Hoyas, GW, GMU learn holiday tourney foes

Hoyas, GW, GMU learn holiday tourney foes
August 5, 2014, 11:15 am
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Jan 15, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Georgetown Hoyas guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (4) talks to head coach John Thompson III during the second half against the Xavier Musketeers at the Cintas Center. Xavier defeated Georgetown 80-64.

(Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)

Georgetown, George Washington and George Mason will be spending either the Thanksgiving holiday or Christmas season far from home. Not for the purposes of hanging out with family, but tangling with basketball foes. Now we know who the Hoyas, Colonials and Patriots will start their respective journeys against in the various ports of call.

Georgetown: Battle for Atlantis, Bahamas, Nov. 26-28

For the Hoyas, things get serious quick in the loaded field. First up, Florida on Nov. 26 on 9:30 p.m. The Gators, coached by Billy Donovan, return several key performers from last year's Final Four team including forward Dorian Finney-Smith, wing shooter Michael Frazier II and NBA big man prospect Chris Walker.

Georgetown's next opponent will be either Wisconsin, another Final Four team from last year, or UAB. North Carolina, Butler, UCLA and Oklahoma are on the other side of the bracket. Each team will play three games. If there is a more star-studded field than this one, best of luck to those other teams.

Georgetown's non-conference schedule also reportedly includes matchups with Kansas at Verizon Center on Dec. 10 and Indiana at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 27. The Hoyas will reportedly host Towson on Dec. 7. The Tigers announced on Monday that the matchup will part of the BB&T Classic, which would mark the first time Georgetown played in the long-running local event.

Junior guard and All-American candidate D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera is the Hoyas leading returning scorer. The five-player incoming recruiting class, including five-star forward Isaac Copeland and high-rising guard L.J. Peak, ranks among the top 10 nationally.

George Washington: Diamond Head Classic, Honolulu, Dec. 22-25

Coming off an NCAA Tournament berth last season, the Colonials will face Ohio at 2:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 22. GW then meets either DePaul or Colorado, another NCAA Tournament participant, on Dec 23 with a final game on Christmas Day. The other side of the bracket includes Wichita State and Nebraska, also NCAA Tournament teams last season, plusLoyola Marymount and Hawaii. 

Interesting that GW will host DePaul on Dec. 11, meaning that a rematch with the Big East program could take place in Hawaii. The Colonials, who return four starters all entering their junior season including guard Kethan Savage, also have non-conference games this coming season against Virginia, Penn State, Rutgers. Coach Mike Lonergan's five-player recruiting class will be counted on for bench production with Japanese import Yuta Watanabe helping in the frontcourt.

George Mason: Puerto Rico Tip-Off, San Juan, November 20-23

The Patriots begin their tournament against Big 12 program West Virginia on Nov. 20 at 7: 30 p.m. From there, coach Paul Hewitt's squad will either meet Boston College or New Mexico. Defending NCAA Tournament Connecticut headlines the other side of the bracket, which includes Charleston, Dayton and Texas A&M. 

Other non-conference games for GMU includes road trips to Oklahoma and Northern Iowa plus home games versus Old Dominion, Cornell and Princeton. Last season the Patriots finished 11-20 and enter this season without their top two scorers from that team, but welcome former Georgia Tech transfer Julian Royal to the court.