Paradise Jam schedule announced

Clemson will open with an opponent from this past season's 76 Classic.

Clemson's men's basketball team will face Long Beach State in the opening round of the 2010 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. The 11th annual event bracket was revealed Friday by Basketball Travelers, Inc. The other six schools featured in the event will be Alabama, Iowa, Old Dominion, St. Peter's, Seton Hall and Xavier. The tournament will be held Nov. 19-22 in St. Thomas.

The Tigers and 49ers have played each other just once, but it was during the 2009-10 season at the 76 Classic in Anaheim, CA. Clemson prevailed by a score of 87-79 in the second round of the event. The Tigers had six players score double figures in the win, including Tanner Smith who posted a career-high 17 points. The winner of the Clemson-Long Beach State game will advance to the second round to face the winner of Old Dominion vs. St. Peter's. The other side of the bracket features Alabama vs. Seton Hall and Iowa vs. Xavier. The championship game will be held at 9:30 PM on Nov. 22.

All games will be played at the University of the Virgin Islands.

Three of this year's tournament entrants, Xavier, Clemson and Old Dominion, earned berths to the NCAA tournament in March. Xavier advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to Kansas State in double overtime. Old Dominion advanced to the second round before falling to Baylor and Clemson lost in the first round. Although these three NCAA tournament-hardened squads bring high expectations to the islands this November, they will be hard-pressed by the other five teams also seeking early season success, making the Paradise Jam one of the most competitive, neutral-court, early-season tournaments in America. Fox College Sports and Fox Sports Net will broadcast at least four of the games nationally.

The 2010 tournament features more new coaches (three) than any previous field. Seton Hall will be led by new coach Kevin Willard, a Paradise Jam alumni who coached Iona in the 2008 Paradise Jam. Clemson will be guided by recently hired coach Brad Brownell, and Fran McCaffery took over the helm at Iowa.

The 2010 field also includes a record number five schools returning to the island for the Paradise Jam. Three teams and one coach will return from the 2006 field: Alabama (Champion), Xavier (Runner-up) and Iowa (5th Place). Anthony Grant, who led VCU to a 6th place finish in the 2006 Paradise Jam, will return as Alabama¹s head coach. Old Dominion (2005) and Clemson (2001) both finished second in their respective brackets and return to St. Thomas to try for a championship in 2010.

In the 2001 event, Clemson defeated Morris Brown and La Salle before falling in the championship final to Miami. At that time, Miami was still a member of the Big East Conference. The Hurricanes won 67-65 behind a double-double from current NBA veteran John Salmons. Chris Hobbs and Jamar McKnight both contributed 19 points apiece for the Tigers in the loss.

The 2010 Paradise Jam will tip off November 19 with St. Peter's playing Old Dominion at 2:00 pm, followed by Long Beach State vs Clemson at 4:30 pm, Alabama vs. Seton Hall at 7:00 PM and Iowa battling Xavier at 9:30 PM. All game times are Atlantic Standard Time (one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time). Two games will be played daily on November 20 (losing teams from Nov. 19th) and two more on November 21st (winning teams from Nov. 19th). The games on November 20th will be at 4:30 PM and 7:00 PM, followed at 9:30 PM by a local game pitting the University of the Virgin Islands against a university team from Puerto Rico. The winners bracket games on November 21st will be played at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM. The final day of competition on November 22 will be structured similar to the first day, with game times set for 2:00 pm (7th & 8th place), 4:30 pm (4th & 6th place), and 7:00 pm (3rd & 5th place) with the championship game at 9:30 pm. All games will be played at the state-of-the-art University of the Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

In 2009 Paradise Jam action, Purdue edged out Tennessee in the final seconds for the Paradise Jam championship. DePaul beat Saint Joseph's to take third place, Northern Iowa defeated Boston College to capture fourth place, and South Dakota State edged East Carolina for 7th place. Top Stories