Montana men’s head basketball coach Travis DeCuire has already put together one of the most difficult schedules in Montana history for the 2015-16 season, and now he’s well on his way to putting together an equally impressive 2016-17 schedule.
On Wednesday, the Montana Grizzlies were officially announced as one of eight teams scheduled to take part in the 2016 Paradise Jam at the University of the Virgin Islands, which has become one of the premier pre-season destination tournaments in college basketball.
In addition to the Griz, the 17th annual Paradise Jam will include Creighton, Loyola University Chicago, North Carolina State, Oral Roberts, Ole Miss, St. Joseph’s, and Washington State.
The field contains some of the nation’s best teams from 2014-15, including NC State who made a run to the Sweet 16, and Ole Miss, who finished fifth in the SEC standings and earned a trip to the NCAA tourney as well.
A perennial power in the Big East Conference, Creighton has played the Cinderella role at the NCAA tourney in the past, and Oral Roberts is no stranger to tournament play either, reaching the big dance three straight years from 2006-08.
The tournament takes place annually the week before Thanksgiving and will be held November 18-21 in 2016 at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, USVI.
Hosted at the $11 million state-of-the-art UVI Sports and Fitness Center, Paradise Jam attracts thousands of tourists to the U.S. Virgin Islands each year while immersing participating fans and teams in the culture of the Caribbean.
The 2016 tournament features two alumni teams. Ole Miss and St. Joseph’s will be making their second trip to St. Thomas. Ole Miss placed 3rd in the 2011 Paradise Jam while St. Joseph’s placed 5th back in 2009.