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UMass-Lowell is winning games as Duquette said they would

by - Published February 3, 2014 in Columns
umass_lowell

LOWELL, Mass. – Before Christmas, Pat Duquette said his team decided they were through with anything that resembled moral victories and were going to get some real wins. He admits it was a bit of bravado at the time, something that doesn’t come easily to a guy as understated as he is.

“Sounds good now, doesn’t it?” Duquette quipped after his UMass-Lowell team beat Binghamton 62-55. “I wasn’t really sure what I was saying at the time, but it’s worked out well.”

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Penn is not greater than the sum of their parts

by - Published February 2, 2014 in Columns
penn

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Jerome Allen didn’t have to look far to see what he would probably like this team to become on Saturday night. The unfortunate thing is that it was the team wearing the other jerseys that fit the description.

“They’re a pretty solid team, Harvard,” Allen said after the Crimson thrashed his Quakers by a score of 80-50. “They play probably the best brand of selfless basketball in our league.”

Harvard has the best combination of talent, experience and intangibles in the Ivy League. Still, a big reason for the Crimson’s success is that they are bigger than the sum of their parts. Penn, on the other hand, is decidedly not, and that’s the problem.

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Rebuilding continues for Binghamton with tough bottom line results

by - Published February 2, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
binghamton

LOWELL, Mass. – The rebuilding and learning continues for Binghamton. The second year is almost always the most challenging, and year two under Tommy Dempsey is looking that way on the bottom line. The Bearcats are mired in a season-long seven-game losing streak, the latest being Saturday’s 62-55 loss at UMass-Lowell.

“I think year two is the toughest in the rebuilding process,” said Dempsey.

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Saturday Notes – February 1, 2014

by - Published February 2, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

The second-busiest day of college basketball this season was Saturday, with 150 games scheduled. One, Kennesaw State at East Tennessee State, was postponed. The rest were played and included a bunch of dandies, as well as some with important results. Included was the eagerly-awaited Duke-Syracuse matchup in the Carrier Dome, and let’s just say that many will be talking about that one for a while.

As if that wasn’t enough, the number one team in the country went down later in the night.

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Princeton is already in a deep hole

by - Published February 1, 2014 in Columns
princeton

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – It’s early yet, but already Princeton needs help. After losing 82-76 at Harvard on Friday night, the Tigers are in a hole that will be very difficult to climb out of.

The final score of the game showed a six-point margin, but the game wasn’t quite that close. In a similar vein, the Tigers’ Ivy League record shows 0-2, but the Tigers are in more trouble than you might think. It might be early to talk about this, but the Tigers already don’t control their own destiny.

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It’s time for Cincinnati to come out from under the radar

by - Published January 31, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
cincinnati

It’s time to start talking about Cincinnati. The Bearcats have flown under the radar long enough, especially after they went into Louisville and emerged with a 69-66 win over the Cardinals despite blowing a 17-point lead in the second half.

Forget that the Cardinals have a deceptive 17-4 record and a good, not great, NCAA Tournament resume. This is about the Bearcats, a team that is now 20-2 overall and 9-0 in American Athletic Conference play and emerging as the clear team to beat there. The only losses were at New Mexico and against Xavier at a neutral site. Likely few, if any, picked the Bearcats over the likes of Louisville, Connecticut or Memphis before the season.

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Virginia Tech having a rough go of it lately

by - Published January 30, 2014 in Columns
virginiatech

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – James Johnson summed it all up fairly quickly and concisely to begin the press conference.

“It was a very disappointing night at both ends of the floor for us,” the Virginia Tech head coach said.

A quick look at the scoreboard would be all you need to know, as Boston College blew out the Hokies 76-52. This is just the latest setback, however, and it’s not a good time for the team right now.

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Defense is the big concern for Xavier entering a week-long break

by - Published January 26, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
xavier

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Chris Mack didn’t mince words. After praising Providence, who beat his Xavier team 81-72 on Saturday, he started in on his team with their defensive play, and he continued and finished with that as well. It’s clear he wasn’t happy with his team’s defense, and that it wasn’t just on Saturday that such was the case.

“I thought our defense was terrible. It was pathetic,” said the Xavier head coach. “It was not who we’ve been, but it’s who we’ve been lately, and it needs to change, because nobody is going to compete for a Big East championship, an NCAA Tournament berth, and all the things we have outlined for our program this year if we’re playing games in the 80s and 90s.”

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Saturday Notes – January 25, 2014

by - Published January 26, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Another 140 games are in the books from a busy Saturday of college basketball. While the day wasn’t loaded with highly-anticipated matchups, perhaps the most notable item from the day is that a few teams got big road wins.

Here is a look at notes coming from some key games on the day.

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For Holy Cross, the mentality makes a big difference

by - Published January 22, 2014 in Columns
holycross

WORCESTER, Mass. – It’s all about the mentality at Holy Cross of late. The last week has seen two good wins and the team play good basketball to get there, and with it a commensurate confidence boost. While there’s still a hill to climb, the Crusaders look to be in a good place in terms of how they are going about everything.

Holy Cross has had to deal with injuries, and while they haven’t had to as much as some teams have, they have had to adjust a good deal along the way. They had to go without Cullen Hamilton early on due to a knee injury, and just when he appeared to be coming into his own he then came back and aggravated it. They had to shut him down for a stretch so he can heal enough to play the rest of the season.

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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.

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

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

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Recruiting Coverage

Holderness has a new coach and some young players with upside

September 22, 2014 by

holdernessschool

The Holderness School has a new head coach, and while the team isn’t loaded with talent, there are some players with clear upside that give this team a chance to compete in time.

2014 Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase Evaluations

September 22, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

Over 200 players competed at the Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase, and we take a look at a few who stood out on the evening.

Brooks School hopes to continue the rise with one more step

September 18, 2014 by

brooksschool

With a less experienced team, the Brooks School got to the NEPSAC Class B finals and won a school-record 21 games last year. Now they hope to take one more step forward.

Phillips Exeter has a team with some upside

September 17, 2014 by

phillipsexeter

Known for academics, Phillips Exeter has won two straight Class A titles. Their quest for a third will involve a team that has some clear upside right now.

Plenty of talent, including a good mix, at Brewster Academy

September 17, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

As one can expect, Brewster Academy is loaded this year. There’s also a good mix of talent, especially on the perimeter, as they try to win a third straight NEPSAC Class AAA title.