Monday, November 19, 2007

maui invitational

Marquette wins at Maui Invitational

By Terry Bannon
Tribune staff reporter

November 19, 2007, 6:10 PM CST

LAHAINA, Hawaii -- Chaminade coach Matt Mahar had a pretty clear idea of why his Silverswords were able to play with 10th-ranked Marquette for 34 minutes--but not 40--in Monday morning's opener of the Maui Invitational.

"I think they looked up at the clock and they decided, 'It's time we really turn up the pressure,' and they did a nice job of it," he said.

Sparked by Hillcrest High graduate Jerel McNeal, Marquette went on a 14-4 run in a two-minute span to win 74-63. The Golden Eagles (3-0) advanced to the semifinals against the winner of the game between Oklahoma State and Louisiana State.

"We went through with a stretch in the second half when our defense picked up, we played with more energy, forced bad shots and got some turnovers," McNeal, a junior guard, said. "It just happened to be me."

The Silverswords pulled within three points for the third time, 58-55, before Marquette woke up. The run started with a Lazar Hayward free throw, but McNeal took over when he missed the second free throw, tipping it in to begin his personal run of eight straight points. He followed with a pair of layups, and finally a dunk that made it 67-57.

McNeal led all scorers with 22 points. Hayward, a sophomore, responded to his promotion to the starting lineup with 15 points and 8 rebounds. David Cubillan came off the bench to add 11 points.

Marquette's weakness is its front line, and it showed. Chaminade center Marko Kolaric had 19 points and 14 rebounds and forward Rodrick Johnson had 13 points and 6 rebounds even though foul trouble limited him to 19 minutes.

Chaminade (1-1), the host of the tournament and a Division II school in Honolulu, gained game for its 1982 upset of top-ranked Virginia. Ever since, teams have been wary, and Chaminade did beat Villanova in a first round game in this tournament in 2003.

"We knew we were going to play a very good team, better than we even anticipated," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "It's one of toughest preparations around when you only have four films from a year ago."

Sun Devils head to Maui to open their 2007-2008 campaign in an extremely competitive field in the 23rd annual Maui Invitational. ASU won this tournament in 1994 and come back to the Aloha State looking to start off their new season with their new squad with a bang. The loaded field includes Illinois, Duke, Princeton, Oklahoma State, LSU, Marquette, and the host Chaminade.

The clear favorites in the tournament are Duke and Marquette but every other team is very capable of capturing the title in Lahaina.

Here's a look at the teams participating in the event:

Arizona State Sun Devils

After a tumultuous 8-22 campaign in coach Herb Sendek's first season in Tempe, the Sun Devils enter the new season with a new heap of talent and a confident attitude. Junior F Jeff Pendergraph will be the central figure on both ends of the floor and true Freshman James Harden and Jamelle McMillan will be jump-starting the offense in the backcourt. Also in the mix is 6-10 Duke-transfer, Eric Boateng, who will provide some relief down low for Pendergraph and be a force on offense and defense.

Why ASU Will Win

The Sun Devils are a team that just about everyone had trouble with last season because of their feisty defense but we were able to win because of ASU's lethargic offense. This season, the feisty defense returns, but a more potent offense joins the party. If the Sun Devils can open up against Illinois shooting well, the Illini will be in trouble and the rest of the field will have to take notice.

Why ASU Won't Win

All the talent in the world can mean nothing if there is no experience to back it up. ASU will start three true freshmen and a sophomore that sat out all of last year. Furthermore, ASU is the last school in the country to start their season and even after two solid exhibition victories, it is still hard to gauge where the Sun Devils are in terms of their progress.


4th place. Pendergraph and Harden will help the Sun Devils race past Illinois in their opener but will find trouble with Duke in the second round.


A traditional Big Ten power, Illinois comes to Maui with their staunch defense and strong post play. Led by Seniors Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle, the Illini will go down low early and often and fight for the ball on every defensive possession to frustrate their opponents. Junior G Chester Frazier was an All-Big-Ten defensive team selection last year and JUCO transfer Rodney Alexander will cause match-up problems with his long, athletic frame.

Why Illinois Will Win Illinois coach Bruce Weber's formula for success has always been defense and if the Illini can manage to frustrate their opponent's offensive game plans, they will be able to dictate the tempo and let Pruitt and Randle do the damage.

