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2016-17 Southern Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published August 7, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Southern Conference has been around for seemingly forever. Longer than the ACC. Longer than the SEC. Shoot, the league basically served as the breeding ground for both of them.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that a league that has withstood the loss of Alabama, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, etc., etc., could also move on just fine after losing one of its most prominent recent members. A conference doesn’t stick around for nearly 100 years without being able to roll with the changes, and while Davidson’s departure a couple years ago was thought to be a major blow to the SoCon’s basketball product, the truth is the league is stronger now than it’s been in years.

It can’t be said enough just what a job the Southern has done since its flagship basketball program left for the Atlantic 10 in 2014. The re-additions of East Tennessee State and longtime member VMI plus the add of Mercer from the Atlantic Sun were tremendous. Just as important have been the improvements of other members, keyed by smart coaching hires and some coaching stability in the league now as well. … Continue Reading

2015-16 Southern Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published June 1, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

When all was said and done, there was just nothing that could stop Tennessee-Chattanooga’s re-emergence in 2015-16 as the Southern Conference’s best team.

A first-year, first-time head coach? No problem. Early season road chances against teams like Dayton, Georgia and Illinois, rather than being confidence-shakers, instead were platforms for glossy wins. A season-ending injury to the team’s top scorer was only a minor hiccup. A brutal conference schedule that included a stretch of five games in 10 days was just a chance to win five games in 10 days. … Continue Reading

2014-15 Southern Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published July 31, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Tiny Wofford College was one of the hidden gems of the 2014-15 college basketball season. Just as significantly, the Terriers were exactly what the doctor ordered for the venerable Southern Conference.

Stuck firmly in the middle of the pecking order among NCAA Division I conferences, the SoCon has been hit hard by conference realignment over the past couple years. Known more for its Division I-AA (or FCS) football, the league lost Appalachian State, Elon and Georgia Southern, but the biggest blow by far for basketball was the loss of a non-football member when signature hoops program Davidson jumped ship to the Atlantic 10.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, February 13, 2015

by - Published February 13, 2015 in The Morning Dish

If anyone needs more ammo for declaring that college basketball too frequently is not an easy sport on the eyes, they received all they needed last night.

The subject is coaches micromanaging the ends of halves of college basketball games. It is leaving us frustrated, begging for change, ready to organize a celebrity panel of athletes, sportscasters and mascots to write and sing a song about it, the way “Fans Against Traveling” once pleaded “Don’t Walk” to the NBA in a memorable “This is SportsCenter” commercial years ago.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 23, 2014

by - Published November 23, 2014 in The Morning Dish

The weekend has featured several instances of something we don’t see often: BCS conference (or Group of Five, or whatever term you want to use) teams taking to the road against good non-BCS teams.

In the past two days, four teams that went to the NCAA Tournament last year went on the road to face non-BCS teams. For those who have paid attention to this sort of thing over the years, the results of these games were not surprising.

… Continue Reading

2013-14 Big South Post-Mortem

by - Published June 4, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

The 2013-14 season was a historic one for the Big South, and that included when it counts most. Once the postseason came, a good deal of history was made in the conference. While that didn’t mean an NCAA Tournament victory, as champion Coastal Carolina fell to Virginia after leading by five at halftime, it still meant some good history for the conference.

Coastal was part of some history, though, with their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 21 years. Head coach Cliff Ellis is now the 10th head coach in Division I history to take four different programs to the NCAA Tournament. In other tournament action, Radford picked up the first CBI win by a Big South program, then VMI reached the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. In doing so, the Keydets became the first Big South program to win multiple games in a postseason tournament.

… Continue Reading

2013-14 Southern Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published May 14, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

While it hasn’t been talked about as much as, say, the Colonial or the Missouri Valley in this context, the Southern Conference is a mid-major conference that has of late been hit hard by conference realignment. That will continue with Davidson heading to the Atlantic 10 after this season and Elon becoming the second team in as many years to leave for the CAA.

