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Plenty of talent at the Northeast Hoops Festival

by - Published April 15, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
author_kasiecki

HANOVER, Mass. – The Northeast Hoops Festival is one of the big early spring events in the region, and this year it was better than ever. You name the elite program in New England, and they were in this. In addition, they had a number of good teams from outside the region to make it a packed field, and it was held at a fine new facility, the University Sports Complex in Hanover.

Sunday’s games included playoff rounds and saw some games that came right down to the end. Included in that was the Varsity American championship game, which featured New York-based House of Sport and Maine-based MB Nation. MB Nation controlled the game for most of the first half and a lot of the second, but House of Sport gradually rallied. They got within one in the final minute, when MB Nation took an ill-advised shot in traffic and lost possession. After a free throw tied it at 48, MB Nation threw the ball away, and House of Sport got a buzzer-beater to win 50-48.

Here is a look at some of the players we saw.

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Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

by - Published April 11, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
bostonuniversity

While there have surely been worse days in the program’s history, last Wednesday will not go down among the best ones for Boston University. Three players, including star guard Maurice Watson Jr., will all transfer. All of a sudden, the Terriers will have a drastically different look next year and don’t project to be nearly as good. One of them is a bigger loss than the others.

The school announced the transfers of James Kennedy, Malik Thomas and Watson last week. Kennedy, who is one of the nicest young men you could ever meet, has rarely played in his career, having battled injuries. Thomas has had his moments, and his departure will hurt, but it’s Watson’s departure that is both a little mind-boggling and will really hurt.

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Shabazz Napier grew into a championship leader

by - Published April 8, 2014 in Columns
connecticut

Shabazz Napier wasn’t always the easiest kid to root for. He was rough around the edges and could let his competitive streak get the best of him on occasion. Early on, he was an underachiever in the classroom. It would be easy to watch him and see him as a selfish player at times. You could be excused if you wondered if he wasn’t going to be one more example of a city legend somewhere who flamed out when it came to college.

If you knew him back in those days, you knew none of that was who he really is. And if you have followed him over the years, you know that none of that has been true for quite a while now. He wakes up on Tuesday morning with an incredible college legacy that includes two national championships, and one that is the product of tremendous growth into the player and person he always had the potential to become. That he is a two-time champion does not change him from what he was into something else; rather, it is his evolution into the person he is that changed him into a champion.

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How I voted for the 2014 USBWA awards

by - Published March 26, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Before Championship Week began in earnest, ballots were due for USBWA postseason honors. We vote for ten All-Americans, ten All-District players in our district, a National Freshman of the Year (Wayman Tisdale Award), Player of the Year (Oscar Robertson Trophy) and Coach of the Year (Henry Iba Award).

Since I am based near Boston, my district is District 1, which covers the six New England states. As was the case last year, they did not have us vote for a district Player of the Year or Coach of the Year; if I had a vote for each, I would give Shabazz Napier of Connecticut the former (barely over Bryce Cotton of Providence) and Derek Kellogg of UMass the nod for the latter.

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Once again, NCAA Tournament early rounds show how even the teams are

by - Published March 25, 2014 in Columns
ncaa

They say history repeats itself, and few would argue that. As it pertains to college basketball, we’ve seen it with the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and the teams that have advanced in all rounds. It was the case last year, and now this year as well: we’re seeing that there’s not much difference between many of the teams in the field.

Many were surprised by a lot of the results, and in some cases that’s understandable while in others there wasn’t much to be surprised by. The seeds alone don’t tell the whole story for many of the teams.

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At Boston College, speculation is now over with Steve Donahue

by - Published March 20, 2014 in Columns
bostoncollege

A few years ago, it would be just about impossible to imagine that Boston College would be searching for a new head coach for the second time in four years. Save for a blip on the radar screen, the program was in a period of success the likes of which has never been seen at The Heights. But here we are.

What many had speculated for a couple of months became official on Tuesday, as the school parted ways with Steve Donahue. There was some promise during his tenure, but the past season was a disaster that no one saw coming. Fresh off two seasons where wins were hard to come by but growth wasn’t after they basically started over in his second year, the Eagles went 8-24 this season, including a 4-14 mark in ACC play. Donahue over-scheduled, and the Eagles never recovered from a slow start that included several tough losses.

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2014 NCAA Tournament: Early thoughts

by - Published March 17, 2014 in Columns
ncaa

The NCAA Tournament selection committee has spoken. The 68 teams are set to begin the tournament on Tuesday with two of the First Four games. With that, the fun is about to begin.

Before that, here are some random thoughts on the selection, seeding and potential matchups, as well as reaction to some early chatter about the field.

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Providence ends all bubble talk in New York

by - Published March 16, 2014 in Columns
providence

NEW YORK – There will be plenty of good stories with teams that are in the NCAA Tournament, as usual. Few will be as good as that of Providence, who won the Big East Tournament on Saturday night by knocking off Creighton 65-58 in the championship game.

There’s the well-documented story of how Providence has had to make do with very little. Injuries and suspensions have gutted this team’s roster to the point where the Friars basically play six players, with the only thing resembling a backup guard being walk-on Ted Bancroft. They won Saturday’s game with six players getting on the court. It’s something they have had to do seemingly since Ed Cooley took over the program, as they have been snakebit with injuries often.

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In saying few words, Dave Coley said a lot

by - Published March 16, 2014 in Columns
stonybrook

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Dave Coley didn’t say much, but he said it all.

“It’s hard,” the Stony Brook senior guard said before a noticeable pause. “With the environment, with the game, with the anxiety going on, the emotion, the will to win… (another pause) I gotta get out of here.”

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Hooley and Albany overcame a lot to win the America East championship

by - Published March 16, 2014 in Columns
albany

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – A poke in the eye? No problem for Peter Hooley and Albany. To be honest, they’ve had to overcome a little more than that. In fact, Hooley himself has had something worse happen recently.

So when the sophomore guard hit a tough runner with less than two minutes to go, then buried a big three-pointer a minute later to help Albany pull out a 69-60 win in the America East championship game, it was perhaps not a surprise. It also went with how he played in the tournament, although he wasn’t as big a factor on Saturday as he was last weekend.

… Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

Growing pains are here for talented Brown team

November 20, 2014 by

brown

Brown has good talent and should be a factor in the Ivy League, but with three sophomores starting on the perimeter, growing pains are in the foreseeable future

New season, same challenge for New Hampshire

November 15, 2014 by

newhampshire

It’s a new season at New Hampshire, and while the Wildcats look like they will defend, they also appear to have the same challenge they have had for a long time now: scoring.

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.

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2014 Prep School Tour

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

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

New England Prep Schools 2014-15: looking back and looking ahead

November 3, 2014 by

nepsac

With a series of prep school open gym visits in the book and the season not far away, here’s a look back at open gyms and a look forward to the season in the New England prep school ranks.

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by

vermontacademy

Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by

mastersschool

The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by

riversschool

The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.