Hoopsville Classic announces pairings

Cabrini will have a new coach but should still have Aaron Walton-Moss running the show on the floor.

2014 Hoopsville Classic

Friday, Nov. 21
Catholic vs. Gwynedd Mercy, 4 p.m.
Mary Hardin-Baylor vs. Randolph-Macon, 6 p.m.
Wittenberg vs. Stevenson, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 22
WPI vs. Chicago, 2 p.m.
SUNY-Purchase vs. Cabrini, 4 p.m.
Gwynedd Mercy vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor, 6 p.m.
Randolph-Macon vs. Wittenberg, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 23
Chicago vs. Stevenson, 1 p.m.
Cabrini vs. WPI, 3 p.m.
Catholic vs. SUNY-Purchase, 5 p.m.

Teams from six of the eight regions of Division III men’s basketball will take part in the third annual Hoopsville National Invitational Classic presented by Buffalo Wild Wings at Stevenson University from Nov. 21-23, 2014. The classic is the biggest on-campus tournament in NCAA Division I, II or III.

The 2014 Classic will feature 10 teams from nine states and the District of Columbia, six of which were ranked at No. 13 or higher in the D3hoops.com Top 25 last season and five who participated in the 2014 Division III NCAA Tournament.

This year’s field includes Catholic, Cabrini, Chicago, Gwynedd Mercy, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Purchase, Randolph-Macon, Stevenson, Wittenberg and WPI. The 10 teams combined for 201 wins and a .739 winning percentage last season and have made six appearances in the national championship game, including four since 2001, while boasting two national titles.

Six of the NCAA’s eight Division III regions are represented:  Atlantic (Cabrini, Gwynedd Mercy, Purchase), Central (Chicago), Great Lakes (Wittenberg), Mid-Atlantic (Catholic, Stevenson), Northeast (WPI), South (Mary Hardin-Baylor, Randolph-Macon).

“It is impressive how quickly the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic has grown and how eager teams around the country are to play when we reach out to them,” said Dave McHugh, Executive Director and host of Hoopsville. “Once again, this year features incredible teams and intriguing matchups the entire Division III basketball community can only dream of seeing during the season or postseason.”

"Once again, some of the nation’s best student-athletes, highly acclaimed coaches and national recognized teams will convene together at Stevenson University to compete in a must see event," said founder and director Gary Stewart. "The Hoopsville National Invitational Classic has quickly become one of the premier Division III college basketball tournaments in the country. The quality, diversity and depth of the 2014 field represent an extraordinary gathering of outstanding collegiate basketball programs."

The 2014 Classic will feature 14 all-conference and four conference player of the year selections as well as 10 head coaches who have combined for 124 years of experience, 3,436 games, 2,212 wins and a .644 winning percentage.

The tournament tips off on Friday, Nov. 21 when Catholic meets Gwynedd Mercy at 4:00 p.m.

One of the marquee matchups takes place on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 4:00 p.m. when Purchase takes on Cabrini. Each team won 26 games a year ago and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Cabrini then faces WPI on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 3:00 p.m. The two teams were ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in week nine of the D3hoops.com Top 25.

Another noteworthy match-up occurs on Saturday when Stevenson hosts Wittenberg at 1:00 p.m., where head coaches Gary Stewart and Bill Brown have combined for 792 wins, 1,334 games as 47 seasons as collegiate head coaches.

Cabrini finished last season in the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship with a 26-2 record and ranked at No. 9 in the final D3hoops.com Top 25 after climbing as high as No. 2. The Cavaliers, who appeared in the 2012 NCAA national championship game, are led by senior Aaron Walton-Moss, a first-team D3hoops.com All-America selection. He ranked fifth in the nation in scoring at 24.8 points per game while averaging 10.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists. Walton-Moss was named to the 2013 HNIC All-Classic Team.

Catholic posted wins over No. 16 Transylvania and No. 19 St. Mary’s (Md.) to go 2-0 in the inaugural Hoopsville Classic in 2012 en route to a 25-4 record, Landmark Conference title and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A year later, the Cardinals went 14-12 and were led by sophomore Corey Stanford who averaged 13.1 points and 7.0 rebounds and was named D3hoops.com and Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year. Junior Bryson Fonville was named first team all-conference after averaging 15.1 points and 5.7 assists while senior Steve Limberiou earned second team honors despite missing the final seven games due to injury. He averaged 16.8 points and 5.4 rebounds.

