Where Would You Like To Be Headed To Watch College Basketball

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Where Would You Like To Be Headed To Watch College Basketball

By Greg Crawford, CSNNW.com College Basketball Insider, @wchoops
Merry Christmas to everyone and may your favorite team or sport have a great 2013.
Basketball Present---During this time of year, we often think about giving a gift to someone, or getting something special.
I have to ask everyone three questions today about getting a gift and I want you to tell me the answers in the comment section please or by email. Will really look forward to what you have to say. Grab a gift from below, just one or all three and tell me why.
1. What college basketball arena would you like to visit that you always wanted to go see, but have not as of yet?
2. What rivalry game in college basketball would you like to see. It is ok to say North Carolina Duke, but there are plenty of other rivalries that are pretty good.
3. What tournament would you like to go to, that you have not been able to in college basketball?
Yes, I do get to answer. The greatest arena for college basketball I have been too is Utah State, even better than Cameron Indoor at Duke. Just loved the crowd, the singing, which is much better than any soccer crowd singing and the intensity is riveting in Logan.
As for rivalry, really want to go see the IllinoisMissouri game someday. They just played this past weekend and it was as intense as it gets, per usual. I guess it means more to have an inner-league rivalry, but love this one.
Really want to attend the Great Alaska Shootout. I do not like basketball when it is 80 outside, so Maui Classic is not on my radar, but Alaska, wow, what a gorgeous state and in the winter time, I need to get there.
For good measure, I have been following Big Sky basketball since the league started in the 60s and it is my goal at some point to visit every Big Sky arena. I just think the Big Sky has some charm to its basketball competition, both men and women. Of course the league needs a name change, any fifth grader could tell you that, but I love the competition of the league and the cities the teams are located within.
Now your turn, let me know, answer one of the questions or all of them. It will be fun to see your answers.
Mac's Message---"Coach Mac, I have been so impressed with the play of Aaron Moore, can you talk about him and also how does he overcome missing the two crucial free throws in the final minute of regulation against Weber State. I felt so sorry for him as he is one terrific player"? Doug---Downtown, Portland Oregon.
"Doug thanks so much for your question and insight, you obviously have been watching the games closely.
I too felt badly for him when he missed the free throws in the clutch last Saturday. I do not think we would have been in the game at that point if it were not for Aaron playing as well as he did, so the loss certainly can't be pinned on him. I thought it was great after our post-game meeting when I was walking up from the locker room, I found Aaron shooting free throws with Marcus Hall rebounding and encouraging him. He certainly didn't wait until we resume practice on the 27th to address free throw shooting--which has been very good.
When we recruited Aaron from San Bernardino Community College we were aware of his strengths and shortcomings as a player. I think we are a little shocked that his inside game has been as good as it has been. He is willing to go into the basket area, bang with strong opponents and has a willingness to play physically on the interior. Without question, he is our "Newcomer of The Year", to date. He has to be in consideration for the same in the Big Sky Conference along with Northern Arizona's impressive freshman guard, DeWayne Russell.
Like a lot of junior college transfers, Aaron is making the adjustment to the level of play at the D-1 level and is striving for more consistency. I think he is making transition very nicely and has the ability to do even more as we get into the Big Sky race.
Thanks for your question and interest in Viking basketball. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Crawford's Court, Aaron Moore and all Portland State Vikings, each and every sport". Andy McClouskey, Portland State assistant basketball coach.
"100 in 90"---My seeing 100 college basketball games during 90 days in the state of Oregon is on pace, even a little ahead of schedule. Last week I saw six games, bringing my total for the year to 18. Actually the highlight, was seeing the rivalry game in the NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference, a game that Warner Pacific won over defending NAIA national champion Oregon Tech. Great game and packed house at Warner Pacific.
And speaking of packed houses, where were the people to watch Oregon women play U of Portland on December 21st. 438 fans showed up, ouch and Duck fans, where were you? Come on, 438? No wonder it is so hard to get the Duck men to play in Portland. This to me was the low-light of the week. Shame on everyone.
Now here is your chance to make amends. There is a great doubleheader at U of Portland on December 29th, first game at 5:15, inner city battle between Portland State and U of Portland women, followed by the Pilot men taking on Texas Pan American.
The Pilot men are playing some great basketball right now, so I suggest you get out there and get a 2 for 1, with four decent teams playing. As matter of fact, a doubleheader like this in a 4,800 seat arena should be sold out. I know, here I go again, but you can't fault me for trying to raise the level of interest in college basketball and increase attendance.
Craw's Nine---My top nine teams at present in the six leagues out west that play D-1 basketball. Keep in mind this is not always best record, it is in the moment. Feel free to disagree or deliver you top nine in comment section.
9. Boise State---Leon Rice has nice team, 9-2 and playing good basketball. Pay attention to BSU.
8. Colorado State----Flying under the radar, have won four in row and have great season going so far.
7.Oregon State---Five wins in row, showdown coming January 6th, when Ducks visit Corvallis. Both teams will be 11-2 when they play.
6. UCLA---Five wins in row, huge game coming 28th at home against Missouri.
5. Santa Clara---Six wins a row, 11-2 on season, could easily be 13-0. Once again my pick, which I wrote in October to win WCC tourney, no one is laughing at me now.
4. San Diego State---Steve Fisher is an amazing basketball coach, if they beat Arizona on Christmas Day, they will be number one next Monday in Crawford's Court.
3. Gonzaga---I will tell anyone who listens, this team has all the potential to go to at least the Elite 8 or Final Four, first time ever for any Gonzaga men's basketball team for either of those postseason places.
2. Wyoming---12-0, if you are undefeated headed into 2013, you have to be good.
1. Arizona---Easily the best team in the West, no one even close right now.
Scores---My usual attempt at humor on a Monday, although, I am 22-6. Can you beat me, send me an email and I will give you a chance.
December 28th Missouri (64 at UCLA (68) Mild upset.
December 29th Santa Clara (71) at Duke (84) Duke is good, not rest of ACC.
December 29th Idaho (80) at Seattle (60) Madison scores 35 for Vandals
December 29th UNLV ((90) at North Carolina (87) ACC is overrated this year, end of story.
GregCrawford@csnnw.com and twitter @wchoops

