ESPN Events: Michigan State

Duke, Kentucky shine at State Farm Champions Classic

November, 18, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS -- Quinn Cook scored 19 points and Jahlil Okafor had 17 to lead No. 4 Duke past No. 19 Michigan State 81-71 in Tuesday's State Farm Champions Classic. Kentucky, in the nightcap game, stymied Kansas on both ends, in a 70-42 route to cap off another highlight-filled Champions Classic.

Galloway signs contract with Knicks

September, 17, 2014
Former Saint Joseph’s basketball standout Langston Galloway, who starred for the Hawks in last November’s Old Spice Classic (now known as the Orlando Classic) at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla., will have a chance to play at the next level. Galloway has signed a contract with the New York Knicks, and will begin the next chapter of his career at the team’s training camp, which begins in October.

Galloway put the finishing touches on a brilliant college career last season, rounding out his playing days with the designation as the school’s second highest scorer in team history, with 1,991 points. Galloway is also the Hawks’ all-time leader in three-point field goals, with 334.

According to play-by-play announcer Bob Picozzi, Langston is a solid medium- to long-range jump shooter. “He excels at moving without the ball and coming off screens,” said Picozzi, who watched Galloway play in three games during last November’s tournament. “He is able to get his shot off quickly. He is also unafraid [and] wants the ball in game-ending situations and is not afraid to miss a shot when the game is on the line.”

The 6-foot-2 guard was a key contributor to the Hawks’ success in the 2013-14 season. The Baton Rouge, La., native was the leading scorer for the Atlantic 10 champions, averaging a career-best 17.7 points per game and hitting on 108 three-point shots. Galloway earned Atlantic 10 Conference first-team honors, and was named to the A-10 All Championship team.

As important, Galloway graduated from Saint Joseph’s in May with a bachelor’s degree in sports marketing. He played for the New York Knicks Summer League team in Las Vegas, and averaged 5.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in four games.

In last November's Orland Classic, Galloway and Saint Joseph’s dropped a decision to LSU, then went on to beat Siena before edging Washington State in the fifth-place game.

The Thanksgiving weekend tournament, now in its ninth year, will be played Thursday, Nov. 27, Friday, Nov. 28, and Sunday, Nov. 30, at HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The field for the 2014 event includes Georgia Tech, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan State, Rhode Island, Rider, Santa Clara and Tennessee.

By the numbers: Champions Classic

November, 7, 2013
The third installment of the State Farm Champions Classic is Tuesday, with top-ranked Kentucky facing No. 2 Michigan State and No. 4 Duke meeting No. 5 Kansas on ESPN. Just how unique and special is this doubleheader at the United Center in Chicago? You tell us.

* According to ESPN research, it will be the first time that four top-five teams in The Associated Press poll will play in the same doubleheader at the same venue since the 2008 Final Four, when all four No. 1 seeds (Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA and Memphis) played in San Antonio.

* The Kentucky-Michigan State game is the first matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the AP Poll since Feb. 23, 2008 (Memphis vs. Tennessee).

* It will be the earliest matchup of the top two teams in college basketball history, besting the Indiana-UCLA game on Nov. 29, 1975.

* The two top-rated recruits in the ESPN 100 class will square off, with Kentucky’s Andrew Wiggins facing Duke’s Jabari Parker. Many predict they will be the first two players taken in June’s NBA Draft.

* In all, these schools combined to grab eight of the top 10 and 11 of the top 15 freshman recruits on the ESPN list. Kentucky’s haul, which includes No. 3 Julius Randle, No. 5 Andrew Harrison, No. 7 Dakari Johnson, No. 8 James Young, No. 9 Aaron Harrison, is widely considered the top recruiting class in history.

* The four coaches, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, John Calipari of Kentucky, Bill Self of Kansas and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, have combined for 2,471 wins, 23 Final Four appearances and seven national championships.

Not a bad way to wrap up ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on Tuesday, eh?

Ranked teams reign in early season tournaments

November, 1, 2013
Clear your calendars for Nov. 12, college basketball fans. You’ll want to be in front of your bigscreen when No. 1 faces No. 2 and the No. 4 squares off against No. 5. The State Farm Champions Classic will be a night to remember, and the rest of ESPN Events’ early-season tournaments aren’t bad either. Based on Thursday’s first Associated Press Top 25 poll, seven of the top 10 teams and 11 ranked teams in all will play in these events.

The marquee night is less than two weeks away at the United Center, when top-ranked Kentucky showcases its fabulous freshmen class against No. 2 Michigan State. It will be the first significant test for either team. Kentucky faces UNC Asheville and Northern Kentucky before that. Michigan State opens at home against McNeese State before traveling to Chicago.

And that’s not all. The other part of the doubleheader features No. 4 Duke against fifth-ranked Kansas. Top recruit Andrew Wiggins of the Jayhawks will face No. 2 recruit Jabari Parker. Not bad, eh? Both games will be televised on ESPN.

Here's how the rest of ESPN Events’ early-season slate shakes out:

Seventh-ranked Michigan and No. 14 VCU will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Nov. 21-24, with a potential matchup looming in the final. The rest of the field includes Georgetown, Kansas State, Charlotte, Florida State, Long Beach State and Northeastern.

Push away from the Thanksgiving table in time to see No. 8 Oklahoma State and 13th-ranked Memphis play in the Old Spice Classic Nov. 28-Dec. 1. The rest of that event features Butler, Saint Joseph’s, LSU, Purdue, Siena and Washington State. Memphis will play at Oklahoma State in an Old Spice Classic non-bracketed game Nov. 19, and they could meet again in the final.

Memphis isn’t shying away from tough competition. The Tigers will also play No. 10 Florida in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 17 at Madison Square Garden.

No. 17 Marquette should be tested in the Wooden Legacy Nov. 28-Dec. 1. Creighton, which received the second-most votes of unranked teams, is also in the field along with Miami, San Diego State, Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, College of Charleston and George Washington.

No. 23 New Mexico headlines the field in the Charleston Classic Nov. 21-24, joining UAB, Clemson, Davidson, Georgia, UMass, Nebraska and Temple.