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2015 Puerto Rico Tip-off

Pre-season tournaments can be just as exciting as March Madness; better early round match-ups and

insane host venues. Be honest, traveling to Detroit, MI for the first weekend of the Big Dance – no shade

to my hometown – is not on many of these guys “to see list,” but being able to start your season on an

island paradise is something worth getting excited for.

Puerto-Rico-Tip-Off2In the 2015 Puerto Rico Tip-off each of the power conferences in Men’s College Basketball: The Big East (Butler),

ACC (Miami), Big Ten (Minnesota), SEC (Mississippi St.), Big 12 (Texas Tech), PAC 12 (Utah) and American Athletic

Conference (Temple) will be represented in this diverse eight team field.

Missouri State – of the Missouri Valley Conference – is the lone non-power conference team and the

upperclassmen laden Bears will be looking to rebound from a disappointing 2014 season.

Team to Watch:

Utah Utes- Superstar guard Delon Wright may be in the NBA but that doesn’t mean that the Utes are

without talent. The duo of Brandon Taylor and forward Jordan Loveridge will have to carry more of the

load in 2015 but head coach Larry Krystkowiak looks to have finally gotten the program back on track.

Players to Watch:

Butler: Kellen Dunham SR Guard – 16.5ppg 41% three-point

Miami: Sheldon McClellan SR Guard – 14.5ppg 4.7rpg

Minnesota: Carlos Morris SR Guard – 11.1ppg 3.2 rpg

Mississippi St.: Malik Newman FR Guard – Consensus five-star recruit

Missouri St.: Camyn Boone SR Forward – 8.7ppg 5.4rpg

Temple: Quenton DeCosey SR Guard – 12.3ppg 4.6rpg

Texas Tech: DeVaugntah Williams SR Guard – 10.5ppg 39% three-point

Utah: Brandon Taylor SR Guard – 10.6ppg 43.9% three-point

Best first round match-up: Miami vs. Mississippi St.

The Hurricanes are coming off a 20 win season that only resulted in a NIT invite and head coach Jim

Larranaga is looking to get the team back into the Big Dance – a place they haven’t been since the 2012-

13 season. Miami’s rotation will be guard heavy as none of the players currently on their roster above

6’7 were either on the team or were in the playing rotation last season.

The Bulldogs begin the Ben Howland era in Starkville and fans are hoping that he is able to rekindle

some of the success he had at UCLA with a MSU program that does carry the same high expectations

that he experienced at Pauley Pavilion. He may need some time to rebuild the Bulldogs program but

true freshman Malik Newman will make the journey exciting – that’s if he is there longer than one

season.

Favorite to win the tournament: Utah

 

More info: http://espnevents.com/puerto-rico-tip-off/

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