Washington Huskies softball team closes home stand with win

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Washington Huskies

Washington Huskies softball team closes home stand with win

BY 

The sun was out and so were the fans as the University of Washington Huskies softball team defeated the Stanford Cardinals 10-2 in their final Pac-12 regular season home game last Sunday at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

The atmosphere was full of excitement as everyone seemed to enjoy the annual Fan Fest and emotion as they prepared to say good-bye to seniors Ali Aguilar and Casey Stangel on Senior Day.

Trying to keep emotions in check during Senior Day is always tough but Huskies head coach Heather Tarr kept the focus on what it’s all about.

“I think that it’s a challenge but I think it being Senior Day before our seniors are truly done…makes it a little bit easier,” said Tarr. “But it’s just more of trying to think of it as a celebration and you’re celebrating them before their gone…We never want them to leave but that’s the whole of college athletics is that you graduate.”

It was a rocky start for Washington pitcher sophomore Taran Alvelo (25-6) who gave up a home run to the Cardinal’s lead-off hitter senior Kylie Sorenson.

Alvelo got out of the inning and her teammates quickly brought the game back to their side.

After senior Ali Aguilar and freshman Sis Bates hit back-to-back singles senior Casey Stangel worked out a walk to load the bases. Sophomore Morganne Flores doubled to left field scoring Aguilar and Bates.

This brought up junior Taylor Van Zee who deposited the ball over the left field fence to bring the remaining Huskies home and extend to a 5-1 lead.

Seventh ranked Washington (40-11) never looked back as they continued to pound Stanford pitchers. The second inning saw Bates triple and come in on a sacrifice fly by Flores.-

The third saw junior Kirstyn Thomas lead-off with a double then stole third. She come in on a single by Bates and the Huskies had pushed their lead to 7-1.

The Cardinals (19-29) produced another lead-off home run in the top of the fourth by senior Lauren Bertoy but Alvelo once again stayed steady and kept Stanford hitless the rest of the inning.

Washington head coach Heather Tarr liked what she saw in Alvelo’s ability to keep the home runs from rocking her game.

“I thought she did a good job. She could have easily given herself a hard time after that leadoff home run (in the first),” said Tarr. But I think she knew that she made a mistake and it was a good hitter and she got through the next pitch and she worked it and found a way to win the game for us.”

The Huskies closed out the weekend series when junior Kelly Burdick took first base by a Stanford error, stole second and watched as both Aguilar and Stangel walked to load the bases.

This brought up Flores who collected her third hit of the game with a single that brought in two runs and gave Washington a 10-2 walk-off win.

