Tuesday, March 22, 2016

HU accomplished plenty in another championship season

HAMPTON, Virginia -- Hampton University's basketball team didn't accomplish the unprecedented this season. Coach Buck Joyner isn't claiming otherwise.

But the 2015-16 season was, at the very least, noteworthy. For only the fourth time since the program went Division I in 1995, the Pirates won 21 games. And for only the second time in that stretch, they made the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons.

"The school had done it before," Joyner said. "But to be able to put it back on the national stage where people can view us on a different light was big for us. And it was big for the university.

"Everybody wants to make a mark when they come in. The seniors that we had, over these last two years, they made quite a mark. From a conference standpoint and a national standpoint, they've done some good things."

Looking back, it seems odd that Hampton (21-11) wasn't the overwhelming pick to finish first in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The coaches liked North Carolina Central, which ended up tied for sixth. The Pirates led the MEAC race virtually wire-to-wire and swept the conference tournament.


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