Gators, Noles ready for basketball classic
Miami Lakes, FL (www.orangebowl.org) – The 20th annual MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will once again feature top-of-the-line college basketball in Broward County. 2012 ACC Coach of the Year, Leonard Hamilton and the Florida State Seminoles will take on the Massachusetts Minutemen, led by sixth-year head coach Derek Kellogg while fresh off an SEC championship and a third-straight Elite Eight appearance, Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators will be featured in Sunrise for the eighth straight year against a team to be determined.
The 2013 MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will be held on December 21 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL. Game times will be announced at a later date.
For ticket information please contact the Orange Bowl ticket sales office at (305) 341-4701 or visit www.orangebowl.org.
Coming off its eighth consecutive postseason appearance and school-record fifth consecutive season with at least nine ACC victories, Florida State enters the 2013-14 season looking to backer-gain the ACC title it they earned just two years ago. The Seminoles, ACC leaders in blocked shots for the past four years, return four of their five starters from last season, including second leading scorer and top rebounder Okaro White (12.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg) along with a promising group of players. Florida State finished last season with an 18-16 record and played in the NIT. The Seminoles are making their fifth Classic appearance.
Massachusetts, the alma mater of NBA legend Julius Erving, finished last season with a 21-12 record and a postseason appearance in the NIT. UMass welcomes back seven letterwinners and three starters this season, including All-America candidate Chaz Williams, scoring and assist leader from a year ago (15.5 ppg, 7.3 apg). The Minutemen return 55 percent of their scoring and 73 percent of their rebounding from a year ago and have recorded at least 20 wins each of the last two seasons, while qualifying for the NIT both seasons. The Minutemen are led by sixth-year head coach Derek Kellogg who has collected 85 career victories and sits fourth on the school's career coaching list behind legends Jack Leaman, John Calipari and Bruiser Flint. This is the Minutemen’s second Classic appearance (1999).
The Florida Gators will be making their 15th appearance in the Classic following a 29-8 season and an Elite Eight appearance for a third consecutive year. Florida lost some key pieces but is returning five players from their eight-man rotation including top rebounder Patric Young (6.3 rpg) and playmaker Will Yeguete. Entering his 18th season as head coach, Billy Donovan and the Gators have collected 415 wins during his time at the helm as they look to keep adding to the collection. Their opponent is yet to be determined.
With assistance from title sponsor MetroPCS and associate sponsors BB&T Center, FOX Sports Florida / Sun Sports, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, Sports Authority, Sunshine State Health Plan and The Miami Herald, the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will be the only Division I basketball played in Broward County again next season.
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