2022 Vivid Seats Empire Classic Preview

2022 Vivid Seats Empire Classic Preview

November 20, 2022

VIVID SEATS EMPIRE CLASSIC benefiting WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT presented by CONTINENTAL TIRE set to take place this week

The 28th annual Vivid Seats Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire features Syracuse, St. John’s, Temple, and Richmond meeting at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., from Nov. 21-22. Each of these teams has previously played in the Classic: Syracuse (2002; 2004 – Champs; 2005; 2009 – Champs; 2014; 2018), St. John’s (2000; 2003; 2006; 2011), Temple (1996; 1998 – Champs; 2001), Richmond (2007). Neither of these teams has played each other in the event. 

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for the Vivid Seats Empire Classic benefitring Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire can be purchased at:  www.empireclassic.net

Syracuse (2-1)

2005 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Jim Boeheim has led his alma mater to 42 postseason appearances, including 35 trips to the NCAA Tournament, in his 46 years as head coach…the Orange have gone to five Final Fours in that span, winning the 2003 National 

Championship…he also ranks second all-time in career wins…senior guard Joseph Girard III tallies a team-high 18.0 ppg this season…a year ago, he tied for first in the ACC in 3-point shooting at .403; this year he is at .481 (13-of-27)… senior center Jesse Edwards averages 15.7 ppg and a team-best 8.7 rpg to go with a team-high nine blocks…Syracuse is bolstered by the arrival of freshman guard Judah Mintz, the No. 33 rated recruit in the country this past season at Oak Hill Academy, who is tied for the team lead with an 18.0 ppg average…the Orange are making their seventh Vivid Seats Empire Classic appearance, having won the 2004 and 2009 classics…their 16 wins are the most in Empire Classic history.

St. John’s (4-0)

Mike Anderson, who has 423 career wins, has never experienced a losing season in his previous 19 seasons as a coach, joining Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Tom Izzo (Michigan State) as the only coaches

with 15 years or more experience to never have a losing season…now in his fourth season at St. John’s, he will rely on junior guard Posh Alexander to lead the way…Alexander averages 11.3 ppg and has 19 assists on the season…senior Joel Soriano has improved upon his numbers from last season, now averaging 12.8 ppg and a team-best 11.0 rpg…Illinois transfer Andre Curbelo has rebounded from an injury-plagued 2021-22 and nets 9.0 ppg with a team-high 25 assists…DePaul transfer David Jones leads SJU with a 17.8 ppg average to go along with an 8.0 rpg average…the Red Storm are making their fifth Vivid Seats Empire Classic appearance and first since 2011.

Temple (2-2)

Aaron McKie, one of the greatest players in Temple basketball history, is in his third season as the Owls’ head coach…McKie played under Hall of Fame head coach John Chaney and coached for five seasons 

under Chaney’s successor, Fran Dunphy, before replacing Dunphy upon his retirement…McKie also 

played 13 seasons in the NBA, including eight with his hometown 76ers…McKie has a young and talented team, led by redshirt sophomore guard Khalif Battle, who averages 15.8 ppg…backcourt mate redshirt sophomore Damian Dunn tallies a team-high 24 ppg (among the top 10 nationally), which includes a 38-point effort against Vanderbilt…sophomore forward Jamille Reynolds nets 13.3 ppg and leads the country with his 7.5 rpg average…Temple is making its fourth Vivid Seats Empire Classic appearance, having played in 1996, 1998 and 2001.

Richmond (2-2)

Chris Mooney is the winningest coach in Richmond history, having won 314 games in 17+ seasons and leading the Spiders to 10 postseasons, including the 2022 NCAA second round after winning the Atlantic 10 tournament with four wins in four days…he has also led Richmond to nine seasons of 19+ wins, including going 24-13 a season ago…senior forward Tyler Burton leads Richmond in scoring at 19.0 ppg and rebounding at 8.5 rpg…redshirt freshman guard Jason Nelson, who was the 2020 Virginia Classic 2 player of the year and in three years of high school led his teams to a record of 75-6 and two state titles, is netting 12.8 ppg and leads the Spiders with 16 assists…Isaiah Bigelow, a grad transfer from Wofford, averages 10.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg…Richmond previously played in the Vivid Seats Empire Classic in 2007.


Champion Runner-Up Score

2021 #1 Gonzaga #2 UCLA 83-62

2020 #3 Villanova #18 Arizona State 83-74

2019 #1 Duke Georgetown 81-73

2018 Iowa Connecticut 91-72

2017 Providence Saint Louis 90-63

2016 Michigan SMU 76-54

2015 #5 Duke Georgetown 86-84

2014 #10 Texas California 71-55

2013 #18 Connecticut* Indiana 59-58

2012 Alabama Villanova 77-55

2011 Mississippi State #16 Arizona 67-57

2010 #4 Pittsburgh #22 Texas 68-66

2009 #24 Syracuse #4 North Carolina 87-71

2008 #10 Duke Michigan 71-56

2007 #3 Memphis Connecticut 81-70

2006 Maryland Michigan State 72-70

2005 Florida* #16 Syracuse 75-70

2004 #6 Syracuse #23 Memphis 77-62

2003 Showcase Format

#21 Wake Forest 85, Memphis 76

#23 Marquette 52, St. John’s 45

#18 Saint Joseph’s 73, #12 Gonzaga 66

#22 Pittsburgh 71, Alabama 62

2002 Showcase Format

Memphis 70, Syracuse* 63

#8 Alabama 68, #3 Oklahoma 62

#4 Texas 77, #16 Georgia 71

#18 Marquette 73, Villanova 61

2001 Arizona #6 Florida 75-71

2000 #7 Kansas St. John’s 82-74

1999 #13 Stanford Iowa 72-58

1998 #7 Temple Wake Forest 59-48

1997 Princeton N.C. State 38-36

1996 Showcase Format

Saint Joseph’s 67, #21 Tulsa 64

Temple 76, Georgia Tech 58

1995 Showcase Format

La Salle 68, Marquette 65

Penn State 88, Penn 61

*went on to win the National Championship that season

ON THE AIR: Below is a look at the television schedule for the Vivid Seats Empire Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project presented by Continental Tire (all times are Eastern):

Nov. 21 Syracuse vs. Richmond,7:00pm ESPN2

St. John’s vs. Temple, 9:30pmESPNU

Nov. 22 Consolation Game, 7:00pm ESPN2

Championship Game, 9:00pmESPN2

Dave O’Brien (pxp) and Jon Crispin (analyst) will call the action.

Share this Post