A Hoosiers hoops reunion is brewing in Hawaii, with a lot of Connersville flavor on the menu.
If the schedule plays out the way it could, a bunch of ‘Indiana-grown’ basketball talent will gather for 40 minutes of competitive chaos in Maui — with several of the participants having logged many minutes of playing time in Spartan Bowl.
The championship round of the 32nd-annual Maui Invitational begins this afternoon at the Lahaina Civic & Recreational Center.
St. John’s clashes with Vanderbilt at 2:30 p.m., with the Indiana Hoosiers battling Wake Forest at 5:05 p.m. Both games can be seen on ESPN2.
Tonight’s action features Kansas against tournament host Chaminade at 9 p.m. (ESPNU), followed by UCLA vs. UNLV at 11:35 p.m. (ESPN2).
The Connersville-angle of the reunion will take place if Indiana and UCLA play each other. The Bruins are coached by former New Castle High School and IU star Steve Alford, whose assistant coach is former Spartan Ed Schilling, who concluded his high school career at Lebanon and was a 4-year starter at Miami University (Ohio).
Schilling is married to former Lady Spartans star and 1999 Indiana Miss Basketball April McDivitt, who played at the University of Tennessee before transferring to UC-Santa Barbara where she finished her college career.
Alford’s son Bryce, a 6-3 junior guard, is one of the Bruins’ top players.
Indiana’s best player, senior point guard Yogi Ferrell, played for Ed Schilling at Park Tudor High School. With Schilling coaching — McDivitt was an assistant coach for PT — and Ferrell running the show on the court, the Panthers won two Class 2A state championships (2011, 2012) and were runners-up in 2010.
The road to those titles includes three regional championships Park Tudor won in Spartan Bowl.
If UCLA plays St. John’s, Alford will coach against his teammate on the 1984 United States Olympic team, Chris Mullin. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Mullin also played on the 1992 U.S. Olympic Dream Team, and was a 5-time All-Star during his NBA career. This is his first season as coach of the Red Storm.
Three of the Maui participants are rated in the Associated Press Top 20 poll. Kansas is No. 4, Indiana is rated 14th and Vanderbilt is 17th.
Maui Invitational championship round
Game 1: St. John’s vs. Vanderbilt, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 2: Wake Forest vs. Indiana, 5:05 p.m., ESPN2
Game 3: Kansas vs. Chaminade, 9 p.m., ESPNU
Game 4: UNLV vs. UCLA, 11:35 p.m., ESPN2
Game 5: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, Nov. 24, 2 p.m., ESPN2
Game 6: Loser G3 vs. Loser G4, Nov. 24, 4:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 7: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, Nov. 24, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 8: Winner G3 vs. Winner G4, Nov. 24, 10 p.m., ESPN
Game 9: TBD vs. TBD, Nov. 25, 2:30 p.m., ESPNU
Game 10: TBD vs. TBD, Nov. 25, 5 p.m., ESPN2
Game 11: TBD vs. TBD, Nov. 25, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 12: TBD vs. TBD, Nov. 25, 10 p.m., ESPN
If you viewed this page, Please Support Locally-Owned Businesses — Shop Connersville!