Charleston Classic Men's Basketball Breakdown

Charleston Classic Men's Basketball Breakdown

This year's tournament field for the Charleston Classic is a very talented one. Eight quality programs will descend upon the beautiful city on the South Carolina peninsula, all  of them looking to take home the 2011 crown. Each of the tournament's 12 games will be televised on either ESPN3 or ESPNU. 


Tulsa vs. Western Kentucky

The Golden Hurricane enters the first game of the tournament as the favorite over Western Kentucky. They are bouncing back from a season where they ended a four year streak of 20-win seasons and three straight postseason appearances. However, this season looks to be brighter for Doug Wojcik's squad. They will be led by 6'11" junior center Steven Idlet, 6'4" sophomore Jordan Clarkson and University of Connecticut transfer, 6"4" Scottie Haralson.


LSU vs. Northwestern

This game could prove to be the best of any of the opening day games. LSU returns their entire starting lineup from last season, led by 6'6" guard Ralston Turner's 12.3 points per game. Look for them to be anchored on the inside by touted freshman Johnny O'Bryant. He is a 6'10" 245 pound game-changing center. The Wildcats return four of their own starters, including last year's star, John Shurna. He is a 6'9" combo forward who averaged 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game last year. This season, Northwestern looks to finally get to their first NCAA Tournament in school history, and a victory over LSU in Charleston would be a great start.


VCU vs. Seton Hall

This game will be the fan favorite of the opening day games of the 2011 Charleston Classic. As we all know, Virginia Commonwealth and its young stud head coach Shaka Smart are coming off their Cinderella Final Four season. They return NBA prospect Bradford Burgess, who averaged 14.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest last season. Also returning are experienced veterans D.J. Haley, Juvonte Reddic, and Darius Theus. Seton Hall has a few of their own standouts returning this season, starting with 6'8" rebounding phenom Herb Pope. He has battled through personal issues for the better part of the past four years, including two brushes with death, but he is ready to have a spectacular senior season. When he is on his game, nobody in America is a better offensive rebounder than the former prep star.


Georgia Tech vs. Saint Joseph's

The Brian Gregory era begins at Georgia Tech this season. He inherits two talented scorers in Brian Oliver and Glen Rice Jr., but not much else. This young team will have its growing pains, but they certainly could turn some heads as the season progresses. St. Joe's young team took their lumps last year and is ready to take the next step for head coach Phil Martelli. They will be led by the talented trio of Carl Jones, Langston Galloway, and C.J. Aiken. Jones was the A-10's sixth leading scorer last season at 17.0 points per game, while Galloway was the conference's leading free-throw shooter at 88.7 percent.


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