The runs gave Flores five RBIs as she joined junior Julia Deponte and Bates with three hits apiece of the team’s 13 total hits. Alvelo pitched a complete game with three strikeouts and four hits allowed.

Washington completes the Pac-12 regular season this weekend with a three-game series against the Utah Utes in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I'm not certain that every NBA franchise wants to have to listen to Old Man Ball

I'm not certain that every NBA franchise wants to have to listen to Old Man Ball

I'm not sure whether we should laugh or cry at all the preposterous stuff LaVar Ball is saying about his basketball-playing sons -- and even himself.

Here's a compilation of some of the things Old Man Ball has said recently and you can make your own decision about which is the most ridiculous. For me, it was the latest remark:

“Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one."

How in the world am I supposed to buy into all the wonderful things he says about his basketball-playing sons when the man makes a stupid statement like that one? He played one season of basketball at Washington State and averaged 2.2 points per game. There is delusional and there is DELUSIONAL. LaVar is the latter. And it's obviously not confined to his own basketball talents.

This man once famously said his son Lonzo is better than Steph Curry:

“I have the utmost confidence in what my boy is doing. He’s better than Steph Curry to me. Put Steph Curry on UCLA’s team right now and put my boy on Golden State and watch what happens.”

Here's the thing about that: Even if his kid IS better than Curry, what's the point in saying it? Why put that pressure on his oldest son? If he's that good, he'll prove it.

People tell me that the dad's plan is to make sure his kids get attention through his remarks. But come on, they are going to get plenty of attention if they're as good as he says they are. And I'm not sure any teenager needs to hear all this stuff. To me, it's all about getting some attention for himself.

You can look back at parents/coaches like Richard Williams and Earl Woods and say that Ball's kids have a chance to be every bit as good as their dad says they will. Or you can look back at the sad story of Todd Marinovich and his father, Marv, and shake your head.

But there are unintended consequences to all the attention the daddy is getting. Basketball is a team sport, unlike tennis and golf, and these kids have to fit into a team. A franchise, even. I am hearing there are some NBA teams that are worrying about what kind of a problem LaVar would cause if they draft Lonzo. What I'm hearing is that if the kid is judged to be about the same ability as another player, the other player is more likely to be drafted first because of the possible pain in the backside the elder Ball could turn out to be.

You don't want this guy in the ear of the media if his son doesn't get to play as many minutes as LaVar thinks he should. Or he doesn't start right away. Or... whatever. NBA coaches have enough problems without this guy yelling at them to use his son in a different manner, get him more shots, etc. The father makes a lot of noise and I'm not sure coaches and general managers in the league want to put up with it.

And over time, I'm not sure what it's going to be like for young Lonzo to try to live up to his father's lofty and very public expectations. As good as Steph Curry? Well, if he falls a little short of performing like a two-time MVP will he be a failure? Probably not to you or me... but to his father?

It's going to be very entertaining to see this story play out over the next three or four seasons, as sons No. 2 and 3 show up at UCLA and then, the NBA. And at some point we'll find out the truth about that old NBA truism, "Ball don't lie."

 

Unsportsmanlike conduct? What about those raging coaches?

Unsportsmanlike conduct? What about those raging coaches?

The cameras Monday night at the College Football Championship Game were constantly drawn to the head coaches of the teams. Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban were certainly an attraction, for sure -- especially when a call went against them.

We watched them both screaming at officials with very animated, ferocious and even threatening displeasure. It was stuff you'd never see on the sidelines of a college basketball game or on the field of a college baseball game without some sort of punishment or ejection. Why football? Why are football officials so reluctant to throw a flag on a coach who is so obviously showing them up, impugning their integrity or just plain using them as an emotional punching bag?

I have no idea. But with all the lip service the NCAA pays to "student-athletes" and all the lessons they learn from college football, that's not exactly the behavior you'd wish to be projected by high-profile people in a leadership position. I was embarrassed for those guys in stripes, having to stand there and take that guff without any penalty.

But I will say that the astute observer I was watching the game with had the line of the night on Clemson's last drive. It was when an Alabama lineman was caught doing something illegal to a Clemson player.

"Unsportsmanlike conduct..." the referee began.

To which my friend added, "... it couldn't be worse than what we've seen the coaches doing."

And I agree. On college football's biggest stage, you don't need to showcase a couple of psycho adults blowing up on the sidelines without any punishment. And in the days of young players being penalized for merely celebrating their success, I would suggest that misbehavior by their coaches should be severely punished.

