It doesn’t get any better than heading to Puerto Rico for a non-conference tournament with the opportunity to play against some of the best college players in the country while repping your program on national television.
And the fans found out who would be competing on Tuesday
The field for the 2015 Puerto Rico Tip-Off was announced with Butler, Miami, Utah, Mississippi State, Minnesota, Temple, Texas Tech and Missouri State becoming the lucky members.
The Bulldogs return Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham from an NCAA Tournament team that challenged Notre Dame in the third round (lost in overtime). They are also projected to be one of the better teams in a tough Big East conference next season.
The Hurricanes lost Manu Lecomte and Deandre Burnett from their NIT runner-up team while they return Sheldon McClellan, scorer Angel Rodriguez, youngster Ja’Quan Newton and senior Tony Jekiri.
Utah is also a strong quality team as Jakob Poeltl decided to forgo the NBA Draft for one more season in Larry Krystkowiak’s pick-and-roll system. Delon Wright is graduating but Brandon Taylor is back along with other key pieces that gained experience in the Big Dance last season.
Ben Howland is the new coach at Mississippi State and brought in one of the top freshman point guards in the country in Malik Newman. Richard Pitino is building a nice program with the Gophers along with Fran Dunphy’s Owls were the final team eliminated from March Madness.
Texas Tech and Missouri State can also pose problems and this is setting up to be an entertaining few days down in Puerto Rico.