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Season opener a big boost for Holy Cross as they keep growing

by - Published November 17, 2014 in Columns
holycross

BOSTON – The Holy Cross players have believed in what Milan Brown and his staff are trying to do. The buy-in has been there and the team has grown in part by believing in the process and the game plan every time out. The gains have been incremental, with some good wins along the way, but there’s nothing like a big win to really drive it home and make them believe in it that much more.

The Crusaders got that with a 58-57 win over Harvard on Sunday, and in a game that showed how much they have grown up.

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Northeastern’s maturity wins out in their opener

by - Published November 17, 2014 in Columns
northeastern

BOSTON – You could see it coming for a lot of the second half. There were interruptions, as the upstarts always had an answer and at times the veteran team shot themselves in the foot. Still, the momentum was unmistakably with the veterans, and eventually they broke through and later took control.

Yes, it was a rivalry game, but in time the mature Northeastern team played like a veteran team and rode the performance of those steady veterans to a season-opening 71-65 victory over Boston University.

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The Morning Dish – Monday November 17, 2014

by - Published November 17, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

There will be plenty of chatter about Kentucky this season; in fact, there already has been. That will always be the case, as Kentucky will be relevant whether they win a national championship or have a losing record. Ever since several players decided to pass on early entry to the NBA Draft last spring, the hyperbole surrounding this team has been non-stop given the talent they have. And on Sunday, that was demonstrated even more.

Buffalo led Kentucky at halftime 38-33. The Bulls didn’t succumb to an early run, either, as Kentucky scored the first nine points of the second half only to see Buffalo rally to regain the lead. The Wildcats eventually won going away, but that’s not the big headline to take out of this game.

A lot of people are talking about how John Calipari didn’t go with a platoon in the second half. The talk is that he’s already abandoned it. The reality, of course, is a bit more complicated.

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Albany’s consistent identity appears to remain intact

by - Published November 16, 2014 in Columns
albany

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – By now, largely because he’s been at the school for a good while, Will Brown has carved out a clear identity for his teams at Albany. They are typically tough and persistent, in a fashion that reflects their coach, and especially when it matters most – late in games and in the conference tournament. They know how to hang in long enough to take over and pull out games late. When his team is experienced, these are all at another level.

While Albany lost their season opener at Providence by a 64-60 count, it looks like this edition of the Great Danes is a vintage Will Brown team at first glance. The coach is talking about them as if that’s the case, too.

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New season, same challenge for New Hampshire

by - Published November 15, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
newhampshire

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – There were some positives in New Hampshire’s season-opening 58-50 loss at Boston College on Friday night. The Wildcats made it tough on Boston College with their defense, they out-rebounded the Eagles and they had an early lead. They tried to make a game of it in the second half after BC appeared to be in control. They were in it despite being short-handed. All of those things bode well for the rest of a long season.

In the end, though, it’s a game they lost, and they’re not about to start talking about moral victories, even while taking a long view. And if they take a long view, the reality is that the new season has already seen an old problem for the Wildcats: scoring.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 15, 2014

by - Published November 15, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

College basketball season has begun. Life is good.

Unfortunately, though, it didn’t take long for something bad to happen. In VCU’s 85-69 win over Tennessee in the first game of the Veterans Classic in Annapolis, a scary moment came almost 12 minutes into the game. VCU guard JeQuan Lewis went for a rebound and collided with Tennessee big man Dominic Woodson, who is not a little guy at 6’10” and close to 300 pounds. Lewis slammed his head onto the court, and it could be heard pretty well.

I didn’t see it live, as I was covering another game at the time, but it was all over Twitter when it happened. The sense I got from what I read was not good, and I wondered if I was going to be horrified later when I saw any footage that might be available of the incident and/or the aftermath.

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2014-15 CAA Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
colonial

Times continue to change in the CAA, and while there is still good basketball, it’s definitely a new era. Last season saw just two CAA teams reach postseason play. In prior years, the conference had sent more. Plenty of teams have challenging non-conference slates this year, so opportunities for quality wins will be there – but whether or not they come is another story. Another membership change comes this season as Elon joins to bring the conference to ten teams. For now, it seems stable, but conference realignment never seems to really take a break, so enjoy it while it lasts.

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College of Charleston Cougars 2014-15 Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Conference Notes
charleston

College of Charleston Cougars (14-18 overall, 6-10 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Anthony Stitt
So. G Joe Chealey
So. G Canyon Barry
Sr. F Adjehi Baru
Fr. F Donovan Gilmore

Important departures:

G Nori Johnson, F Willis Hall and F Anthony Thomas have all departed.

Returning:

55.1 percent of scoring and 43.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Evan Bailey
Fr. F Donovan Gilmore
Fr. F-C Nick Harris
Fr. G Cameron Johnson

Schedule Highlights:

The Cougars have five home games in a challenging non-conference slate. Notable opponents at home include Gardner-Webb and former Southern Conference rival Davidson. They will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off against defending national champion Connecticut, then either Texas A&M or Dayton in the second game with one more to follow. Additional road games are at West Virginia, Charlotte, LSU and Miami. Early in CAA play, they have a three-game homestand, followed by a stretch with five of six on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Cougars had a more eventful off-season than anyone imagined, as the saga of now former head coach Doug Wojcik dominated the headlines. The plus is that this team has really come together, which makes part of new head coach Earl Grant’s job easier. There is talent here, and some reason to believe this team can finish higher than many might project. Stitt is a talented, seasoned veteran, while Chealey and Barry both had the kinds of ups and downs freshmen usually go through but appear ready to harness some of their potential. Baru will anchor the frontcourt, a solid rebounder who they will look to for more offense. If the guards make a good jump from freshman to sophomore year, that will go a long way towards this team contending.

