Rockets tabbed for ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon Contest Nov. 18

August 4, 2014 | Athletics, Events, News
By Steve Easton

Toledo has been selected to take part in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, facing Virginia Commonwealth University at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

thumb-rocket-color-logoIt will be the first time the Rockets have been selected for the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon. The contest is part of a made-for-TV event that includes 17 men’s games as well as two women’s contests in more than 24 consecutive hours of basketball.

“We’re happy to have the opportunity to be a part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon as well as face a VCU squad that has been highly successful in recent years,” fifth-year Toledo Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “Our non-conference schedule is going to feature many quality programs, and our goal is to improve each game so we’re playing our best basketball in March.”

UT and VCU have met on the hardwood on only one prior occasion, a 60-59 Rocket triumph Nov. 20, 2006, at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. Florentino Valencia and Keonta Howell paced Toledo with 21 and 18 points, respectively.

Toledo set a school record in the 2013-14 campaign with 27 victories, in addition to capturing a share of its eighth Mid-American Conference regular-season title, appearing in its eighth National Invitation Tournament in program history, and posting its first unbeaten home record (fourth in school history) since the 1966-67 season.

The Rockets return eight letterwinners and four starters, including first-team All-MAC guard Julius Brown, third-team All-MAC guard Justin Drummond and honorable-mention All-MAC forward J.D. Weatherspoon.

VCU posted a 26-9 record last year and ended the season ranked 24th in the Associated Press poll. Twelve players and three starters return from the team that earned its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance.

All telecasts also will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive video subscriptions from an affiliated provider.

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