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Saturday Notes – January 2, 2016

by - Published January 3, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Conference play is in full swing now all across the country, and Saturday gave us a big taste. It was a slate with mostly conference games, and some dandies among them. It’s too early to make much of the first conference game for anyone, but it can go with or against the impression the non-conference showing of many teams left on us.

There’s a lot of basketball left to play, obviously, but we’ve gotten off to a good start. Here are some notes from many of the day’s games.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 2, 2016

by - Published January 2, 2016 in Columns

As conference play starts to get into full swing, the Pac-12 got a good jump on things on Friday night before most of the others pick up the pace. Four games were on tap, all after a big day for one of them in the Rose Bowl earlier in the day.

We start with the school whose football team won the Rose Bowl, and in convincing fashion. Stanford was never really challenged in that game, scoring on the first play from scrimmage to set the tone. On the hardwood against Utah at Maples Pavilion, it was a little different story. In fact, the Cardinal by rights should have lost this game, as it was mainly a poor finish by Utah that led to the Utes blowing a late four-point lead and sending the game into overtime.

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How the conferences shape up as 2016 approaches

by - Published December 29, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Not only are we in the midst of the holidays, but conference play beckons if it hasn’t already started. Non-conference play is almost complete, and teams form impressions during this time of how they will be in conference play. Even so, as is always the case this is imperfect. Conference play is a different animal, as teams are more familiar with each other from having played each other every year. That’s why we see some teams even in mid-majors get nice wins in non-conference play, but then lose games in conference play that strike the untrained eye as head-scratchers.

It is with that in mind that we take a look at how all 31 conferences shape up based on non-conference play thus far.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, December 28, 2015

by - Published December 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The middle of the Big Ten is going to be well worth watching. There might not be a middle of a conference that appears to be as wide open as this one does, and Sunday gave us a look at two teams that could be there. One was expected before the season, the other, not so much.

The top of the Big Ten appears to be what we expected. Michigan State and Maryland have done nothing in the first month and a half to dispel any notion that they should lead the pack, with Purdue joining them in the projected top three. Michigan State and Maryland both look like national title contenders, while Purdue was a team with potential and is harnessing a lot of it now. The Boilermakers may be a bit of a surprise to some, but not much; they were expected to be pretty good this season. It’s after those three that things appear to get very interesting.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 26, 2015

by - Published December 26, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Amidst all the heft in the Big 12, including perennial champion Kansas, it can be easy to lose track of Oklahoma. The Sooners don’t have a big name or personality for a coach, they’re thought of as a football school, and there are lots of other programs chasing Kansas in the Big 12 that are pretty good. If you haven’t been watching the Sooners to this point, though, you would do well to start paying attention.

Oklahoma has made two trips to Hawaii this season, and both times made the most of it. First, they convincingly beat Villanova in the Pearl Harbor Invitational, then they swept to the Diamond Head Classic title, completing the latter by riding a big second half to an 83-71 win over Harvard on Friday.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, December 21, 2015

by - Published December 21, 2015 in The Morning Dish

There are lots of schools that in either the short term (this season) or long term (overall program direction), you might want to buy stock in if they were stocks. One that fits the latter is NJIT, a program that once upon a time was famous only for a long losing streak as a Division I newcomer. It’s not just that the streak is a very distant memory that is the reason for it, though, and it’s not just their 83-74 win over St. John’s on Sunday, either.

Simply put, the program now has a couple of big positives.

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Saturday Notes – December 19, 2015

by - Published December 20, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

With final exams in the books, Saturday represented a return to the busy Saturdays that we will see for most of the remainder of the season. It was also a day with a number of great matchups and some very significant outcomes. We saw the Crossroads Classic produce a couple of good ones as usual, as well as a few big ones in New York, and a few more teams appear to be gaining confidence with the wins continuing to pile up.

With that, here are notes from many of the day’s games.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 19, 2015

by - Published December 19, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Frank Martin has done some very good things as a college basketball coach. The latest of those is making South Carolina relevant once again and on the verge of NCAA Tournament contention, something that continues as non-conference play is winding down.

The Gamecocks completed another 2-0 week with a 65-69 win over Clemson in Greenville on Friday night, improving to 10-0, their best start since 1933-34. They are the only undefeated team in the SEC at this point, and although all non-conference schedules are not created equal, this is the latest sign of progress under Martin. That’s also not to cast their record in the wrong light, because it’s not like they have only beat up on teams with RPIs north of 300.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, December 14, 2015

by - Published December 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The Big East just keeps on rolling. And while it’s a very different Big East than the one Chris Mullin knew as a player – not to mention a very different Big East than the one Syracuse was a part of just a few short years ago – one thing remains the case: the conference’s teams win a lot.

That’s not to say it’s come easily, because winning never does. It’s been far from a birthright. But like last year, Big East teams are winning at a clip few probably imagined, and Sunday continued that as they went 3-0 on the day, with another signature win among them.

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Saturday Notes – December 12, 2015

by - Published December 13, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

College basketball is starting to take center stage on Saturdays, as this one was full of TV games, and many of them good ones. A few teams scored important wins, but most of all, the games generally lived up to their billing. This is something college basketball needs at a time when college football is otherwise fading from the spotlight for a bit with the time in between the end of the regular season and bowl games.

Here are notes from a number of those games on the day, including some rivalry games.

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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

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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

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