Chicago finished third in the University Athletic Association a year ago while posting a 15-10 record, the program’s highest win total since 2008. The Maroons had four players selected All-UAA, including senior Royce Muskeyvalley and junior Jordan Smith. Muskeyvalley was an All-UAA Second Team selection after averaging 10.1 points and 3.7 assists. Smith, who was the 2013 UAA Rookie of the Year, was an honorable mention honoree who led the Maroons in scoring at 11.2 points per game. He also averaged 3.4 rebounds and led the team with 38 three-pointers.

Gwynedd Mercy returns three All-Colonial States Athletic Conference selections from last year’s team that won 12 of its last 15 games to finish the season 19-7. Junior Darnell Artis was a first team selection who started all 26 games while averaging 11.8 points after earning CSAC Rookie of the Year honors in 2013. Sophomore Aaron Goodman was an All-CSAC Second Team selection despite missing the final 11 games due to injury. He averaged 19.9 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 52.3 percent from the floor. Senior Justin Knight was named All-CSAC Honorable Mention after averaging 13.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Mary Hardin-Baylor went 17-9 last season, a year after posting 27 wins and advancing to the 2013 NCAA Division III national championship game. UMHB lost two All-American Southwest Conference selections in first team honoree James Allen who led the team in scoring at 18.5 points per game as well as Kitrick Bell who was named honorable mention after averaging 12.2 points and 8.3 rebounds. The Cru does return senior Jerard Graham who averaged a team-best 9.0 rebounds while ranking second in scoring at 15.6 points per game.

Purchase won its fourth Skyline Conference championship in the last five years last season, finishing with a 26-3 record and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers were ranked as high as No. 13 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 following their 14-0 start to the season. Senior Joel Neri was named to the D3hoops.com All-Atlantic Region Second Team and All-Skyline Conference First Team after ranking second on the team in both scoring and rebounds with 15.9 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Randolph-Macon won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference regular season title while posting its seventh-straight 20-win season and advancing to its fifth consecutive NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship. The Yellow Jackets, who went 20-7 and were ranked as high as No. 13 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, must replace Andre Simon who was an All-ODAC First Team selection and the team’s top scorer and rebounder. Senior Marcus Badger averaged 8.9 points and 3.6 rebounds while senior Joe Hassell totaled 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds. Both were named to the All-ODAC Third Team.

Stevenson posted a school record 21 wins last season while winning the 2014 ECAC Division III Southeast Championship. The Mustangs also won a share of the Commonwealth Conference regular-season title and finished the year 21-8. Senior Justin Kuntz was named to the All-Commonwealth Conference Second Team, finishing second on the team in scoring at 12.1 points per game while posting a team-best 8.7 rebounds. Sophomore Darius Walker was named to the 2013 HNIC All-Classic Team after averaging 10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals.

Wittenberg went 21-8 last season and was ranked as high as No. 9 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 after starting the year 12-1. The Tigers, the winningest program in Division III, received their Division III-record 27th NCAA tournament berth a year ago which includes an appearance in the 2006 national championship game. Led by 22nd-year head coach Bill Brown, Wittenberg must replace five seniors, two of which who were named All-NCAC. Three of the team’s top four leading scorers and three of the top five rebounders were seniors.

WPI climbed as high as No. 3 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 after starting the season 18-1 en route to a 22-5 record. The Engineers, who made their eighth appearance in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship appearance in the last 10 years, are led by senior Sam Longwell who was named to the 2014 D3hoops.com All-Northeast Region Second Team and All-NEWMAC First Team. He led the team in both scoring and rebounding at 16.0 points and 5.9 rebounds.

Hoopsville is the only show in the nation dedicated to Division III Basketball. The program airs twice a week throughout the season Sunday and Thursday from 7-9 p.m. EST. For more information, visit http://www.d3hoopsville.com or follow along on Twitter @d3hoopsville.