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Georgia’s men’s basketball team will take on Illinois State in the first round of the Cayman Islands Classic, according to an announcement Thursday by the tournament organizers.
 
The Bulldogs and the Redbirds will square off on Monday, Nov. 19, at 2:30 p.m. inside John Gray Gymnasium, just minutes away from world-famous Seven Mile Beach.

 
Illinois State went 18-15 last season and finished as the runner-up in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The Redbirds return their top six scorers and 95.5 percent of their scoring from a season ago. Among the returnees are MVC Newcomer of the Year Milik Yarbrough (16.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists), Second Team All-MVC honoree Phil Fayne (15.6 points, 7.4 rebounds), and Keyshawn Evans (15.2 points, 3.6 assists).
 
“Illinois State will be a formidable foe for us in the Cayman Islands Classic,” Georgia head coach Tom Crean said. “Illinois State has a veteran team returning and Coach Dan Muller does a tremendous job of getting his players prepared. Facing Illinois State will be a good early season challenge for us. These types of tournaments test you both physically and mentally, and they help prepare you for the rest of your season. We’re excited about the challenge and the opportunity.”
Tom Crean

Tom Crean

The other first-round match-ups will be Akron and Clemson at noon, St. Bonaventure and Georgia State at 5 p.m., and Boise State and Creighton at 7:30 p.m.
 
The Georgia-Illinois State winner will face the Akron-Clemson winner at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, while the Georgia-Illinois State loser will take on the Akron-Clemson loser at noon. The championship, third-, fifth- and seventh-place games are slated for Wednesday, Nov. 21.
 

For more information on the tournament, including tickets and hotel accommodations, visit the official website at www.caymanislandsclassic.com.

Greg Poole