More Early Season Info: From New England To The Caribbean

Brandon Knight (#12) may not play for Kentucky next season, and he may not be alone, but the Wildcats' returnees and John Calipari's latest group of recruits will open the season in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic in November. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

My Monday night post on 2011 Early Season Tournaments led to a couple of e-mails that grew into a this post with some updates.

Greg Procino from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame e-mailed me last night with information about the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, which boasts an improved field and simpler format than the 2010 edition, which was a target of ridicule on this blog, thanks to some unexpected late departures. This event moves from Springfield, Mass. to the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, Conn., and boasts the dual-bracket format originally planned for last season. The first bracket pits Radford (Big South) against Long Island (NEC) and Vermont (America East) against Marist (MAAC), while second bracket will feature USF (Big East) vs. Old Dominion (CAA) and Kentucky (SEC) vs. Penn State (Big Ten) in the semifinals. The teams in bracket one will each visit two of the bracket two teams.

I also neglected to mention the Paradise Jam. That field remains the same as listed in its tournament program back in November, with Drake (MVC), Drexel (CAA), Marquette (Big East), Mississippi (SEC), Norfolk State (MEAC), TCU (MWC), Virginia (ACC), and Winthrop (Big South), still involved.

The reminder to stick the Paradise Jam back on the blog came courtesy of Patrick Marshall of Creighton site White & Blue Review, and he passed along a few other nuggets.

Missouri State (MVC) join West Virginia in the Las Vegas Classic, but there are still six open slots for that Christmastime event. His sources indicate the other two host schools are likely to come from the SEC (the only available options are Arkansas and Vanderbilt, I'd bet on the Commodores) and the Pac-12 (Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington available).

Providence (Big East) joins Iowa State and Northern Iowa in the South Padre Invitational as a host school, with one slot remaining open. Northern Colorado (Big Sky), Southern (SWAC), and Western Carolina (SoCon) fill three of the four visiting team places.

Patrick's list of Valley non-league slates have helped me add a little bit of information about the exempt round-robin events slated for 2011, Creighton and Iowa's event specifically. I've added these to the new 22011 Early Season Event page, which I'll be updating regularly during the next few months.

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