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UMass shows once more why they are ranked once again

by - Published December 8, 2013 in Columns
umass

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – If you wanted to get a good idea of why UMass is undefeated and ranked in the polls for the first time in 15 years, Saturday’s 105-96 win over Brigham Young was perfect. It was very much a team win, even if one of the stars had a big day, and it showed that this team is dealing with prosperity just fine right now.

When Cady Lalanne went out with two fouls less than four minutes in and Brigham Young up 8-3, it didn’t look good for the Minutemen. Sure, there was a lot of basketball left to play, but with the Cougars’ size and UMass’ best post player sitting, it could have gotten bad early. Brigham Young out-scores opponents by about ten per game with points in the paint, and Lalanne is the rim protector and top rebounder on this team. But what happened is a big part of why UMass remains undefeated.

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Providence and Rhode Island show what we can expect from each

by - Published December 6, 2013 in Columns
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SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Thursday night was everything you could want in a rivalry game. The atmosphere was what you would expect with a packed Ryan Center. The game was close throughout, with some swings for both teams although one had the lead more often than the other. It was a slug fest, and at one point things got heated, including between the coaches. It came right down to the buzzer.

And in some ways, Providence’s 50-49 win over Rhode Island, their fourth straight in this rivalry, will define the two teams going forward as well.

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John Dunne is looking beyond St. Peter’s record

by - Published December 2, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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BOSTON – Coaches are not ones to look for moral victories, and John Dunne is no different.  The St. Peter’s mentor has been to the mountain top at the school and is trying to get back there, and wins have been hard to come by since their NCAA Tournament run in 2011.  Part of that journey means the record doesn’t matter right now, and the Peacocks fell to 2-4 on Saturday but have Dunne thinking positively.

“We lost the game, but I thought it was probably our most well-played game, including the two wins,” said Dunne.

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Arizona shows it has the potential to win a national title

by - Published November 30, 2013 in Columns
arizona

NEW YORK – The game was all anyone could have wanted, especially after having to wait a little extra time because of a triple overtime affair right before it. Two top teams battled it out for much of the game, each with a much-talked-about freshman. The end result confirmed what some suspected beforehand: Sean Miller has Arizona primed to make a national title run.

It may be November, and coaches and players are loathe to make such pronouncements now. But we’ll say it: Arizona’s 72-66 win over Duke in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship shows us how good this Wildcat team can be.

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Drexel, key players overcome adversity yet again in win over Alabama

by - Published November 30, 2013 in Columns
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NEW YORK – For Drexel to take home the third place game in the NIT Season Tip-Off the way they did, they had to persevere through a lot. While the challenges that came with Friday were not minimal, the Dragons have a couple of key players in the game who have had to persevere through more in their college careers.

For Chris Fouch and Kazembe Abif, Friday was just one more challenge in a college career that has had plenty of them.

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Brown’s young talent needs time to grow

by - Published November 29, 2013 in Columns
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SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Brown reaches Thanksgiving with a 4-2 record, with both games that they lost being right there for the taking. They had Providence on the ropes before succumbing, and had early leads and chances down the stretch Wednesday before losing 70-67 at Bryant. In all, what’s clear is that this team has talent and can win games, but has a lot of room to grow that manifests itself primarily in a need to put forth a more complete and consistent effort.

The Bears have a younger team than they expected to enter the season with due to the departures of Andrew McCarthy and Tucker Halpern. They expected to have both, with the former coming back after sitting out last season, but neither has returned. That leaves them younger up front, especially on the wing, and in all they are looking for younger players to come through, notably two freshmen starters.

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Sacred Heart is getting closer, but wins are hard to come by

by - Published November 29, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Sacred Heart is progressing, although their bottom line isn’t going to show it as they are 1-5. For a lot of Tuesday’s game, Sacred Heard did what they needed to do to improve. They also did what they had to do to pull off a big win, one that would have been a program first as they have never defeated an ACC opponent.

In the end, however, they didn’t do what they need to do when it counted, and dropped a 75-67 overtime decision to Boston College. While the signs are encouraging, this team could surely use a little more reward on the bottom line to show for their efforts. And perhaps not finishing the job in regulation despite many chances was the clincher on Tuesday, because it was pretty much all Eagles in the extra session.

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Quick hitters from the past weekend of tournaments

by - Published November 27, 2013 in Columns
author_kasiecki

The past weekend was quite a stretch with some early-season tournaments, and now we’re into another week full of them. It’s a fun time of the year as we form some early impressions of many teams and some pick up wins that can have shelf life later in the season.

Here are some quick hitters coming out of the weekend:

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Hartford finally gets a much-needed break in the action

by - Published November 27, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – John Gallagher doesn’t have to look far for answers. They’re all right in front of the Hartford mentor and all part of the team that is off to a 2-5 start after dropping two at Mohegan Sun Arena in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off this weekend. They’re all going to get a break, too, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

“I thought, seven games in 15 days, this is on our second back-to-back in a two-week stretch, we had no legs and we didn’t have the juice that we play with,” said Hartford’s head coach.

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Richmond rebounds and shows potential despite incomplete feeling

by - Published November 26, 2013 in Columns
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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Chris Mooney still has that feeling – call it an incomplete feeling. The Richmond head coach was happy his team responded well on short notice, and can see his team’s potential, but there’s still a hard feeling. They had a chance. And they came up short.

“I do still have that feeling that I wish we had done a little bit better against North Carolina,” said Mooney after his team responded with a blowout of Fairfield that was never a ballgame.

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College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

2013 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Cesar Fulcar commits to Wentworth

The senior guard led Watertown to the state semifinal this past season

Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

Bay State Magic doesn’t have much size on their junior team this season, so they’ll have to win with execution and intangibles

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is already 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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter