MMI Tip-Off Tournament kicks off men's basketball season

MMI Tip-Off Tournament

FREDERICK, Md. - The Hood College men's basketball team, in collaboration with the MMI Division of the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics, will host the MMI Tip-Off Tournament on November 9-10 in BB&T Arena. 

The two-day tournament will begin with the Blazers against Gallaudet on Friday at 4 p.m., followed by Randolph-Macon and Immaculata at approximately 6 p.m. On Saturday, the consolation game tips off at noon, with the championship at approximately 2 p.m.

Admission to the MMI Tip-Off Classic is $5 per day. Hood College students with a college ID and children 13 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance by clicking here

Live stats and a live video stream will be available for all four contests. Follow the schedule at the bottom of this preview with complete links. A tournament page can be found by clicking here.

Scouting the Blazers

  • Hood finished last year with a 10-15 record overall, including six wins in the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth. 
  • Eight of the Blazers' top 10 scorers return from a team that set a school record by averaging 80.2 points per game in 2017-18.
  • Anthony Pearson, who scored 26 points in an exhibition with Division I Mount St. Mary's last week, led Hood with 11.8 points per game last year. 
  • Michael Riley hit five 3-pointers against the Mount and was second with 11 ppg last season. 
  • Riley, Evan Wang, Mason Wang and Ian Eversull all shot over 40 percent from 3-point range a year ago. 
  • Mason Wang ended the year with a 36-point outburst at Arcadia. 
  • The Blazers added to the mix with five freshmen and transfers Alex Ischiropoulos (Elmira) and Keith Claiborne Jr. (Frederick Community College).
  • Head coach Chad Dickman is in his fourth season guiding the Blazers. He is one of two Frederick County natives coaching in the tournament (see Josh Merkel below).

Scouting Gallaudet

  • The Bison went 9-17 in 2017-18 but went 8-8 in the North Eastern Athletic Conference. They lost to Wilson in the conference quarterfinals. 
  • Senior Jamal Garner was awarded the NEAC's Inspirational Award, given annually to a student-athlete, coach or administrator who has endured personal hardship that has led to bravery and dedication within athletics. He scored 4.4 points and grabbed 5.3 rebounds per game. 
  • Noah Valencia is coming off a season in which he was named to the All-NEAC Third Team. He scored 17.7 points per game on the year. 
  • The Bison welcome eight freshmen to this year's roster. 
  • Kevin Kovacs is in his fourth season at Gallaudet. He coached Team USA to the championship at the U21 World Deaf Championships over the summer with a roster that included Valencia and Wilford Troup. 

Scouting Immaculata

  • The Mighty Macs finished their final season in the Colonial States Athletic Conference at 13-12 overall and 9-9 in the league. Immaculata joined the new Atlantic East this season. 
  • Mike Piekarski was named All-CSAC Second Team last year after scoring 17.1 points per game last year. He knocked down 41 percent from 3-point range and grabbed 7.9 rebounds per game. 
  • Jordan Ambrose is also back after a season in which he tallied 13.9 ppg on 39 percent 3-point shooting. 
  • Just two freshman appear on the this year's roster. The Mighty Macs return 13 players who are either juniors or seniors. 
  • Jason Hyman enters his third year coaching Immaculata. He is a 2009 graduate of IU and led the Mighty Macs to the 2008 conference championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. 

Scouting Randolph-Macon

  • The Yellow Jackets went 18-8 last year and were 12-4 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, advancing to the ODAC Quarterfinals. 
  • Montese Adams was chosen to the All-ODAC Second Team last year. He scored 11 points per game a year ago and hit 51 percent from the field and 38 percent from behind the arc.
  • Buzz Anthony led the team with 4.6 assists per game last year and Jon Nowell knocked down 53 percent of his field goal tries.  
  • The Yellow Jackets added four freshmen to this year's squad. 
  • Josh Merkel, in his fourth season, is the reigning ODAC Coach of the Year. He is a Walkersville, Maryland native and played his high school basketball at St. John's Catholic Prep.