Skip bowl games -- heck yes, even if you aren't an NFL prospect!

Skip bowl games -- heck yes, even if you aren't an NFL prospect!

When Stanford's Christian McCaffrey joined LSU's Leonard Fournette in opting not to participate in their team's bowl games this season, it unleashed a controversy. A lot of people feel it's going to destroy bowl games if this becomes a trend. Or that it's a terribly disloyal decision to bail on their teammates for selfish reasons.

And of course, those arguments are a major load of baloney mixed with a ton of naivete.

Let's talk about McCaffrey. He's skipping the Sun Bowl to protect his NFL draft future, when getting hurt in a very meaningless bowl game could cost him millions. Just ask former Notre Dame star Jaylon Smith, who tore up a knee in the 2015 Fiesta Bowl and is still paying for it during his aborted pro career.

It's a business decision for these players, just like the ones college coaches make when they abandon their teams for a new job prior to a bowl game, leaving an assistant coach to clean up their leftovers.

I whole-heartedly endorse these players sitting out the bowl games and, in fact, I'll take it a step further.

If my son happened to be a fifth-year senior playing for one of these teams heading for a meaningless bowl game -- even if he had NO NFL PROSPECTS at all -- I'd hope that he'd sit out all the practices leading up to the game and the game itself.

Enough is enough. The only reason teams choose to participate in these dud games is to get the extra practices bowl teams are allowed. It's a chance to further integrate young players into the system. I'd tell my son, go ahead and give up your spot to one of those young players.

You put in four or five years to a college football program, you've sacrificed enough study time during final exams and subjected your body to enough bumps, bruises and painkillers. Get out while you can still have the hope to walk 18 holes on a golf course or play a couple of sets of tennis.

Loyalty? Come on, by the time these kids have played three or four seasons of college football they've generated enough money for their school. They've proved their loyalty over and over.

Man, the Sun Bowl? El Paso, Texas? I've been there, seen that.

And it is really not worth anybody's blood, sweat and ACL.

Have Ducks overestimated their appeal with coaching search?

Have Ducks overestimated their appeal with coaching search?

You are probably familiar with the word that pops into my mind when I take another tired look at the football situation at Oregon:

Hubris.

The definition is usually "excessive pride or self-confidence."

This is an athletic department that looks for all the world as if it dismissed a football coach without really understanding how difficult it was going to be to find a suitable replacement. That, I think, came from an overall arrogance in Eugene that believes the football program is one of the nation's elite and would be able to open the job and sit back and have its choice of dozens of quaified, big-name, experienced candidates.

While tossing all sorts of names out there for the local media to feast on, the Ducks' search group, led by AD Rob Mullens, was apparently working behind the scenes to bring in former Temple Coach Matt Rhule as the replacement for Mark Helfrich. CBS Sports reported today that not only was Oregon working hard to get Rhule, who today took the open job at troubled Baylor, but that he'd already had a key interview that most people believe would be the final one:

Before taking the Baylor job, Rhule had met personally with Nike CEO Phil Knight, the source said.

Why would anyone pass up a job at Oregon to take the same one at scandal-heavy Baylor? The CBS Sports piece has its own explanation:

Why would he turn down the riches of Oregon? Baylor may actually be an easier rebuild. Oregon suddenly finds itself in a loaded Pac-12 North with playoff participant Washington Huskies , Stanford Cardinal and a Washington State Cougars that has a chance to win nine two years in a row.

"It doesn't seem right but Oregon's not the job it used to be," said a person intimately involved with the Oregon program. "They have the greatest facilities in the world, but you still have issues there with recruiting and weather that you don't in the state of Texas."

It appears the Ducks let Helfrich go without having any real plan for his replacement -- which is a dangerous thing to do. Unless you're one of those elite schools such as Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, USC, etc., that is many coaches' dream job. But that doesn't seem to be the case. Oregon still does not have a coach and if there was a big-name, blue-chip candidate waiting in the wings to take it, that would have happened by now.

So now you run the risk of having to hire someone you've already dismissed as a candidate. A second choice. There is no way of knowing just how many people have been offered the job but Rhule is the only one who has been reported -- and he turned it down for a trainwreck of a program. I do not think the decision-makers at Oregon expected that to happen.

Hubris.

