Tag: Houston Baptist Huskies


Maryland headlines field for 2015 Cancun Challenge

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Another in-season tournament for the 2015-16 season has finalized its field, as the eight teams that will participate in the Cancun Challenge were announced Wednesday. Leading the way is Maryland, a team seen by many as the early favorites to win the Big Ten.

Head coach Mark Turgeon welcomes back key contributors such as guard Melo Trimble and forward Jake Layman, and he’ll also add both size and skill in the front court with the arrival of Diamond Stone and Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter Jr. being eligible after sitting out last season. Maryland, which is also the only team in the field to make the NCAA tournament last season, is joined in the Riviera Division by Illinois State, Rhode Island and TCU.

Maryland will face Illinois State in one of the Riviera Division semifinals November 24, with TCU and Rhode Island meeting in the other semifinal. The championship and third-place games will be played the following day.

Of those three expectations are highest for Dan Hurley’s Rhode Island squad, which won 23 games and played in the Postseason NIT last season. Rising juniors E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin return, as does rising sophomore Jared Terrell, and the Rams have some solid additions joining the rotation as well.

Illinois State just missed out on the NCAA tournament, losing to Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title game, and TCU looks to account for the loss of point guard Kyan Anderson. Each of the four teams in the Riviera Division will play two home games against squads in the Mayan Division: Cleveland State, Houston Baptist, Rider and South Dakota State.

South Dakota State, which reached the Summit League title game last season, faces Houston Baptist in one Mayan Division semi with Cleveland State and Rider meeting in the other November 24 in Cancun.

Below is the complete schedule of games, with those being played in Cancun (November 24 & 25) in italics.

Nov. 19 – Houston Baptist at TCU; South Dakota State at Illinois State
Nov. 20 – Rider at Maryland
Nov. 21 – Cleveland State at Rhode Island
Nov. 24 – Mayan Division: South Dakota State vs. Houston Baptist; Rider vs. Cleveland State
Nov. 24 – Riviera Division: TCU vs. Rhode Island; Illinois State vs. Maryland
Nov. 25 – Mayan Division: Third-place and Championship games
Nov. 25 – Riviera Division: Third-place and Championship games
Nov. 28 – Cleveland State at Maryland
Nov. 29 – Rider at Rhode Island

William Gates Jr., son of ‘Hoop Dreams’ star, to transfer to Houston Baptist

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William Gates Jr., the son and the namesake of ‘Hoop Dreams’ star William Gates, has transferred to Houston Baptist.

“Started spring semester classes this morning,” a source told NBCSports.com.

Gates began his college career at Furman, averaging 8.0 points as a freshman for the Palladins, but he saw his playing time get cut as a sophomore thanks to the emergence of a strong freshman class brought in by Furman head coach Niko Medved. He transferred out of the program after the first semester.

Gates is originally from Chicago, the city where the documentary starring his father was filmed. But the family — Gates Sr. has four children — decided to move out of the city to Texas due to the ever-escalating violence in Chicago. Part of the reason he left Furman was due to homesickness, a source said.

That was the best thing that could have happened to the younger Gates’ basketball career, as it took him away from a place where everyone was going to compare him to his father.

“You still had people who knew about the movie,” Gates told me when he committed to Furman two years ago, “but they didn’t really make the connection until they saw me play and they found out what my name was. There wasn’t any type of heckling or how it was in Chicago, it wasn’t like that.”

“Texas is not really a basketball state like that, it’s a football state. Chicago is a basketball city, so basketball is what everybody knows.”

Gates will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He’ll be eligible to play after the first semester of the 2015-2016 season.

Houston Baptist dons throwback uniforms in Saturday’s win over New Orleans (PHOTO)

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With this being the 50th season of college basketball at Houston Baptist, the school has planned various events throughout the season in order to celebrate their past. Saturday players from the 1960s and 1970s were honored, with the all-decade teams announced at the Huskies’ game against New Orleans.

You can’t celebrate the past without having throwback uniforms for the occasion, and Houston Baptist wore a uniform that was simply outstanding. A home white jersey top (with a dribbling husky) paired with blue, orange and white striped shorts? Sartorial excellence.

According to the basketball program the uniforms worn during the 1973-74 season were the inspiration for Saturday’s look.

The Huskies won 74-73 thanks to two Cody Stetler free throws with 14 seconds remaining, with Stetler preserving the lead with a blocked shot on the other end. There was also a costume contest for the fans, who were encouraged to wear their best 60s/70s clothes for the occasion.