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 led the resurgent Huskies to a 19-12 record…the bulk of the Huskies’ roster is expected to return this fall, led by sophomore guard James Bouknight, senior forward Tyler Polley, and sophomore Akok Akok…in 2020-21 the Huskies 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 past season, Notre Dame was 20-12…juniors Prentice Hubb and Dane Goodwin, both of whom scored in double digits this past season, as well as fifth-year senior and shot blocker Juwan Durham, will lead the returning cast in the fall…Notre Dame also welcomes 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) – Entering his eighth season at USC, Andy Enfield has rebuilt the Trojans’ program…USC has won 109 games combined in the last five seasons, the winningest five-year stretch in school history…the Trojans were 22-9 this past year, their fourth 20-win season under Enfield…USC is expected to return a strong young core in sophomores Ethan Anderson, Isaiah Mobley, and Max Agbonkpolo…they are 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 will enter his second season at Vanderbilt this fall…a strong nucleus returns for the Commodores, led by a trio of double-figure scorers in junior Aaron Nesmith, who led the SEC in scoring before sustaining a season-ending foot injury, senior Saben Lee, and sophomore Scotty Pippen, Jr…Vanderbilt 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.
Eastern Washington (Head Coach: Shantay Legans, Big Sky Conference) – The Eags posted a 23-8 record in winning the Big Sky Conference’s regular season title in 2019-20…the 23 wins marked the school’s second-highest Division I season win total while the 16 Big Sky wins were the most ever…head coach Shantay Legans was named the Big Sky’s Coach of the Year…four starters are expected to return this season, led by second-team All-Conference performer Jacob Davison and third-team pick Kim Aiken…the Eags competed in the 2016 Legends Classic, winning the subregional title.
Liberty (Head Coach: Ritchie McKay, ASUN Conference) – Head coach Ritchie McKay has guided the Flames to their two best seasons ever…in 2018-19, Liberty won 29 games and followed that with a 30-win campaign and the ASUN regular season and tournament championships last season…for his efforts, McKay shared conference Coach of the Year honors…this season, two starters return in junior guard Darius McGhee and senior swingman Elijah Cufee…Liberty previously played in the 2012 Legends Classic.
High Point (Head Coach: Tubby Smith, Big South Conference) – Tubby Smith will enter his second season at his alma mater…the three-time National Coach of the Year has taken his teams to 20 postseason trips during his illustrious career…all five starters are expected back in the fall, led by Big South All-Freshman team honoree John-Michael Wright, who led HPU in scoring a year ago…sophomore forward Eric Coleman Jr. joins Wright in leading the returning Panthers.
Monmouth (Head Coach: King Rice, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) – Two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year King Rice enters his 10th season at Monmouth, guiding the Hawks to 149 wins and two postseason berths during his tenure, including an 18-13 mark this past season…three starters are expected back this fall, led by the All-MAAC first-team selection and leading scorer senior Deion Hammond…junior guard Sam Chaput is one of the returning starters while redshirt sophomore Donovann Toatley joins the Hawks after transferring from Chattanooga.
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