Tag: Alabama State

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Six teams from 2014 NCAA Tournament highlight a busy August of exhibition hoops in the Bahamas

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The Bahamas is a wonderful vacation destination, but this August, it also becomes a hotbed of college basketball exhibition action.

According to an article from The Bahamas Weekly the Bahamas Basketball Federation is touting this as the “Summer of Thunder” as the island makes an aggressive effort to bring Division I basketball programs there in order to attract fans for tourism purposes while featuring high-level basketball for local coaches and players.

From August 2nd through the 25th, exhibition games and practices involving 13 different Division I teams will be going on nearly every day. The NCAA allows college basketball programs to take an international exhibition tour once every four years for some extra games and 10 days of additional practice time as well as an educational experience traveling abroad for the student-athletes.

The group of teams heading to the Bahamas is headlined by six teams from the 2014 NCAA Tournament including Cincinnati, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State, Pitt and Stanford.

Other programs making the trip in August include Alabama State, Chattanooga, Louisiana Tech, Morehead State, Northern Arizona, Ole Miss, Portland State and Division III Whitman College.

All games will take place at the Sir Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium in the capital of Nassau.

If you happen to be in the Bahamas for vacation this summer — and really need a college hoops fix and don’t feel like spending time on the beach — there’s plenty of action to check out.

You can view the full day-to-day schedule in the Bahamas here.

Report: Four ineligible teams allowed to compete in SWAC Tournament

Josh Freelove, Lewis Jackson
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According to a report from Tim Gayle of the USA Today, SWAC officials announced on Friday that all 10 teams in the league would be allowed to participate in the 2014 conference tournament despite four teams being banned from the NCAA Tournament due to poor Academic Progress Rates.

The SWAC has seen this sort of issue before, in regards to its conference tournament, and last season saw only seven men’s teams compete in the tournament.

Regular-season SWAC champion Southern, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Grambling and Mississippi Valley State are the four teams facing the NCAA Tournament ban and the four schools were allowed in the conference tournament after SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp had the presidents of the 10 teams in the league vote on whether to include them. According to Gayle, the vote would up 8-2 to include the teams in the conference tournament.

But what about the NCAA Tournament? With the SWAC being a one-bid league, conference officials were concerned that an ineligible team would win the league tournament and the SWAC would forfeit their NCAA Tournament bid — and the postseason money that comes with it.

Thankfully, the NCAA has stepped in and weighted in on the matter, as Gayle explains in the USA Today report:

SWAC officials were worried that an ineligible team winning the tournament might exclude all SWAC teams from the NCAA tournament which, in turn, would forfeit the conference’s right to the postseason money that is divided among participating teams.

But the NCAA took the unprecedented step on Friday of allowing ineligible teams to participate and will simply take the highest-seeded eligible team (currently the Alabama State men and the conference-leading Texas Southern women) should more than one eligible team reach the same level of conference tournament play before being eliminated by an ineligible team.

Otherwise, the eligible team that advances the farthest will be the conference’s NCAA qualifier.

The NCAA also weighed in on the matter in regards to future rulings with a statement:

In response to a request from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Committees will allow the conference to amend its automatic qualification policy for the 2014 championships only.

The conference tournaments will still determine the automatic berths into both NCAA championships. The eligible team that advances furthest in the conference tournaments will receive the automatic berth to the NCAA championships. In the event of a tie (for example, all tournament-eligible teams are eliminated in the same round), the automatic berth will go to the highest-seeded team.

The process will be revisited when the men’s and women’s basketball committees meet in the summer.

Obviously, this is a bizarre situation — and it certainly doesn’t make the SWAC look good — but it seems as though the NCAA and the league have figured things out.

The big news here is that Southern won’t be making another NCAA Tournament appearance after putting a scare into No. 1 seed Gonzaga last year as a 16 seed. As the regular-season champs, Southern would have been the favorites to make it back to the tournament, but now, Alabama State is the highest-seeded eligible men’s team in the field.

The SWAC will hold its conference tournament March 11-15th at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Alabama State’s postseason ban rescinded by NCAA

Josh Freelove, Lewis Jackson
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Earlier this spring it was announced by the NCAA that Alabama State was one of six men’s basketball programs to be banned from postseason play in 2013-14 due to low Academic Progress Rate (APR) numbers.

On Friday, Alabama State announced that after the NCAA’s evaluation of additional data submitted by the athletic department the Hornets are no longer subject to that ban. Alabama State also received the good news regarding its football, baseball and volleyball programs.

“Once the NCAA evaluated that additional academic performance data, assessed our ASU Academic Improvement Plan and reviewed us according to its Limited Resource Institution component, the NCAA staff determined that ASU will not be penalized,” Alabama State interim athletic director Melvin Hines said in the statement released by the school.

One of the points of contention with the new APR guidelines in recent years has been the fact that schools without the resources needed to make sure their student-athletes remain on track academically are the ones most often penalized. Taking into consideration that lack of resources is the right thing to do when the NCAA looks at cases such as Alabama State’s.

Lewis Jackson’s Hornets finished the 2012-13 season with a 10-22 record, finishing SWAC play with an 8-10 league record. Next year’s team has just one senior on the roster (guard Denzel McDaniel), and the Hornets will also have to account for the departures of leading scorers Josh Freelove (13.3 ppg) and Phillip Crawford (13.2, 6.1 rpg).

But even with the heavy personnel changes (Alabama State adds five newcomers, with four being junior college transfers) at the very least the Hornets know that they’ll be able to compete for the SWAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.