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Home | Tag Archives: WestStar Bank

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Sun Bowl Association Announces WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational Line Up

On Wednesday, the Sun Bowl Association and WestStar Bank announced the match-ups for the 57th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.

The four-team tournament includes two top-100 (RPI) teams and a former UTEP-conference rival from the Western Athletic Conference. Wyoming returns to El Paso for the holiday tournament and joins East Tennessee State, Norfolk State and home team, UTEP on the hardwood.

“We appreciate all the hard work that the Sun Bowl committee puts into hosting this tournament and finding quality opponents to compete in it year in and year out,” said UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry.

East Tennessee State, who is making its first appearance in the oldest collegiate holiday basketball tournament in the nation, will open against Wyoming at 5 p.m. (MST) in the Don Haskins Center.  Wyoming is making its second appearance in the tournament. The first time the Cowboys played in the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational was in 2007, going 1-1 that year.

UTEP will open the tournament against Norfolk State, which is making its third appearance in the Invitational after making it to the championship game in 2015.

The Miners have played in every tournament since it began in 1961.

In 2009, the tournament was renamed to honor former UTEP head coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Don Haskins. “The Bear” coached at UTEP from 1961 to 1999, winning 719 games and making 14 postseason appearances. Haskins famously led the Miners to victory in the 1966 National Championship game over Adolph Rupp and the heavily favored Kentucky Wildcats.

Officials added, “The Sun Bowl Association would like to thank WestStar Bank for supporting the nation’s oldest holiday basketball tournament as it has been the title sponsor for 10 consecutive years.”

The tournament will be held in the Don Haskins Center, Friday and Saturday, December 21-22.

Friday, Dec. 21, 2018

5 p.m. (MST) – East Tennessee State vs. Wyoming

7 p.m. (MST) – Norfolk State vs. UTEP

Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018

5 p.m. (MST) – Consolation Game

7 p.m. (MST) – Championship Game

Team Line Up Announced for 2018 Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational

The Sun Bowl Association and WestStar Bank are pleased to announce the teams coming to El Paso for the 57th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, which will be held in the Don Haskins Center, Friday and Saturday, December 21-22.

The four-team tournament includes two top-100 (RPI) teams and a former UTEP-conference rival from the Western Athletic Conference. Wyoming returns to El Paso for the holiday tournament and joins East Tennessee State, Norfolk State and home team, UTEP on the hardwood.

“We appreciate all the hard work that the Sun Bowl committee puts into hosting this tournament, and finding quality opponents to compete in it year in and year out,” said UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry.

East Tennessee State is making its first appearance in the oldest collegiate holiday basketball tournament in the nation, while Wyoming is making its second appearance.  The first time the Cowboys played in the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational was in 2007, going 1-1 that year.

This is Norfolk State’s third appearance in the Invitational after making it to the championship game in 2015.  The Miners have played in every tournament since it began in 1961.

“We are thrilled about this year’s field.  We are hoping to continue our plan of bringing in the best teams we can find,” Sun Bowl basketball committee chairman Barry Kobren said.

“East Tennessee posted an RPI of 92 and Wyoming finished with an RPI of 98 last year.  With the addition of new UTEP head coach Rodney Terry and some great recruits coming to El Paso, this looks to be a very competitive tournament once again.”

The North Dakota State Bison defeated the UTEP Miners 63-51 in the championship game of the 2017 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational to take home the hardware on Friday, December 22, 2017 in the Don Haskins Center. NDSU used a 19-2 scoring run during the final seven and a half minutes of the game to secure the victory.

Guard Paul Smith, who was awarded the Barry Kobren Most Valuable Player Trophy, led all players with 19 points. Sophomore guard Tyson Ward, who was named to the all-tournament team, tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds.

“This tournament has become a tradition and the history of teams and players that have come through El Paso is tremendous,” Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas said. “Our basketball committee, which is led by Barry Kobren, continues to seek out and work towards bringing quality teams to the Don Haskins Center and El Paso.”

In 2009, the tournament was renamed to honor former UTEP head coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Don Haskins. “The Bear” coached at UTEP from 1961 to 1999, winning 719 games and making 14 postseason appearances. Haskins famously led the Miners to victory in the 1966 National Championship game over Adolph Rupp and the heavily favored Kentucky Wildcats.

Officials added, “The Sun Bowl Association would like to thank WestStar Bank for supporting the nation’s oldest holiday basketball tournament as it has been the title sponsor for 10 consecutive years.”

ABOUT THE 2018 TEAMS

East Tennessee State

  • ETSU head coach Steve Forbes enters his fourth season with the Buccaneers, and has totaled 76 wins and a .724 win percentage in his first three seasons. Forbes holds the 14th highest win percentage among current NCAA Division I head coaches.
  • ETSU is a member of the Southern Conference and has made 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament, while totaling 22 conference championships in program history.
  • The Buccaneers are coming off a 25-win campaign in 2017-18, including a 16-game win streak, which tied a program record and also stood as the longest win streak in the country at one point during that run. The Blue and Gold also tied a program record with 11 true road wins a year ago.
  • ETSU boasts one of the nation’s longest three-point streaks, as the Bucs have made at least one three-pointer in 963 consecutive games, marking the seventh-longest active streak.

