2009 Orange Bowl Classic
2009 Orange Bowl Classic
Game one of the annual double header features Frank Haith’s Hurricanes taking on Mike Jarvis’ Owls while Billy Donovan leads his Gators against Chris Mooney’s Spiders. Game times will be announced at a later date.
Tickets are currently available by contacting the OBC ticket sales office at (305) 341-4701 or by visiting www.orangebowl.org.
The Gators, appearing in the Classic for the ninth time in ten years, are coming off an appearance in the NIT quarterfinals where they fell to eventual champion Penn State, 71-62, and are just two years removed from winning back-to-back NCAA championships. This will be the Gators’ only south Florida appearance this season. Former South Florida high school standouts returning home with the Gators include incoming freshman guard Kenny Boynton of American Heritage (Plantation), one of the most heralded prep stars ever from the area, and sophomore swingman Ray Shipman (Miami Pace), one of just seven Gators to appear in every game a year ago. Florida will look to defend its nine-game win streak, as the Gators have not dropped an Orange Bowl basketball game since their first appearance in 1997. Led by Donovan, who has been with the program since 1996, the Gators have won at least 20 games each of the last 11 years and have claimed at least a share of the SEC title in five of those seasons.
Florida will take on a Richmond team that finished last season with 20 wins for the 16th time in school history and the most victories for a Spider team since the 2003-04 team also won 20 games. The Spiders reached the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) a year ago, recording the school’s 16th postseason appearance and second in a row. Coached by Mooney, the Spiders finished fourth in the Atlantic 10 in 2007-08, tying the highest regular-season finish for Richmond in seven years in the conference. Richmond earned a bye in the conference tournament for the second time since joining the A-10.
The Hurricanes will be back at the Classic after taking a one year hiatus last season. Miami, which had participated in the previous 14 Classics, looks to build on its recent success that has earned them four postseason appearances in the last five years. The 2008-09 Hurricanes won 19 games and went 1-1 in the NIT after an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007-08. Entering his sixth season at the helm, Haith looks to continue to build the program into an annual contender in the always challenging ACC.
Mike Jarvis’ FAU Owls will be making their first ever appearance in the Classic as they battle Miami in game one of the 2009 edition. Jarvis, in his second season at FAU, is looking to duplicate his previous accomplishments as a head coach. One of the nation's elite college basketball coaches, he has led three different programs into the NCAA Tournament during stops at Boston University (1985-90), George Washington University (1990-98) and St. John's University (1998-04) and looks to continue his past success with the upstart Owls. His St. John’s teams won a Big East Championship, an NIT Championship, and reached the Elite Eight in NCAA play.