Why Illinois Won't Win

Aside from Pruitt and Randle, this team has no real offensive identity and if Frazier and Alexander cannot carry their load on the offensive end, Pruitt and Randle won't have enough to carry the team.


6th Place. This team will have a fine season but this field is too tough and the Illini are too unproven to perform well out of the gates.


With all five starters back, Princeton is an experienced team with a proud tradition of fundamental play at both ends of the court. Led by seniors Kyle Koncz and Noah Savage and the sophomore backcourt of Marcus Schroeder and Lincoln Gunn, the Tigers are a driven squad with the confidence to beat anyone.

Why Princeton Will Win

Crazier things have happened; Princeton has the right recipe for success: experienced team and three-point shooting. Opening against Duke will be tough but if they can get past the Blue Devils, who knows what could happen.

Why Princeton Won't Win

Aside from Chaminade, Princeton is working with smallest disposal of talent in the field and will be overwhelmed by Duke and the other teams they will face.


7th Place. They will work hard and give teams all they can handle but ultimately, their lack of size will hinder them.


Coach K has another loaded squad and consequently the Blue Devils are the favorite in this year's Maui Invitational. Senior DeMarcus Nelson and Junior Greg Paulus lead Duke in the backcourt and with Sophomore G Jon Scheyer and Freshman F Kyle Singler; this team is stacked with talent and will be able to compensate for their lack of size with shooting and depth.

Why Duke Will Win

The Blue Devils have eight McDonald's All-Americans on their roster and although last season was a disappointment, they come back this year hungry and determined. Look for the Dukies to shoot the lights out in Maui and come back with the hardware.

Why Duke Won't Win

If Duke can't hit their shots and do get out-rebounded, they may find themselves in a hole but Coach K is the best in the business and his team should be able to handle this field.


1st Place. Nelson and Singler will strut their skills and the Blue Devils will be crowned the champion.


The Golden Eagles return all five starters from a year ago including star guards Dominic James and Jerel McNeal. With their up-tempo style and relentless pressure defense, Marquette will be the team to beat in their side of the bracket in Maui.

Why Marquette Will Win

James and McNeal are studs and the Golden Eagles are a fast team that can put points up in a hurry.

Why Marquette Won't Win

Marquette's biggest flaw is their lack of proven players in the frontcourt. If they can't get solid play down low, the Golden Eagles will be a one-trick pony and could get beaten.


2nd Place. Marquette will beat Chaminade and be able to fight off LSU or Oklahoma State before falling to a better Duke team in the championship game.


The host of the tournament, the Silverswords of Chaminade will forever be remembered as the unknown NAIA team that beat top-ranked Virginia in 1982 in what many call the greatest upset in college basketball history. This year, the Swords are led by Serbian C Marko Kolaric and G Stewart Kussler. An experienced team, Chaminade is a very good Division II team and plays hard every year in this tournament.

Why Chaminade Will Win

If they beat Ralph Sampson and the Virginia Cavaliers 25 years ago, the hosts can beat anyone if their opponents aren't careful.

Why Chaminade Won't Win

They are going to be overwhelmed with the amount of size and athleticism they will be facing and go down hard.


8th Place. The Silverswords will try their best but the field is just too tough.

Oklahoma State

The Cowboys are an unknown team coming into this season and the Maui Invitational. They lost their top two scorers from a year ago and didn't make the NCAA Tournament. Senior F Marcus Dove will be the experienced big man that the Cowboys will lean on. However, expect much of the scoring opportunities to come from Freshman G James Anderson, a true phenom that has already shown he can handle the duties of being the focal point in his first few games in Stillwater.

Why Oklahoma State Will Win

If Dove can dominate inside and Anderson and G Terrell Harris can light up the scoreboard from the outside, they will be a load for anyone.

Why Oklahoma State Won't Win

They have very little experience and LSU will be a tough game in round one. If the Cowboys struggle from the field, they will have no chance to make any noise in the tournament.


3rd Place. – The Cowboys will surprise LSU but get ousted by Marquette before battling ASU in their last game.