Davidson finished its tenure in the SoCon with a great year, going 15-1 in conference play before losing to Western Carolina in overtime in the semifinals of the conference tournament. It was the third straight season where the Wildcats had the best mark in conference play, and they went on to the NIT, losing to Missouri in the first round.

… Continue Reading

Big South Notebook

by - Published December 15, 2010 in Conference Notes

We’re about a month and a half into the season, and the Big South appears to be following many preseason expectations.

Faced with a mix of non-Division I opponents and power conference favorites, Big South teams notched a respectable 42-40 record thus far against non-conference teams. Coastal Carolina will look to carry momentum from a couple of big wins into the Big South schedule. The Chanticleers claim wins against LSU of the SEC and Charlotte of the Atlantic 10.

Every Big South team has played at least one conference match up so far, and High Point and Liberty sit atop the standings at 2-0. High Point figures to remain in competition for the Big South title while Liberty is supposed to fade toward the middle of the pack. But don’t tell that to the Flames, who have tallied wins against Presbyterian and Winthrop. … Continue Reading

2010 Big South Post-Mortem

by - Published May 27, 2010 in Conference Notes

After winning the conference championship in 2009, Radford appeared stacked entering this season. And for a while, the Highlanders looked like they were on pace to repeat as champions. Player of the Year Artsiom Parakhouski was unstoppable night in and night out, helping Radford finish second to surprisingly dominant Coastal Carolina in the regular season. However, the Highlanders fell victim to Winthrop’s suffocating defense in the Big South Tournament’s semifinals.

Winthrop proved why the Eagles are a perennial conference contender by playing excellent defense throughout the season. The Eagles reaped the dividends of their efforts on defense by storming through the Big South Tournament for another championship. The Eagles captured the conference’s automatic bid, which ended up being an invitation to the play-in game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. In that game, Winthrop’s poor shooting spoiled another solid defensive effort, as the Eagles bowed out without playing a game in the field of 64.

But at least Winthrop reached the NCAA Tournament, a place Coastal Carolina had in its sights after winning the regular-season title. However, the Chanticleers couldn’t continue their success in the conference championship game. Coastal Carolina dropped the final bout at home as Winthrop’s defense knocked the Chanticleers out of rhythm throughout the game.

Final Standings

Team Overall Big South
Coastal Carolina 28-7 15-3
Radford 19-12 13-5
Winthrop 19-14 12-6
UNC-Asheville 15-16 11-7
High Point 15-15 10-8
Liberty 15-16 10-8
Charleston Southern 13-17 7-11
VMI 10-19 5-13
Gardner-Webb 8-21 5-13
Presbyterian 5-26 2-16

Big South Conference Tournament

For the ninth time in 12 years, Winthrop won the Big South championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles upset No. 2 Radford and No. 1 Coastal Carolina en route to the conference championship. In the championship game, Winthrop won its second game of the season against the Chanticleers, taking out the hosts 64-53.

After Winthrop gave up 72 points to No. 6 Liberty in the quarterfinals, the Eagles turned up the defensive pressure, holding Radford to 46 points and Coastal Carolina to 53. Senior forward and Defensive Player of the Year Mantoris Robinson paced Winthrop to the championship with 14 points against Coastal Carolina, including a solid 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

The most thrilling game of the tournament was Radford’s 64-61 overtime victory against No. 7 Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern rallied from eight points down in the final minutes of regulation but ran out of steam in overtime. The Highlanders built a six-point cushion to start overtime and held on for the win.

