Following a 2-1 start, Memphis will travel to Orlando for the 2022 ESPN Events Invitational Bracket. The Tigers will start the tournament Thanksgiving night against Seton Hall, and they’ll either play Oklahoma or Nebraska on Friday depending on if they win or lose.
Penny Hardaway’s group will start the tournament against Seton Hall, and both teams will enter the week on a one-game winning streak. After leading Saint Peter’s to a Cinderella NCAA tournament run last year, Shaheen Holloway took over at his alma mater, and his team currently sits at 3-1 – with their lone loss coming in an 83-67 loss to Iowa.
Like the Tigers, the Pirates play with a defensive-first mentality, and average 51.8 points per game through four contests. Holloway’s team ranks No. 27 in adjusted defensive efficiency, No. 12 in offensive rebounding percentage, No. 4 in defensive three-point percentage and No. 7 in defensive two-point percentage – according to KenPom.com.
Seton Hall has four players averaging more than 10 points per game, and Clemson transfer Al-Amir Dawes leads the team with 12 points, 4.8 rebounds and two assists per game.
Nebraska will travel to Orlando with a 3-1 record with wins over Maine, Omaha and Arkansas-Pine Bluff and a loss on the road to St. John’s. The Cornhuskers start the tournament Thursday afternoon against Oklahoma.
Fred Hoiberg’s team averages 71.5 points per game and allow 63.8 points per game through four outings. Three players currently average more than 10 points per game, and North Dakota State transfer Sam Griesel leads the team with 13.3 points, six rebounds and 4.3 assist per game.
Memphis could see Nebraska on Friday on either the winners’ side or losers’ side depending on how each team fair in their first game of the tournament.
After going 19-16 in his first year as Oklahoma’s head coach, Porter Moser enters this week’s tournament with a 3-1 start to the 2022-23 season. The Sooners enter this week riding a three-game win streak with victories over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, UNC Wilmington and South Alabama, and Thursday’s game will be their first game away from the Lloyd Noble Center.
Moser added four transfers, a pair of four-star recruits and one of the top international prospects to his roster in the offseason, and Nevada transfer Grant Sherfield leads the team with 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. Oklahoma averages 63.8 points per game, and they’ve struggled to knock down shots from behind the arc – shooting 28.8 percent from the three-point line through four games.
The Sooners will play Nebraska Thursday afternoon in the first round of the ESPN Events Invitational.
On the other side of the bracket, Stanford starts the tournament with a midday contest against Ole Miss. The Cardinal enter the week with a 2-2 record with losses against Wisconsin and a ranked San Diego State team, and they’ll travel to Orlando on a one-game winning streak following an 80-43 win over Cal Poly Friday night.
Three players average more than 10 points per game for Stanford, and graduate transfer Michael Jones leads the team with 13.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Jones shoots 37.5 percent from behind the arc, and the team shoots 31.8 percent from deep.
Jerod Haase’s team has held opponents to 63.8 points per game, and they average nine more rebounds per game than their opponents.
If Memphis plays Stanford, it wouldn’t be until the final game on Sunday.
After wins over Alcorn State, Florida Atlantic, Chattanooga and UT Martin, Ole Miss enters the ESPN Events Invitational as the only undefeated team in the field.
The Rebels have played well through four games without Daeshun Ruffin – who averaged 12.6 points last year – and it’s unclear if he’ll be available during the invitational in Orlando. Kermit Davis said before his team’s most recent outing that Ruffin was improving but wouldn’t be available for the game, and it looks like his availability is day-to-day.
With Ruffin out, Memphis native Matthew Murrell leads the team with 17.8 points, five rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, and he’s shooting 38.9 percent from behind the arc. Four players – including Murrell – average more than 4.5 rebounds per game, and Ole Miss averages 42 rebounds per game.
If the Tigers meet Ole Miss on Sunday, it will mean the two teams will play each other twice this season with the second meeting inside FedExForum on Dec. 3.
Siena will start the tournament with a 2-2 record, but they’ve lost two games in a row against Army and Harvard.
The Saints average 75.8 points per game, but they’ve allowed 73.8 points per game to start the season. While they’ve lost two games in a row, Siena shot 41.5 percent from the three-point line through four games, and they’ll start the tournament with the best three-point percentage of the eight teams.
Sophomore Javian McCollum leads the team with 15.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.5 rebounds per game, while sixth-year guard Andrew Platek – who spent four years at North Carolina – averages 14.5 points and shoots 50 percent from deep.
The Saints will start the tournament Thursday morning against Florida State, and it won’t be until Sunday if they play the Tigers.
With high expectations for the season, Florida State enters the ESPN Events Invitational with the worst record in the field. The Seminoles sit at 1-4 with losses against Stetson, UCF, Troy and Florida.
Leonard Hamilton’s team has struggled with injuries to start the year, and three players – including 7-foot-4 center Naheem McLeaod – returned from injuries last week. Florida State is also without four-star international prospect Baba Miller after he received a 16-game suspension for having his travel paid for to attend a training camp in the United States before he was committed to Florida State.
UCF transfer Darin Green Jr. leads the team with 13.6 points per game, and he’s shooting 50 percent from behind the arc. Houston transfer Caleb Mills sits right behind Green with 13 points per game, and he leads the team with 11 steals.
The Seminoles will face Siena in the first game of the day Thursday morning, and they’ll play either Ole Miss or Stanford on Friday before potentially playing Memphis on Sunday.