N.J. – Road games with national powers Notre Dame and Ohio State, along
with a return trip to Madison Square Garden, highlight the University
of Delaware men's basketball
team's participation in the second annual Gotham Classic that will be
held this December.
The Blue Hens will open the classic with a road game at Notre Dame on Saturday, December 7, before a two-game swing the following week. Delaware heads to North Dakota State on Monday, December 16, and two days later will take on Big Ten power Ohio State in Columbus.
The Blue Hens conclude play in the round robin invitational by facing Bryant on Saturday, December 21 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The contest will be the third in two years for Delaware at MSG, as the Blue Hens faced Kansas State and Pitt last November in the NIT Season Tip-Off at the World's Most Famous Arena. Notre Dame and Ohio State will also play at Madison Square Garden that day on ESPN2. Game times have not been set for any of the Gotham Classic contests.
Delaware will play its first ever game against the Fighting Irish, who went 25-10 last season and will be playing their inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. Notre Dame is coached by Mike Brey, who went 99-52 at Delaware during five seasons in Newark from 1995-2000, leading the Blue Hens to their most recent NCAA Tournament appearances in 1998 and 1999.
UD will also take on North Dakota State for the first time in school history while the Blue Hens are 0-2 against the Buckeyes, with the last meeting coming during Delaware's 2004-05 season opener. The Blue Hens took their only previous meeting with Bryant, posting a 103-83 victory on January 10, 1972 when the Bulldogs were an NAIA program.
North Dakota State finished 24-10 last season and advanced to the Summit League Tournament final while Ohio State went 29-8, advanced to the 2013 Elite Eight, and ended the year ranked No. 6 in the final USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Bryant finished 19-12 a year ago, placing second in the Northeast Conference and earning a berth in the 2013 CBI presented by Buick.
Delaware is coming off a 19-14 season, when the Blue Hens earned the second seed in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since the 2003 season. The Blue Hens return three starters and three of their top four scorers, including first team All-CAA guard Devon Saddler who paced the squad with a league-best 19.9 points per game.
Junior guard Jarvis Threatt, a third team all-league pick, ranked second on the Blue Hens with 13.0 points per contest and led the team with 97 assists, while classmate Kyle Anderson also returns after connecting on a team-high 62 three-pointers and adding 9.1 points per game.
Delaware's entire 2013-14 non-conference schedule will be announced later this month.