By Marty Gordon
The Big South Conference enjoyed its recent basketball weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, for both the men and women. This was the second year the conference played its basketball championships in a neutral location after playing games on campus sites.
Now, the Big South is looking for a new home. The Big South Basketball Championships will not be returning to Charlotte’s Bojangles Coliseum next year.
The basketball championships featured the Charlotte-based conference’s men’s and women’s tournaments. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority manages Bojangles Coliseum, and the city owns the coliseum. The contract will now not be extended for 2024.
Big South spokesman Mark Simpson said earlier this week no decision has been made on the championships’ new location.
“We were informed that the Charlotte Checkers (semi-pro hockey team) requested home dates for the first two weeks in March, so the Hercules Tires Big South Basketball Championships will not return to Bojangles’ Coliseum in 2024. Our administrators will be discussing format options for the upcoming season and beyond, as well as explore the possibility of returning to Charlotte in future years.”
Simpson anticipates a decision at the conference’s Spring Meetings at the end of the month.”
In other conference news, Gardner-Webb women’s basketball coach Alex Simmons has resigned to accept the head coaching position at the University of Memphis. A national search for the next Gardner-Webb head coach has begun.
Simmons recently completed her fifth season in charge of the Runnin’ Bulldogs and posted a 90-59 record (.604) during her time in Boiling Springs.
Radford University has pulled another basketball player from the transfer portal.
Radford head men’s basketball coach Darris Nichols has announced the addition of forward Josiah Harris. He will join the Highlanders for the 2023-24 season following one season at St. Francis Brooklyn and have two years of eligibility left.
“We are excited to welcome Josiah to Radford University, this community and our program,” said Nichols. “He is a really talented player and a great person who will represent us well.”
Harris, a native of Wilmington, Del., stands at 6’8″, 220 pounds and gives the Highlanders another athletic post player that can get the job done on both ends of the floor.
In his first season at the Division I level, Harris immediately proved himself to be a force around the basket for the Terriers. The big man played in and started 29 games, averaging 9.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.3 blocks per contest.
Amongst all players in the Northeast Conference (NEC), he ranked third in rebounding and second in blocks, while remaining top-100 in the nation in total rebounds, rebounds per game, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds and blocks per game.
With 14 games scoring in double figures, including a season-high 20 points against Wagner, Harris tallied eight double-doubles last season – good for 87th-best in the nation. He ended the year shooting 44.2% (106-240) from the field and 71.4% (50-70) at the free throw line.
Prior to playing for St. Francis Brooklyn, Harris had stints at Hutchinson Community College and Cowley College. His high school ball was played for William Penn High School.
Harris will be joined by freshmen newcomers Trenton Walters and Trevor Roe, who signed National Letters of Intent with Radford last November.
Radford men’s basketball’s DaQuan Smith has been named to the 2022-23 NABC Division I All-District 3 Second Team.
Voted on by NABC-member coaches across NCAA Division I, Smith becomes the fifth player in program history to make the list. He joins Art Parakhouski (2008-09 and 2009-10), Javonte Green (2013-14 and 2014-15), Ed Polite Jr. (2017-18 and 2018-19) and Carlik Jones (2018-19 and 2019-20).
Smith played in all 33 games this season, starting 32 of them. As Radford’s most dangerous player most nights, the redshirt junior guard is averaging 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while also tallying 32 steals and 11 blocks.