The field for the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off will feature a pair of schools with previous appearances in the San Juan event along with seven teams posting winning records during the 2015-2016 season led by NCAA participants Iowa State of the Big 12 and Tulsa of the American Athletic Conference.
The 2017 Puerto Rico Tip-Off is scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 16, 17 and 19 in San Juan at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente as Florida State of the Atlantic Coast Conference (2013) and Western Michigan of the Mid-American Conference (2011) will be competing for the second-time in the tournament that started in 2007, where Miami captured the inaugural championship.
Other schools competing in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off will be Boise State of the Mountain West Conference, Illinois State of the Missouri Valley Conference, South Carolina of the Southeastern Conference and UTEP of Conference USA.
Iowa State posted a 23-12 record during its 2015-16 campaign and advanced to the NCAA Championship Sweet 16 before losing too Virginia. Tulsa compiled a 20-12 mark last season and dropped a First Four game to Michigan. Tulsa coach Frank Haith led Miami to the 2007 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Boise State (20-12), Florida (State (20-14), Iowa State (23-12), South Carolina (25-9) and Tulsa (20-12) won more than 20 games last season with Illinois State (18-14) and UTEP (19-14) also posting winning records during the 2015-16 season. Overall, the eight schools scheduled too competed in the 2017 Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off posted a 59.8 winning percentage (158-106). Both Florida State and South Carolina competed in the 2016 NIT.
Boise State – Chandler Hutchison will have every opportunity to earn significant minutes this season after playing behind the school’s second all-time leading scorer (Anthony Drmic) and the first Bronco to leave early for the NBA Draft (James Webb III). A 6-7 junior guard, Hutchison arrived at Boise State two years ago as the highest-ranked recruit in school history. Hutchison became just the second Bronco freshman to start an NCAA Tournament game.
Florida State – With only two seniors on its 2016-2017 roster and depending on early departures, the Seminoles will be one of the more experienced teams in the country next season. Sophomore guard Dwayne Bacon has emerged as a team leader for the Seminoles as he enjoyed the best freshman season in school history in 2016 by averaging 15.8 points a game.
Illinois State – Illinois State junior forward MiKyle McIntosh was a 2015-2016 All-Missouri Valley Conference Honorable Mention selection, and prior to the 2016-2017 season, he was named to the Preseason All-MVC team. McIntosh averaged 10.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while playing in 31 contests with 27 starts as a sophomore. A native of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, McIntosh was also named to the 2014-2015 MVC Most-Improved team after averaging 5.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game as a freshman.
Iowa State – The Cyclones have advanced to the last five NCAA Tournaments and owns the third-longest streak for consecutive weeks ranked in the Associated Press Top-25 at 58. In its second season under head coach Steve Prohm, Iowa will be forced to reload with six seniors in the rotation this season. The Cyclones will have a talented group of replacements coming in, with the highest-rated class in school history signing the first week of November.
South Carolina – South Carolina is led by head coach Frank Martin in his fifth season, and the Gamecocks are coming off a 2015-2016 campaign that saw the squad match the school record for wins with a 25-9 overall record. The Gamecocks also advanced to the NIT last season, their first postseason appointment since 2009. Led by a trio of senior guards in Justin McKie, and 1,000 point scorers Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell, the Gamecocks also have valuable experience in sophomore starters, guard PJ Dozier and forward Chris Silva, on the floor this season.
Tulsa – Junior Etou leads a group of 10 newcomers to the court for Tulsa this season. A 6-7 junior from the Republic of Congo, Etou sat out 2015-2016 as a Division I transfer, but led the Golden Hurricane in the 2016-2017 season opener with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Hurricane graduates just one scholarship senior, and should have a solid core returning for the 2017-2018 campaign. Tulsa has reached the postseason in each of head coach Frank Haith’s two seasons.
UTEP – Omega Harris scored a career-high 24 points in UTEP’s season opener against Louisiana College and should be the Miners’ “go-to-guy” for the next two seasons, including his senior year of 2017-2018. Harris has posted 539 points in 58 games for UTEP, including 40 starts. He shot 47.4 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range and 74.1 percent from the line as a sophomore in 2015-16. Harris set a UTEP sophomore record with his three-point percentage, and his 48 triples were second-most by a Miner sophomore.
Western Michigan – Junior point guard Thomas Wilder is the Western Michigan’s top returning scorer, averaging 18.0 points per game through all games combined last season, while dishing out 98 assists and recording 52 steals on his way to Second Team All-Mid-American Conference honors. During the 18-game Mid-American Conference schedule, Wilder led the conference start-to-finish in league scoring, averaging 20.4 points per game.
ESPN Events ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 13 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
Collegiate Football AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Montgomery Kickoff Classic (Montgomery, Ala.); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)
AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Uncasville, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 (Portland, Ore.); State Farm Armed Forces Classic (Honolulu); State Farm Champions Classic (New York City); Tire Pros Invitational (Orlando, Fla.) and Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.)
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