The 2023 Empire Classic will be loaded with championship pedigree, both past and present. This is one of the toughest fields ever in the Classic. The four teams are the Indiana Hoosiers, Texas Longhorns, Louisville Cardinals, and the defending NCAA Champion Connecticut Huskies.
The 2023 Empire Classic will have some familiar ties this year as Indiana’s head coach Mike Woodson is a former head coach of the New York Knicks and Louisville head coach Kenny Payne was an assistant for the Knicks prior to coming to Louisville.
Indiana has two 4 Star incoming freshman. They were a 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, finishing with a 23-12 record and a second round exit.
The Hoosiers will definitely have a different makeup, of course, with graduations and the transfer portal. Also, losing Trayce Jackson-Davis to the draft will definitely have an effect on next year’s iteration of the Hoosiers.
This is Indiana’s second appearance in the Empire Classic.
Texas has a good recruiting class they’ll be bringing to NYC. It is currently ranked 25th overall with two 5 Star commits, including Ron Holland (6th highest signee in program history).
Texas was a 2 seed in the NCAA tournament that made it to the Elite Eight before losing to Miami. Texas finished the season 29-9.
Texas will be making their 7th appearance in the Classic.
UConn comes in with the 4th overall recruiting class in the country (five players: one 5 Star, three 4 Star, and a 3 Star).
UConn will be the defending NCAA Champions. They entered the season as a 4 seed and finished 31-8 on the season.
Coming off a National Championship, it is unclear how UConn will change through departures and additions due to the transfer portal and the draft. Sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins is expected to leave, but Adama Sanogo could opt to return for his senior year.
This will be UConn’s 5th appearance in the Classic and won the Classic in 2013 defeating Indiana 59-58.
Louisville, who is coming off a historically bad season under first year head coach Kenny Payne, will be making their Empire Classic debut. The Cards have long had incredible success in The Garden, but that was under a previous regime.
Louisville finished 4-28 last year and is currently going through almost a complete roster overhaul.
However, Kenny Payne and his staff has been putting in a lot of work to bring in new and talented players.
Louisville is bringing in the 5th ranked recruiting class and is expected to make a splash in the transfer market.
The 2023 Empire Classic presented by @continentaltire benefitting @wwp will feature the National Champion @UConnHuskies, @IndianaMBB, @TexasMBB and @LouisvilleMBB at @TheGarden on November 19-20.
Press Release: https://t.co/Wishio2IWN pic.twitter.com/aJW8e4lB2k
— Empire Classic (@EmpireClassicBB) April 4, 2023