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2016-17 MVC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 27, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The 2015-16 season was the end of a storied run in the Missouri Valley Conference, and 2016-17 was too.

One year after Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet concluded outstanding college careers at Wichita State, the Shockers also wrapped up their time in the MVC. Members of the conference since 1949, Wichita State announced in April what had been rumored for months, that it was on its way to the American Athletic Conference this summer, meaning this past season was the final one in the school’s 68-year tenure in the Valley. … Continue Reading

2016-17 Big 12 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 26, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

Any other college basketball conference in the country would go crazy for what constituted as a down year for the Big 12 in 2016-17.

After two straight years as the top-ranked conference in the country in the RPI (some RPI data had it as three straight), the Big 12 slipped out of that spot-all the way down to second. Also, after three straight years with seven of its 10 teams in the NCAA Tournament, the league fell down-to six, sending merely 60% of its members to the Big Dance instead of 70%. And while the league’s incredible streak of 38 consecutive weeks of having at least five teams in the Associated Press Top 25 ended when just four were selected to the preseason poll, every single Big 12 team received votes in either the AP or coaches poll during the season, and six of them were ranked at some time.

… Continue Reading

2016-17 Conference USA Post-Mortem

by - Published June 22, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

Now that’s the way to build on a program-defining moment.

After stunning Michigan State as a 15 seed in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Middle Tennessee State could’ve faded into obscurity and been for all intents and purposes a one-hit wonder, a nice program making a brief national cameo. Instead, the Blue Raiders didn’t just fade, they were considerably better, and certainly the story of the 2016-17 season for Conference USA.

Middle Tennessee built on arguably the greatest moment in the school’s basketball history with what was likely the best season in school history. The Blue Raiders won 31 games, drubbing a couple SEC teams along the way, blew through C-USA for regular season and tournament titles, and won a game in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. The latter put them among an elite group of just 15 schools to win at least one NCAA tourney main draw game each of the last two years. … Continue Reading

2016-17 Southland Post-Mortem

by - Published June 20, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

After four straight years of unprecedented dominance by Stephen F. Austin, the Southland Conference had a different look in the 2016-17 season.

Cooling off after making national waves the previous three years, SFA came back to the Southland pack some this past year. With a new coach, just four returnees from the year before and then a rash of injuries to boot, the Lumberjacks no longer were so clearly superior to the rest of the Southland. Stephen F. Austin finished 18-15 overall, though its finishing just one game out of a tie for the regular season title still sent a message of a program reloading, not rebuilding.

The Southland lost its top-heaviness, though it also lost out on the national notoriety SFA generated for the conference when it won a pair of NCAA Tournament games and very nearly advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2016. In its place, though, the league still had one of the great comeback stories of the entire season. … Continue Reading

Effects of big boys’ autonomy on display in Louisville case

by - Published June 16, 2017 in Columns

On the surface to some, the NCAA’s four-year probation, head coach suspension and possible vacation of a national championship for Louisville’s men’s basketball program might’ve sounded like meaty penalties, or at least like an attempt at them, when they were announced Thursday morning.

It didn’t take much research, though, to figure out they were not. Louisville wasn’t “hit” by penalties Thursday so much as shot at with a paintball gun. The hit to the ego is far more than the actual pain.

If Louisville has to vacate its 2013 national title-and that wasn’t a sure thing Thursday, with vagaries about the NCAA not being sure which games would be vacated yet, and such decisions depending on just who played when, for how long, etc.-it will be seen as an emotional blow locally, more than those on the outside might understand. Of course, its actual effect is nothing; the games were already played, and Wichita State isn’t going to be playing Michigan in that year’s title game any time soon. … Continue Reading

2016-17 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published June 12, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The 2016-17 season continued a run of a bumpy couple of years for the Horizon League, with more than its share of changes and challenges.

The Horizon was already due for something of a transition season after a recent rash of coaching changes. Four league schools changed coaches after the 2015-16 season, coming on the heels of three more doing so the year before. Add in two more (Cleveland State and Youngstown State) with new coaches after this most recent silly season, and the chaos has been so ridiculous that Illinois-Chicago’s Steve McClain is the second-longest tenured coach in the league. McClain just completed his second season with the Flames.

Still, the news in 2016-17 wasn’t all bad. Four Horizon teams won at least 20 games, three of them 24 or more. Two made it to the NIT, including an at-large bid for Valparaiso, and Oakland went to Clemson and knocked off the ACC Tigers. Northern Kentucky was a great story, rising from an afterthought to one of the league’s best teams. Wright State was better than expected in Scott Nagy’s first year, and the Horizon even made a modest improvement of one spot in the conference RPI (to 17th, per CBSSports.com). … Continue Reading

2016-17 Big West Post-Mortem

by - Published June 9, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

It took a couple years and a much different cast, but UC Davis finished what it started a couple years ago.

Two years after a stunning turnaround resulted in 25 wins and the Big West regular season title, and just one year after going 11-19, the Aggies were back among the conference leaders again. This time, they closed the deal.

Coming from a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, UC Davis snuck by top seed UC Irvine in the Big West tourney final to earn its first NCAA Tournament bid at the Division I level. It was a satisfying career conclusion for several seniors who were part of that 2014-15 team that was superb in the regular season but fell in the Big West tourney and had to settle for the NIT, and also a great moment for coach Jim Les, who took his second school to the NCAAs. … Continue Reading

2016-17 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

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

The Sun Belt Conference often lurks quietly down in the South, in the shadows of not just the SEC but even fellow major college football-playing Conference USA, to say nothing of overlapping leagues like the Big 12, ACC, and nation-spanning AAC.

The league’s basketball results in recent years have done little to change that, but in the 2016-17 college hoops season, the Sun Belt just might’ve been the best-kept secret in the country. Home of a proud basketball history-it once was the home of programs like UAB, UNC Charlotte, Old Dominion and VCU, and was among the nation’s best leagues in the 1980s-the league saw something of a resurgence just one year after celebrating its 40th anniversary. … Continue Reading

MVC’s best options to replace Shockers just might be already in league

by - Published April 10, 2017 in Columns

With Wichita State’s exit to the American Athletic Conference now official-finally, at long last, after repeated stoking by national media desperate for a scoop in a story where the end result was known for months-the Missouri Valley Conference faces the next step in its 111-year evolution as a conference.

Valley officials and presidents are going to face an endless stream of suggestions over the coming weeks and months, and while we wouldn’t pretend to be qualified to tell people in those places what to do-especially a commissioner as experienced and accomplished as Doug Elgin-here is one thing we do hope they can do:

Tune. It. Out.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, April 7, 2017

by - Published April 7, 2017 in The Morning Dish

Thursday brought us a reminder that the best-laid conference moves don’t always work out as expected, sometimes even before a school has made a move.

NCAA Division II member UC San Diego is one of several schools looking to begin to move to Division I, joining Cal Baptist and North Alabama as three schools with formal plans to start the transition in the next few years. UCSD’s move, though, is contingent upon the school receiving an invitation from the Big West Conference, an almost all-California based league now that includes four members of the University of California school system (UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara) plus four schools in the Cal State system (Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge plus Cal Poly), as well as Hawaii. On Thursday, though, it was reported by the San Diego Union Tribune that UCSD was denied admission to the conference as the school did not receive the seven of nine votes from conference presidents required. … Continue Reading

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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 – 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.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.