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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 
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MPBA - Playoff seeds uncertain with five games next five days - Mar 11, 2016


POSTED BY:
CRAIG FATA
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Vance
Cooksey
March 11, 2016

ST. LOUIS - There's a new king of the hill in the Midwest Professional Basketball Association, but who knows for how long that will last.

The Pontiac 66ers with a win Wednesday took over first place by a half-game from the Windy City Groove, who lost Wednesday. The 66ers sit at 9-4, while the Groove are at 8-4. The Chicago Blues, meanwhile, have moved into third place by half a game over the St. Louis RiverSharks, with Chicago at 7-4 at St. Louis at 6-4.

And with five games the next five days on the schedule, the playoff picture might begin to clear up a little-or it might be murkier than ever.

The action starts Friday as the Groove try to snap a three-game losing streak against the RiverSharks in Chicago. St. Louis beat Windy City last Saturday 108-100, despite losing league MVP Justin Bocot that morning to a contract in Mexico. The Groove, however, were playing without two of their stars, Dion Vance Cooksey (6'0''-PG-87, college: Pikeville) and Sean Dockery (6'2''-G-83, college: Duke), who both figure to be back for tonight's game.

Bruce Massey (6'3''-G-90, college: Middle Tenn.St.) continues to lead the post-Bocot RiverSharks, earning his second Player of the Week nod in the past three weeks. He's averaging 21.9 points and 7.6 rebounds for Ray Farrell 's team. Aaron Williams (6'6''-G, college: Chicago St.) and Jaylen Fulton (6'1''-G, college: St.Louis CC) stepped up big in Bocot's absence against the Groove, and will be needed to do so again if St. Louis hopes to take down Windy City twice in a row.

The Groove are mired in their worst losing streak of the year. After winning eight of their first nine, Handy Johnson's squad has dropped three straight. Dion Cooksey is Windy City's top scorer at 22.7 points per game, and also hands out 4.8 assists per game. Five other Groove score in double figures, while Ray Miller (6'8''-F/C, college: CS Fullerton), signed last month, has bolstered the interior defense for Windy City, blocking 1.8 shots per game and pulling down 6.8 rebounds to go along with his 9.5 points.

On Saturday, the Gateway Steam head to Champaign in a battle of two teams fighting to stay alive for the playoffs. Gateway (3-8), after reaching .500, has lost five in a row, while Champaign (3-9), after winning its first two games under new coach Daniel Ruffin, has lost its last two.

Dual threat Connell Crossland (6'7''-F-91, college: TCU) leads the Steam at 18.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, while Lonnel Johnson (6'3''-G-86, college: Missouri Western) and Brent Schuck (6'8''-F-90, college: Emporia St.) continue to shoot well from three-point range; Johnson is 18 of 36 (.500) from beyond the arc, while Schuck is 16 of 33 (.485).

Michael Rogers is the top scorer for Champaign at 20.9 points per game, but he and Aaron Weaver (6'6''-G, college: North Park) (19.8) have been helped out by the signing of Jonathan Mills, who, in four games, is averaging 18.0 points and 11.0 rebounds for the Swarm. Oliver McGlade (5'11''-PG, college: Seton Hill) continues to be one of the league's best three-point shooters, at 27 of 66 (.409) from downtown.

Sunday, the Lima Express try to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot as they host Pontiac. Last Sunday, the Express ended a hard-luck five-game losing streak with a win over Gateway. Lima boasts three 20-plus-point scorers in Kyle Meyer (6'6''-F-88, college: Ohio Northern) (22.8), Jody Hill (6'2''-G-91, college: Livingstone) (21.3) and Cordaryl Ballard (6'5''-G-87, college: USC Aiken) (20.6). Meyer leads the team in rebounding at 6.8 per game, and Ballard leads the league in assists per game at 5.4.

MVP frontrunner Alfonzo Houston (6'3''-G-92, college: N.C.Central) leads the 66ers and the league in scoring at 26.5 points per game, as seven players for Pontiac average scoring in double figures. Alex Marzette (6'5''-G) and Marcus Hammonds (6'5''-F/G-87, college: Texas A&M-CC) continue to control the boards for the 66ers, each averaging just over 8 rebounds per game, as well as throwing in double-digit points. Durrell Robinson , despite having lost four players to overseas contracts this season, continues to reload and has his team poised to make a run at the top overall playoff seed.

Monday night, the Swarm host the Blues in a game being made up from the February 24, when a severe winter storm rolled through East Central Illinois.

The athletic Blues, winners of three in a row, can score from inside or outside, depending on the night, with six players averaging in double figures. Shakir Johnson (6'9''-C-87, college: Metro St.) and Jakeem Hill (6'5''-F-89, college: Webber Intern.) have formed a SWAT team as of late, with Johnson blocking ten shots his last two games, and Hill turning away eight.

Finally, Tuesday, the RiverSharks host the Steam in the final regular-season meeting between those two cross-town rivals.

All the MPBA action over the next five days and all season long can be seen live, free of charge and in high definition on your laptop or mobile device by visiting the league's online broadcast channel, MPBA.tv.
  



MPBA launches 2017 summer league - 10 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 - 1 Year 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 - 1 Year 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]


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