Maui Invitational cheat sheet


By James Meaney, Staff Writer

Sun and surf mixed with some of the country’s finest student athletes can only mean one thing, some of the best student-athletes in the country are gathering in Maui for the glamorous Jim Maui’s Maui Invitational.

Since 1984 Chaminade University has hosted 11 collegiate basketball teams to come battle it out in a preseason tournament in the idyllic town of Lahaina in Maui. Despite Chaminade University being a small D2 school, it hasn’t stop them from inviting the nationally ranked giants of D1 basketball year after year. Schools like Duke (who lead in tournament wins), Kansas, Arizona, Syracuse, Baylor and others alike all thrive on the opportunity to play in the Maui Invitational.

The tournament is prone to upsets making it extremely entertaining to watch. Dare to mention former Chaminade guard Christophe Varidel’s nationwide trend on Twitter for his 42 points against 18th-ranked Baylor? Year after year the tournament receives nation wide coverage on ESPN, as well as allowing starters of smaller schools to play alongside future stars of the NBA.

Here’s everything you need to know about this years tournament and the eight teams competing throughout Nov. 23-24-25:


Ones to watch: The guard heavy Silverswords have two secret weapons this year. Kuany Kuany, a 6-foot-6 very talented all round player who can dunk, shoot and defend against any opponent. And 6-7 guard Kiran Shastri, who can score big points from the 3-point line.

Can they win? No. Chaminade will be hoping for another upset in the tournament but the chances of winning outright are almost non-existent. Not that we don’t love an underdog.

Who do they play first? Chaminade take on the fifth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks, a very scary prospect for the Silverswords, but a fantastic opportunity to play some future stars of the NBA and try a throw a spanner in the works of college basketball aristocracy. Tipoff: Monday, 4 p.m.

Indiana (13)

Ones to watch: PG Yogi Ferrel turned down a shot at the pros to return to Indiana Hooisers, the 5-10 First Team All-Big Ten player is one to watch in the tournament after averaging 16.3 ppg as a junior, he is hoping to come back even stronger during his final year.

Can they win? Certainly. Although not favorites in the tournament, Indiana certainly has the firepower to go all the way.

Who do they play first? The Hoosiers take on Wake Forest in their first game. Tipoff: Monday, 12 p.m.

Kansas (5)

Ones to watch: Erm? All of them! Kansas packed with talent roster this year allows them to work hard tireless on the court and trust their bench to gain just as many points as their starters. Names to look out for are: Perry Ellis, a rebounding forward with huge power. Cheick Diallo a freshman looking to make a huge impact in the team. Guard, Frank Mason III is also in fine form this semester.

Can they win? The Jayhawks are favorites to win.

Who do they play first? Cham-what? Chaminade! The Jayhawks will be looking to get their first win without having to fret too much in the opening game, although the Silverswords of course will not go down easy.

St. John’s

Ones to watch: D’Angelo Harrison. The 6-4 guard dropped 17.5 ppg is his last two seasons and is the player to watch for St. John’s.

Can they win? Probably not. St. John’s is not the strongest outfit in the competition but stranger things have happened.

Who do they play first? Vanderbilt and St John’s tip off the tournament. Tipoff: Monday, 9:30 a.m.


Ones to watch: Tony Parker, the 22-year-old big man for the Bruins is their power house on both offense and defense, a mighty force to reckoned with throughout the tournament.

Can they win? Eh, maybe. Their first game against UNLV will be a good test for the bruins. It’s not impossible for them to win.

Who do they play first? UCLA play the UNLV Rebels. Tipoff: Monday, 6:30 p.m.


Ones to watch: Patrick McCaw returns for his second year for the UNLV Rebels. After being the third highest scorer per game last year he is looking to make immediate impact for his team.

Can they win? Maybe. Although winning outright is unlikely it’s not impossible.

Who do they play first? They take on the UCLA Bruins.

Vanderbilt (19)

Ones to watch: Guard, Riley LaChance is leading Vanderbilt in assists, steals and field goal percentage this season and is one to watch for the invitational.

Can they win? Sure. Vanderbilt have been tipped to do good things in SEC this year and winning the Maui Invitational would be a great way to start their 2015-16 campaign.

Who do they play first? Vanderbilt takes on St. John’s in the opening game of the weekend.

Wake Forest

Ones to watch: Devin Thomas is a 6-9 forward whose athleticism leads him to lead the team in blocks and rebounds last year. While Codi Miller-McIntyre, the 6-3 guard, led the team in points per game.

Can they win? Unlikely.

Who do they play first? Wake Forest will have a gruesome test facing Indiana in the second game of the competition.

Monday’s schedule:
**St. John’s vs. Vanderbilt, 9:30 a.m., ESPN2
**Wake Forest vs. Indiana, 12 p.m., ESPN2
**Kansas vs. Chaminade, 4 p.m., ESPNU
**UNLV vs. UCLA, 6:30 p.m., ESPN2