@DuqMBB and Notre Dame to Headline Gotham Classic
June 7, 2018
PRINCETON, N.J. - Duquesne will play three times at home before heading to South Bend, Ind. for its first game against Notre Dame in 24 years as part of the 2018 Gotham Classic (@gothamclassic) it was announced today.
The Dukes will host William & Mary (Nov. 10) in addition to 20-win teams UIC (Nov. 12) and Radford (Nov. 17), before playing at Notre Dame - another 20-game winner from a year ago - on Nov. 20. UIC (CIT), Radford (NCAA) and Notre Dame (NIT) are all coming off postseason appearances in 2017-18.
The Duquesne at Notre Dame game will be the eighth in the series between the two schools, which the Dukes lead, 5-2. The last time the two met was on Feb. 8, 1995, a 77-62 win by the Fighting Irish, which snapped a five-game Duquesne winning streak.
Joining the Fighting Irish and Dukes in the Gotham Classic are Radford, UIC, and William & Mary. Those three schools combined for 62 wins a season ago. Notre Dame will play four home games in the event while Duquesne will host three games. Radford, UIC, and William & Mary will travel to both Notre Dame and Duquesne and will play a round-robin among themselves with Radford hosting UIC, UIC hosting William & Mary, and William & Mary hosting Radford.
Here's a look at the Gotham Classic field:
NOTRE DAME (Head Coach: Mike Brey, Atlantic Coast Conference) - In 18 seasons at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led the Fighting Irish to a record 14 20-win seasons, including this past year's 21-15 ledger that saw the Irish reach the second round of the NIT ... his 403 wins at Notre Dame are the most in school history ... Brey welcomes the return of two starters off of last year's team as well as the No. 10-ranked recruiting class in the country, according to ESPN.com ... guard T.J. Gibbs is Notre Dame's leading returner in scoring (15.3 ppg), assists (107), and steals (37) after logging 1,348 minutes a year ago, the 10th highest total in the country ... backcourt mate Rex Pflueger tallied 8.0 ppg and is the Irish's leading returning rebounder at 4.3 rpg. ... he also tied Gibbs with 37 steals ... the recruiting class is highlighted by four 4-star recruits - power forward Nate Laszewski, shooting guards Dane Goodwin and Prentiss Hubb, and small forward Robby Carmody who attended nearby Mars Area High School ... Notre Dame, which has made 36 NCAA appearances, played in the 2013 Gotham Classic.
DUQUESNE (Head Coach: Keith Dambrot, Atlantic 10 Conference) - Keith Dambrot, who led Akron to 12 20-win seasons and a school record 305 wins during his 13 years, took over at Duquesne last season and led the Dukes to a 16-16 record - a six-win improvement from the previous year - while the Dukes' seven Atlantic 10 wins were the most in six years ... to continue the turnaround at Duquesne, Dambrot welcomes back two starters in guard Mike Lewis II and swingman Eric Williams Jr. ... Lewis led the Dukes with a 14.4 ppg as a sophomore last season while Williams, who earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team, was right behind at 14.3 ppg to go along with a team-leading 8.8 rpg and 43 steals ... the Dukes promise to have a new look in 2018-19 with the addition of five Division I transfers ... Duquesne will also be bolstered by the tallest recruiting class in school history featuring five players 6-9 or taller.
RADFORD (Head Coach: Mike Jones, Big South Conference) - Radford made its third NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018 and won its first-ever NCAA Tournament game in posting a school record 23 wins last season ... picked to finish seventh in the preseason Big South poll, the Highlanders placed second and Mike Jones was named Coach of the Year for his efforts ... three starters from that team return, led by first-team All-Big South pick forward Ed Polite, Jr., who led Radford in scoring (13.3 ppg), rebounding (7.9 rpg), and steals (68) ... guard Carlik Jones tallied 11.8 ppg and handed out a team-best 113 assists last season in earning Big South Rookie of the Year honors ... backcourt mate Donald Hicks scored 8.0 ppg.
UIC (Head Coach: Steve McClain, Horizon League) - Steve McClain guided the Flames to a 20-16 record and title game of the CIT a year ago ... the 20 wins marked the first time in 14 seasons that UIC reached that tally and did so by winning nine of its final 10 road games ... and the Flames did all this as one of only six teams in the country with a roster featuring three or fewer upperclassmen ... UIC started four sophomores at the end of last season and return all but three players ... headlining the returning players is the Flames' leading returning scorer, guard Marcus Ottey, who netted 13.8 ppg to go along with 65 assists ... fellow guard Tarkus Ferguson led UIC with 136 assists while scoring at a 10.6 ppg clip.
WILLIAM & MARY (Head Coach: Tony Shaver, Colonial Athletic Association) - Tony Shaver is the winningest coach in William & Mary history, having led the Tribe to 212 wins in 15 seasons, including 96 over the last five years - the most of any program in the CAA during that span ... this past season, the Tribe set school records for points (2,636), field goals (910), 3-point field goals (337), and assists (548) in going 19-12 ... William & Mary also led the country in 3-point field goal percentage (.434) and free throw percentage (.810) ... three starters return from a year ago, highlighted by forward Nathan Knight, who led the Tribe in scoring (18.5 ppg) and blocked shots (61) while also hauling down 7.3 rpg en route to second-team All-CAA honors ... swingman Justin Pierce led W&M with an 8.6 rpg average while tallying 14.7 ppg in earning third-team all-league acclaim ... guard Matt Milon (13.0 ppg) rounds out the returning starters.
The Gotham Classic is produced by the Gazelle Group of Princeton, N.J. The Gazelle Group is a sports marketing firm, specializing in event production and management, client representation, and sponsorship consulting. Gazelle produces numerous nationally-recognized events, such as the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, the Legends Classic, and the College Basketball Invitational. For more information on the Gazelle Group, please visit gazellegroup.com.