Men's Basketball to Compete in BCA Invitational

BCA Invitational website

PRINCETON, N.J.- The University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team will be one of four to compete in the 2006 Black Coaches Association (BCA) Invitational, the Gazelle Group officially announced Monday. The BCA Invitational will bea four-team, round-robin event thatSyracuse University will host the Invitational November 10-12 at the Carrier Dome. The other participating teams are St. Francis College (N.Y.) and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

The BCA Invitational will feature a doubleheader each day, starting Friday at 5:30 p.m. when Penn opens the tournament against UTEP and Syracuse meets St. Francis. On Saturday, the Penn-UTEP winner will meet the Syracuse-St. Francis loser in the first game, followed by the Penn-UTEP loser and the Syracuse-St. Francis winner. On Sunday, St. Francis will play the first game against the team they have not yet played, followed by Syracuse and the only team left that the Orange have not played.

Tournament Schedule
Friday, Nov. 10
Game 1 - Penn vs. UTEP, 5:30 p.m.
Game 2 - Syracuse vs. St. Francis (N.Y.), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 11
Game 3 - Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 loser, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4 - Game 2 winner vs. Game 1 loser, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 12
Game 5 - St. Francis vs. Penn or UTEP, 3:30 p.m.
Game 6 - Syracuse vs. Penn or UTEP, 6 p.m.

"We are very excited that Syracuse University will host the 2006 BCA Invitational," said Floyd Keith, Executive Director of the Black Coaches Association. "Syracuse is an excellent partner in strengthening and enhancing the mission of the Black Coaches Association."

Penn, the defending Ivy League champion, returns conference Player of the Year Ibrahim Jaaber and All-Ivy players Mark Zoller and Steve Danley to a team that finished the 2005-06 campaign with a 20-9 record and an NCAA Tournament invitation. In addition, the Quakers will be led by first-year head coach Glen Miller, who comes to Penn from Brown University.

During the 2005-06 season, Syracuse triumphed in the Big East Conference Tournament and earned its 31st NCAA Tournament invitation. While the Orange lost Big East Tournament hero Gerry McNamara, they return four starters to a team that finished last season 23-12. Big East All-Tournament Team selection, Demetris Nichols, will lead the way after averaging 13.3 ppg and 5.8 rpg last season. Terrence Roberts (10.7 ppg) and Darryl Watkins (7.1 ppg) round out the front court for the Orange, and Eric Devendorf (12.2ppg), a Big East All-Rookie selection, is the fourth returning starter.

Second-year head coach, Brian Nash, will lead St. Francis into the BCA Invitational. The Terriers bring back leading scorer Allan Sherppard (11.6 ppg), who will play a key role in Nash's rebuilding effort.

Like Penn, UTEP will also have a new face on the sidelines as former Memphis assistant Tony Barbee was named head coach on August 14. The Miners, who finished last season 21-10 and received their second consecutive post-season berth, will be led by Kevin Henderson (7.9 ppg) and Stefon Jackson (8.0 ppg).

Both the past and future of UTEP's basketball program embody the mission of the BCA. In 1966, former UTEP coach Don Haskins was at the helm of a groundbreaking team (then known as Texas Western) that started five black players to defeat the Kentucky Wildcats for the national championship, a victory that inspired the 2006 major motion picture Glory Road. In addition, with his recent hiring, Tony Barbee became the first black head coach at UTEP and looks to build upon this winning tradition.

The Black Coaches Association is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to foster the growth and development of minorities at all levels of sport both nationally and internationally. The BCA is committed to creating a positive, enlightened environment and common ground where issues can be examined closely, debated sincerely, and resolved honestly. Throughout the BCA's 16-year history, the organization has been at the forefront of the effort to enhance the employment opportunities and professional development of the minority professional.

Tickets will be sold at a later date and will be available through the Syracuse University box office at 1-888-366-3849 or by visiting www.suathletics.com.

The BCA Invitational is produced by The Gazelle Group, which operates in Princeton, N.J. For more information please visit www.BCAInvitational.com or contact Christopher McLaughlin at (609) 921-1300 or cmclaughlin@gazellegroup.com.