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With Marks gone, Boise State shouldn’t slip much

by - Published October 5, 2015 in Columns

Boise State has often reloaded on the gridiron, where the Broncos have had plenty of success. The hardwood, however, has been a different story – until now. They may have made the NCAA Tournament last year for the second time in three seasons, led by a senior, but with him gone, they shouldn’t drop much this year, if they drop at all.

This is somewhat new territory for the program. We’re talking about a program that has only been to the NCAA Tournament seven times in its entire history, and prior to the last two trips had never done so as an at-large selection. Last season, they had their highest seed since the tournament expanded to 64 teams, a No. 11. They still haven’t won a game, so there’s lots of new territory to still reach.

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Was hiring Larry Brown really worth it for SMU?

by - Published September 30, 2015 in Columns

When SMU hired Larry Brown in 2012 after letting Matt Doherty go, it seemed a curious hire. He was 71 years old, clearly in the back end of his career, and had been out of the college game for nearly a quarter century. He was now about to lead a moribund program that had never really gained traction in Conference USA. He carried name recognition, the kind that would make them relevant even if they weren’t on the court, but whether it would pay off remained to be seen.

Three years later, that move appears to have backfired.

On Tuesday, the NCAA banned the Mustangs from the 2016 postseason for multiple violations that include academic fraud and unethical conduct. The program is also on probation for three years, while Brown has been suspended for 30 percent of his team’s games for the 2015-16 season (that comes out to about nine or ten games), and the team will lose nine scholarships over the next three seasons.

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Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

by - Published September 24, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

It’s been a long struggle in the Patriot League for Army. The Black Knights are the only program in the league aside from relative newcomers Boston University and Loyola (Md.) to never win a league title, and join the Greyhounds in having never even reached the title game. In fact, they have finished in the first division of the league just twice, never higher than fourth.

That gives you an idea of the gargantuan task that was in front of head coach Zach Spiker when he took over after the sudden ouster of Jim Crews in 2009. And while there are bigger missions at the service academy than basketball, it is nonetheless part of life for some at the academy. Still, he has brought the program to new heights by recent measures, and now the hope is that he can take them just a bit higher in what should be “the year.”

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2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

by - Published September 18, 2015 in Recruiting

DORCHESTER, Mass. – The 2015 Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams a chance for a couple of early games. Teams from three states as well as Quebec competed at UMass-Boston in an event that ultimately isn’t as much about wins and losses as it is getting better and figuring things out. Over a dozen college coaches also came by to see the talent on hand.

With football and other fall sports in full swing, most teams didn’t have their full squad, but found value in the matchups and in some players getting to start towards earning expanded roles. Coaches got to see some things with their team right now with or without certain players, helping them prepare for the season in a couple of months.

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After not quite making it last year, Tulsa will try again

by - Published August 31, 2015 in Columns

Every year, there’s at least one team that runs up a good record, either in non-conference or a conference, that becomes the subject of much speculation with regards to getting an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. Tulsa was just such a team last season, winning their first ten games in American Athletic Conference play en route to a 14-4 mark. The Golden Hurricane ultimately fell short and settled for a bid in the NIT.

Can they avoid that fate this season? There’s reason to believe they can, and they’ve already done something to help their cause there.

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Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

by - Published August 27, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Perhaps Lorenzo Romar has a second act in store at Washington.

Perhaps the Huskies have some hope of rebounding yet, and relatively soon.

You can be forgiven for having wondered if Romar had peaked during his tenure in Seattle. In a Pac-12 that has seen Arizona once again become the signature program, while Utah has risen and Oregon has become a steady contender, Washington has gone from being a contender to almost a forgotten team. The 2014-15 season was perhaps a microcosm of this stretch in that it started out with a lot of promise, but crashed and burned.

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2014-15 Patriot League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 24, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Patriot League lived up to its billing as one of the most competitive conferences in the country this season. That was expected given that many teams returned a lot from last season. It was also a deep league, evidenced by the numbers and the eye test, all a sign that the league is in a good place right now.

For a lot of the season, the league race saw the ten teams separated by about three or four games. The seven games separating first from tenth at the end of the season is a bit deceiving. As the season went on, you got the feeling that Bucknell was separating themselves a bit from the rest of the pack, although Colgate took them down to the wire for the top spot. The rest of the league was up for grabs all over.

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2014-15 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

by - Published July 17, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Atlantic 10 was bound to have a hard time duplicating the success of the 2013-14 season, and that is exactly what happened. That reality is much less an indictment of the conference in 2014-15 than it is a reminder of how historically good the preceding season was. In the end, the results show a mixed bag of promise and concern for the conference heading into next season.

Davidson joined the conference and showed they have much more going for them than being the school that produced NBA MVP Stephen Curry. The Wildcats came seemingly out of nowhere to win the regular season title outright. Besides the fact that they were coming from the Southern Conference, they played a very soft non-conference schedule, so they weren’t exactly projected to make a grand entrance into the conference. But they kept on winning, having gained confidence with their non-conference wins. They were one of three teams to reach the NCAA Tournament, but the conference’s streak of seven straight years with at least one team in the Sweet 16 was snapped.

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2014-15 Pac-12 Post-Mortem

by - Published July 16, 2015 in Columns

Who in the Pac-12 can challenge Arizona for consistent supremacy? It’s a question we asked before the season and now must ponder again with the 2014-15 season in the books.

And ironically enough, the Wildcats could just as easily fall out of the top spot by default, at least for next season.

Sean Miller has brought Arizona back to being the signature program of the Pac-12. In the final years of Lute Olson’s tenure, there was a noticeable slide from the place of being a national power. That’s a thing of the past, though, as Miller is showing that he can coach, and he and his staff are getting big-time talent to Tucson for him to coach. That has its trade-offs, though, as the Wildcats have a mass exodus of talent this season, with three players entering the NBA Draft early and T.J. McConnell graduating. Even so, they bring in another terrific recruiting class and will remain the conference favorite for much of the foreseeable future.

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2014-15 Ivy League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 16, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The old phrase “What a difference a year makes” normally has positive connotations. For the Ivy League following the 2014-15 season, however, the opposite would be true. At a time when the league appeared to be in a big up cycle, the rise didn’t quite continue this season.

There was very good basketball in the Ivy League, to be sure. Harvard and Yale set the pace with good non-league showings, with the Bulldogs pulling out the league’s signature victory at UConn in December. The middle of the pack was pretty good – perhaps better than one might have expected given the adversity some teams faced. But there’s no two ways about it: the league went from five postseason teams in 2013-14 to just two this time around. And while postseason bids is a very imperfect way to measure a league, it’s certainly one way to do it.

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Your Phil of Hoops

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by


The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

October 7, 2016 by


With some big-time additions, much was expected of Cal a year ago, and the season did not end well. This time around, expectations may be reduced, but the Golden Bears have a chance to end the season better.

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by


Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

Hoopville Archives

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

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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 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.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by


We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by


We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by


We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by


Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

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.