Like Oklahoma State, LSU is a team with a lot of talent but short on experience. The Bayou Bengals return guards Tasmin Mitchell and Garrett Temple to run the show and true freshman Anthony Randolph will be asked to carry the load inside. Mitchell and Randolph are All-SEC talents and Temple is a "glue" player of the team that the squad feeds off of.

Why LSU Will Win

Randolph is one of the most hyped freshmen in the country and Mitchell is a star. If these two can compliment each other and get hot at opportune times, LSU can really flourish.

Why LSU Won't Win

Mitchell is a great player but he has never been the primary option and this year he will get all the attention from opponents. Furthermore, Randolph is a great talent but is still very raw and could get out muscled in the paint.


5th Place. – the Tigers will struggle against Oklahoma State but will pound
LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) -- Terrel Harris scored a career-high 24 points, including the clinching free throws with 16 seconds to play, and Oklahoma State lost almost all of a 21-point lead before beating LSU 83-77 on Monday in the opening round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

Freshman James Anderson had 25 points for the Cowboys (2-1), who held a 55-34 lead with 15:13 to play, but saw the Tigers get within 80-77 with 1:43 to go.

Harris, a junior guard who scored a total of six points in the first two games of the season, made two free throws with 16 seconds left and added another with 8.3 seconds to go.

The victory advanced Oklahoma State to Tuesday's semifinals against Marquette (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP), which beat Chaminade 74-63.

Marcus Thornton had 20 points for LSU (2-1), which fell behind 42-24 at halftime by turning the ball over 18 times. The Tigers, who finished with 26 turnovers, had committed 14 in each of their first two games.

After Anderson's two free throws gave Oklahoma State the 55-34 lead, the Tigers hit three 3-pointers in an 11-0 run that got them within 55-45 with 12:13 left.

Chris Johnson, a 6-foot-11, 205-pound junior center, scored seven points in a 10-2 run that brought LSU within 80-77. His 3-pointer capped the run with 1:43 left.

Both teams missed 3-point attempts before Anderson missed a 3 that was rebounded by Harris. Although he lost the ball in a scramble on the sideline, the officials gave the Cowboys a timeout with 18 seconds to go.

Harris made the two free throws 2 seconds later for the 82-77 lead.

Harris, whose previous career high was 22 points against Kansas State last season, finished 9-for-10 from the line and Anderson was 7-for-9 as Oklahoma State went 20-for-24.

Center Ibrahima Thomas, Oklahoma State's other freshman starter, had 15 points.

Johnson had a career-high 19 points for the Tigers and Garrett Temple added 17. Johnson's previous best was 13 points against Alabama last season.

Maui Invitational Tournament
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2006 EA Sports Maui Invitational Tournament LogoThe EA Sports Maui Invitational is a preseason college basketball tournament that takes place in late November of each year, usually around Thanksgiving. It takes place in Lahaina, Hawaii at the Lahaina Civic Center, on the island of Maui, and is hosted by Chaminade University of Honolulu (who plays in it every year). The tournament, now broadcast by ESPN, began in 1984 and was one of the first tournaments of the kind. It is, along with the Preseason NIT, one of the most well-known preseason tournaments.

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Past Maui Invitiation Tournament Championship Game Results
3 2006 Tournament field
4 Future tournament fields
5 Facts
6 See also
7 External links

[edit] History
Most believe that the tournament began because of what is considered the greatest upset in the history of college basketball; when Chaminade, then an NAIA school (now NCAA Division II), beat top-ranked (#1) Virginia and best player Ralph Sampson in Hawaii.

Shortly after the amazing upset, Virginia head coach Terry Holland congratulated Chaminade's Athletic Director, Mike Vasconcellos, and suggested to him that he might consider beginning a Hawaii tournament at some point. Two years after that, the Maui Classic, today's EA Sports Maui Invitational, had begun for the first time, with Chaminade reaching the finals and losing to Providence.

Today, each participating team is reimbursed 100 percent of their travel-related expenses, enabling small conference and mid-major schools the rare opportunity to compete on a neutral court with the top basketball programs in the country. AP college basketball editor Jim O'Connell calls the EA Sports Maui Invitational, "the best in-season tournament in the country – the standard by which all others are compared."

[edit] Past Maui Invitiation Tournament Championship Game Results

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