The Charleston Classic, sponsored by Gildan, will feature teams from different conferences. Here are the teams that will be participating in the Gildan Charleston Classic, going from worst record of 2013-2014 season to best record of 2013-2014 season:
Cornell University Big Red (2-26), (1-13 Ivy League)
Cornell had a season to forget, finishing last in the Ivy League standings, and looks to improve after a 4-point loss to the University of Pennsylvania that finished their 2013-2014 season. Head coach Bill Courtney understands that the Ivy League is no longer an upset pick in the NCAA Tournament as Harvard‘s strong play shows and Cornell looks to begin the 2014-2015 campaign better than last year, which started with 13 straight losses.
University of Southern California Trojans (11-21), (2-16 Pac-12)
Head coach Andy Enfield did not have the season he expected in his first season at Southern California, and looks to bring the Trojans back to national prominence. Enfield was the head coach of the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles when they upset the Georgetown Hoyas in the NCAA Tournament. Southern California was solid in non-conference play with a (9-5) record, but was dreadful in the Pac-12 with a (2-16) record.
University of South Carolina Gamecocks (14-20), (5-13 Southeastern Conference)
South Carolina had a season of inconsistency, defeating Kentucky late in the season and losing to USC Upstate earlier in the season are a couple games showing the Gamecocks‘ inconsistency. South Carolina plays in a major conference but the SEC has shown signs of inconsistency as well. Head coach Frank Martin looks to take his team the next step with a strong beginning of the season in this tournament.
Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions (16-18), (6-12 Big Ten)
Penn State is not known for their basketball program’s success, but any positive headline will suffice. The Nittany Lions had a (10-6) non-conference record and head coach Pat Chambers looks to bring that success into the conference.
Drexel University Dragons (16-14), (8-8 Colonial Athletic Association)
Philadelphia is a city full of universities, and Drexel has one of the stronger fan bases of those schools. Not having a football team motivates their fans to be involved with their basketball team, and their head coach Bruiser Flint is on the hot seat. Flint holds the school’s records for coaching but has no NCAA Tournament wins. The students at Drexel are not satisfied with Flint and he will have to change some coaching strategies to make that next step.
University of Miami (FL) Hurricanes (17-16), (7-11 Atlantic Coast Conference)
Hurricanes head coach Jim Larrañaga has brought the program back to a competitive level, but last year’s struggles in the ACC kept them out of the NCAA Tournament. Miami (FL) was (10-5) in non-conference play and looks to start the 2013-2014 season. Miami (FL)‘s final game of the season was to North Carolina State, who propelled into the NCAA Tournament with their ACC Tournament wins.
Charlotte 49ers (17-14), (7-9 Conference USA)
The 49ers of Charlotte started their 2013-2014 season with a championship in the Puerto Rico Tipoff (wins over Kansas State, Northeastern, and Michigan) and were (10-5) in non-conference play. This past season was Charlotte‘s first in Conference USA, and the 49ers were (7-9) in conference play. Alan Major is looking to get his team to the NCAA Tournament and a strong start to the season would be a great boost.
Akron Zips (21-13) (12-6 Mid American Conference)
Of all the teams competing in the Charleston Classic, the Akron Zips were the only team to finish above .500 for both the conference and regular season. Head coach Keith Dambrot and the Zips finished with a (9-7) non-conference record and are looking to make a name for themselves against some larger-name schools in the Charleston Classic
TD Arena in Charleston, South Carolina will host the tournament on November 20, 21 and 23, 2014. ESPN will broadcast the tournament.