MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — It’s about much more than pick-and-rolls and double teams for the four teams starting their seasons aboard the USS Yorktown at the Carrier Classic.
Ohio State’s Thad Matta and Jim Foster, Marquette’s Buzz Williams and Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw aren’t just thinking about getting a win. The coaches agree the trip south is also about giving their players a deeper appreciation for the military and the sacrifice it takes to serve one’s country.
“Sometimes, you’ve got to get out of your box and realize you’re in the education business,” Foster said Thursday.
The event began last fall with North Carolina and Michigan State playing on an aircraft carrier off San Diego. This year, the classic was expanded and moved across country to the USS Yorktown, a carrier turned naval museum in Charleston’s harbor.
Festivities tip off today when last year’s national women’s runner-up, No. 7 Notre Dame, faces No. 19 Ohio State. Then a showdown between the fourth-ranked Buckeyes men’s team and Marquette follows on the flight deck turned basketball court.
“This is one of the top five things I’ve ever done in my life,” Marquette’s Williams said.
KENTUCKY: Coach John Calipari will be looking for a working rotation in the season opener against Maryland tonight.
The third-ranked Wildcats’ latest group of top-level recruits will make its debut under New York’s bright lights at the Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn.
The coach who masterfully guided a Kentucky squad led by freshmen to the national championship last year doesn’t know what to expect from this new group that includes guard Archie Goodwin, forwards Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress and center Willie-Cauley Stein.
Calipari wants to leave the Big Apple with a win, but he really wants the Wildcats to develop an identity and more team chemistry while they’re in the city.