15 years ago today is when it all began. Andrew Flynn and several others who love college basketball opened up Hoopville on November 7, 2001. I was not there at the beginning, but came aboard a few months later and have been around ever since. They created something great that I was ecstatic to be a part of as soon as I joined – Your Home for College Hoops.
And to be honest, it is really quite remarkable that Hoopville has reached 15 years for a variety of reasons.
A good history of Hoopville is available on our About page, so I won’t rehash all of it here. You can see that we’ve existed through quite a bit. We’ve had an uphill battle in many respects, from getting media credentials (thankfully, we have only been denied a handful of times, though it has not come easily at times, and there’s quite a story with one of the denials) to running events and being able to bring the coverage we want to bring our readers. This has been a labor of love for everyone involved, as every writer the site has ever had has had a day job all the while.
We are far from alone in what we do. Many college basketball Web sites have come and gone over the past 15 years, including several by good friends and colleagues we have the utmost respect for. Mid-Majority, College Chalktalk and One-Bid Wonders are among those that stand out in this regard, and all brought something great to the table. The world of college basketball is much the better for all of them. That they have come and gone in this time is an amazing testament to one of two things: either we have something really special, or I should have my sanity questioned. (Okay, there is a third possibility: some combination of the first two, perhaps more of the latter though.)
The past 15 years have provided quite a bit. We’ve seen many great games at the high school and college level, from a tournament that was once the very best of its kind and then went away because of its director’s actions, to an unforgettable NCAA Tournament upset, to teams that ended long droughts to get to the NCAA Tournament, to unforgettable conference tournament games that weren’t even in the championship round. Last season had an ending no college basketball fan will forget, and with a result that may have big implications. We’ve seen what look like the halcyon days of recruiting, when there wasn’t tension on which weekends in April would be open to college coaches, to the current July setup that, well, is what it is. We’ve seen television have a more outsized role in the college game all the time.
On a personal level, it is perhaps even more remarkable for Hoopville to still be around, as well as the journey itself. When Hoopville began, I was only a couple of years out of college and had previously done some work for a Web site called Talkinghoops.com, which was basically podcasts before podcasts became anything remotely resembling mainstream. I was very single, played highly competitive baseball in the summer and took more technical college courses to supplement my degree as often as I could. Fast forward to 2016, and I am married, a father and Hoopville has more than just stories on a Web site about college basketball. We run competitive events and have a podcast, the latter of which will continue and grow.
So we’re now 15 years in and ready for more. We hope you are, too. One thing that hasn’t changed in 15 years is how great it is to follow college basketball. March remains the best month of the year for one reason, one that we all know very well.
As one more example of how meaningless the results of exhibition games are, we will mention that Kentucky won their exhibition game on Sunday night by 93 points, and at one point led by over 100. There is nothing more to add, other than that Boise State, Ohio State, UNCW and Washington State are among those who won exhibition games on Sunday.
We’re pretty much free and clear of exhibitions and scrimmages. Be on the lookout for a couple of additional stories to help you look ahead to the season later on today, and our look at conferences continues with tomorrow’s Morning Dish.