The Georgia State Panthers will round out the second annual Cayman Islands Classic college basketball invitational held 19-21 November as event organizers announced the entire eight-team field Monday (23 April).
In January, Cayman 27 learned 5 schools had agreed to participate including Boise State University, Illinois State University, University of Akron, Creighton University and St. Bonaventure University. In February, the tournament’s two biggest names emerged as Clemson University and the University of Georgia agreed to the preseason tournament as well.
“We are excited to host the second year of this tournament in the Cayman Islands” said Tourism Minister Hon. Moses Kirkconnell. “Last year’s tournament was a great success with over 1,000 fans visiting our Islands and the feedback received from the teams and visitors alike was extremely positive. The organizers are working hard to create an even more amazing experience for this year’s teams and visitors as they grace our shores to experience great basketball and a true Caymankind welcome.”
About the teams
Clemson, under the guidance of coach Brad Brownell, was ranked No. 15 in the final USA Today coaches poll while tying a school record with a 25-10 mark advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time since 1997. The Tigers tied for third in the Atlantic Coast Conference this past season with a school-record 11 league victories. For his efforts Brownell was recognized as Sports Illustrated College Basketball Coach of the Year.
Creighton posted a 21-12 record, finishing third in the Big East Conference, while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last seven years.
Georgia State went 24-11 this past season, while making its second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four years under head coach Ron Hunter. The Panthers won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship after finishing runner-up during the regular season.
St. Bonaventure achieved a school-record 26-8 mark while advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after beating UCLA in the opening round which was the program’s first NCAA victory since 1970. The Bonnies finished second in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a 14-4 record.
Boise State went 23-9 last season, while playing in the NIT. The Broncos finished second in the Mountain West Conference with a 13-5 record.
Georgia, welcoming new coach Tom Crean, was 18-15 overall last year. Illinois State also went 18-15 this past season, including a 10-8 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference. Akron, which plays in the Mid-American Conference, was 14-18 last season.