CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi basketball team will be one of the eight teams in the field for the 2014 Corpus Christi Coastal Classic, tournament organizers announced today. The Thanksgiving weekend exempt tournament will also see TCU, St. Louis, Mississippi State, Bradley, Radford, Mississippi Valley State and North Carolina A&T take part in the event.
Each team will play four games in the tourney – the first two at campus sites and the final two rounds at the American Bank Center on Nov. 28 & 29. A&M-Corpus Christi will play its first two games of the tournament on the road – at St. Louis and at Bradley – before returning to Corpus Christi for the final two games.
This is the second year for the exempt tournament to be hosted over Thanksgiving weekend at the American Bank Center. In 2013, Virginia won the event en route to a No. 1 national ranking and a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
"We're excited to be a part of the Corpus Christi Coastal Challenge this year," head coach Willis Wilson said. "Last year the Coastal Bend saw a Sweet 16 team and the runner-up from the NIT (SMU) play in the American Bank Center, and this year's field could have just as much star power. It should be a great experience for our team, our school and our city and we can't wait to be a part of it."
The Islanders are looking to follow up on a strong 2013-14 campaign that saw them post 12 more wins than the prior season and finish in second place in the Southland Conference. Wilson was named Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year – presented annually to the top minority coach in all of Division I men's basketball.
On the court, A&M-Corpus Christi is led by senior John Jordan, a First Team All-Southland selection who sits in the school's career top 10 in points, rebounds, assists, free throws and steals. Among the other key returners for the squad are sophomore Rashawn Thomas, who averaged 10.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in his debut campaign, and senior Hameed Ali, who has started 72 games and scored 620 points in his three years for the Islanders.
Tickets for the final rounds in Corpus Christi can be purchased beginning Saturday, July 19, by visiting Ticketmaster.com or purchase by phone by dialing 1-800-745-3000. For ADA seating please call 361-826-4170. Tickets to the event will also be included in the Islanders men's basketball season ticket package. To order your season tickets, call the Islanders Athletics Ticket Office at 825-BALL (2255) today.