April 10, 2017Pitt to Face Navy in Fourth Annual Veterans Classic
PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team will play host Navy on the opening day of the 2017-18 college basketball season in the 2017 Veterans Classic on CBS Sports Network. The annual college basketball showcase, in its fourth year, brings together teams from across the country in celebration of Veterans Day.
The 2017 Veteran Classic, featuring Pitt, Alabama, Memphis and Navy, tips-off Friday, Nov. 10 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.. Alabama will play Memphis at 6:30 p.m. followed by Pitt vs. Navy at 9:00 p.m.
"We are honored to compete against Navy in the 2017 Veterans Classic," said head coach Kevin Stallings. "The opportunity to interact with and observe the dedication and drive of the men and women in the United States Naval Academy will have a lasting impact on our young team. We have an unbelievable level of respect for those who protect our country and it will be invaluable for our guys to witness their selfless service."
The three participating schools will also have the unique opportunity to get a glimpse of life as a midshipman at the Naval Academy. The visiting teams will be immersed in the culture and tradition of the Naval Academy, including touring the `Yard,' watching noon meal formation, eating lunch with the Brigade at King Hall, as well as a number of other special experiences, including military demonstrations and receptions.
CBS Sports Network will also televise a 30-minute all-access show that provides a look at the schools' visit to the Naval Academy on HOOPS CONFIDENTIAL: VETERANS CLASSIC.
CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, and to access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.
Tickets are $75 for lower level reserved and $50 for upper level general admission and can be purchased online here. For more information on securing 2017-18 season tickets or mini packages please fill out the online form and a ticket office representative will contact you.
The 2016 Veterans Classic presented by Northwestern Mutual featured Navy, Ohio State, Vanderbilt and Marquette. Navy, Florida, North Carolina and Temple participated in the event in 2015 and the inaugural event in 2014 featured Navy, Michigan State, Tennessee and VCU.
The Panthers went 16-17 overall and 4-14 in the ACC in head coach Kevin Stallings' first season at the school. Senior forward Michael Young was named the All-ACC third team and senior guard Jamel Artis received All-ACC honorable mention recognition. Stallings arrived at Pitt after spending 17 seasons at Vanderbilt, where he became the program's leader in coaching wins (332) and took the school to the NCAA Tournament seven times. Pittsburgh is the second ACC team to compete in the Veterans Classic after North Carolina in 2015.
The Midshipmen had an overall record of 16-16 in 2016-17 and was 10-8 in Patriot League play. Under sixth-year head coach Ed DeChellis, Navy increased its conference win total for the fifth straight season and finished in fourth place in the Patriot League. Navy advanced to the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals for the first time since 2001, where the team lost to eventual league champion Bucknell, 70-65. Junior Shawn Anderson was named to the All-Patriot League second team and junior Bryce Dulin was named to the Patriot League All-Defensive Team.
Navy Head Coach Ed DeChellis:
"We are very proud to once again host the Veterans Classic. We have a great group of teams joining us this year with the University of Pittsburgh, the University Alabama and the University of Memphis. The Veterans Classic will be held the night before Veterans Day and once again, we will honor our nation's veterans with this event. As part of the Veterans Classic experience, we will give the visiting teams an in-depth look of the life of a midshipman and immerse them in our culture here at the U.S. Naval Academy. We thank CBS Sports Network for their continued support of the Veterans Classic, as both games will be televised nationally."
The Crimson Tide went 19-15 in 2016-17 and 10-8 in the SEC. The Crimson Tide participated in the NIT, falling to Richmond in the first round. Head coach Avery Johnson is 37-30 in two seasons at Alabama. Johnson played in the NBA for 16 years and won an NBA Championship with the San Antonio Spurs along with Naval Academy graduate David Robinson in 1999. Johnson also coached in the NBA and led the Dallas Mavericks to an appearance in the NBA Finals in 2006. Alabama is the fourth SEC team to compete in the Veterans Classic, following Vanderbilt (2016), Florida (2015) and Tennessee (2014).
Alabama Head Coach Avery Johnson:
"The Alabama basketball program is honored to be a part of the 2017 Veterans Classic. As a program, we have great respect for all members of our armed forces and how they dedicate their lives to protecting our country. We look forward to being involved in every aspect of this great event. Not only will we have the opportunity to see the Naval Academy in person, but it also gives us the chance to personally thank the men and women of Annapolis for their daily efforts to keep our country safe. Most importantly, this will serve as a tremendous educational experience for our student-athletes and one they will remember for the rest of their lives."
The Tigers were 19-13 in 2016-17 and 8-9 in the American Athletic Conference in head coach Tubby Smith's first season at the school. Smith served as the head coach at Kentucky for 10 seasons and led the program to a national championship in 1998. Smith has also been the head coach at Tulsa, Georgia, Minnesota and Texas Tech. Memphis will be the second AAC team to compete in the Veterans Classic after Temple in 2015.
Memphis Head Coach Tubby Smith:
"It is an honor to be participating in the Veterans Classic to be held at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and I want to thank CBS Sports Network for inviting us to play in this event. I grew up in Southern Maryland, and am quite familiar with the rich traditions of the Naval Academy. I'm excited to be a part of this event - it is a wonderful opportunity for our players to show their appreciation and to learn more about the young men and women that serve our country, and the great tradition of the Naval Academy."
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