As first reported on by Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports, the St. John's Red Storm will face the Oregon State Beavers in the first round of the 2017 Advocare Invitational. As for the rest of the tournament, the first round matchups will look as follows.
West Virginia vs. Marist
Nebraska vs. UCF
St. John’s vs. Oregon State
Missouri vs. Long Beach State
Oregon State is coming off a dreadful season in which they finished 5-27, winning only once in the Pac-12. Some of their losses came at the hands of some lousy mid-major teams, including Lamar, Savannah State, and Long Beach State.
Led by fourth-year head coach Wayne Tinkle, who had success at Montana, the Beavers do not appear to destined for greatness next year. But the Beavers, who played in the NCAA Tournament two season ago, could improve with the return of the coach’s talented son, Tres Tinkle, who was sidelined for the season with injury.
Although they have not lost much of their talent from last season, the Beavers failed to make a splash recruiting the future of their program. While freshman guard Ethan Thompson is highly touted, it will take some time for him to develop into an upper echelon guard in the Pac-12.
This is exactly the matchup St. John's could use as they aim to build upon last year's successes. Oregon State is a Power Five opponent who is beatable. Advancing deep into this tournament could be key to St. John's jumping out to a hot start this season.
The Johnnies could run into some tough contests in this tournament. One potential opponent is Missouri, a team that used a recruiting coup to propel themselves into the national conversation of teams to watch.
Their recruiting class, headlined by the number one recruit Michael Porter, has been listed as a top ten group by 247 Sports.
Alongside Porter, imposing big man Jeremiah Tilmon is set to anchor the Tigers frontcourt. If first-year coach Cuonzo Martin can fit all the pieces together, Missouri could be a very good team next year.
West Virginia poses a tough potential matchup, and an opportunity to improve the perception of the Red Storm program. Under Bob Huggins, the Mountaineers have used their aggressive defense to ignite recent success. West Virginia will be ranked very highly.
Central Florida, one of the nation’s tallest teams - not just because of 7’6” Tacko Fall - will be a competitive squad with the addition of the coach’s son Aubrey Dawkins and Drexel transfer Terrell Allen.
This tournament is set to take place at the HP Field House in Orlando, Florida. The event is set to commence on Thanksgiving, finishing the following Sunday. Each of the eight teams participating in this event will play three contests at ESPN's World Wide of Sports Complex. Last season, the national runner-up in Gonzaga won this tournament.