Aggie Hoops To Play In Hall Of Fame Tip-Off Tournament In Springfield

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State men’s basketball team is slated to play in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament during the 2010-11 season, the organization in Springfield, Mass., announced Wednesday, May 12. The event takes place at the MassMutual Center, Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday Nov. 21. Eight schools are participating in two brackets of four teams over two days in an NCAA exempt tournament.

In addition to the two brackets that are playing in Springfield, each of the participating schools will play against each other in two additional games to be hosted on campus by Bradley University, New Mexico State University, University of Massachusetts and University of Southern California.

In games scheduled for Nov. 20 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Bradley meets USC and the Aggies are facing UMass. The winners and losers of the Saturday games play on Sunday in the consolation and championship games.

"After looking at last year’s schedule, it was evident that we needed a tournament," head coach Marvin Menzies said. "We wanted a tournament with a high level of competition, and the opportunity to go to the Hall of Fame is a nice benefit to the tournament. The level of competition is the most important thing, and it fits in very well with the other games on our plate for next season."

"The Hall of Fame has a proud tradition of hosting premiere college basketball events and the return of the Hall's college basketball property to the city of Springfield should create an exciting atmosphere for each institution and the fans," president and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame John L. Doleva said. "We look forward to welcoming each of these schools to the Basketball Hall of Fame and creating a weekend celebration in Springfield for many years to come."

The Basketball Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the awarding of the conference tournament, has extended the partnership with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to serve as the event’s sponsoring conference, serve in various operational roles and to provide an annual participant in the field of teams. Rider University will serve as the conferences participant. The Basketball Hall of Fame along with the MassMutual Center will serve as hosts for the Men’s and Women’s MAAC Championships from 2012 – 2014.

The complete schedule of campus site games will be announced at a later date as well as the remaining four schools, television information and ticket information.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

Located in Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level-professional, collegiate, men and women. For more information on these and other upcoming events, please visit our website at or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA.

2010 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament Hosts

Bradley University: Representing the Missouri Valley Conference, the Bradley University Braves will enter the 2010-11 season coming off a 16-15 campaign that included victories over nationally-ranked squads from the University of Illinois and University of Northern Iowa. The Braves will return the top-scoring trio in The Valley – senior guards Sam Maniscalco and Andrew Warren, as well as junior forward Taylor Brown – in addition to several other key pieces that will make them a contender in the highly-competitive Missouri Valley Conference. Sophomore guard Jake Eastman is the son of Boston Celtics assistant coach Kevin Eastman.

New Mexico State University: The defending Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament champions are coming off a 22-12 season and NCAA tournament appearance that saw them nearly upset Final Four participant Michigan State. The Aggies entered the NCAA tournament as the #12 seed in the Midwest after defeating Nevada, Utah State and San Jose State in the conference tournament. Returning for the Aggies will be three of their top five in Troy Gillenwater, Wendell McKines and Hamidu Rahman.

University of Massachusetts: Led by Springfield native Derek Kellogg, the Minutemen welcome back the majority of its team in Kellogg’s third season. Terrell Vinson and Anthony Gurley are the top returning scorers and they will be joined by a strong recruiting class and group of returning players which should help UMass be a player in the strong Atlantic 10 Conference.

University of Southern California: The Trojans from the Pac-10 Conference are looking to build off a 16-14 season that saw victories against NCAA tournament teams Tennessee, St. Mary’s, UNLV, Washington and California. Led by Kevin O’Neill, USC will return 13 players from its roster and adds a strong recruiting class to a team that sat atop the Pac-10 Conference standings during the regular season.