It's that time of year again ladies and gentlemen! What? You don't know? It's time for family get-togethers and early season college basketball tournaments.
So with these very exciting events about tip-off, VAVEL US' own Tyler Bennett and Peyton Wesner have decided to do a special "Sizzling in the Spotlight" for all twenty November tourneys, including the Maui Jim Maui Invitational.
2:30 PM EST
3-0 St. John's - 3-0 Vanderbilt (ESPN2)
St. John's: 61-59 Win - Rutgers
Vanderbilt: 79-72 Win - Stony Brook
Players to Watch:
Federico Mussini (FR)
---16.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, & 2.7 APG.
Wade Baldwin IV (SO)
---14.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, & 1.0 SPG.
5:00 PM EST
2-1 Wake Forest - 3-0 Indiana (ESPN2)
Wake Forest: 91-82 Win - Richmond
Indiana: 86-65 Win - Creighton
Players to Watch:
Bryant Crawford (FR)
---17.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, & 5.0 APG.
James Blackmon Jr. (SO)
---18.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, & 3.0 APG.
9:00 PM EST
1-1 Kansas - Chaminade (ESPNU)
Kansas: 79-73 Win - Michigan State in Champions Classic
Chaminade: 112-102 Loss @ Alaska
Player to Watch:
Perry Ellis (SR)
---18.5 PPG & 4.0 RPG.
11:30 PM EST
3-0 UNLV - 2-1 UCLA (ESPN2)
UNLV: 84-64 Win - Southern Utah
UCLA: 81-67 Win - Pepperdine
Players to Watch:
Patrick McCaw (SO)
---16.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.7 APG, & 2.7 SPG.
Bryce Alford (JR)
---19.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, & 6.0 APG.
Although the Vanderbilt Commodores are one of the younger teams in the nation, they have a ton of talent and potential which have led to a Top 25 ranking in addition to a ton of optimism surrounding the program. Add Damian Jones, who is playing in his last year with the Commodores and will do whatever he can to help Vanderbilt make some noise this season, with Wade Baldwin IV and Riley LaChance, two talented guards in their own right, and the Commodores will simply be too much for St. John’s.
---Vanderbilt 88, St. John’s 74
Indiana has been a trendy pick to reach the Final Four this season, and this looks like the team that could get Tom Crean off the hot seat for the time being. The return of James Blackmon Jr. and Yogi Ferrell, coupled with the addition of big man Thomas Bryant in the paint, has led to a ton of promise in Bloomington. The Hoosiers will open the Maui Invitational with an easy victory over the Demon Deacons.
---Indiana 87, Wake Forest 67
The Kansas Jayhawks got the luck of the draw when they drew host Chaminade in the opening round of the Maui Invitational. Coming off a tough loss to the Michigan State Spartans, the Jayhawks will be looking to make a statement with a big victory to get back on track. The Silverswords will get caught in the crosshairs, and the Jayhawks will come out with a big win.
---Kansas 96, Chaminade 62
UNLV is a completely different team than they were last season as they have added key pieces to help them contend once again in the Mountain West. The addition of Jerome Seagears, Ike Nwamu, and Stephen Zimmerman have changed the look of the team. Since UCLA has struggled at times this season, while UNLV has rolled so far, the recipe is a Rebels' victory.
---UNLV 80, UCLA 75
---Indiana 78, Vanderbilt 74
---Kansas 75, UNLV 68
Kansas has already played one high-profile team from the Big Ten, and weren’t successful against the Spartans without their top big men. Taking on an Indiana team who has a premier forward in Bryant, plus other talents across their roster, And Kansas is in for another battle. For the Jayhawks, the loss to Michigan State will come back to haunt them in this one, and the Hoosiers will score a huge victory for the program.
---Indiana 80, Kansas 78
---Vanderbilt 82, St. John's 65
---Indiana 85, Wake Forest 66
---Kansas 97, Chaminade 65
---UCLA 77, UNLV 72
---Indiana 80, Vanderbilt 78
---Kansas 88, UCLA 76
---Kansas 76, Indiana 75
Point System for Maui Jim Maui Invitational
1 pt for each quarterfinal win
2 pts for each semi-final win
4 pts for correctly choosing the champion
1. Bennett 85 pts (70-30)
2. Wesner 83 pts (70-30)