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The Morning Dish – Saturday, February 7, 2015

by - Published February 7, 2015 in Columns

Friday night in February is usually a relatively idle night in college basketball. This one was a bit different, as it was full of big matchups and games that delivered on their promise. A few stand out enough to warrant a little further look.

Leading the way is the Atlantic 10, where Dayton visited George Washington. The two teams were picked to finish right behind VCU before the season, and have been right there for much of the way. In particular, we’re going to learn something about the Colonials, who are in the midst of a challenging stretch. After two road losses, they came home and nearly lost it in overtime, but Joe McDonald was the hero as put back a blocked shot before the buzzer to give the Colonials a 65-64 win. McDonald finished with a game-high 19 points.

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We’re going to learn more about George Washington

by - Published February 6, 2015 in Columns

We’re about to find out something about the 2014-15 George Washington team. They have thus far played well, and were projected to be Atlantic 10 contenders, but now we’re going to see if they can truly live up to that.

Last Saturday’s loss at Rhode Island was the second game in a six-game stretch where the Colonials will take on much of the other mettle of the conference. They already lost at VCU a few nights earlier, a game where if you blinked in the second half, you missed it going from a relatively close one a blowout. Granted, these two games were on the road, but going 0-2 isn’t a good way to start this tough stretch. Next up is Dayton at home, then after going to Duquesne they host VCU and Davidson.

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Rhode Island continues to grow up

by - Published February 4, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Barely three weeks ago, Dan Hurley and E.C. Matthews sat in the interview room at the Ryan Center after a tough loss. Hurley and Matthews were low-key, but still upbeat despite dropping a game that they controlled, something that you know doesn’t come easily for the ultra-competitive Hurley. Among other things, Hurley talked about how the Rams would get better from that game, including when it comes to making big plays down the stretch as they go from being a young team to a veteran team.

On Saturday, you could see exactly that. Rhode Island had another test from within the conference, and the result was different. This time, they played like a team that did exactly what Hurley talked about after the loss to VCU. They played with confidence down the stretch, made plays and sealed the game.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 2, 2015

by - Published February 2, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Back on September 30, 2014, no one would have thought it was possible. Well, no one outside of a few people about 25 miles south of Boston.

The New England Patriots had just been thrashed on Monday Night Football, out-classed by Kansas City. The Patriots didn’t even look like a good college football team that night. Every team has off nights, but this didn’t seem like just that. They were 2-2 at the time and nothing leaped out at you as championship-worthy about this team. There was talk about whether the Tom Brady era was over. There were questions of whether or not it was time for them to start getting ready for the next generation of Patriots football.

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Saturday Notes – January 31, 2015

by - Published February 1, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday was one of the busiest game days of the season, as over 150 games were on tap with Division I teams. With the many great games on the slate, many of which were at least as good as advertised, it should be a happy day. But there’s a good deal of sadness hanging over the day in light of news that came after 10 p.m. Eastern: VCU point guard Briante Weber is done for the season with a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in his knee. His college career is over.

Suddenly, all the great games on the day seemed so insignificant. Weber was the epitome of HAVOC and was on the verge of breaking the NCAA’s record for career steals. He had six of those on the afternoon before this happened. He’s a key vocal leader for a team that’s winning big this season, though they lost on Saturday (and were already trailing when he got hurt). He’s got a great motor and is a great kid. Put another way, he represents everything that’s right with college basketball.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 31, 2015

by - Published January 31, 2015 in The Morning Dish

On Friday nights from here on out, Ivy League basketball will take center stage. It got started last night, and that’s what the next six weeks will be like – the 14-game tournament, as they call it, since the Ivy League doesn’t have a tournament.

By now, each team has played their travel partner twice, save for Penn and Princeton, who still have one more meeting left. While it’s early yet, we now have our first full taste and a little more of a sense of each team.

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As more players develop, Bucknell becomes a clear contender

by - Published January 27, 2015 in Columns

BOSTON – It’s rare that one man carries a team all the way to a conference title in college basketball, no matter how good that player is. Chris Hass is certainly not going to carry Bucknell to a Patriot League title, as one example of interest, despite his great shooting and overall development after a breakout season a year ago. But with a supporting cast developing around him, the Bison are clicking offensively and emerging as a dangerous team, as well as a leader in the league as we near the halfway point.

A great example of this has come during the Bison’s four-game winning streak, the last two of which have come on the road. It’s been tough for them to win on the road, in part because they played some tough non-league games away from home. The offense has really clicked lately, however, and that’s been a big difference. While Hass is leading the way, he now has a lot more help.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 26, 2015

by - Published January 26, 2015 in Columns

What can you say about Mike Krzyzewski that hasn’t already been said? Well, there can’t be much by now. Leading up to the possibility of a big milestone, there was a lot that we learned about him that we might not already know. As of Sunday, we can say one thing about him with certainty: he is the first Division I men’s basketball coach to win 1,000 career games.

This one didn’t come easily at all, and when you’ve won 1,000 games, surely a few have been very difficult. St. John’s led at halftime, aided by the officials allowing a three-pointer that appeared not to beat the shot clock just before the half, and then they led by as many as ten in the second half. It took an 18-2 run by the Blue Devils to pull this one out.

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Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

by - Published January 25, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

While this Saturday didn’t have quite the same top-tier matchups of a week ago, it was still an important day of action, especially in a couple of conferences where teams are tightly bunched together in the standings and played each other. The end result, for the most part is that the conference races remain quite muddled. That’s a reminder that there’s still a lot of basketball to play, and before long some of these races will probably sort themselves out.

With that, here are some thoughts on some of the day’s most noteworthy games.

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2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

by - Published January 23, 2015 in Recruiting

The Boston Winter Invitational presented by Hoopville is on Sunday at UMass-Boston. It will consist of four prep school games, and among the participating teams are two ranked in the top ten of Next Up Recruits national post-grad program rankings and two more from Canada. There will be a little bit of local flavor early on, as the first matchup involves two teams from Massachusetts, one from close by and the other from the western part of the state but with several players from the Boston area. There will be good talent in the gym all day, and each game should be a competitive one.

Here is a look at what you can expect with all four matchups.

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Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

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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.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by


The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by


Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by


Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.