While the 2015-16 season has yet to get underway, some in-season tournaments have already begun the process of finalizing teams for the 2016-17 campaign. Wednesday evening the Paradise Jam revealed its eight-team field for the 2016 edition of the event, which is scheduled to be played November 18-21, 2016 at the University of the Virgin Islands.
NC State, which has reached the NCAA tournament in each of the last four seasons under head coach Mark Gottfried, is part of the event as are Andy Kennedy’s Ole Miss Rebels. Completing the field are Creighton, Loyola-Chicago, Oral Roberts, Montana, Saint Joseph’s and Washington State.
Of the eight teams just two have made prior appearances at the Paradise Jam. Phil Martelli’s Saint Joseph’s team finished fifth in 2009, with Ole Miss finishing third two years later. Washington State may have the most interesting connection to this tournament, however.
The father of forward Josh Hawkinson, who was the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player last season and will be a senior in 2016-17, created the Paradise Jam back in 2000. That should make for a fun return to the Virgin Islands for Josh next November. Nels Hawkinson is the executive director of Basketball Travelers, a company some may be familiar with as they’ve set up foreign tours for many college basketball programs over the years.
While NC State and Ole Miss are the lone teams in this field to reach the NCAA tournament last season, Montana is one of the favorites in the Big Sky entering the 2015-16 season and ORU is expected to be a factor in the Summit League. Scott Sutton’s Golden Eagles were picked to finish third in the Summit League preseason coaches poll.
Loyola (IL) lands former Colorado commit Satterwhite
With three seniors in its perimeter rotation, adding a guard in the Class of 2016 was something Loyola (IL) likely wanted to do. Sunday Porter Moser’s program managed to do just that, as 6-foot-4 shooting guard Cameron Satterwhite announced that he’d committed to the Missouri Valley Conference program.
Satterwhite is Loyola’s first verbal commitment in the Class of 2016, and he’s a talented one at that. Satterwhite, who attends Gilbert Christian HS in Gilbert, Arizona and played for the Arizona Power program this summer, was originally a Colorado verbal commit. However things changed in the aftermath of Satterwhite suffering a torn ACL while playing in Las Vegas in July.
Satterwhite reopened his recruitment last month after reportedly being asked by Colorado to reclassify to 2017 to ensure that his knee would be back to full strength upon his arrival.
“Cam didn’t want to do that,” Ortega said to Gershon of reclassifying to 2017. “Talking to Cam and his family, they didn’t want to figure out what to do for a year as a post grad or something else. Even if it means he has to go to a lower conference.”
Of Loyola’s three seniors on the perimeter Earl Peterson and Devon Turk were the most productive last season, with Peterson averaging 8.7 points per game and Turk not far behind at 8.5 ppg. Jeff White averaged 2.9 ppg but was second on the team in assists with 82.
Satterwhite and Iowa State transfer Clayton Custer (sitting out this season) will join the perimeter rotation next season, with Milton Doyle, Donte Ingram and Ben Richardson among those who will have eligibility remaining.
Video credit: AZ Finest
Former Iowa State guard finds a new home in the Missouri Valley Conference
The Ramblers will be without Custer for next season, due to NCAA transfer restrictions, but this is a nice pickup for them at point guard. Although Custer never found his footing at Iowa State, the Valley could be a better fit for him and one of his former high school teammate, Ben Richardson, is currently on the roster.