After recording its first win Tuesday night, the BYU men’s basketball team will host the Longwood Lancers in the opening game of the Chicago Invitational Tournament today.
The Chicago Invitational Tournament consists of eight teams that will compete is various arenas, with the final two games being played in the Sears Center Arena in Chicago over Thanksgiving weekend. BYU was selected to host the first two rounds in the tournament against Longwood and Prairie View A&M.
Longwood currently holds a 1-2 record after suffering losses to Navy and Canisius College and defeating Virginia Intermount College. In their first three games, Longwood has been led by seniors Jeremiah Bowman and Antwan Carter. Bowman is currently averaging 19 points per game, while Carter is averaging 17.7 points per game and 12.7 rebounds.
While Carter has been tough for opposing teams to stop from getting rebounds, the Cougars’ front court has also been a force to be reckoned with down low. Junior center Brandon Davies is averaging 19 points and seven rebounds per game, while senior forward Noah Hartsock is averaging 16 points and seven rebounds.
BYU coach Dave Rose believes Davies and Hartsock will continue to dominate the boards in the upcoming game and throughout the season.
“I think that they will be a real strength of our team,” Rose said. “We should be a very good defensive rebounding team and a good offensive rebounding team. Every year when you put together a team you can see after four or five games what your team is consistently good at. I believe this team will be consistently good at rebounding the ball.”
The Cougars will also have the challenge of stopping Bowman, who plays point guard for Longwood. On Tuesday, the Cougars were able to hold BYU-Hawaii’s Division II preseason All-American guard Jet Chang to just 12 points, and Rose hopes to have that kind of defensive success again versus Bowman.
“I really believe that our guys took that challenge [on Tuesday],” Rose said. “[Chang] is a terrific player and I thought our guys did a good job on him and really controlled him. I think that is a good sign for us defensively.”
Longwood, which is not affiliated with any conference and is a basketball independent, plays its home games in Willett Hall, which holds 1,807. The Marriott Center, which holds 22,700, will give the Cougars a major home-court advantage in the game.
“We love our fans,” senior Charles Abouo said. “We love to be able to play in front of them with the support they give us.”
The game tips off at 7 p.m. in the Marriott Center and can also be viewed on BYUtv.