Paradise Jam

NC State, Ole Miss among eight teams in 2016 Paradise Jam

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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.

Bracket is set for the 2014 Paradise Jam

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The bracket has been released for the 2014 Paradise Jam, an event that will take place in the U.S. Virgin Islands from Nov. 21st-24th.

And, quite frankly, it’s not exactly the strongest field we’ve ever seen at one of the early season tournaments.

LSU appears to be the favorite to win and while the Tigers may end up riding Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey to the third spot in the SEC, they are anything but a surefire NCAA tournament team. Clemson and Nevada both lose their best player — K.J. McDaniels and Deonte Burton, respectively — from last year’s team. Seton Hall brings in a talented recruiting class, but they are going to be a young team trying to find their way without Fuquan Edwin. Even Weber State will be looking at somewhat of a rebuilding year as they try to figure out how to operate without Davion Berry and Kyle Tresnak.


Quinnipiac and UConn are latest to announce entrance into 2012 Paradise Jam

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The state of Connecticut will have two representatives in the 2012 Paradise Jam, set to take place this November in the Virgin Islands.

Along with Jim Calhoun and the Connecticut Huskies, Quinnipiac will join the field of eight teams for the annual event.

The rest of the field includes New Mexico, Mercer, Illinois-Chicago, Iona, Wake Forest, and George Mason.

Marquette won last year’s tournament with a 59-57 win over future NCAA tournament darlings Norfolk State.

Paradise Jam will help to begin what is expected to be a trying season for Connecticut in 2012-13, as the Huskies lose Jeremy Lamb, Andre Drummond, Roscoe Smith, Alex Oriakhi, and Michael Bradley from last year’s team.

They also face a postseason ban from the NCAA tournament, stemming from a low Academic Progress Rate.

The Huskies will be bringing in three players for the start of the 2012-13 season: Omar Calhoun, a New York native, big man Phil Nolan, and German prospect Leon Tolksdorf.

Quinnipiac is coming off a season in which the team finished 18-14, including 10-8 in the NEC. The Bobcats participated in the CBI tournament, losing in the first round to Penn.

They will also be bringing in three players from the Class of 2012, highlighted by St. Anthony (N.J.) guard Tariq Carey.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_