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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Puerto Rico celebrates 100 years of hoops

By Tim Simmons

With Puerto Rico celebrating 100 years of basketball, the country's national team captured the Jenaro "Tuto" Marchand Continental Cup by defeating Argentina 89-81 on August 26 in the final game of the five-country round-robin FIBA tournament at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan.  Former American collegiate standouts Jose Juan Barea (Northeastern) and Carlos Arroyo (Florida International) paced the Puerto Ricans to a 4-0 record and were named the co-MVPs.

The celebration of 100 years of basketball in Puerto Rico officially began last spring at the Olympic House (the former YMCA building where the first basketball court was located) with a photo exhibition that featured images ranging from the original court YMCA until Jose Juan Barea championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2010.  Barea was "excited" and thankful about being chosen “to represent a generation of basketball in Puerto Rico.”

Puerto Rico Tip-Off participant Florida State will play at least nine teams that played in last season's NCAA Tournament and may play two of the four Final Four participants. Coach Leonard Hamilton knows it will be challenge for his team. "We are going to challenge ourselves again this season," he said. “The aspect that makes our schedule even tougher is the high number of quality opponents we will play all season long, including in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off."

Michigan announced its 2013-2014 non-conference schedule Aug. 23 featuring an appearance in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.  "Once again we will have a very challenging non-conference schedule," said coach John Beilein.  "As in our previous years, we expect our overall strength of a schedule will be one of the best in the NCAA."

Making the cut: In an Aug. 21 article on ESPN.com, John Goodman ranked the Top 25 X's and O's head coaches. Making the list were John Beilein of Michigan and John Thompson III of Georgetown. Goodman polled about two-thirds (around 250) of the Division I head coaches.

Worthwhile trip: In an Aug. 26 article by Coley Harvey in the Orlando Sentinel, coach Hamilton of Florida State was quoted as saying the Seminoles' two-week trip to Greece "was an eye-opening experience for our guys."  During the overseas adventure, the Seminoles "practiced with and competed against the Greek national team.”