The 2012 Brooklyn Winter Hoops Festival is a brand new event cooked up by the promoters at the Barclays Center, and we hope it winds up becoming a longstanding tradition.
With three games scheduled between teams ranging from local programs to national powerhouses, it promises to be an exciting day of basketball.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch the action, a short preview for each contest and much more.
When: Saturday, December 15 at 2:30 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Live Stream: ESPN3
Game 1: Princeton vs. Fordham
Game 2: St. John’s vs. St. Francis
Game 3: Michigan vs. West Virginia (ESPN/ESPN3)
Princeton (3-5) vs. Fordham (1-8) Preview
Injury Report (via USA Today)
No injuries to report
F Lionel Gomis, QST, Personal
Princeton Player to Watch: Ian Hummer
The senior forward is easily the best player on the Tigers' roster, and he’s been able to do a bit of everything well.
Through eight games, the versatile young man has averaged 15.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.9 blocks. Those are impressive figures and it’s clear he’ll be instrumental in whether or not this New Jersey-based school comes out on top.
Fordham Player to Watch: Branden Frazier
This hometown kid is getting a chance to play under the brightest lights in the newest stadium in town, and we expect him to elevate his game to the next level on Saturday.
He’s averaging 15.2 points, 4.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds for the lowly Rams, but has a chance to help double the team’s win total by conquering Princeton in this looming matchup.
St. John’s (7-3) vs. St. Francis (2-6) Preview
F Orlando Sanchez, OUT, Eligibility
No injuries to report
St. John’s Player to Watch: D’Angelo Harrison
All eyes will be on this young man when he takes the court of the Red Storm.
Harrison, a 6’3” guard all the way from Texas, has been averaging over 20 points and been an absolute dynamite scorer for the Johnnies. Don’t be surprised to see him absolutely light up the Terriers in this lopsided matchup.
St. Francis Player to Watch: Jalen Cannon
At 6’6”, you’d imagine that Cannon would be a decent rebounder and nothing more. However, that’s simply not the case and the undersized forward is leading the team with a whopping 9.5 per game.
It just shows how much heart the sophomore has, and he’ll need to harness all of that and dig deeper to help his Terriers upset the Johnnies in Brooklyn.
Michigan (10-0) vs. West Virginia (4-4) Preview
F Max Bielfeldt, QST, Ankle
G Josh Bartelstein, OUT, Ankle
F Dominique Rutledge, QST, Ankle
F Volodymyr Gerun, QST, Suspension
Michigan Player to Watch: Trey Burke
Burke has led the Wolverines to a perfect 10-0 start and put himself on the map as a potential first-round draft pick.
The six-foot sophomore point guard is an elite scorer, averaging 17.1 points per game, but also a great setup artist—dishing 6.9 dimes per contest.
Because of his ability to attack the rim and either finish or kick out, Michigan has a ton of weapons at its disposal. He faces a tough test against the Mountaineers on Saturday, but we’ve seen enough of Burke to know he’s up for the challenge.
West Virginia Player to Watch: Aaric Murray
Which team will win the marquee matchup?
This is Murray’s first season with the Mountaineers, as he played two years with La Salle before sitting out the 2011-12 season upon transferring to WVU.
He’s doing quite well as the team’s center, averaging 9.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per contest.
We’d like to see a bit more from the junior big man, as the middling Mountaineers need someone to step up and lead by example in order for this squad to get above .500.