Home » Columns »Your Phil of Hoops » Currently Reading:

Kyle Casey deserves a better ending

February 27, 2012 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – If there’s any justice in this world, Kyle Casey will have a better ending.

Many will look back at Harvard’s heart-breaking 55-54 loss to Penn and see Casey as a goat. He got the ball from an inbounds pass in the final seconds, but was called for a charging foul and had a basket waived off as a result. The basket would have put Harvard ahead with 3.5 seconds left. A win would have clinched a tie for the Ivy League title and put the Crimson at a point where very little could keep them from the coveted NCAA Tournament bid.

But games are never won or lost on one play or by a single player, and Saturday night was no different. Harvard had a great defensive effort, but a team has to score to win as well and the Crimson had trouble doing that. Penn was able to largely match them defensively, as the Crimson committed 20 turnovers. Harvard also shot just 31.6 percent from the field in the second half. They had a 28-17 rebounding edge, aided by ten offensive boards, but turned those into just eight second-chance points, which matched Penn’s total.

Casey led the team in scoring with 12 points and also had a team-high six rebounds. He also had a team-high five turnovers, but for those who need convincing, the stats back up that he alone didn’t lose the game.

One can figure Casey was probably inconsolable after the game. He’s a competitor and quite simply one of the best kids in college basketball. He’s overcome adversity on the court before, including a broken foot that sidelined and then hounded him last season. A charismatic young man, he’s bright, engaging, fun-loving and someone that any person could root for. He could have played college ball at a little higher level, but chose Harvard for the education he is getting. After he lit up Brown for 27 points on 8-9 shooting as a freshman, Brown head coach Jesse Agel was complimentary of the young man in a way that tells you about his character.

“I’m a huge fan of Kyle, if you’re a college basketball fan of any sort, he’s a guy you want to root for,” said the Brown mentor.

You don’t wish something like this on anyone, but simply put, Kyle Casey is about the last person you would want to see this happen to.

Over the course of the season, many in the media have perhaps overrated Harvard a little. It’s not so much ranking them, although one can have a healthy debate there. They earned a lot of what came their way with the good wins they got in non-league play. Whether or not they could get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament if they don’t win the Ivy League’s automatic bid is debatable, although the bubble is very weak this year. Some have talked about how this team compares to other Ivy teams, wondering if they are better than many of them from a talent standpoint.

While some of that might be a bit much, there’s one thing that isn’t up for debate: Casey is not alone as far as the character of the team is concerned. This is a team with an amazing group of young men. All down the roster, from Casey to captains Keith Wright and Oliver McNally, on down to the younger players, this is a team of young men you would want a son of yours to grow up to be like. Casey is just one very good example.

Harvard still has two games left, and Penn doesn’t have a simple task, either. Harvard could very well go dancing without a one-game playoff, and Casey could lead the way. He could play a supportive role, too, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

But whatever may happen next, Kyle Casey will have a better ending if there is any justice.

Comment on this Article:

Like Hoopville on Facebook


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.