TEAMS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2022 AUTONATION ORANGE BOWL BASKETBALL CLASSIC
Miami Lakes, Fla. (www.orangebowl.org) – The 28th annual AutoNation Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will feature the Florida State Seminoles versus the St. John’s Red Storm and the UCF Knights versus the Missouri Tigers on December 17 at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Fla. Game times will be announced at a later date.
The Classic, which is the only Division I basketball played in Broward County, will welcome fans and families during the holiday season with exciting basketball and holiday entertainment throughout the day. More details will be forthcoming.
“The Orange Bowl Committee is very excited to welcome four talented basketball programs and their fans to South Florida for the 28th annual AutoNation Orange Bowl Basketball Classic,” said Orange Bowl Committee President & Chair Frank Gonzalez. “Thanks in part to our title sponsor AutoNation and venue partner the FLA Live Arena, Orange Bowl is extremely proud to once again stage the only Division I collegiate basketball in Broward County.”
“AutoNation has been a proud supporter of the Orange Bowl Committee for many years,” said Marc Cannon, AutoNation Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer. “The AutoNation Orange Bowl Basketball Classic highlights just how dedicated the Orange Bowl Committee is towards expanding upon community impact and sports programs. This year’s matchups will include four competitive programs and will guarantee a fantastic day of collegiate basketball.”
Fans can place a deposit for tickets at orangebowl.org/basketball or by contacting the Orange Bowl ticket office at (305) 341-4701 or email@example.com.
The matchup of coaches features Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton, the winningest in Seminole history and fifth winningest in ACC history with 394 victories in 20 seasons, against Red Storm head coach Mike Anderson, who enters his fourth season at the helm and has never endured a losing season in 20 years as a head coach. The other game pits UCF’s Johnny Dawkins, who is 112-72 in six seasons and owns the second-highest winning percentage in program history (.609), against new Tigers head coach Dennis Gates. Gates, who most recently led Cleveland State to two Horizon League Championships and back-to-back postseason appearances, also served eight years on Leonard Hamilton’s staff at FSU during the Seminoles’ rise to national prominence.
In the Florida State Seminoles 12th Classic appearance (9-2 record), they return their top-two scorers from last year in guards Matthew Cleveland (11.5 ppg) and Caleb Mills (12.7 ppg), in addition to guard Jalen Warley (2.5 apg). Cleveland was named ACC Sixth Man of the Year last season, the fourth consecutive season an FSU player was awarded the honor. The Seminoles also return Cam’Ron Fletcher (6.8 ppg) and center Naheem McLeod (4.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg) while welcoming in two graduate transfers in Jaylen Gainey from Brown University and Darin Green Jr. from UCF.
The St. John’s Red Storm make their Classic debut with a new-look roster that includes two difference-making transfers in point guard Andre Curbelo (2020-21 Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year with Illinois) and wing David Jones (14.5 ppg last season with DePaul). The Johnnies also return point guard Posh Alexander, who averaged 13.8 points, 5.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds a year ago, and their fourth-highest scorer in Dylan Addae-Wusu (8.5 ppg). Incoming freshmen AJ Storr, the no. 84 prospect in the nation according to ESPN, Kolby King and 7-foot-1 rim protector Mohamed Keita bolster up the roster.
The UCF Knights will be making their second appearance in the Classic and first since their 2010 win over the Miami Hurricanes behind an MVP performance by Marcus Jordan, son of NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. UCF finished the 2021-22 season with an 18-12 record, including 9-9 in conference play. They return two starters in forward C.J. Walker (8.3 ppg) and point guard Darius Johnson (6.4 ppg). Tyem Freeman and PJ Edwards round out the rest of the returners as they look to replace 69 percent of minutes played and 72 percent of points scored lost from the last year’s roster.
The Missouri Tigers also make their Classic debut and return last year’s leading scorer and rebounder in forward Kobe Brown (12.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg), who ranked second in assists (81), blocks (28) and steals (40) on the roster. In addition, Mizzou returns forward Ronnie DeGray III (8.3 ppg) and Kaleb Brown. Alongside new head coach Dennis Gates, the Tigers welcome in a slew of new faces that includes Missouri State transfer Isiaih Mosley, who had the 15th-highest scoring average in the nation in 2021-22 with 20.4 points per game.
About Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl is a 391-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange Bowl’s community outreach is embodied by the four pillars of its Orange Bowl Cares program: Youth Sports, Education, Community Engagement and Legacy Programs. Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the 2022 Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 30. For more information on the 2022 Orange Bowl events, including promotional inquiries and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to orangebowl.org or follow @OrangeBowl on social media.
About FLA Live Arena
Home to the Florida Panthers Hockey Club and leading international concerts and events, the Broward County-owned FLA Live Arena is one of the top-ranked venues of its kind in the world, servicing Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties and beyond. In 2020, FLA Live Arena became the first National Hockey League building to earn the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI)'s WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management, which serves as the global benchmark for safety and best operating procedures in public spaces. FLA Live Arena recently renewed their WELL Health-Safety Rating for 2022. For the latest information about upcoming events, visit www.FlaLiveArena.com and follow @FLALiveArena on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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