Editor’s note: It’s time to reveal the fields for some of college basketball’s biggest early season tournaments. Follow along as we break down the tournaments. All previews can be found here.
Tournament: Wooden Legacy
When and where: Nov. 27-28, Nov. 30, Anaheim, California.
Teams involved: Washington, Princeton, San Diego, Western Michigan, UTEP, Long Beach State, San Jose State , Xavier
Initial thoughts: The good news for Tim Floyd? USC isn’t in this field. The UTEP coach and Andy Enfield kicked off the 2013-14 season with fireworks at the Battle 4 Atlantis, exchanging heated words in the Bahamas. Assistant coaches from both staffs eventually had to be separated.
The better news for the Miners? The tumultuous year is behind them. That Bahamian blow-up was just the beginning of a tumultuous year for UTEP, one that included three players being booted from the team in January amid gambling accusations, and ended with Floyd rumored be in the hunt for the Missouri job.
The biggest challenges should come from Xavier, Western Michigan or Washington. Chris Mack’s team needs to find a reliable scorer to replace Semaj Christon, who declared early for the NBA draft. A talented incoming class, anchored by Indiana transfer Remy Abell, is intriguing but may need time to grow and an early-season tourney like this could be tough.
Washington, obviously has the name brand here, but the Huskies aren’t entirely loaded. Sophomore Nigel Williams-Goss is the go-to guy.
Why you'll want to watch: So UTEP might have the best chance to win this thing but the Miners also have the toughest opening game.
UTEP opens the Wooden Legacy against Princeton. Though the Tigers won’t be favored to win the Ivy League -- that honor once again goes to Harvard -- they do return seven players from a 21-win team. Mitch Henderson has Princeton well-schooled in its defensive mindset, which could give the Miners fits.
A potential title game between UTEP and Washington also has some appeal. Again, the Huskies might not have enough depth to contend in the Pac-12, but if Williams-Goss gets going, they become tough to beat. And a hot player can change the fortunes of a team in a hurry.