The Seattle University athletics department has joined with Basketball Travelers to host the inaugural Marv Harshman Classic, a one-day men’s college basketball doubleheader to take place Sunday, Nov. 23, at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
The first game of the 2014 Classic will feature the Redhawks of Seattle University taking on the University of Montana Grizzlies. The second game of the doubleheader will see the University of Washington Huskies go up against the Tigers of the University of the Pacific. The start times for each game have yet to be finalized.
The event is named in honor of Harshman, the long-time college basketball coach at three different schools in the state of Washington. He started his coaching career at his alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, winning 235 games between 1945 and 1958, before moving on to Washington State University, where he won 155 games from 1958 to 1971, and the University of Washington, where he collected 245 victories from 1971 to 1985.
In total, Harshman won 635 games in 1,099 contests coached for a .578 winning percentage over 40 seasons on the bench. His teams won six conference titles, four with Pacific Lutheran and two with Washington, and he led the Huskies to three appearances in the NCAA Tournament as well as one NIT berth.
The Seattle University men’s basketball team brings back 10 letterwinners from the 2013-14 squad that improved by five games over the previous season and gave eventual WAC Tournament champion New Mexico State its toughest game during the conference tournament. The Redhawks will be led by Second Team All-WAC performer Isiah Umipig, who last year set the school record for most three-pointers made in a single season, as well as fellow seniors Shore Adenekan, Jarell Flora, and Emerson Murray.
Montana comes into the 2014-15 season with a new head coach in Travis DeCuire as well as a member of his staff very familiar to Seattle basketball fans, as Ken Bone, former head coach at Seattle Pacific and assistant coach at Washington, joins the Grizzly program. The Grizzlies are coming off a 17-13 record in 2013-14 and welcomes back senior Jordan Gregory, who scored 13.8 points per game last season for Montana.
This will be the sixth meeting all-time between Seattle U and Montana, with the Grizzlies holding a 4-1 series advantage. The teams last met in Missoula, Mont., during the 1990-91 season, an 80-68 Montana victory, and have not met in Seattle since the 1973-74 campaign, a 69-63 victory for Montana at the old Seattle Arena. Seattle U’s only victory over Montana came in the 1962-63 season, a 58-54 win in Montana.
The University of Washington finished the 2013-14 season with a 17-15 overall record, including a 9-9 record in Pac-12 play. In 2014-15, the Huskies are expected to be led by sophomore Nigel Williams-Goss, who averaged 13.4 points and a team-high 4.4 assists per game, and junior Andrew Andrews, who contributed 12.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
The Pacific Tigers advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) to complete an 18-16 record. Under second-year head coach Ron Verlin, the Tigers will be in rebuilding mode after losing nine letterwinners, including all five starters, from the 2013-14 squad.
This will be the eighth meeting all-time between Washington and Pacific, with the Huskies holding a 6-1 series advantage. After Pacific won the first meeting in Stockton, Calif., Dec. 23, 1971, 86-71, Washington has won the last six contests, including a 97-79 victory in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament in Boise, Idaho, and a 72-54 win in the team’s last meeting at Alaska Airlines Arena Nov. 29, 2008.
Admission to the Marv Harshman Classic is not part of the 2014-15 Seattle U men’s basketball season ticket package. Tickets, ranging from $24 to $188, will be available to the general public through Ticketmaster and the Seattle U Ticket Office beginning in September. Seattle U, Washington, Montana and Pacific students with a valid ID will be eligible for special $5 tickets to sit in one of the baseline or upper level sections.