The Very Latest, Indeed:

Third time is the charm for Bryant

by - Published March 5, 2015 in Columns
bryant

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – For Bryant, the third time was the charm. Not that it was as simple as that, but the end result said as much, and it could easily have not been the case for so many reasons that may or may not make sense right now.

“Honestly,” said senior guard Dyami Starks, “I looked at (Joe O’Shea’s) face, and he looked bewildered, like, ‘Did I hit that?'”

Starks was recounting the final seconds of regulation – what could have been the final seconds of Bryant’s season once again, in their home gym once again, in the quarterfinals of the Northeast Conference Tournament once again. Seconds earlier, he put up a shot from well behind the three-point line that was off-line. The ball bounced off the rim and went away from it, with precious seconds ticking off the clock, hope of keeping the game alive, keeping the season alive, fading with each tick.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 5, 2015

by - Published March 5, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

We’re just getting started on March, prime time for the college basketball season, but on Wednesday we couldn’t help but look back for a day.

Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Hank Gathers, a former All-American at Loyola Marymount who collapsed on the court and passed away hours later in a West Coast Conference semifinal game against Portland. There were a number of poignant articles about Gathers posted yesterday-longtime Philly hoops scribe Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News had an outstanding one here, while ESPN’s Myron Metcalf also had an excellent story here. For those who never saw Gathers and those LMU teams play over three years from 1987-88 to 1989-90, they missed a superlative player and some all-time entertaining teams from a special time in college basketball history.
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2015 CAA postseason awards – how one man voted

by - Published March 4, 2015 in Columns
colonial

On Thursday night, the CAA will hand out its postseason awards just before the conference tournament. It’s been quite a year in the conference, as was to be expected. With no clear favorite aside from perhaps Northeastern, if you go by returning talent and experience, this figured to be an interesting and highly competitive year, and it was just that. For the first time in the conference’s history, four teams finished tied for first, as evidence of it, and all four were 12-6.

As I am one of the voters for the conference’s postseason awards, I feel it is worth sharing how I voted and some of what went into each selection. It also gives some insight into how the conference looks overall as we head into the conference tournament in Baltimore this weekend.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, March 4, 2015

by - Published March 4, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

On the scale of chic topics in basketball in general, free throws is near the bottom. Unlike “length”, “skill set” or “dribble drive,” it’s not a term that pundits love seemingly just because of how the words sound coming out of their mouths. Much like special teams in football, they are often underrated or even ignored, despite their ability to absolutely play a role in a game’s outcome.

Also like special teams in the NFL playoffs, though (anyone who saw the Seattle-Green Bay NFC playoff game can vouch for it), you better believe free throws will be important this month. We got another taste of that Tuesday night, as poor free throw shooting doomed a couple teams chasing what would’ve been massive wins.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 3, 2015

by - Published March 3, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

While hustle is always appreciated and encouraged in basketball, increasingly there are times it gets out of control and safety becomes an issue.

Monday night’s Baylor-Texas game saw an ugly incident with just under two minutes left in overtime that saw a total of seven players ejected for leaving the bench. The players were reacting to a fight for a loose ball between Texas’s Isaiah Taylor and Baylor’s Royce O’Neale, in which O’Neale ended up on Taylor and the Longhorn guard reacted angrily and pushed him off.
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Boston College finally has a win to show for their efforts

by - Published March 2, 2015 in Columns
bostoncollege

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Finally. The waiting game of sorts is over for Boston College.

So many good battles against top ACC teams, so many tough losses. That was the story for Boston College, especially during a nine-game losing streak that started in late January. They would give the likes of Pittsburgh, Miami (twice each), Syracuse, Louisville and North Carolina all they could handle before succumbing late. Rarely were they never really in a game, like a week earlier against Notre Dame. Surely it had to be a matter of time before they would break through and pull one of these out. And indeed, it wasn’t even a matter of pulling it out – they were never seriously challenged on Saturday. NC State got no closer than 12 in the second half, and that only lasted for 14 seconds.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 2, 2015

by - Published March 2, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Anyone who has followed the ACC the last few years might find it hard to believe that at one time, Wake Forest was among the ACC’s standard-bearers. They might never imagine that the small school in Winston-Salem was pretty good most years and produced some good NBA players, including Tim Duncan and Chris Paul. Danny Manning has a tall order in front of him, but there’s a lot to like so far, and that included on Sunday.

Wake Forest has been very competitive this year despite its 5-11 mark in ACC play. In the opener, they gave Louisville all they could handle and could easily have won that game. They were right there with Duke in the next game and took Syracuse to overtime in the Carrier Dome. They broke through against NC State and Miami, then nearly pulled off a huge upset at Virginia. On Sunday, they took on a Pittsburgh team that needs to keep winning for its NCAA at-large hopes, and the Demon Deacons pulled out a 69-66 win.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 1, 2015

by - Published March 1, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

First off: welcome to March. Few sweeter words are uttered in the sports year.

In a sport where home teams win right about two-thirds of the time, road wins at any time of year in college basketball are extraordinary, no matter the competition. Road wins at the end of February mean even more (regardless of whether ‘Last 10’ is an official criteria of the selection committee, remember-the NCAA selection committee is made of humans). Road wins at the end of February against very good teams are like gold, pure treasures.
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NC State is not making it easy on themselves

by - Published March 1, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
ncstate

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – NC State is not making it easy on themselves. The Wolfpack entered Saturday in a pretty good position regarding the NCAA Tournament, but left Boston having made things a little tougher.

Give Boston College some of the credit, as the Eagles have gone toe-to-toe with pretty much every top team and played them tough before succumbing. The Wolfpack surely knew this wasn’t going to be easy. BC made it tough, especially with their interior defense as they made it hard for the Wolfpack to finish in close, and the Wolfpack made it tougher by appearing listless from the outset. The end result showed up on the bottom line, and one stat in the box score told a lot of the story: NC State shot 32.8 percent from the field, while Boston College shot 56.8 percent.

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Saturday Notes – February 28, 2015

by - Published March 1, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Amazingly, the calendar now turns over into March on Sunday. This is the last weekend before conference tournaments get going – time flies when you’re having fun. Saturday was one of the busiest days of the year with 150 Division I games on the slate, and a wild one in a couple of conferences whose regular season ended. Then later in the evening, a big showdown lived up to its billing.

The CAA finished with a four-way tie at the top, as William & Mary and UNCW – who entered the day tied for first – both lost, while James Madison and Northeastern – who entered the day a game out of first – both won. It figures to be quite a weekend in Baltimore coming up.

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NC State is not making it easy on themselves

March 1, 2015 by

ncstate

North Carolina State appears to have put themselves in a good position for the NCAA Tournament, but they aren’t making this easy on themselves.

Saturday Notes – February 28, 2015

March 1, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at a very busy Saturday, one that was full of big games that included some conferences closing out their regular season with plenty of drama.

Saturday Notes – February 21, 2015

February 22, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

A busy Saturday saw a lot of results that shook up conference standings, including a three-way tie developing in one of them, and some at-large hopes took a hit as well.

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Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.