The College of Wooster men's basketball team will host the third annual Great Lakes Invitational during the 2019-20 season, as announced by event founder Ryan Whitnable on Thursday.
The eight-team invitational will be played Dec. 28-29, 2019 at Timken Gymnasium. The field includes five teams from the Great Lakes Region – Alma College, John Carroll University, Marietta College, Ohio Wesleyan University, and Wooster – and Keene State College, Salisbury University, and York College. The field has combined to make 23 appearances in the NCAA Div. III Championships over the last five years, and six of the eight teams have made the national tournament at least three times.
"It's an honor to be able to bring the 2019 Great Lakes Invitational to The College of Wooster," said Whitnable. "Wooster has a long and storied basketball history. Combine that with one of the best venues in Div. III basketball and you have a perfect host to some of the most elite programs from across the country."
"We are very excited and pleased to have the 2019 Great Lakes Invitational serve as the 57th annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic," said Wooster head coach Steve Moore. "Ryan has assembled an excellent field of eight teams. We will have two days of highly competitive college basketball with outstanding attendance and great atmosphere. The event will be a very enjoyable experience for the participating teams and fans."
Game times are set for 1, 3, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. each day, and predetermined matchups will be set at a later date.
Marietta hosted the first Great Lakes Invitational in 2017, while Hope College served as the host this season.
"This event was designed to bring together the best programs from the Great Lakes Region and from the other regions of Div. III basketball for a two-day wall to wall schedule of tournament quality games," said Whitnable.
What the other participating coaches are saying about the Great Lakes Invitational:
"I really liked the idea of this tournament from its inception, and we're very thankful and excited for the opportunity to compete in it. Playing this type of competition always gives you a great measuring stick on how your team stacks up against the rest of the region, and I always believe it prepares you well for the rigors of conference play." - Sam Hargraves, Alma
"We are beyond excited to participate in the Great Lakes Invitational. Wooster is a wonderful venue for this occasion because of the renovations they have made to their facility. This is an excellent opportunity for our storied program to compete against the nation's best." - Pete Moran, John Carroll
"The Keene State men's basketball program is very excited and honored to participate in the Great Lakes Invitational in the 2019-2020 season. We try to put together a schedule that will challenge our team and this tournament definitely does that. We look forward to competing against a field of nationally renowned basketball programs hosted by the basketball program that has been the most consistent in the country at our level over the last twenty plus seasons." - Ryan Cain, Keene State
"We are excited to play in the Great Lakes Invitational at Wooster. We were fortunate enough to host the inaugural GLI in Marietta and it was an amazing event. We are looking forward to seeing seven other high caliber teams next year while also getting to test ourselves versus great competition. These types of events have a NCAA Tournament feel to them and we love putting our guys in these types of situations and environments." - Jon VanderWal, Marietta
"We are tremendously excited and honored to play in the 2019 Great Lakes Invitational. The field that has been put together will be a great challenge for all the participating teams while providing Div. III basketball fans a chance to see some outstanding basketball." - Mike DeWitt, Ohio Wesleyan
"We are thrilled to be able to be a part of the Great Lakes Invitational. The teams taking part in the event will allow top-notch competition throughout, and each program will come out tested and prepared for the remainder of their season. Aside from what happens in competition, being able to have our team travel to the Midwest will be an amazing opportunity for our young men to see an area they may not have been able to explore before. We look forward to broadening our horizons at the Great Lakes Invitational, both on and off the court." - Brian McDermott, Salisbury
"York College is looking forward to competing in the Great Lakes Invitational next season. (We're) excited to be part of such a great field. We enjoy playing against the best competition we can find and the field at next year's tournament guarantees it. It will be an honor to test ourselves against some of the very best in the Great Lakes Region and beyond." - Matt Hunter, York