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Akron

This will be the first trip to the Charleston Classic for the Zips, who entered the 2013-14 season as the two-time Mid-American Conference regular-season champions and defending MAC tournament champs. UA earned the No. 12 seed in the 2013 NCAA tournament, its best seed in program history. Head coach Keith Dambrot became the 21st head coach of Akron men’s basketball in March 2004, having led Akron to the postseason in six straight seasons and seven of the last eight seasons. The team has since participated in the NCAA tournament in 2009, 2011 and 2013, the National Invitation Tournament in 2006, 2008 and 2012 and the College Basketball Invitational in 2010.

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Charlotte

Charlotte comes to the Charleston Classic with a history of strong performances in early season tournaments, having won the Alaska Shootout in 2012 and beating two NCAA tournament teams — Kansas State and Michigan — to win the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in 2013. The 49ers, who were original members of Conference USA, from 1995 to 2005, returned to the league after spending eight years in the Atlantic 10. During Charlotte’s time in Conference USA, the 49ers captured two Conference USA tournament titles (1999 and 2001) and a share of the 2004 Conference USA regular-season title. They also made seven trips to the NCAA tournament and one trip to the NIT.

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Cornell

Fifth-year coach Bill Courtney leads Cornell as the program makes its first appearance in the Charleston Classic in 2014. Regarded as a player’s coach, Courtney was an assistant at major conference programs Virginia Tech, Virginia and Providence, and helped both George Mason and Bowling Green to national prominence. During his 15-year career as an assistant, Courtney was part of teams that made eight postseason appearances (three NCAA, four NIT, one CBI), won at least a share of four conference titles (Mid-American, Colonial and ACC) and posted 15 winning seasons with eight years of 18 wins or more.

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Drexel

James “Bruiser” Flint will be in his 14th season as the Dragons’ head coach. Since arriving in 2001, Flint, the longest tenured coach in the Colonial Athletic Association, has established Drexel as one of the top programs in the league. The Dragons played in the Wooden Legacy in 2013, finishing with a 1-2 record with losses to St. Mary’s and Xavier and a win against Rice. Drexel is led by the Colonial Athletic Association’s preseason first-team selection Damien Lee. As a sophomore, Lee finished third in the CAA with 17.1 points. Famous Drexel basketball alumni include former NBA player Malik Rose (1992-96) who ranks third historically in points scored (2,024).

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Miami

This will be the second trip to the Charleston Classic for the Miami Hurricanes, who look to duplicate their last appearance, when they beat South Carolina to win the championship, 85-70, in 2009. Last season, the Hurricanes played in the Wooden Legacy, where they finished with a 2-1 record. Coach Jim Larranaga led UM to the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16, and won the school’s first ACC regular-season and tournament championships. Larranaga was honored that season as The Associated Press, Naismith, USBWA Henry Iba and ACC Coach of the Year. The Bronx native helped Miami to a No. 2 national ranking by both the AP and USA Today, and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.

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Penn State

The Nittany Lions return to the Charleston Classic, in which they went 1-2 in 2009, with loses to UNC-Wilmington and Tulane before beating Davidson. Last season they played in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, where they also finished with a 1-2 record, losing to Akron, a fellow 2014 CC participant, in the third game of the tournament. Coach Patrick Chambers came to Penn State from Boston University, where in 2010-11 he led the Terriers to the America East Conference championship and the program’s first NCAA tournament berth since 2002. He posted a 42-28 record in two years in his first head-coaching stint at BU. He was the only BU coach in history to earn 20 wins in each of his first two seasons, and the fastest in program history to earn a conference championship.

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South Carolina

The Gamecocks will make their second visit to the Charleston Classic. In the 2009 Classic, South Carolina lost to Miami in the championship game, 85-70. Last season, the Gamecocks played in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, finishing with a 2-1 record. Martin is in his eighth season as a college head coach and his third with the Gamecocks. Notable South Carolina basketball alum include NBA great Alex English (1973-76), who holds the school record for minutes played (4,113) and field goals made (855), and Mike Dunleavy (1973-76), who ranks in the top 10 in field goals made (615) and points scored (1,586).

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Southern California

Andy Enfield was named the Southern California men’s basketball head coach April 1, 2013, and immediately brought a buzz to the program. Enfield captivated the nation as the head coach at Florida Gulf Coast University as he guided the first No. 15 seed into the NCAA Sweet 16 with impressive wins over No. 2 seed Georgetown and No. 7 seed San Diego. This season, the Trojans played in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, where they finished with a 1-2 record, with loses to Villanova and Wake Forest and a win against Xavier. USC has never played fellow 2014 Charleston Classic participants Akron and Charlotte, and the Trojans hold a 6-3 record against the rest of the CC field.