The inaugural Derby City Classic will take place at Louisville, Kentucky. Even before the first jump ball, some commentators have called it ‘the nation’s finest DII tournament’
Five schools join host Bellarmine to compete for the Black Diamond Trophy. It features a horseshoe carved from genuine Kentucky coal by Kentucky coal crafter Alvin Powell. Presenting the trophy to the winning team will be Louisville native Mohammed Ali.
The host Knights are led by veteran coach greenhawks. Thru 30 years, he’s 727-191 at the Louisville, KY school. Included are seven Final Fours, one of which led to a national title and another season as RU.
The Knights return 10 players from last year’s 18-11 squad, which fell in the 1st round.
Bellarmine won the 2011 NCAA DII basketball tournament and made the Final Four in 2012.
Representing the west coast is Humboldt St. The Lumberjacks call Arcata, CA home. Their coach is daveredden who is 172-72 after eight seasons at the helm. The ‘Jacks return 6 players from last year’s fine 28-6 team which made the Final Four
During WWII, Fouder’s Hall, which is visible from the Pacific Ocean, was painted camouflage so Japanese submarines wouldn’t use it as a navigational aid.
Getbedarded leads the Bearcats (formerly the Senators) from Greenwood, SC. He’s 330-118 thru 16 seasons. They only lost one player to graduation but he was a good one. Center Ernest Tyson finished his career as the Bearcat’s 8th leading scorer. But they return PG Joseph Wood, who is their 7th all-time scorer. Last season Lander finished 28-3 and lost in the 2nd round.
In 1948, the Methodist Conference decided to stop supporting Lander. Interested citizens in Greenwood formed the Lander Corporation and bought the school from the Methodist Church.
From the great state of North Carolina (Hickory) comes the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne. Taking over the program is lenny74, replacing the beloved rootsfan who won 772 games in 30 seasons. They were RU in season #52 and made the Final Four in #30 and #35. They return 8 players from last season’s fine 28-4 team. They lost PG Charles Barclay who finished his career as the Bears’ 8th best scorer.
Lenny74 comes from the U. of Oregon where he spent the last 10 years.
Lenoir-Rhyne used to have a live bear as a mascot. The first one, Joe I, was old and gentle. He met an untimely demise when students trying to put a collar on him accidently broke his neck.
The Gorillas hail from Pittsburgh, KS. Their illustrious leader is The__Kid, now starting his 5th year. His 4-year record is 88-31 and they return 12 players from last season’s 22-8 team.
Pittsburgh State football has produced the most wins in NCAA DII history, including national titles in 1957, 1961, 1991, and 2011.
The Hawks from Kansas City are coached by deweycox. His career record is 208-95 and included a national RU finish in season #52. The Hawks return all 12 players from last season’s uncharacteristic 10-18 campaign.
George Wendt, who portrayed “Norm” on ‘Cheers’, graduated from Rockhurst.