West Virginia University and Baylor University will highlight an eight-team field at the 11th Annual iBN Sports Las Vegas Classic, scheduled for December 22 and 23 at the Orleans Arena (Pictured above: Baylor University – Perry Jones III).
Saint Mary’s College, Missouri State University, Bethune Cookman University, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Kennesaw State University and Tennessee Tech University will also participate.
West Virginia (21-12), under fifth-year head coach Bob Huggins, returns three starters — senior forward Kevin Jones (13.1 ppg), senior point guard Darryl “Truck” Bryant (11.3 ppg) and junior forward Deniz Kilicli (6.6 ppg). The Mountaineers have made the NCAA tournament all four years under Huggins, including the third round last year and the Final Four in 2010.
Baylor (18-13), ranked as high No. 11 in the preseason by Fox Sports, will have one of the nation’s most talented rosters with four returning starters, including sophomore forward and lead scorer Perry Jones III (13.9 ppg). Joining Jones on this year’s squad are senior forward Quincy Acy , who led the team with 7.6 rebounds per game, and junior guard A.J. Walton, who averages 4.7 assists per game.
Missouri State is coming off a 26-9 campaign in which the Bears claimed the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title for the first time in school history. First-year head coach Paul Lusk came onto the scene on April 1 to inherit a program that returns six lettermen, including 2011 MVC Player of the Year Kyle Weems (16.0 ppg). Lusk has added seven newcomers to a solid nucleus, including three junior college transfers and a Division 1 transfer.
Saint Mary’s returns four starters and seven letter-winners from last year’s 25-9 team, including junior guard Matthew Dellavedova (13.4 ppg, 5.3 apg) and senior forward Rob Jones (13.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg). The Gaels under Head Coach Randy Bennett have advanced to postseason play for four straight seasons.
Each team will play four games — the first two at campus sites and the final two rounds at the Orleans Arena.
Tickets for the final rounds in Las Vegas go on sale Saturday, July 23, and can be purchased by calling the Orleans Arena Box Office at 702.284.7777 or by visiting www.orleansarena.com.
About the Orleans Arena
The Orleans Arena, a Boyd Gaming facility, located just off the Las Vegas Strip is host to more than 200 events each year, including top concerts such as Van Halen, Black Eyed Peas, Akon, Rihanna, Brooks & Dunn, and Panic at the Disco; family favorites Disney on Ice, Harlem Globetrotters, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus; and a variety of sporting events including the Las Vegas Wranglers professional ECHL hockey team, NCAA basketball tournaments, the West Coast Conference Tournament, plus three major motorsports events each year. For information on booking events call 702.365.7469 or visit www.orleansarena.com.