Big South Awards

Player of the Year: Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Coach of the Year: Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year: Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Defensive Player of the Year: Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

First-Team All-Conference:

Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Joseph Harris, Coastal Carolina

Nick Barbour, High Point

Chad Gray, Coastal Carolina

Jamarco Warren, Charleston Southern

Second-Team All-Conference:

Joey Lynch-Flohr, Radford

Austin Kenon, VMI

Kyle Ohman, Liberty

Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

John Williams, UNC-Asheville

All-Freshman Team:

Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Stan Okoye, VMI

Evan Gordon, Liberty

Kierre Greenwood, Coastal Carolina

Blake Smith, Radford

Season Highlights

4 Things We Saw Coming

1. Radford’s Artsiom Parakhouski dominated the conference on his way to Player of the Year honors.

2. Radford’s size propelled the Highlanders near the top of the conference.

3. VMI once again led the nation with the fastest pace. The Keydets also finished dead last in defensive efficiency, contributing to the team’s 19 losses.

4. New High Point coach Scott Cherry has the Panthers playing a faster pace and moving up the standings, finishing in the middle of the Big South pack.

4 Things We Thought We’d See

1. After shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from three-point range in 2008-09, Winthrop was supposed to be better, not worse, on offense this season. That didn’t happen as the Eagles regressed to 38.0 percent from the field and 24.8 percent from long range.

2. Gardner-Webb was supposed to be better after putting up 13 wins in 2008-09 and returning four starters. But the Bulldogs struggled, winning only eight games. Inconsistent guard play led to more than 18 turnovers per game and derailed the season.

3. With Liberty losing Seth Curry and other key contributors, the Flames were supposed to struggle big time this season. But coach Dale Layer found a way to keep Liberty in the top six.

4. To start the season, UNC-Asheville’s backcourt appeared to be the team’s strength. But the Bulldogs ended up averaging about 17 turnovers per game, worse than last season.

4 Things We Didn’t See Coming

1. With Winthrop’s shooting woes, the Eagles didn’t appear to be able to take out Radford in the conference semifinals. But Winthrop found a way to win and got past regular-season champ Coastal Carolina for the conference championship.

2. Coastal Carolina’s ascension to the top of the Big South standings was surprising, especially considering that the team relied mostly on freshmen and sophomores.

3. Coastal Carolina’s Chad Gray, a transfer from South Carolina, did more than just contribute some productive minutes for the Chanticleers. He led the team to the regular-season title with 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. For his efforts, he received first-team all-conference honors.

4. Charleston Southern’s Jeremy Sexton stormed through the Big South in his freshman campaign, earning the Rookie of the Year award. He averaged 12.7 points and 2.3 assists per game and shot better than 38 percent from three-point range.

Teams on the Rise:

Charleston Southern

The Buccaneers finished near the bottom of the pack this season. But they will return nearly their entire lineup, including freshman of the year, Jeremy Sexton. If Charleston Southern can continue to cut down on the turnovers, the Buccaneers could move up as a couple of other teams rebuild.

High Point

Under new coach Scott Cherry, the Panthers played better than expected this past season. If Cherry can keep this team on an upward trajectory, the Panthers should approach the top of the conference next season. The Panthers return six out of their top eight players, including leading scorer Nick Barbour, who averaged 18.9 points per game and will be a candidate for player of the year in 2010-11.

Team on the Decline:

Winthrop

The Eagles won the conference championship with an outburst of just-good-enough shooting and excellent defense. But Winthrop will lose the defensive player of the year, Mantoris Robinson, from a team that relies almost entirely on defense. The Eagles actually shot worse this season than they did last season. There’s no reason to expect this team to turn into excellent shooters all of a sudden, and if the team’s defense falters, the Eagles will plummet in the Big South standings.

Radford

The Highlanders will have to learn to succeed without Artsion Parakhouski, which promises to be a tall order next season. The player of the year averaged 21.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game for Radford this season. In addition, Radford will lose two others starters who averaged at least 32 minutes per game. Radford’s lineup figures to undergo major changes by opening night next season, and it could be a difficult season.

Next Season

This season and next season promise to look totally different in the Big South.

With the player of the year and defensive player of the year graduating, several top teams figure to move down the standings. Radford is in danger of making the biggest drop after Artsiom Parakhouski graduates. The player of the year was spectacular, but the Highlanders will have to find a way to win without him. Most likely, that’s not going to happen very often.

