Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Maui Invitational just got even more fun
By Diamond Leung
The tournament field in the Maui Invitational in November was already tremendous. Duke is there, so are Kansas and UCLA. Georgetown, Memphis and Michigan will be fun to watch. And Tennessee is always a good story to tell.
But don't forget about Division II Chaminade, the host school. The Silverswords have a new coach named Eric Bovaird, and he plans to put up points. A lot of them.
Bovaird was most recently an assistant coach at West Liberty (W.Va.) University, which went to the Division II Elite Eight, finished the season 33-1, and averaged a whopping 111.3 points last season. After the first two games of the season, they had drawn attention by averaging an incredible 155.5 points, winning by a 106-point margin in the opener.
How did the Hilltoppers manage all this? By hoisting up an average of better than 35 3-point attempts per contest and shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. They became the first Division II team to make 500 3-pointers in a season, and the 29.7 scoring margin ranked second all-time.
"We have developed an exciting, high scoring, winning brand of basketball at West Liberty University that I plan to implement at Chaminade," Bovaird, who was hired Monday, said in a statement.
What that means is the team that gets to face Chaminade first had better watch out. The Silverswords beat Oklahoma last year, and they'll have more chances to surprise power conference teams this year with an offense that should be interesting to watch on national television.
So for the teams coming to Maui looking to pick on the host school, don't say you weren't warned.