The 2010 MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will feature one of the top doubleheaders in the Classic’s 16 year history. The pre-season fifth-ranked Kansas State Wildcats, led by Miami-native and former local prep coach Frank Martin, will take on Billy Donovan’s pre-season tenth-ranked Florida Gators featuring local prep star Kenny Boynton. Frank Haith’s Miami Hurricanes, which won 20 games a year ago, will face in-state rival the UCF Knights and new coach Donnie Jones, a former Florida Gator assistant.
The 2010 MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic will be held on December 18 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, FL. The games will be the only Division 1 basketball played in Broward County this year, and the only South Florida visits for Florida and UCF. Game times will be announced at a later date.
For ticket information and to join the waiting list for tickets please contact the OBC ticket sales office at (305) 341-4702 or visit www.orangebowl.org.
The Florida Gators, will be appearing in the Classic for the tenth time in 11 years, and are projected as the tenth-ranked team in the country for the 2010-11 season by both CBSsports.com and Foxsports.com. Florida returns all five starters for the first time since the 2007 season, the second year of its two-year title run. It is coming off a 21-13 season, including their tenth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 12 years. Among the Gators’ returnees is Pompano Beach-native sophomore guard Kenny Boynton. The American Heritage (Plantation), prep star led UF with a 14.0 point average last year, and tied the school’s NCAA Tournament record with 27 points against BYU. The Gators have won at least 20 games each of the last 12 years under Billy Donovan, one of only five programs in the nation to accomplish that feat.
Kansas State is led by Miami-native Frank Martin. Martin coached the school to a 29-8 record in 2009-10 including its first trip to the Elite Eight since 1988 and a final ranking of seventh. The Wildcats have been projected as the fifth-ranked team in the country for the 2010-11 season by CBSsports.com and Foxsports.com. The team returns three starters and 10 lettermen (six of the seven top scorers), as well as Miami-native and FIU transfer Freddy Asprilla. Asprilla was the Sun Belt Conference’s Freshman of the Year. Martin, a graduate of FIU, was a high school assistant and head coach for 15 years in the Miami area including head coaching stints at Miami Senior, North Miami and Booker T. Washington.
The Hurricanes return nine players from last year’s 20-win team, including four who started all three games in the ACC Tournament, as Miami reached the semifinals for the first time in school history. Durand Scott was named to the All-ACC Rookie team and named to the ACC All-Tournament first team, while Adrian Thomas of Pembroke Pines (Flanagan) led the ACC in three-point field goal percentage. The Hurricanes return more than 70-percent of their assists, three-point shooting and steals and 65-percent of their overall scoring for 2010-11. In six years under Frank Haith, the ‘Canes have advanced to post-season play four times.
UCF is entering its first campaign under new head coach Donnie Jones, a former Florida Gator assistant for 11 years (including the back-to-back national championships), who spent the last three seasons at Marshall, where his 2009-10 team went 24-10. UCF returns two of the top young players in Conference USA, guard Marcus Jordan,
the son of Michael Jordan, and forward Keith Clanton, both of whom were C-USA all-freshmen selections a year ago. Guard A.J. Rompza, who finished ninth nationally with 2.6 steals per game, also returns.