While the four teams selected to play in this upcoming season’s Legends Classic semifinals at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York (Arizona State, LSU, Marquette and NC State) have been known for quite some time, the regional round matchups for the event had yet to be announced. That changed Thursday, as the Gazelle Group released the matchups for those games.
Each of the four teams that will make their way to Brooklyn for games November 23-24 will have two home games to play in the regional round. Those opponents will come from a four-team pool of Belmont, IUPUI, Kennesaw State and South Alabama, with those teams being selected well in advance of today’s announcement.
There will be a separate four-team event hosted by Kennesaw State November 23-24, and as is the case with the semifinal round in Brooklyn those games will be announced at a later date. Below are the regional round matchups.
Milwaukee Regional (hosted by Marquette)
November 13: Belmont at Marquette
November 16: IUPUI at Marquette
Raleigh Regional (hosted by NC State)
November 15: South Alabama at NC State
November 18: IUPUI at NC State
Baton Rouge Regional (hosted by LSU)
November 16: Kennesaw State at LSU
November 19: South Alabama at LSU
Tempe Regional (hosted by Arizona State)
November 16: Belmont at Arizona State
November 19: Kennesaw State at Arizona State
After leading the team in rebounding as a freshman with an average of 6.9 boards per contest, South Alabama freshman Abdul Lewis has decided to transfer. News of Lewis’ decision was announced by South Alabama head coach Matthew Graves Wednesday afternoon.
“I would like to thank Abdul for his contributions to the program this past season and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” Graves said in the release. “He will be granted a full release to transfer back closer to home and I would anticipate him being able to find a situation that allows him to be within an hour or two from there.”
The 6-foot-9 Lewis, a native of Newark, Nw Jersey, also averaged 7.0 points per game and started 27 of the 33 games he played in. With Lewis moving on and fellow forward Dionte Ferguson (11.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg) out of eligibility, the Jaguars will have to account for the loss of their top two rebounders from last season.
Rising junior forward Georgi Boyanov, who averaged 4.7 rebounds per contest in 2014-15, will be South Alabama’s leading returning rebounder. The Jaguars also return rising senior Tafari Whittingham and add three newcomers in Loyola Marymount transfer Nick Stover (who sat out last season) and freshmen Josh Ajayi and Nikola Marijan to the front court rotation.
Wednesday afternoon the Gazelle Group announced that the field for the 2015 Legends Classic has been filled. The four teams that will automatically “advance” to the semifinal round at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn November 23 and 24 were known, with those teams being Arizona State, LSU, Marquette and NC State.
Wednesday’s announcement included the four teams that will play in the regional round were finalized as well.
Belmont, IUPUI, Kennesaw State and South Alabama are those four teams, and each of the four automatic semifinalists will play two games against those schools before heading to Brooklyn. Kennesaw State will host the subregional rounds between these four teams November 23 and 24.
Of the eight teams in the field three reached the NCAA tournament last month, with NC State beating LSU in the Round of 64 on their way to the Sweet 16 and Belmont losing to No. 2 Virginia in the Round of 64.
NC State returns a number of key players from that Sweet 16 team, including point guard Cat Barber, and while LSU lost starting forwards Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey to the NBA they add a highly-regarded recruiting class led by Ben Simmons. Arizona State returns an experienced team in the first season of the Bobby Hurley era in Tempe, and Marquette adds one of the nation’s best recruiting classes led by five-star forward Henry Ellenson.
Matchups for all three rounds of the event will be announced at a later date.