AdvoCare Invitational Preview

AdvoCare+Invitational+Preview

Courtesy of My Fantasy Sports Talk

AdvoCare Invitational Preview

Greg Welsh

We’re going to Disney World! 

Well, maybe not you exactly, but the men’s basketball team is heading to the Sunshine State for the AdvoCare Invitational this Thanksgiving. So while you’re going back for that second slice of pumpkin pie, the Wildcats will be taking the floor at HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. Below is a breakdown of the teams in this year’s field as well as some of the players to watch while you down your second helping of stuffing. 

The Contenders

Villanova: As the defending National Champions, the Wildcats are the highest ranked team in this year’s field and are the odds on favorite to leave Disney with the win.  

LSU: With a recruiting class featuring four ESPN top 100 players, including five stars Nazeon Reid and Emmitt Williams, LSU appears primed to challenge Villanova in a potential matchup in the tournament’s final. 

Florida St.: Playing in their home state, the Seminoles also have a legitimate shot at bringing home the hardware. Led by seniors Terrance Mann and Phil Cofer, the Seminoles certainly have the experience needed to string together three straight wins. 

The “You Never Knows” 

Memphis:  With their new head coach, Penny Hardaway, the Memphis Tigers are in the midst of an attempt to revitalize their once dominant program. The team is probably still a few years away from really returning to the national scene, but players such as Jeremiah Martin and Kyvon Davenport could potentially catch fire and help the Tigers to an upset victory. 

UAB: Joining Memphis in representing Conference USA, UAB is certainly not a favorite in this year’s AdvoCare Invitational, but Blazers have an outside chance to make some noise with players such as talented sophomore, Zack Bryant.  

Charleston: The Cougars return plenty of scoring from a year ago with Grant Riller and Jarrell Brantley both back for another year. Riller averaged 18.6 ppg last season to lead the team, while Brantley chipped in 17.3 points per game of is own. 

The we’re just here for Mickey Mouse

Oklahoma St.: Had the Cowboys not been forced to dismiss guard Michael Weathers from the team as he faces felony charges, Oklahoma St. may well have earned a place in the “You Never Know” category. As is, however, this team simply lacks a true go-to player and will likely be spending more time in the amusement parks than on the basketball court this Thanksgiving. 

Canisius: Representing the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Canisius won the conference’s regular season crown a year ago. However, the competition Canisius will face in this tournament is much stronger than the team is accustomed to. 

Non Villanova Players To Watch

Nazreon Reid (LSU)

The freshman power forward was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and choose LSU over the likes of Kentucky and Kansas. Reid has dropped 30 pounds since arriving in Baton Rouge and averaged 23.0 points in LSU’s first two games this year. The big man is a capable player both in the post and from three-point range. 

Tremont Waters (LSU)

Waters led the Tigers in both scoring and assists last season, averaging 15.9 points and 6.0 assists per game. Now a sophomore, Waters has picked up right where he left off a year ago, averaging 15 points and 6 assists through the season’s first two game. 

Terrance Mann (FSU)

Mann is a senior who returns to the Seminoles after averaging a team high 12.6 points per game last season. He helped lead FSU to the Elite Eight in last year’s NCAA Tournament, scoring 18 points in the team’s Sweet Sixteen win against Gonzaga. 

 

Kyvon Davenport (Memphis)

 

Davenport is a senior but is in his second year at Memphis after spending his first two years of eligibility at Georgia Highlands Junior College. The 6’8” forward led the team in rebounds per game (6.1) and blocked shots (42) last season. In the opening game this year against Tennessee Tech, Davenport scored 30 points to help lead his team to victory. 

Jeremiah Martin (Memphis)

Last year’s leading scorer, Martin averaged 18.9 points per game as a junior last season. This year, Memphis will be counting on similar production from Martin as the team looks to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013.