Every season in its 33-year history, the Great Alaska Shootout has had a men's basketball participant qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
In 2015, the Shootout field will include Cal State Bakersfield.
CSUB athletic director Jeff Konya announced Tuesday that the Roadrunners have accepted an invitation to play in the 2015 Great Alaska Shootout, which is played annually over the Thanksgiving holiday period.
"It was the Western Athletic Conference that contacted us about the spot," said Konya, who noted that the WAC annually sends a representative to the event. "They know the kind of program we're building and the opportunity came up in 2015.
"It was about a week's worth of negotiations to get that accomplished."
Konya said CSUB hasn't been told of any other teams that have been invited to participate in the 2015 event.
He added that tournament officials say the field will feature teams "comparable to what it has been the last 3-4 years. Teams like Oklahoma, St. John's, teams from the Big 12, teams from the Big East, Conference USA, the West Coast Conference and they always have a WAC participant."
Konya added: "We're going to take our turn and it's real fortunate they called us."
CSUB will play three games, all televised nationally, Konya said.
It is also an "exempt" tournament, meaning those games won't count toward the NCAA maximum of 28 regular season games that teams are allowed each season.
CSUB coach Rod Barnes said the Great Alaska Shootout gives the Roadrunners national recognition.
"That was one of the goals when I got here: To give us more exposure and get us into these early-season exempt tournaments. It's a great deal for us. A great opportunity for our program."
Illness hits CSUB
CSUB coach Rod Barnes said the Roadrunners are healing from some nagging injuries that have slowed several players in recent games. But now the flu bug is working its way through the team.
Junior guard Brandon Barnes (the coach's son) missed practice on Monday but was expected back Tuesday because of the illness. Rod Barnes added that backup forward Cory Hall was going to miss practice Tuesday because of illness.
"It's like a 24-hour bug going around," the coach said. "We expect everyone healthy" for tonight's game against Wyoming, a 7 p.m. start in Rabobank Arena.
The goal: get Carter the ball
Coach Rod Barnes said it's exciting that senior guard Stephon Carter is closing in on the program's all-time scoring record. Carter needs 35 points to pass Kenny Warren and move into the top spot.
"We're going to get him touches," Barnes said. "We're really trying to get this over with. ... We want to get it to him often. We want to help him get it."
Carter was held to a season-low four points in CSUB's earlier meeting against Wyoming, which was Nov. 24 in Laramie, Wyo. Carter did not make a field goal and fouled out after playing only 18 minutes in CSUB's 63-49 loss.
Wyoming: lots of size
Wyoming brings a sizeable team into Rabobank Arena tonight. Five players are at least 6-foot-7, including 6-7 forward Leonard Washington, the team's top scorer (14.1) and rebounder (8.7). Sophomore Larry Nance Jr. (son of 13-year NBA player and three-time All-Star Larry Nance Sr) is 6-8 and averages 10.2 points and 7.1 rebounds.