LEXINGTON, KY– Six teams will compete over two weeks in November in the second annual round-robin Roundball Showcase, announced Monday by bd Global. Arkansas, Wake Forest and North Texas lead the field as “host programs” for the event with Delaware State, Iona and Nicholls State rounding out the field. All 11 games of the event will be played Nov. 17-30 as regulated by the NCAA’s rules on multi-team exempt events.
bd Global, LLC, a Lexington, Ky.-based sports marketing firm, is managing the event. The Roundball Showcase is one of six bdG college basketball events for the 2013-14 season, which includes the MGM Grand Showcase and MGM Grand Main Event both in Las Vegas, the Cawood Ledford Classic at the University of Kentucky and the Hoosier Showcase at Indiana University. In total, bd Global has contracted 78 games for the upcoming college basketball season.
“We are thrilled to have Arkansas and Wake Forest headline the 2014 Roundball Showcase,” said Brooks Downing, president of bd Global. “This event provides all six teams with quality matchups, including the ACC-SEC showdown in Fayetteville. The event is great for both teams and a terrific addition to the early college basketball season.”
Arkansas returns six of its top seven scorers from last year’s team that finished 22-12. The Razorbacks will be led by senior Rashad Madden (12.7 points, 2.8 assists last season) and sophomore Bobby Portis (12.3 points, 6.8 rebounds). As a whole, Arkansas returns 73 percent of its scoring – most in the SEC – off a team that led the SEC and ranked 16th in the nation in points per game last season (80.1).
New coach Danny Manning takes over a Wake Forest squad that returns its two top scorers from a year ago. Junior Codi Miller-McIntyre led Wake in scoring (12.6) and assists (4.2) becoming the first Demon Deacon to accomplish the feat since Jeff Teague in 2008-09. Junior Devin Thomas was one of the most productive big men in the ACC last season posting averages of 11.1 points and 7.5 rebounds.
North Texas coach Tony Benford enters his third season at the helm of the Mean Green and is looking to continue to build the UNT program in its second season in Conference USA. Last season’s leading scorer Jordan Williams returns for his senior season after posting 12.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in 2013-14.
Iona returns three starters from last season’s 22-11 squad that won the MAAC regular season title. Coach Tim Cluess has built the Gaels into a power with four 20+ win seasons and two NCAA Tournament berths since his arrival in 2010. Iona will be led by junior A.J. English, a 17.2 point, 4.3 assist performer a year ago.
Nicholls State returns three starters for head coach J.P. Piper. Junior T.J. Carpenter is the top returner at 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds. Senior Shan Rillieux and sophomore Liam Thomas will bolster the Colonels line-up.
Keith Walker begins his first season as the head coach at Delaware State after serving as the interim head coach for the last third of the 2013-14 season. The Hornets return a strong trio of seniors in Tyshawn Bell (12.1 points), Kendall Gray (11.5) and Kendal Williams (8.2).