Next: Delaware Blue Hens

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Delaware Blue Hens 2014-15 Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Conference Notes
delaware

Delaware Blue Hens (25-10 overall, 14-2 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Kory Holden
Sr. G Kyle Anderson
Fr. G-F Chivarsky Corbett
Jr. F Marvin King-Davis
So. F Devonne Pinkard

Important departures:

Gone from last season’s championship team are G Devon Saddler, G Jarvis Threatt (dismissed from team), F Davon User and C Carl Baptiste.

Returning:

25 percent of scoring and 29.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Eric Carter
Fr. G Chivarsky Corbett
Fr. G Kory Holden
Fr. F Skye Johnson
Fr. G Anthony Mosley

Schedule Highlights:

The Blue Hens played some very tough non-conference slates the last couple of years, but this one is a bit lighter while still having some tough contests. They open with five straight on the road, including a west coast swing with games at Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield and Stanford before coming back east to play at Villanova and later going to Northeast contender Robert Morris. They have two good home games with Temple and St. Bonaventure to highlight their four home non-conference games. CAA play has a tough start, as they host Northeastern before going on the road for three straight. Fortunately, they come home for three in a row right after that.

Projected finish and outlook:

Everything came together last year for Delaware as they won the conference championship. Now it’s a whole new team, especially since they had to dismiss Jarvis Threatt after too many off-court problems. They don’t lack talent, but they are a very green team, especially on the perimeter aside from Anderson, who is a good starting point. Anderson was slowed in the preseason by an injury, and then he needed surgery that will cost him about a month. They’ll hang their hat on him when he returns, but his absence early on likely means serious growing pains. Holden looks to be the likely starter at the point, but that’s never easy for a freshman. Mosley will get minutes backing him up, and Corbett may be the most ready to join Anderson on the wing. Early on, sophomore Cazmon Hayes will have a golden opportunity to earn a significant role. King-Davis and Pinkard are the most likely players to lead the way up front, though Monte Ross says that entire unit is, like the team, a work in progress. Barnett Harris also returns, and he can be an energy guy. The Blue Hens keep things simple, so the learning curve should be manageable for the young players, but this will be a very different group than the one Ross had and greatly trusted last year. The challenging non-conference slate will prepare them well for conference play, but with the youth on this team, managing confidence may come into play as it’s possible that the losses could add up.

Next: Drexel Dragons

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Drexel Dragons 2014-15 Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Conference Notes
drexel

Drexel Dragons (16-14 overall, 8-8 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Rashann London
Jr. G Damion Lee
Jr. F Tavon Allen
So. F Rodney Williams
So. F-C Mohamed Bah

Important departures:

Three key starters have graduated: G Frantz Massenat, G Chris Fouch, F-C Dartaye Ruffin.

Returning:

34.7 percent of scoring and 45.8 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Rashann London
Fr. G Sam Mojica
Fr. F Tyshawn Myles
Fr. F Austin Williams

Schedule Highlights:

The Dragons will play a tough non-conference schedule with five home games, highlighted by visits from Saint Joseph’s, Southern Miss, La Salle and MAAC contender Iona. They open at Colorado, play Miami and USC or Akron in the first two games at the Charleston Classic, and later travel to Penn State. After opening CAA play with two straight at home, the Dragons go on the road for four of the next five games.

Projected finish and outlook:

Injuries have struck again for the Dragons, as they have already lost two likely starters for the season. Add that to the prduction they already lost with three starters having departed, and normally it would look like a major rebuilding season. But there’s still something to work with, and the Dragons are the only team to finish with a .500 or better record in CAA play each of the past six seasons, so you can’t dismiss this team at all. Lee is one of the best players in the conference, and so far so good in his return. Allen has to go from being a complement to one of the conference’s better players, which he’s certainly capable of doing, and his former travel teammate Freddie Wilson should contribute more in his second season at the school. Williams showed potential as a freshman last year, and he has the physical gifts to turn into a star. With Canady out for the year, London seems the most likely candidate at the point. There is sure to be a learning curve there, so the Dragons are likely to take some lumps during the tough non-conference schedule. Bah should step in where Abif would have, and there will still be some growing pains with sophomores up front. The Dragons will guard you all day and make you grind games out, which means they’ll never be out of games and can break through and win. If London and the other freshmen grow up fast, the Dragons could be in contention in a wide open conference.

Next: Elon Phoenix

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Your Phil of Hoops

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by

kentucky

Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by

delaware

There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

Hoopville Archives

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

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Recruiting Coverage

2015 EYBL Hampton – Saturday & Sunday notes

April 14, 2015 by

nikeeybl

Saturday was a full day of action at EYBL Hampton, and Sunday capped it off with a brief slate. We look at some of the talent that was on hand each day to close out the first live weekend.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Friday notes

April 11, 2015 by

nikeeybl

Friday night was the beginning at EYBL Hampton, with a relatively light night of action. We have notes on a few players from the opening games to get us started.

2015 Playaz Spring Fling – Friday notes

April 8, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

The spring travel circuit is getting started, and the Playaz Spring Fling was a good early stop as it usually is during the Final Four weekend.

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.