 

Norfolk State Spartans

  • Head Coach Robert Jones (Sixth Season)
  • NSU finished 14-19 overall last year, 11-5 in the MEAC.
  • The Spartans tied for 4th in the league standings in 2017-18, the first time in 7 years they did not finish 3rd or better.
  • They have still finished 4th or better in the league in 11 of the last 12 seasons.
  • NSU set school records last year for 3-pointers (254) and 3-point field goal % (35.9)
  • The Spartans ranked in the top 60 in the nation last year in turnovers forced, rebounds per game and field goal % defense.
  • Head coach Robert Jones is 87-82 in his 5 seasons, including 58-22 in MEAC games.
  • Played in the 2015 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational Championship.

 

UTEP Miners

  • Head Coach Rodney Terry (First Season)
  • UTEP Basketball enters a new era in 2018-19 as Rodney Terry was appointed the 19th head coach in program history on March 12.
  • Terry posted four 20-win seasons in the last five years as head coach at Fresno State, leading the Bulldogs to the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
  • Joining Terry on the UTEP staff are assistant coaches Lamont Smith, Brian Burton and Nick Matson, and Director of Basketball Operations Mark Gisbertz.
  • The Miners return four key players from the 2017-18 season in senior forward Paul Thomas (8.1 ppg/5.4 rpg), junior guard Isiah Osborne (9.4 ppg) and sophomore guards Evan Gilyard (9.1 ppg) and Kobe Magee (4.5 ppg).  UTEP also introduces a talented group of incoming freshmen including forward Kaosi Ezeagu, guard Nigel Hawkins and center Efe Odigie.

 

Wyoming Cowboys

  • Head Coach Allen Edwards (Third Season) has won 20 or more games in his first two seasons as head coach.
  • Wyoming is led by First Team All-Mountain West Player Justin James.
  • The Pokes will play their first game in El Paso since 2008 when UW played in the Sun Bowl Invitational.
  • The Cowboys have hit over 300 three pointers in each of the last three seasons.
  • Wyoming has had two of their all-time top three scoring seasons in two seasons under Edwards.
  • 2017 Final RPI – 98
  • 2017 CBI Champion

Teams Announced for WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational

The Sun Bowl Association and WestStar Bank are pleased to announce the teams coming to El Paso for the 56th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, which will be held in the Don Haskins Center, Thursday and Friday, December 21-22.

“This tournament has become a tradition and the history of teams and players that have come through El Paso is tremendous,” Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas said. “Our basketball committee, which is led by Barry Kobren, continues to seek out and work towards bringing quality teams to the Haskins Center and El Paso.”

The four-team tournament includes North Carolina-Wilmington, North Dakota State, Howard University and UTEP. This marks the first appearance for UNCW and Howard, the second showing for NDSU and of course the Miners have played in every tournament.

“We are thrilled about this year’s field.  We are hoping to continue our plan of bringing in the best teams we can find,” Sun Bowl basketball committee chairman Barry Kobren said.  “Two of our teams from last year went on to win their conferences and play in the NIT.  We think we will see that same success again this year.”

Akron won the 2016 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational by defeating UC-Irvine in game one and beating Maryland Eastern Shore in the title game.

Akron went on to win the MAC regular season title and made it to the second round of the NIT, while UC-Irvine won the Big West Conference regular season title and also made it to the second round of the NIT.

WestStar Bank Returns as Title Sponsor for Annual Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational

The Sun Bowl Association announced the extension of its partnership with WestStar Bank as the title sponsor for the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational through 2019.  WestStar Bank originally signed on as the title sponsor in 2009.

“The Sun Bowl Association has built a family of successful and popular events and we’re excited to continue as the title sponsor of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational,” said L. Frederick “Rick” Francis, WestStar Bank Chairman and CEO. “We’re committed to being associated with many of El Paso’s traditions that have become a part of the fabric of our region. For many, this tournament is that – a holiday tradition – and we’re happy to be able to connect with our local community in this way.”

WestStar Bank and its employees are very involved with and in the community. Employees of WestStar Bank serve on over 95 boards and committees of nonprofit and civic organizations.

“We cannot produce events like the basketball tournament, which has been running since 1961, without great sponsors like WestStar Bank,” said Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas.  “We are extremely grateful for WestStar Bank and everything they have done for the Sun Bowl Association and the City of El Paso.  Tournament Chairman Barry Kobren does an amazing job putting everything together and every team that visits El Paso leaves with great memories.”

The WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational is the nation’s oldest collegiate holiday basketball tournament. This year marks the 56th edition of the event that began in 1961, when legendary head coach Don Haskins was in his first year as the head coach at UTEP, then known as Texas Western.

Haskins amassed 719 career wins as the head coach of the Miners for 38 seasons. He led the Miners to the 1966 NCAA title, won seven Western Athletic Conference championships, four WAC tournament titles, had fourteen NCAA tournament berths and made seven trips to the NIT. Haskins engineered 17 20-plus win seasons and served as an assistant Olympic team coach in 1972. He led the Miners to 23 tournament titles in the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.

Haskins was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997 as a basketball coach. The 1966 team was named in its entirety to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

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