Winthrop will likely join Radford among the teams falling in the standings, unless the Eagles figure out how to shoot better. Winthrop won the conference championship with a great defense and mediocre offense. With the graduation of Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop loses the defensive player of the year. That has to hurt the team’s defensive prowess, which will likewise hurt the team’s win total.

In their place, several young teams, like Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, Liberty and High Point will be ready to move up the standings. Coastal Carolina already earned a regular-season title, and the Chanticleers figure to remain competitive for the league title. Charleston Southern, High Point and Liberty want to build on some success from this past season by moving into the top half of the conference next season.

After winning the conference championship in 2009, Radford appeared stacked entering this season. And for a while, the Highlanders looked like they were on pace to repeat as champions. Player of the Year Artsiom Parakhouski was unstoppable night in and night out, helping Radford finish second to surprisingly dominant Coastal Carolina in the regular season. However, the Highlanders fell victim to Winthrop’s suffocating defense in the Big South Tournament’s semifinals.

Winthrop proved why the Eagles are a perennial conference contender by playing excellent defense throughout the season. The Eagles reaped the dividends of their efforts on defense by storming through the Big South Tournament for another championship. The Eagles captured the conference’s automatic bid, which ended up being an invitation to the play-in game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. In that game, Winthrop’s poor shooting spoiled another solid defensive effort, as the Eagles bowed out without playing a game in the field of 64.

But at least Winthrop reached the NCAA Tournament, a place Coastal Carolina had in its sights after winning the regular-season title. However, the Chanticleers couldn’t continue their success in the conference championship game. Coastal Carolina dropped the final bout at home as Winthrop’s defense knocked the Chanticleers out of rhythm throughout the game.

Final Standings

Team Overall Big South
Coastal Carolina 28-7 15-3
Radford 19-12 13-5
Winthrop 19-14 12-6
UNC-Asheville 15-16 11-7
High Point 15-15 10-8
Liberty 15-16 10-8
Charleston Southern 13-17 7-11
VMI 10-19 5-13
Gardner-Webb 8-21 5-13
Presbyterian 5-26 2-16

Big South Conference Tournament

For the ninth time in 12 years, Winthrop won the Big South championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles upset No. 2 Radford and No. 1 Coastal Carolina en route to the conference championship. In the championship game, Winthrop won its second game of the season against the Chanticleers, taking out the hosts 64-53.

After Winthrop gave up 72 points to No. 6 Liberty in the quarterfinals, the Eagles turned up the defensive pressure, holding Radford to 46 points and Coastal Carolina to 53. Senior forward and Defensive Player of the Year Mantoris Robinson paced Winthrop to the championship with 14 points against Coastal Carolina, including a solid 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

The most thrilling game of the tournament was Radford’s 64-61 overtime victory against No. 7 Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern rallied from eight points down in the final minutes of regulation but ran out of steam in overtime. The Highlanders built a six-point cushion to start overtime and held on for the win.

Big South Awards

Player of the Year: Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Coach of the Year: Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year: Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Defensive Player of the Year: Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

First-Team All-Conference:

Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Joseph Harris, Coastal Carolina

Nick Barbour, High Point

Chad Gray, Coastal Carolina

Jamarco Warren, Charleston Southern

Second-Team All-Conference:

Joey Lynch-Flohr, Radford

Austin Kenon, VMI

Kyle Ohman, Liberty

Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

John Williams, UNC-Asheville

All-Freshman Team:

Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Stan Okoye, VMI

Evan Gordon, Liberty

Kierre Greenwood, Coastal Carolina

Blake Smith, Radford

Season Highlights

4 Things We Saw Coming

1. Radford’s Artsiom Parakhouski dominated the conference on his way to Player of the Year honors.

2. Radford’s size propelled the Highlanders near the top of the conference.

3. VMI once again led the nation with the fastest pace. The Keydets also finished dead last in defensive efficiency, contributing to the team’s 19 losses.

4. New High Point coach Scott Cherry has the Panthers playing a faster pace and moving up the standings, finishing in the middle of the Big South pack.

