July 20, 2011
WACO, Texas - The Baylor men's basketball team will be one of eight schools participating in the 2011 iBN Sports Las Vegas Classic, which will be held December 22-23 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Bears were originally scheduled to play in the Charleston Classic, but have pushed that tournament appearance back one season.
Each team will play four games; the first two games will be played at campus sites with the final two rounds played in Las Vegas. Joining Baylor in the field is West Virginia, Saint Mary's, Missouri State, Bethune-Cookman, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Kennesaw State and Tennessee Tech.
Baylor (18-13 in 2010-11) returns four starters from last season's squad, including senior Quincy Acy and sophomore Perry Jones III, who averaged 13.9 points-per-game during his freshman All-American season. In addition to other returning starters Anthony Jones and A.J. Walton, the Bears added a consensus top-20 recruiting class that features Quincy Miller, Deuce Bello and junior college national player of the year Pierre Jackson. Under the guidance of ninth-year head coach Scott Drew, Baylor is 91-47 in the last four seasons, including three postseason appearances and three 20-win campaigns.
West Virginia (21-12), under fifth-year head coach Bob Huggins, returns three starters - senior Kevin Jones (13.1 ppg), senior point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant (11.3 ppg) and junior forward Deniz Kilicli (6.6 ppg). The Mountaineers have made the NCAA Tournament in each of the first four years under Huggins, including the Final Four in 2010 and a spot in the Sweet 16 last season.
Missouri State is coming off a 26-9 campaign in which the Bears claimed the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title for the first time in school history. First-year head coach Paul Lusk inherits a program that returns lettermen, including 2011 MVC Player of the Year Kyle Weems (16.0 ppg).
Saint Mary's returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team that went 25-9 overall, including junior guard Matthew Delladova (13.4 ppg, 5.3 apg) and senior forward Rob Jones (13.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg). The Gaels, under head coach Randy Bennett, has advanced to postseason play for four straight seasons.
The rest of the field includes Bethune-Cookman (21-13, 13-3 MEAC), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (10-21, 5-11 SLC), Kennesaw State (8-23, 6-14 A-Sun) and Tennessee Tech (20-13, 12-6 OVC).
Tickets for the final rounds in Las Vegas can be purchased through the Baylor Athletic Ticket Office (254-710-1000) or - starting Saturday, July 23 - by calling the Orleans Arena Box Office (702-284-7777 or 888-234-2334) or on the web at www.orleansarena.com.
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