Portland State names Valerie Cleary as new Director of Athletics

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Portland State names Valerie Cleary as new Director of Athletics

Portland State University President Wim Wiewel has named Valerie Cleary the new Director of Athletics for the Vikings program. Cleary returns to Portland State after spending the past two years as AD at Willamette University in Salem.

Cleary replaces Mark Rountree, who is moving on to a role as Deputy Athletics Director of Georgia Tech.

"As our former associate athletics director who served as interim director before Mark was hired, Valerie Cleary has a keen understanding that academics and community engagement are a central part of the values of Portland State University athletics," said President Wiewel. "She also has deep experience and knowledge not only of athletics and athletes but of Oregon and the Northwest. We are thrilled that Valerie is returning to our campus as PSU's new athletics director."  

Previously, Cleary was the senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at Portland State. She served in that capacity from September 2013 until she was named PSU's interim athletics director in the fall of 2014 as PSU was completing an AD search that led to Rountree's hiring. Cleary was named AD at Willamette in the spring of 2015.

"I am excited and humbled by the opportunity to return to Portland State," Cleary said. "I feel fortunate to return to a campus and department where I learned so much and developed lifelong friendships. Most importantly, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to build upon the work of Mark Rountree and the fantastic staff in supporting exceptional Viking student-athletes."

Cleary takes over leadership of a Viking program that has won 28 conference team championships and made 18 NCAA post-season appearances since 2003. She will step into the development process of the Viking Pavilion, the academic and athletic center that will soon house the department upon its completion in approximately 14 months.

Cleary already has a working knowledge of the Viking program and most of its staff from her previous stint on the Park Blocks. During her tenure as interim AD in late 2014, she gave Bruce Barnum his initial one-year contract to be Head Football Coach and established other personnel changes.

Cleary has a significant range of experience. In addition to her time at Portland State and Willamette, she did admissions work at Pacific University, and director of student-athlete enhancement programs at Boise State University.

Cleary earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2000 from California State University, Chico, with a major in social science and an emphasis in sociology, multicultural and gender studies. In 2003, she received a Master of Science degree from California State University, Long Beach in counseling with a focus on student development in higher education.

While working at Boise State from 2002 through 2008, Cleary held several positions.

She was an educational specialist helping with BSU's Educational Talent Search for one year, then worked for three years as the coordinator of the TRIO Dissemination Partnership. She became the academic advisor and BroncoLIFE coordinator for the Athletics Department in 2006. Cleary was named the director of student-athlete enhancement programs in 2008.

At Pacific, she was the assistant director of undergraduate admissions from September of 2010 through October of 2012. She was promoted to associate director of undergraduate admissions in October of 2012.

Cleary is scheduled to begin at Portland State on January 1. Rountree will be leaving PSU on Dec. 16. Deputy AD Matt Billings will serve as interim athletics director during the two-week span.

It turns out that College Football Playoff just as messed up as BCS or polls

It turns out that College Football Playoff just as messed up as BCS or polls

It's fixed. It's all a setup.

College football set up a playoff system, ostensibly to fairly determine a national championship on the field, rather than by simply holding a beauty contest masking as a poll. But what we ended up with this weekend is another example of the sport being more concerned with TV ratings and ultimately cranking the money machine up even higher.

Ohio State meets Clemson in the first round. Alabama plays Washington. It's really all about trying to set up an Urban Meyer-Nick Saban matchup for the championship -- two superpowers and two supercoaches meeting in a ratings bonanza.

In a four-team playoff, Ohio State shouldn't even be in the mix. At least by the listed criteria of the College Football Playoff on its website. That website says:

The selection committee ranks the teams based on conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents and other factors.

Conference championships won? What conference did the Buckeyes win? Penn State won the Big 10 in the conference's title game while Ohio State sat home watching. I'm actually shocked Washington got in because you know the committee was dying to put Michigan in, for the TV ratings a rematch with Ohio State would draw. But apparently winning the Pac-12 matters more than winning the Big 10, even though most people believed the latter was a more powerful conference this season.

Of course, the playoff should include at least eight teams with automatic berths for the Big Five conference title winners and then three wild-card teams. That would cover all the teams that belong in the playoff -- including, this season, the Buckeyes and red-hot USC. And not Michigan, which lost two of its last three games.

And it's silly when people make the argument that the controversy of having just four teams and the fuss over who gets chosen is good for the sport. No it isn't. It never has been. A whole lot of people complaining about what you're doing is never a good way to market your product. We heard the same excuse for the BCS system for years and that whole thing stunk.

