five years, since Lonergan took over at GW.
“In his five years at GW, Maurice has shown himself to be selflessly dedicated to the success of our student-athletes and fully committed to our department and university,” said Nero, GW’s athletic director. “His leadership ability and basketball acumen will bring focus and stability to the talented team we have this year. Our team, basketball staff and athletic department are looking forward to working together for a successful season.”
We are now less than six weeks away from the start of the college basketball season, which means that it is time for us to officially get our picks on the record.
Here, our four writers pick who we think will win each league, the national title and the major awards:
We figured that it wasn’t enough just to simply list out who was on our All-America teams and who was our National Player of the Year, not when the decision is so wide open. Not when there are so many worthwhile candidates.
So while you can go and see the NBCSports.com Preseason All-American team here and you can read our feature story on Duke’s Grayson Allen, the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year, here, you can also listen along as we try to hash out just who we wanted slotted in which spot.
Because we recorded it all on a podcast.
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MORE: 2016-17 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule