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The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 3, 2016

November 3, 2016 The Morning Dish No Comments

Welcome back to the Morning Dish for the 2016-17 season. Opening night is just eight days away, and as we get closer to the first counting games we continue Hoopville’s brief conference looks entering the season.

Few leagues were more balanced last year than the Atlantic Sun, where all eight teams were plenty capable of beating each other, evidenced by the conference’s cellar-sharing teams (Stetson and USC Upstate) winning a combined four times against the teams seeded first and second in the conference tourney. North Florida won the regular season crown a year ago but was blitzed in the league tourney semis by Florida Gulf Coast, and the Eagles are the prohibitive favorite entering this year. Marc-Eddy Norelia should be the most dominant player in the league and FGCU has enough size, experience and talent to make some noise out of conference, too.

The Big East has earned the right to strut after its dreamy ending to the last season when Villanova won the league’s first NCAA title in its current incarnation. The conference has been good since recommitting to being a basketball-first league, but it took the Wildcats winning the title for many to acknowledge that. The Big East will be good again this year, though quite possibly not as good as last year. Most league teams return a good deal of experience, but nine of the 14 players to be named first team, second team or honorable mention all-conference have departed. Villanova is still the favorite and a national title contender, Xavier should again be a solid top 25 squad, and Seton Hall should be an NCAA Tournament team again too. Creighton is a chic pick, everyone’s favorite darkhorse top 25 team in the preseason, but keep an eye on Butler and Georgetown, two teams that could be better than many suspect.

The Big South has a considerably different look this year. For one, Coastal Carolina has decided to chase football riches, moving up to NCAA Division I-A (a.k.a. FCS) and the Sun Belt Conference and subtracting one of the Big South’s best basketball programs. Because of Coastal’s leaving, the conference also has traded in the Myrtle Beach area for Buies Creek, N.C., with the tourney moved from CCU and to now be hosted by Campbell. Also, the conference was hit hard by the college basketball transferring up epidemic, with a number of players treating league schools as stop-on-bys on their way to bigger schools. Combined with the departure of High Point four-time all-conference performer John Brown, this year’s race looks to be wide open, with Winthrop the unanimous preseason favorite in the league’s poll but any of 5-6 teams that realistically could be seen as contenders.

The Big Sky has come to be known as a playground for Weber State and Montana, with one or the other winning a regular season or tournament championship-or both-in seven of the last eight seasons. The Wildcats are a favorite again led by Jeremy Senglin, and Montana will be a tough out as usual, but watch out for North Dakota, which returns all five starters. This league also has a good share of individual talent: Quinton Hooker (North Dakota), Tyler Hall (Montana State), Walter Wright (Montana) and Ethan Telfair (Idaho State)-the brother of former NBA player Sebastian Telfair-are just a few of the players besides Weber State’s Senglin capable of putting up big numbers on any given night.

Side Dishes:

  • Kansas State already received heartbreaking news earlier this week when assistant coach Chris Lowery lost his son to illness on Tuesday. The Wildcats also found out this week they will be without 6-foot-11 freshman forward James Love for the season after he broke his foot in practice on Monday.
  • Another player out indefinitely is Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Chuck Ester, who injured a knee in the Mocs’ closed scrimmage with Auburn this past weekend. The 6-7 Ester was a starter on last year’s team that won 29 games and is a versatile player who can play inside or outside.
  • A number of teams played exhibition games Wednesday night. Among the notable results, Michigan State got a good test from NCAA Division II Saginaw Valley State (Mich.), winning 87-77 as freshmen Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston combined for 38 points. Texas hammered D-II Angelo State (Texas) 95-55, Cincinnati held off another typically strong D-II in Bellarmine (Ky.) 64-55, Old Dominion hammered Virginia State 71-32 and Oral Roberts beat SE Oklahoma State 82-75. Montana also got a challenge from Whitworth (Wash.) before winning 80-70.
  • You can officially set your watch to it: every 108 years, the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series.

Tonight’s Menu:

  • Exhibition games continue. Among the teams in action include Louisville, Alabama, Mississippi, UAB, Boston College, Southern Illinois, San Diego State, George Mason, plus a pair of top lacrosse schools facing off on the hardwood with Johns Hopkins taking on Loyola (Md.).

Have a terrific Thursday.

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Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes

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

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2018

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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 7, 2018

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In our latest podcast, we talk about a big sweep in the SEC, look back on the wild Saturday, then talk about a Big Ten showdown and some undefeated teams in conference play.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 31, 2018

January 31, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a lot of what has happened in the ACC and SEC, including the Big 12/SEC Challenge, whether or not Kentucky is turning a corner, as well as the story at Michigan State.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 26, 2018

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In our latest podcast, we talk about a wild night in the Big Ten, adversity and a quiet leader in the ACC, what to make of Kentucky and look ahead to the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

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In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

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