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MPBA: Chicago Blues earn the title (Photo:thempba.com)

MPBA Standings
 1. Pontiac 66ers 12-4 
 2. Chicago WCG 9-5 
 3. Chicago B. 8-6 
 4. St.Louis RS 7-6 
 5. Lima E. 5-9 
 6. Champaign S. 5-11 
 7. Gateway S. 4-9 
 8. Bloomington E.. 0-0 
 9. Eureka B. 0-0 
 10. Jacksonville G. 0-0 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 1 Michael Rogers27.6 
 2 Dion Cooksey26.8 
 3 Cordaryl Ballard26.6 
 4 Justin Bocot26.3 
 5 Alfonzo Houston25.6 
Rebounds Per Game
 1 Isiah Martin9.4 
 2 Al Rapier9.3 
 3 Johnny Elliott8.6 
 4 Marcus Hammonds7.7 
 5 Connell Crossland7.7 
Assists Per Game
 1 Cordaryl Ballard5.4 
 2 Dion Cooksey4.8 
 3 Jordan Walker4.4 
 4 Oliver McGlade4.0 
 5 Johnny Elliott3.4 
Steals Per Game
 1 Jordan Walker2.2 
 2 Dion Cooksey1.6 
 2 C.J. Hampton1.6 
 4 Terrell Williams1.5 
 5 Ed Jenkins1.4 
Blocks Per Game
 1 Jordan Walker2.0 
 2 Shakir Johnson1.5 
 3 Isiah Martin1.4 
 4 3 tied at1.3 
Articles
Interviews

MPBA Weekend Preview - Playoff race tightens - Mar 4, 2016


POSTED BY:
CRAIG FATA
E-mail Craig:
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Vance
Cooksey
March 4, 2016

ST. LOUIS - One thing has been settled so far in the 2016 Midwest Professional Basketball Association season: and that is nothing is settled. With the second-place Pontiac 66ers just 1.5 games behind the league-leading Windy City Groove, and just 2.5 games separating third place from seventh, the stretch run is shaping up to be a neck-and-neck affair, as only four teams will make the postseason.

This weekend marks the first time all seven teams will be in action in the same two-day stretch, with critical matchups between teams that will be fighting for their playoff lives over the next three weeks.

The action opens with a double-header Saturday at the Kroc Center in Chicago, as the 8-2 Groove try to rebound against the 5-4 St. Louis RiverSharks from an overtime loss Wednesday to Pontiac. St. Louis is coming off a Wednesday win over the Gateway Steam.

Dion Vance Cooksey (6'0''-PG-87, college: Pikeville) leads Chicago at 22.4 points and 4.7 assists per game, while six other Groove players average scoring in double figures. One of those is Isiah Martin (6'8''-F-89, college: Indiana St.) (12.8), who leads the team in rebounding at 8.1 per contest. Newcomer Ray Miller (6'8''-F/C, college: CS Fullerton) is averaging 11.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in four games.

2015 MPBA Most Valuable Player Justin Bocot (6'4''-G-88, college: S.Illinois) paces St. Louis, again with MVP-type numbers. He averages 25.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game for the RiverSharks. Bruce Massey (6'3''-G-90, college: Middle Tenn.St.) isn't far behind, putting up 22.1 points and pulling down 7.8 rebounds per contest. Aaron Williams (6'6''-G, college: Chicago St.) leads the 'Sharks in rebounding at 7.9 per game.

Saturday's second game features the suddenly dangerous Champaign Swarm (3-7) taking on the athletic Chicago Blues (5-4). Champaign has won two in a row since Daniel Ruffin took over as head coach.

Ryan Jackson (6'2''-G, college: Lewis) and Tremell Adams (6'1''-G, college: Robert Morris) lead the Blues at 17.2 and 17.1 points per game, respectively. Alexandre Rapier (6'7''-F-89, college: Stony Brook, agency: Dynamics Global Management) pitches in 14.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for Chicago. Kansas All-American Sherron Collins (5'11''-PG-87, college: Kansas) is averaging 15.4 points, as a total of seven Blues score in double figures.

Aaron Weaver (6'6''-G, college: North Park), since returning to the Swarm four games ago, leads Champaign in scoring at 24.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Michael Rogers has been among the league's top performers since the start of the season, averaging 23.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Two more newcomers have helped to make the Swarm dangerous--Jonathan Mills, averaging 18.5 points and 10.0 rebounds over two games, and 2015 championship contributor Robert Broughton (6'5''-F), who, in three games, averages 12.0 points and 7.3 rebounds.

On Sunday, the streaky Gateway Steam (3-6) travel to Lima to take on the hard-luck Lima Express (3-7). The Steam are in the midst of their second three-game losing streak this year-in between those, they won three in a row. Lima, meanwhile, has lost five straight, but none of those losses have been by more than nine points. Lima dropped a pair of games to first-place Windy City last weekend by a total of five points.