4 Things We Thought We’d See

1. After shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from three-point range in 2008-09, Winthrop was supposed to be better, not worse, on offense this season. That didn’t happen as the Eagles regressed to 38.0 percent from the field and 24.8 percent from long range.

2. Gardner-Webb was supposed to be better after putting up 13 wins in 2008-09 and returning four starters. But the Bulldogs struggled, winning only eight games. Inconsistent guard play led to more than 18 turnovers per game and derailed the season.

3. With Liberty losing Seth Curry and other key contributors, the Flames were supposed to struggle big time this season. But coach Dale Layer found a way to keep Liberty in the top six.

4. To start the season, UNC-Asheville’s backcourt appeared to be the team’s strength. But the Bulldogs ended up averaging about 17 turnovers per game, worse than last season.

4 Things We Didn’t See Coming

1. With Winthrop’s shooting woes, the Eagles didn’t appear to be able to take out Radford in the conference semifinals. But Winthrop found a way to win and got past regular-season champ Coastal Carolina for the conference championship.

2. Coastal Carolina’s ascension to the top of the Big South standings was surprising, especially considering that the team relied mostly on freshmen and sophomores.

3. Coastal Carolina’s Chad Gray, a transfer from South Carolina, did more than just contribute some productive minutes for the Chanticleers. He led the team to the regular-season title with 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. For his efforts, he received first-team all-conference honors.

4. Charleston Southern’s Jeremy Sexton stormed through the Big South in his freshman campaign, earning the Rookie of the Year award. He averaged 12.7 points and 2.3 assists per game and shot better than 38 percent from three-point range.

Teams on the Rise:

Charleston Southern

The Buccaneers finished near the bottom of the pack this season. But they will return nearly their entire lineup, including freshman of the year, Jeremy Sexton. If Charleston Southern can continue to cut down on the turnovers, the Buccaneers could move up as a couple of other teams rebuild.

High Point

Under new coach Scott Cherry, the Panthers played better than expected this past season. If Cherry can keep this team on an upward trajectory, the Panthers should approach the top of the conference next season. The Panthers return six out of their top eight players, including leading scorer Nick Barbour, who averaged 18.9 points per game and will be a candidate for player of the year in 2010-11.

Team on the Decline:

Winthrop

The Eagles won the conference championship with an outburst of just-good-enough shooting and excellent defense. But Winthrop will lose the defensive player of the year, Mantoris Robinson, from a team that relies almost entirely on defense. The Eagles actually shot worse this season than they did last season. There’s no reason to expect this team to turn into excellent shooters all of a sudden, and if the team’s defense falters, the Eagles will plummet in the Big South standings.

Radford

The Highlanders will have to learn to succeed without Artsion Parakhouski, which promises to be a tall order next season. The player of the year averaged 21.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game for Radford this season. In addition, Radford will lose two others starters who averaged at least 32 minutes per game. Radford’s lineup figures to undergo major changes by opening night next season, and it could be a difficult season.

Next Season

This season and next season promise to look totally different in the Big South.

With the player of the year and defensive player of the year graduating, several top teams figure to move down the standings. Radford is in danger of making the biggest drop after Artsiom Parakhouski graduates. The player of the year was spectacular, but the Highlanders will have to find a way to win without him. Most likely, that’s not going to happen very often.

Winthrop will likely join Radford among the teams falling in the standings, unless the Eagles figure out how to shoot better. Winthrop won the conference championship with a great defense and mediocre offense. With the graduation of Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop loses the defensive player of the year. That has to hurt the team’s defensive prowess, which will likewise hurt the team’s win total.

In their place, several young teams, like Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, Liberty and High Point will be ready to move up the standings. Coastal Carolina already earned a regular-season title, and the Chanticleers figure to remain competitive for the league title. Charleston Southern, High Point and Liberty want to build on some success from this past season by moving into the top half of the conference next season.

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Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

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The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.