Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic Returns To Orleans Arena

The action-packed NCAA basketball tournament - Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic - will return to Orleans Arena on Dec. 22-23, bringing eight college teams, including Washington State University (WSU), University of San Diego (USD), New Mexico State University (NMSU) and Drake University.

The Washington State University men's basketball team returns three starters, including three of its four top scorers from the 2017-2018 squad, as head coach Ernie Kent enters his fifth season at the helm for the 2018-2019 basketball season. Seniors Robert Franks and Viont'e Daniels look to lead the team, which features seven newcomers, after putting up their best seasons in 2018-2019, averaging 17.4 and 9.0 points respectively. Franks' big season was capped by being named the Pac-12's Most Improved Player of the Year, leading him to declare for the NBA Draft, only to withdraw his name prior to the deadline. Daniels was second on the team with 71 made three-pointers and he, along with Franks and fellow-starter Carter Skaggs, combined for 206 of the team's school-record, 341 three-pointers in 2017-2018. At the Las Vegas Classic, the WSU Cougars look to build on their momentum after snapping an eight-year regular-season tournament championship drought when they captured the Wooden Legacy title in November of 2017.

The University of San Diego returns four-of-five starters and 11 letter winners from its 2017-2018 team that produced the program's best season in the past 10 years. The USD Toreros went 20-14 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2018 Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). It marked the fourth time in program history the Toreros finished with 20 or more wins since moving to the NCAA Division I ranks during the 1979-1980 season. Sam Scholl enters his first full season as the head coach of the Toreros. He will rely on a strong senior class and a talented group of underclassmen to lead USD to victory.

Despite returning just five players, including one starter from last year's WAC regular-season and WAC Tournament Championship team, New Mexico State University's head coach Chris Jans has reloaded his roster with a pair of top-10 junior college transfers in Ivan Aurrecoechea and Mohamed Thiam. In addition, the NMSU Aggies also added help on the offensive front after returning just 37 percent of their scoring from last year with freshmen Addison Wallace and Berrick JeanLouis as well as junior college transfer Clayton Henry. On top of the new signees, NMSU will have the services of four redshirts from last season in JoJo Zamora, C.J. Bobbitt, Robert Brown and Jabari Rice.

The Drake University basketball team begins its first season under head coach Darian DeVries. Formerly a successful longtime assistant at Creighton University and an Iowa native, DeVries inherits a program that is coming off its most successful season in a decade with a third-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) and a postseason appearance in the CIT. The Drake University Bulldogs return five student-athletes from last season, including Nick McGlynn who was named to the MVC Most-Improved Team after averaging 11.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. DeVries has added eight newcomers to the roster, including a pair of experienced graduate transfers in Brady Ellingson from Iowa and Nick Norton from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The incoming class also features junior college standouts, such as junior college, NCAA Men's Basketball All-American Tremell Murphy and his brother Anthony Murphy. Roman Penn, who starred at Siena College as a freshman in 2017-2018 also adds experienced depth to the developing roster.

FS1 will present coverage of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic's third-place and championship games on Sunday, Dec. 23. Each team will play four games in the Las Vegas Classic, including the first two at on-campus sites and the final two rounds at the Orleans Arena on Dec. 22-23.

Game times are 12 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 5: 30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Two-day packages are available from $50, plus taxes and fees, and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000; online at www.orleansarena.com; or in-person at the gift shops inside The Orleans, Suncoast, Gold Coast and Sam's Town. Tickets may also be purchased the day of the game (depending on availability) at the venue box office.

About Orleans Arena

The Orleans Arena, a Boyd Gaming facility located just west of the Las Vegas Strip, is one of the nation's leading multi-purpose sports and entertainment facilities and the 2014 recipient of the Venue Excellence Award from the International Association of Venue Managers. In addition, the Orleans Arena is one of only a handful of arenas in the United States to achieve LEED Gold Certification and is part of the largest company in Nevada to achieve SHARP Certification for commitments to safe venue operations. According to Venues Today magazine, the Orleans Arena, which hosts more than 200 events each year, consistently ranks in the Top 10 for ticket sales in the United States and internationally among venues of similar size. These events include nationally touring concerts, NCAA basketball conference tournaments, family shows, motorsports and other unique events. For more information, call 702-365-7469 or visit www.OrleansArena.com. Stay connected to the Orleans Arena on Facebook and on Twitter. The Orleans Arena is a property of Boyd Gaming. Founded in 1975, Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) is a leading geographically diversified operator of 29 gaming entertainment properties in 10 states. With one of the most experienced leadership teams in the casino industry, Boyd Gaming prides itself on offering its guests an outstanding entertainment experience, delivered with unwavering attention to customer service. For additional Company information and press releases, visit www.boydgaming.com.

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