UConn (Head Coach: Dan Hurley, American Athletic Conference) –
UConn will be making the jump back to the Big East Conference next season…head coach Dan Hurley is in his second season at UConn and has led the resurgent Huskies to a 19-12 record…the bulk of the Huskies’ roster is expected to return next season, led by freshman guard James Bouknight, junior forward Tyler Polley, and redshirt freshman Akok Akok…next season the Huskies also welcome transfer R.J. Cole, who in two years at Howard was named the MEAC rookie of the year and player of the year.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame (Head Coach: Mike Brey, Atlantic Coast Conference) – Mike Brey is the winningest coach in Notre Dame history, having guided the Fighting Irish to more than 400 wins and 12 NCAA Tournament berths in 20 seasons…this season, Notre Dame is 20-12…sophomores Prentice Hubb and Dane Goodwin, both of whom are scoring in double digits this season, as well as fifth-year senior and shot blocker Juwan Durham, will lead the returning cast next season…Notre Dame will also welcome Stanford transfer Cormac Ryan, a former 4-star recruit who averaged 8.7 ppg at Stanford as a freshman…the Irish won the 2016 Legends Classic.
Southern California (Head Coach: Andy Enfield, Pac-12 Conference) – Now in his seventh season at USC, Andy Enfield has rebuilt the Trojans’ program…USC has won 108 games combined in the last five seasons, the winningest five-year stretch in school history…the Trojans are 22-9 this year, they’re fourth 20-win season under Enfield…USC is expected to return a strong young core in junior Elijah Weaver and sophomores Ethan Anderson, Isaiah Mobley, Max Agbonkpolo, and Kyle Sturdivant…they will be joined by the No. 2 recruit in the nation (per ESPN.com) in Evan Mobley, a 7-foot center from Temecula, Calif.
Vanderbilt (Head Coach: Jerry Stackhouse, Southeastern Conference) – Following a stellar 18-year pro playing career and a four-year pro coaching career, Jerry Stackhouse is in his first season at Vanderbilt…the Commodores sport a roster with six freshmen, four sophomores, and four juniors, led by a trio of double-figure scorers in sophomore Aaron Nesmith, who led the SEC in scoring before sustaining a season-ending foot injury, junior Saben Lee, and freshman Scotty Pippen, Jr…Vanderbilt will also welcome a pair of transfers in former 5-star recruit DJ Harvey (10.8 ppg at Notre Dame in 2018-19) and Quentin Millora-Brown (7.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg at Rice in 2018-19)…Vandy won the 2011 Legends Classic title.
NC State Wolfpack
Head coach Mark Gottfried led the Wolfpack to a 22-14 record last season and a trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament…in his four years at NC State, Gottfried has guided his teams to the NCAA Tournament each of those seasons, becoming just the fourth coach in ACC history to do so…nine players, including three starters, are back, headlined by junior Cat Barber (12.1 ppg, 130 assists) and junior forward Abdul-Malik Abu (6.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg)…this will be the Wolfpack’s second Legends Classic appearance (2011). Official Site
Marquette Golden Eagles
Marquette is under the direction of second-year head coach Steve Wojciechowski, who served on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff at Duke for 15 years after his playing career at Duke came to an end…back in 2015-16 are sophomore guard Duane Wilson (11.9 ppg, 68 assists) and junior center Luke Fischer (11.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg)…they will be joined by one of the best recruiting classes in school history, headlined by five-star recruit 6-10 Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis.)…Marquette will be making its first appearance in the Legends Classic. Official Site
Head coach Johnny Jones has won 61 games in three seasons at his alma mater, improving the Tigers’ win-loss record every season…this past year, LSU was 22-11 and earned an NCAA Tournament bid…three starters return, as well as 10 players from the 15-man roster…senior guard Keith Hornsby (13.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg) headlines the returning players…joining the roster will be one of the nation’s top-rated recruiting class, led by 6-10 National High School Player of the Year Ben Simmons, the No. 1 recruit in the country and projected top pick in the 2016 NBA Draft…LSU will be playing in the Legends Classic for the first time. Official Site
Arizona State Sun Devils
After a successful two-year run at Buffalo, Bobby Hurley was hired to head the program at Arizona State…the former All-American at Duke led the Bulls to a two-year record of 42-20 and a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2015…he inherits a team that was 18-16 with an NIT appearance…four starters and eight letterwinners are back…senior guard Gerry Blakes (11.1 ppg, 60 assists) and junior forward Savon Goodman (11.2 ppg, team-high 7.6 rpg) lead the group…this will mark the Sun Devils’ first time playing in the Legends Classic…Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins had his number honored at ASU. Official Site
The Bruins posted a 22-11 record in winning the OVC championship and earning their seventh NCAA Tournament bid in the last decade…only Gonzaga has earned seven automatic bids in the last decade and only Gonzaga and Kansas have won more league titles than the 14 by Belmont since 2006…head coach Rick Byrd, who lost three starters prior to the 2014-15 season, welcomes back four in 2015-16, led by first-team All-OVC senior guard Craig Bradshaw (18.3 ppg, 94 assists) and second-team All-OVC junior swingman Evan Bradds (14.2 ppg, team-high 7.2 rpg). Official Site
Now in his second season, IUPUI head coach Jason Gardner has rebuilt the Jaguars…senior point guard Marcellus Barksdale is the top returning starter and is coming off a season where he posted a team-high 9.5 ppg average to go along with 74 assists…senior back court mate Mason Archie netted 7.6 ppg a year ago…four transfers who sat out last season are expected to provide a major boost to the program, led by Eastern Michigan transfer Darell Combs (7.5 ppg in 2013-14). Official Site
Kennesaw State Owls
The Owls are under the direction of former National Coach of the Year and two-time Big East Coach of the Year Al Skinner…Skinner, who served as head coach at Boston College and Rhode Island, inherits a team which sees three starters return from the 2014-15 season, led by a pair of seniors…guard Yonel Brown led the Owls with a 15.2 ppg scoring average while also handing out a team-best 2.8 assists per game…forward Nigel Pruitt tallied 12.2 ppg.
South Alabama Jaguars
In his third season at South Alabama, head coach Matthew Graves now has a roster with which to work…only six players returned in 2014-15; this season three starters are back…second-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Ken Williams led the Jaguars in scoring at 15.7 ppg and dished out 80 assists on the season…sophomore guard Taishaun Johnson netted 12.5 ppg and pulled down 4.1 rpg…senior guard Barrington Stevens led USA with 104 assists. Official Site