The Very Latest, Indeed:

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 25, 2015

by - Published November 25, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The championship game for the 32nd annual Maui Invitational is set, and this year’s matchup looks primed be a dandy like so many other title games in the tourney’s history.

Vanderbilt clinched its spot in the final with its second straight rout, defeating Wake Forest 88-64. The Commodores did what Indiana could not-defeat the Demon Deacons, and did so with authority. Vandy will take on Kansas in the final after the Jayhawks also won their second straight game in blowout fashion, this time steamrolling UCLA 92-73 in a game that wasn’t that close.
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Impressions from first week of college hoops season

by - Published November 24, 2015 in Columns

A number of stories in the college basketball preseason talked about teams and their goal to “play faster” this year. They wanted to pick up the pace. Run run run.

San Diego State was one of those teams, and while we hear teams talk of this every year, at first it looked promising that in this case it was real. The Aztecs scored 86 in an exhibition. They got up and down the court against Illinois State, scoring 71 against a good defensive team. They scored 76 in a fast-paced game that wound up a loss at Utah.

Then, SDSU scored 71 in a closer-than-expected win over San Diego Christian, an NAIA school that lost to Pepperdine 91-46 two nights earlier.

Three days later, the Aztecs lost to Arkansas-Little Rock 49-43.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 24, 2015

by - Published November 24, 2015 in The Morning Dish

With the Maui Invitational, Kris Dunn, Ben Simmons and a renewal of an old Big 8 rivalry, Monday night saw a number of heavy hitters in action. Incredibly, though, a school that has never been a household name just keeps forcing itself into the national conversation, too.

Texas-Arlington followed up its win this weekend at Ohio State with another road shocker, defeating Memphis 68-64. A bizarre game all around saw the Mavericks make just 26 of 78 shots from the field (33.3%) and commit 33 fouls, but UTA built a 10-point halftime lead and then rallied after falling behind by six midway through the second half.

The Mavericks finished with 20 offensive rebounds, had the best player on the floor in Kevin Hervey (22 points, 11 boards) and withstood serious foul trouble, with five players finishing with four fouls or more. All this from a team that went 16-15 last year, lost three starters-including one through college basketball’s version of free agency in guard Johnny Hill, who is now starting for Purdue-and was picked to tie for 8th of 11 teams in the Sun Belt Conference this year.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, November 23, 2015

by - Published November 23, 2015 in The Morning Dish

For the second straight year, one of the hottest teams to start the season is Miami (Fla.). The goal this year for the Hurricanes is to write a new ending to the same beginning script.

No team has been more impressive in the first week of this season than Jim Larranaga’s bunch, which won an eight-team in-season tournament for the second straight season. A year after rolling to the Charleston Classic title, Miami rolled to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off championship with an 85-75 victory over Butler Sunday afternoon.

The Hurricanes added on after a convincing win over Utah in the semifinals, jumping to a big early lead and holding on over the Bulldogs to finish with two top 20 wins in Puerto Rico. Add in early victories over Louisiana-Lafayette and Mississippi State, and few teams have accomplished more through 10 days of the season.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 22, 2015

by - Published November 22, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The Missouri Valley Conference almost had a perfect day – almost. Still, it had a taste of history to lead what was a pretty good day.

Seven Valley teams were in action on Saturday, and six of them won. The seventh – Drake – led UMKC by four at the half, but UMKC opened the second half on an 8-1 run to take the lead, then Drake led again before a 17-6 run put the Kangaroos ahead to stay in a 79-73 win in Kansas City.

That would be the only blemish of any sort on the day.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 21, 2015

by - Published November 21, 2015 in The Morning Dish

One of the fun parts of the first few weeks of the season is the wave of tournaments that give us an early feel for some of the teams. Some do this better than others based on the field and how the games go, as sometimes a semifinal game doesn’t go quite the way some might expect and affects matchups the rest of the way.

By now, we know the championship matchups for several early ones. They came as a result of several Friday semifinals, and there will be some interesting ones among them.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 20, 2015

by - Published November 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Though still a week from Thanksgiving Day, the holiday tournament season really began yesterday, and the results from the first two events were a good sampling of the first week of the 2015-16 season as a whole.

The Puerto Rico Tip-Off and Charleston Classic both got underway on Thursday, and the games featured some high scores, some low ones, a lot of free throws and another sprinkling of surprising results. We saw Butler red-hot-again. Mississippi State showed again that a turnaround under Ben Howland with Malik Newman isn’t going to be instant. Long Beach State may be inexperienced-but also already a better team than last year. And Virginia is Virginia, and still in a class among the nation’s best.

Among the tourney results:
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 19, 2015

by - Published November 19, 2015 in The Morning Dish

An otherwise non-descript non-conference game in mid-November included one of the more tantalizing-and enjoyable-scenes we will see all of this college basketball season.

Wednesday night provided something very unique when UC Irvine traveled across country to face Central Florida. The game featured not one but two 7-foot-6 players in the Anteaters’ Mamadou Ndiaye and recently eligible UCF freshman Tacko Fall. For those scoring at home, that’s a collective 15 feet of post battling it out.

The game was billed as the tallest matchup in NCAA history. Fall got the better of Ndiaye head-to-head, but Ndiaye got the last word in by scoring all three of the Anteaters’ points in overtime for a 61-60 victory.
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Observations on Seton Hall’s 2-0 start

by - Published November 18, 2015 in Columns

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – The season started with a weekend homestand, consisting of one game at the Rock and one on campus adding up to a 2-0 sweep for Seton Hall. A few observations from it are in order.

1. Not your easy “cupcake” competition. On Friday Seton Hall defeated Dartmouth 84-67 at the Prudential Center. Sunday the friendly confines of on-campus Walsh Gymnasium hosted the Pirates’ 69-59 decision over Wagner. In the estimation of Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, neither game was a sure “easy out.” “Dartmouth had a seven-game win streak and defeated Yale last season,” Willard said. “Wagner poses problems as their pressure did in the second half. Honestly, we do not have an easy one on our schedule. The way college basketball is these days you need you ‘A’ game every night.”

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 18, 2015

by - Published November 18, 2015 in The Morning Dish

You can go a long time in this college basketball season and not have a better day than Tuesday provided.

It’s true that you certainly won’t find a longer day. But beyond the novelty of the Tip-Off Marathon, Tuesday was loaded with power matchups, revivals of rivalries, All-Americans at their very best, and just plain good games that were worthy of the national platforms they were provided, even if played at times that were the furthest thing from prime time.

The Champions Classic is an event Billy Packer would love, the ultimate in TV matchmaking. The first game saw the two biggest brand names in the sport right now, and we found out Kentucky’s freshmen mixed with returnees are better than Duke’s frosh and veterans in mid-November. The Wildcats were led by the old(er)-Tyler Ulis with 18 points-and the new-Jamal Murray with 16) and simply outplayed the Blue Devils in a 74-63 win.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

Hoopville Archives

Reader Poll

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 2015-11-12 10:09:26
end_date 2015-11-17 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Who is your pick to win the 2016 national championship?

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by


The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by


Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by


Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.