For me, it's just one more example of why I've lost a degree of interest in college sports over the years. It's a bunch of kids working hard at their sport to enable a bunch of wealthy athletic departments and their administrators to generate as much money as possible off the sweat of those kids. Exploitation rules. This isn't about finding the best team, it's about making the most money.

That's fine if this is strictly business, but it isn't. This is supposed to be "student-athletes" competing on a level playing field. You know, the purity of sport. I can't even write that without smirking.

It's a mess.

 

UCF's Scott Frost proclaims he's 'not a candidate for Oregon'

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USA Today

UCF's Scott Frost proclaims he's 'not a candidate for Oregon'

If he was even on it, you might be able to scratch Scott Frost off of Oregon’s coaching to-do list.  Maybe.

Not long after Mark Helfrich was dumped by the Ducks, Frost’s name was mentioned as a possible replacement.  The connection made sense, given the fact that the UCF head coach spent seven seasons with the UO football program as an assistant.

There has been speculation, however, that the Ducks, who haven’t hired from the outside in four decades, may be looking to branch out with this coaching hire.

Even if they were interested in taking the same tack, Frost, at least publicly, is saying he’s not interested in returning to Eugene.

“I’m not a candidate for Oregon,” the 41-year-old Frost said according to the Orlando Sentinel. “I’m happy right here. This is where I want to be. I started something here, and I feel like we’ve taken a lot of steps to get this program to the top of our league. I want to see that through.”

CONTINUE READING

PK80: 16-Team college hoops tournament comes to Portland in 2017

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PK80: 16-Team college hoops tournament comes to Portland in 2017

Next November the Rose Quarter will play host to one of the largest regular season tournaments in the history of college basketball. Welcome to PK80 – The Phil Knight Invitational.

Held in honor of the Nike co-founder’s 80 birthday, PK80will see 12 teams from around the nation and four local schools converge on the Rose City. 

Portland’s own University of Portland and Portland State University will carry the torch for PDX, while Gonzaga and the University of Oregon will also help them represent the northwest.

The four northwest school will be joined by 12 of the best college basketball programs in the nation; Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford and Texas.

The invitational consists of two eight team brackets, with each bracket only having one school from each conference. The the winners of each bracket playing in a championship game.

In total the participants have combined for 23 national titles, 89 final four appearance, and 391 NCAA Tournament Invitations. Needless to say, this tournament is sort of a big deal.

The invitational starts on Thursday, November 23 and ends on Sunday, November 24(with no games played on Saturday).

Here are what some of the participating coaches are saying, via the official press release:

“It’s an honor to be included in this prestigious group of college basketball programs and to get the chance to participate in an event as exciting as the PK80. The level of competition, as well as the college basketball atmosphere, will make it a tremendous experience for everyone involved, especially the student-athletes. After all he’s done for college basketball, there is no more appropriate way to help Phil Knight celebrate such a special birthday.” – UConn head coach Kevin Ollie

“Phil Knight has been a visionary and an innovator for a long time. PK80 is a unique way we can honor him and the contributions he has made not just to the game of basketball, but to all of sport.” – Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski

“What a great way to celebrate Phil Knight and all that he and Nike have done for college basketball and the Florida Gators. We’re excited and honored to be part of this field that features so many excellent programs.” – Florida head coach Mike White

It's exciting to be a part of this tournament. It is a privilege to be involved in an event that honors Phil Knight.  Mr. Knight has not only been pivotal figure in college athletics, but he has been a driving force in the entire sports industry. We are proud to participate in an event that celebrates him. – Georgetown head coach John Thompson III

“We’ve been fortunate to play in some incredible preseason events, but we’ve never been a part of something this amazing – both in terms of quantity and quality of the teams. This is sure to be an incredible experience for all the student-athletes. It’s only fitting to pay tribute to a one-of-a-kind man with a one-of-a-kind event. Phil Knight has revolutionized modern day fitness, while setting the gold standard for shoes and apparel, not just in basketball, but across all other sports and activities as well.” – Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo

“What a thrill for North Carolina Basketball to be playing in such a special event to honor a truly special man. PK80 not only brings together some of the top basketball programs in the game, it honors a giant in business and sports. Mr. Knight has a wonderful ability to touch people’s lives and do great things, both in and out of the sports world. I’ll always cherish my friendship with him.” – North Carolina head coach Roy Williams

For more information, visit pkinvitational.com