Kyle Meyer (6'6''-F-88, college: Ohio Northern) leads Lima with 22.2 points per game, and Jody Hill (6'2''-G-91, college: Livingstone), in two games since returning to the Express from Iraq, is averaging 22.0. Cordaryl Ballard (6'5''-G-87, college: USC Aiken) is right behind them at 21.8 points per game, and leads the MPBA with 5.2 assists per contest. Guard Johnny Elliott (6'0''-PG, college: NW Ohio) is the leading rebounder at 6.6 per game.

The versatile Connell Crossland (6'7''-F-91, college: TCU) leads the Steam at 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while newcomer Anthony Jones (6'1''-G) has made an immediate contribution, averaging 17.5 points and 2.5 steals per game. Sharpshooting forward Brent Schuck (6'8''-F-90, college: Emporia St.) is third in the MPBA in three-point percentage, hitting on 48.3% of his long-range attempts.

The final game of the weekend sees the 7-4 Pontiac 66ers hosting the Swarm, as Pontiac comes off a big overtime win Wednesday against the Groove. MPBA scoring leader Alfonzo Houston (6'3''-G-92, college: N.C.Central) paces the 66ers at 27.3 points per game, one of seven Sixers scoring in double figures. Newcomers Khion Sankey (6'5''-G, college: Lipscomb) and Alex Marzette (6'5''-G) both average close to 17 points and eight rebounds per game, while MPBA-leading rebounder Marcus Hammonds (6'5''-F/G-87, college: Texas A&M-CC) chips in 13.2 points per game.

Every MPBA game this weekend and all season long can be seen live and free of charge in high definition on the league's broadcast portal, MPBA.tv. For more information on the MPBA, visit www.theMPBA.com, or follow on Facebook or Twitter.
  



MPBA launches 2017 summer league - 8 months ago
January 9, 2017 ST. LOUIS - The Midwest Professional Basketball Association has decided to move its upcoming season from a traditional winter start to the summer of 2017, in an effort to determine whether playing closer to the autumn overseas signing period will result in more foreign advancements for MPBA players. The MPBA, which began play in January of 2015, has sent 60 players to overseas teams or the NBA D-League. "Doing a summer league has been in the works since our inception in...   [read more]
MPBA cancels Nov 20 combine - 10 months ago
The Midwest Professional Basketball Association 2017 player combine, scheduled for November 20 in suburban Chicago, has been canceled. 'We didn't have enough players sign up that we thought would be able to go overseas,' said Ed Schumer , commissioner and chief executive officer of the MPBA. 'We don't want to just take money from kids, knowing they didn't have a chance to move up. It's not fair to them. Our combine process is not designed to just be a revenue stream for us.' The MPBA has...   [read more]

Sergio
McClain
MPBA - Former Illini star McClain to coach Champaign Swarm - 10 months ago
November 1, 2016 ST. LOUIS - A player who led Peoria Manual High School to four straight state championships and the University of Illinois to an Elite 8 appearance has been named the head coach of the Midwest Professional Basketball Association's Champaign Swarm. Sergio McClain (6'4''-F-78, college: Illinois) has agreed to helm the Swarm for the 2017 season, set to begin in January. "I'm looking forward to working with a credible league, the Champaign Swarm organization, and my suppor...   [read more]


1 | 2 | 3
Interview with Brandon McGill - 11 months ago  
MPBA's 2015 top coach hired by Mad Ants of D-League - 11 months ago  
MPBA to play in Peoria, Ruffin named coach - 11 months ago  
MPBA - Groove's Lewis signs in Spain, 57th to advance from league - 11 months ago  
MPBA Assoc. Commissioner AJ Guyton named assistant coach of Windy City Bulls - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Schuck off to fast start in Germany, 56th to advance from MPBA - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Anthony Slack named head coach for Bloomington Express - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Eureka Blaze debut - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Atkinson heads to Spain, 52nd to advance from MPBA in 20 months - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Generals unveil logo, search for coach continues - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Houston leaves for Italy, becomes 50th advancement from MPBA - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Burgess signs in Spain, Miller in El Salvador; 49 overseas in two seasons - 1 Year ago  
MPBA returns to Bloomington with team, postseason tournament - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Pontiac's Marzette signs in top Portuguese league, 47th to advance - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Standouts Watkins, Crossland heading to Germany - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Eureka (IL) Blaze set to join MPBA for 2017 season - 1 Year ago  
Jonathan Mills, player in MPBA, MBL, NBL-Canada, shot dead in Chicago - 1 Year ago  
MPBA announces Jacksonville Generals as first 2017 expansion team - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Two more head overseas from MPBA; total now forty in two seasons - 1 Year ago  
MPBA - Blues win friendly against U.K. army team - 1 Year ago  
1 | 2 | 3

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