Stags to Face Boston College at Basketball Classic
The Fairfield University men’s basketball team will participate in the 2016 Birthday of Basketball Classic on December 21 in Uncasville, Conn. The announcement was made by the National Basketball Hall of Fame this afternoon. The games will include Fairfield University playing Boston College and Auburn University taking on the University of Oklahoma. Both contests will be played at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
“I am excited to resume our series with Boston College and take part in this prestigious event,” Head Coach Sydney Johnson said. “This game showcases two distinguished institutions and will be a highly anticipated game for our fan base.”
Fairfield enjoyed one of the best turnarounds in Division I last season by going from seven wins in 2014-15 to 19 victories last season. The Stags reached the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament semifinals and advanced to postseason play as a participant in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The team will return most of the 2014-15 squad but will need someone to step into the shoes of Marcus Gilbert, who graduated last month from Fairfield as the program’s number four all-time leading scorer with 1,661 points after netting a team-best 16.7 points per game a year ago. Tyler Nelson is the team’s top returning scorer with a 16.0 scoring average.
Boston College finished up the 2015-16 campaign with a 7-25 overall record which included a 7-7 record in non-conference play. The Eagles ended their season with an appearance in the ACC tournament, falling to Florida State in the opening round.
The University of Oklahoma registered a 29-8 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Final Four with four victories in the men’s basketball tournament. The Sooners will need to replace three of their top scorers, who combined for 48 points of the team’s 79.7 scoring average in 2015-16.
Auburn finished last year’s campaign with an 11-20 overall record after ending its season with a first-round loss to Tennessee in the SEC tournament. The Tigers have a solid group of scorers returning for the 2016-17 campaign.
The doubleheader celebrates the 125th anniversary of the birthday of basketball as James Naismith introduced the game to a class of young men at the YMCA International Training School in December 21,1891.
“The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to promote and preserve the game we love,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Game times, television details, and ticket information for the Birthday of Basketball Classic will be released at a later date.