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Dark day for college basketball also presents golden opportunity

by - Published September 29, 2017 in Columns

Sometimes news comes out that is so stunning, so unexpected, so…damning, that it takes a while to digest it. The FBI’s report on Tuesday about college basketball coaches being arrested in an unprecedented bribery case certainly was such news.

It took some time to wrap one’s head around just what was reported. Cheating in college sports, of course, isn’t new. Some think that everyone does it.

They don’t. It makes a fun story, but it’s not true. It certainly does happen, though, especially in college basketball, where stories of shady folk take on mythic, sometimes almost comical proportions. To this day, names like Myron Piggie or Richie “The Fixer” Perry seem to bring snickers and chuckles in the sport more than regret. … Continue Reading

End of Great Alaska Shootout sad day for college hoops

by - Published August 25, 2017 in Columns

As much fun as bucket lists are, the cold reality is that sometimes we don’t get to fill them. Such will be the case with what we’d suggest is the ultimate college basketball bucket list, which will shrink by one after this upcoming season.

The University of Alaska-Anchorage announced Thursday that this year’s Great Alaska Shootout, the 40th edition of the granddaddy of all early season tournaments, will be the last one. School budget cuts and the loss of the big name schools that once dominated the event contributed to its downfall, meaning a Thanksgiving weekend tradition will soon disappear.

Its loss is nothing less than a sad day for the sport. Nostalgia for what was once a highlight of the sport’s regular season says as much, but so does the loss of the flavor the Shootout contributed to the sport, one that college basketball will miss badly, even as the event had notably slipped in recent years.

… Continue Reading

2016-17 Big Ten Post-Mortem

by - Published August 8, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

There were major questions before the 2016-17 college basketball season about Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan, as well as just how much help he and his stellar frontcourt teammates would get from their backcourt.

Rest assured, there are questions no more.

Swanigan made as big of a leap as any player in the country on his way to consensus first team All-American honors and finishing just shy of national player of the year honors. Purdue’s backcourt also caught up to its frontcourt, playing far more than a supporting role, and the result was the Boilermakers’ first Big Ten regular season title since 2010, as well as its first NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance since that year as well. … Continue Reading

2016-17 Southern Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published August 7, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Southern Conference has been around for seemingly forever. Longer than the ACC. Longer than the SEC. Shoot, the league basically served as the breeding ground for both of them.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that a league that has withstood the loss of Alabama, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, etc., etc., could also move on just fine after losing one of its most prominent recent members. A conference doesn’t stick around for nearly 100 years without being able to roll with the changes, and while Davidson’s departure a couple years ago was thought to be a major blow to the SoCon’s basketball product, the truth is the league is stronger now than it’s been in years.

It can’t be said enough just what a job the Southern has done since its flagship basketball program left for the Atlantic 10 in 2014. The re-additions of East Tennessee State and longtime member VMI plus the add of Mercer from the Atlantic Sun were tremendous. Just as important have been the improvements of other members, keyed by smart coaching hires and some coaching stability in the league now as well. … Continue Reading

2016-17 Big Sky Post-Mortem

by - Published July 19, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

Experience is typically a good thing for a college basketball team. Rarely does it result in the type of leap, though, that North Dakota took in the Big Sky Conference this year.

The Fighting Hawks/formerly Fighting Sioux returned all five starters in 2016-17, though it came on a team that finished one game over .500 (17-16) the year before, tying for fifth in the Big Sky. While Hoopville had UND targeted as a team to watch coming into the season, it was still a lot to ask it to overcome traditional league powers like Weber State and Montana that led the way the year before, as well as stubborn Eastern Washington and Idaho programs regularly near the top of late.

North Dakota showed all the growth one could’ve asked for, though, winning 22 games plus Big Sky regular season and tournament titles. The latter added up to the first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament berth for the former Division II power that only became a full-fledged D-I member five years ago. … Continue Reading

2016-17 Atlantic Sun Post-Mortem

by - Published July 18, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

Florida Gulf Coast has been a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference for just 10 years, and eligible for its conference tournament for only six.

There’s no denying, though, that the Eagles are easily the league’s signature program right now. They played like it in the 2016-17 season, too, winning the A-Sun regular season and postseason championships, on the way to the school’s third NCAA Division I Tournament berth.

Florida Gulf Coast had a good showing out of conference, defeating the likes of Texas-Arlington and Louisiana Tech and just missing chances for signature wins at Baylor and Michigan State. The Eagles also led the Atlantic Sun from wire-to-wire and in the conference tournament posted three wins by double-digit margins for their second straight A-Sun tourney title. FGCU then went into the NCAA Tournament as a 14 seed and put a scare into Florida State, finally succumbing 86-80. … Continue Reading

2016-17 Summit League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 17, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Summit League in 2016-17 did not match what was in many ways a banner season the year before. There would be little arguing as much.

Coming off a superb year when the league finished 12th in conference RPI-after rising as high as No. 8 at one point-and put forth a champion that earned a 12 seed and would’ve had a case for at-large inclusion in the NCAA Tournament, the Summit was unable to match such lofty heights. The league dropped to 19th in the conference RPI, with a 12-game drop in its win percentage against Division I schools, and it also saw its tournament champion receive a 16 seed in the NCAA tourney.

Don’t be misled, though. The Summit is still a plenty solid conference, arguably the most improved in the country this decade (from 26th in conference RPI in 2010). And it still had plenty to recommend it this year. … Continue Reading

2016-17 WAC Post-Mortem

by - Published July 5, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

If ever there’s a league that deserves to gloat a little bit, it’s the Western Athletic Conference.

It’s not an overstatement to say the WAC was left for dead by many a few years back, as one football member after another fled, leaving the league struggling to stay in business. To New Mexico State-the one holdover still playing Division I-A (FBS) football, it added schools like Missouri-Kansas City, Utah Valley, plus an NCAA Division I wannabe in Grand Canyon, a former NAIA power that had fallen on hard times, went to a for-profit model to regain its bearings and was an NCAA Division II member at the time it was invited.

Those additions were out of what even WAC leaders probably would privately acknowledge as desperation. And yet, they’ve worked out better than about anyone could have expected. … Continue Reading

2016-17 OVC Post-Mortem

by - Published July 5, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The beat continued to go on in 2016-17 for one of the model college basketball programs in the entire country.

A move to the Ohio Valley Conference has proven no problem for Belmont, which under Rick Byrd continues to win games and championships, graduate players, and largely avoid being plundered by the transferring epidemic that has stung many programs like it. The Bruins were outstanding again this past year, winning their fourth regular season title in five years of membership in the OVC, and doing so in dominant fashion with a 15-1 record in league play five games better than anyone else.

The Belmont resume is impressive, almost staggering. Between the OVC and their former home in the Atlantic Sun, the Bruins have won nine regular season titles over the last 12 years. That stretch has also included seven NCAA Tournament trips, as well as three more appearances in the NIT in that time which have resulted in three wins from seeds fifth or lower. … Continue Reading

2016-17 MAC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 29, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Mid-American Conference in 2016-17 looked a lot like the Mid-American Conference in 2015-16.

Once again, big men dominated the MAC (despite the efforts of Central Michigan hotshot guards Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson). Once again, Akron was the league’s dominant regular season team. Yet again, a whole lot of teams’ overall seasons fell just to the right or left of middling-or right on it. And, again, a relative surprise toppled Akron in the MAC tourney title game, again leaving the league’s NCAA Tournament representative with a low seed and tough draw. … Continue Reading

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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 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.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.