SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - Another strong field including Vanderbilt, Bradley, Utah State and Iowa headlines the Third Annual South Padre Island Invitational this November. FGCU will travel to face Iowa and Bradley in the first and second rounds of the event.
"This will be an exciting tournament for us," stated FGCU Head Coach Dave Balza. "This is a tremendous field and will be a big challenge for us. Iowa and Bradley both have tremendous teams and we are looking forward to facing teams with the tradition of Iowa and Bradley."
The Eagles will face Iowa on Sunday November, 18th in the first round of the tournament and Bradley on November, 20th at 7:05 pm in the second round.
Iowa (17-14) will begin a new era under the direction of first-year Coach Todd Lickliter, who was named NABC National Coach of the Year after guiding Butler to the Sweet 16 this past season. The Hawkeyes return three starters including juniors Tony Freeman, Cyrus Tate and senior Kurt Looby.
The Bradley Braves (22-13) return Jeremy Crouch, one of the nation’s top 3-point percentage shooters a year ago, and senior Daniel Ruffin, one of the nation's active leaders in assists. Bradley advanced to the second round of the NIT last season.
The Vanderbilt Commodores (22-12) return three starters from the squad that advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen last year, including Shan Foster (15.6 ppg), the SEC's third-leading scorer.
The Utah State Aggies (23-12) return three starters including All-American senior point guard Jaycee Carroll (21.3 ppg) who ranked 10th in the nation in scoring last season.
Rounding out this competitive field will be reining Ohio Valley Conference Champion Austin Peay (21-12), Valparaiso (16-15) and Maryland-Eastern Shore (4-27).
The Eagles return four senior starters and eight letterwinners from last season's 27-6 team. FGCU is entering their first season in Division I and will be a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Rounds one and two will be played at Vanderbilt, Bradley, Utah State and Iowa. The final two rounds of the tournament will be played Friday Nov. 23 and Saturday Nov. 24 at the South Padre Island Convention Center on beautiful South Padre Island.
Tournament passes are limited and can be ordered through the South Padre Island Convention Center Box Office (888) 774-8587 or online at www.sopadre.com.