(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Lancers men’s basketball team is set to host its annual OUA/NCAA Tip-Off Classic this August at the St. Denis Centre.
The 2012-13 OUA West division winners will host NCAA Division I opponents Southern and Marshall on Wednesday, August 14 and Saturday, August 17 respectively before ending the Classic schedule with two contests against The Citadel on Monday, August 19 and Tuesday, August 20.
All games will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. and tickets will be available at the door at a cost of $5.00.
This is the ninth consecutive season that head coach Chris Oliver will bring in NCAA teams in for late-summer action at the University of Windsor.
"By continuing our tradition of bringing NCAA Division I talent to the St. Denis Centre each August, we hope to give our team one of the more competitive preseason schedules in the CIS while offering our community members the chance to enjoy the elite skill-level that U.S. collegiate basketball has to offer," said Oliver. "We have had the privilege of hosting a number of NCAA institutions, and this year is no different with Southern, Marshall and Citadel.”
The Lancers will first take the court with the Southern University Jaguars of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC). The Jaguars erased a seven-year absence from the NCAA Division I Tournament by qualifying for March Madness in 2013 after finishing the season with a 23-10 record and clinching the SAC Tournament championship.
Under the guidance of head coach Roman Banks, who was selected as the Louisiana Coach of the Year, Southern was second in Division I schools in field-goal defence (36.7%) and 12th in scoring defence (57.3 points per game allowed).
Coming into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 16 seed in their quarter of the bracket, the upstart Jaguars took the nation’s top seed Gonzaga to the brink in their first round match, ultimately losing a tightly contested affair 64-58.
The Thundering Herd from Marshall finished with a 13-19 record last season, and fell in the first round of the Conference USA championships to Tulane 66-64. Marshall will look to be retooling for the 2013-14 campaign, as they will return just one starter in senior forward Elijah Pittman, who led the team with 16.1 points per game which ranked him sixth in the conference.
The Citadel will come into the 2013-14 season after garnering a 5-13 conference mark and 8-22 overall record last season. The Bulldogs, who compete in the Southern Conference’s (SoCon) south division, fell to the Western Carolina Catamounts in the opening round of the SoCon Tournament.
All three Division I opponents will provide strong tests for the nationally-ranked Lancers, who finished atop the OUA West standings with a sparkling 16-5 record last season. The men just missed out on a national championship appearance after falling to the division rival Lakehead Thunderwolves in the OUA bronze medal match at the Wilson Cup Final Four.
Forward Lien Phillip highlights a talented Lancers roster preparing for another run at the OUA and CIS championship in 2013-14. The Grenada native was named the OUA West player of the year and garnered a CIS all-Canadian second-team nod after finishing the season by averaging a double-double. Phillip, who is going into his fifth season with Windsor, averaged 14.9 points and 10.6 rebounds, which ranked him first in the OUA and second in CIS rebounding.
Oliver, who took home OUA West coach of the year honours last season, believes this is another great opportunity for his team to gel at the outset of the 2013-14 preseason. "Playing four elite-level games over the course of a week will really kick-start our preparations for the season after a summer of hard training, and will allow us to begin building chemistry between our newcomers and returning athletes."
OUA/NCAA Tip-Off Classic Schedule
- (Tickets will be $5 for adults/youth, and will be available at the door)
- Wednesday, August 14: Lancers vs. Southern (7:00 p.m.)
- Saturday, August 17: Lancers vs. Marshall (7:00 p.m.)
- Monday, August 19: Lancers vs. Citadel (7:00 p.m.)
- Tuesday, August 20: Lancers vs. Citadel (7:00 p.m.)