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Through new life challenges, Devon Saddler is a driven player and family person

by - Published March 8, 2014 in Columns
delaware

If you just look at some of Devon Saddler’s statistics, you might get an impression of Delaware’s all-time leading scorer. Seeing his numbers, mainly his scoring, shooting and assist numbers, might leave an impression that he’s been your classic gunner who has scored from taking a lot of shots, and you might wonder about him as a team player and a young man.

Stop right there if that’s the impression you get. It’s about as false an impression as you can get.

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At Drexel, two different guards from different places try to extend their careers

by - Published March 7, 2014 in Columns
drexel

This weekend, Drexel will attempt to prolong a season that began with a lot of promise. It hasn’t quite gone as many had hoped, but two senior guards will try to lead them to a longer season. It is those two guards, who come from different places, who have had different journeys to this point, and who have become like brothers while learning plenty about dealing with adversity, who will try to lead them one last time in the Colonial Athletic Association.

From a basketball standpoint, the backgrounds of Chris Fouch and Frantz Massenat aren’t all that similar. Their careers have been quite different as well, but as teammates they have been a big part of how Drexel has done. Through adversity, they have forged a strong bond that Massenat points out during interviews of both. It is perhaps only fitting that they will finish right next to each other on the school’s all-time scoring list.

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2014 CAA awards: How one person voted

by - Published March 7, 2014 in Columns
colonial

The Colonial Athletic Association handed out its postseason awards on Thursday night, as usual a day in advance of the conference tournament. As one of the voters in the conference, I always find it a worthwhile exercise to share how I voted and some of the thoughts behind it.

The most notable highlight is that the Player of the Year vote was a tough one. I debated that more than anything else, even finishing my ballot other than that award at first so I could ponder it more. A couple of the other awards were relatively easy this time around, and at the margins it was a tough call in a couple of cases for the last person on one of the teams.

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For Bryant, especially the seniors, there are no words right now

by - Published March 6, 2014 in Columns
bryant

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – What do you say to the players who have meant so much to your program after a heart-breaking loss likely ends their careers? What do you say to the players who gave all they had, even transformed themselves, for the betterment of your program at a crucial stage?

In truth, there are no words. Tim O’Shea, who has seen plenty in the world of basketball, had a hard time finding them after Bryant lost a 55-54 heart-breaker to Saint Francis in the Northeast Conference Tournament on Wednesday night. And you can’t blame him. His lack of words says nothing about him and everything about the situation.

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Saint Francis scores a big, unlikely win

by - Published March 6, 2014 in Columns
stfrancis-pa

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – When the final buzzer sounded, Ronnie Drinnon turned to the students and raised his arms, even though his team was on the road. His coach could barely contain himself a couple of minutes later. And if you know a little of the history of Saint Francis University, including recently, along with how much the coach knows about that history and the makeup of the team right now, you can understand why.

It might be one of the biggest quarterfinal wins in a mid-major conference tournament in some time. Drinnon had just played the game of his life, and a program that hasn’t tasted a great deal of success got a big win that can be a big momentum boost even if they get thumped in their next game on Saturday.

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Offense helps Florida State move along late in the season

by - Published March 5, 2014 in Columns
floridastate

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Florida State was very concerned about Boston College for a lot of reasons. After pulling out a 74-70 win over the Eagles, they were pretty relieved.

“I hope that people understand that they’ve got everybody back next year, and I hope we only play them once, and I hope it’s at our place,” said head coach Leonard Hamilton with a smile. “We were just very fortunate to get a stop, hit a free throw, get a turnover right at the end that gave us a chance to pull it out.”

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Brewster Academy wins a second straight title on more than talent

by - Published March 3, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

BEVERLY, Mass. – Championships are not won merely by assembling talent and rolling out the basketballs. Jason Smith already understood this well, and that was driven home again on Sunday. The good thing for the Brewster Academy head coach is that the result of it was positive, a thrilling 68-63 win over New Hampton in the NEPSAC Class AAA championship.

Brewster Academy won the Class AAA championship for the second year in a row and has now won four NEPSAC titles in the past seven seasons. While in recent years the Bobcats have annually had the most talent in Class AAA, that hasn’t always translated into a title. Talent alone doesn’t do it, and it’s not just because NEPSAC is so competitive, although Smith offered plenty of words about that after the game.

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Adams leads Cushing to a repeat in less dramatic fashion

by - Published March 3, 2014 in Columns
nepsac

BEVERLY, Mass. – This time around, a buzzer-beater was not needed for the win in the big game.

Cushing Academy won last year’s NEPSAC Class AA championship with a buzzer-beater from about mid-court from Jalen Adams (6’2″ Jr. SG, Roxbury (MA)). The Penguins won this year’s title with Adams taking MVP honors in their 78-68 win over Kimball Union Academy, and with their other top players coming up big as they needed them to.

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Phillips Exeter is an unlikely repeat champion

by - Published March 3, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

BEVERLY, Mass. – A year ago, anyone could have predicted this result before the season. This year, not so much.

While any championship feels great, you have to think Phillips Exeter head coach Jay Tilton feels especially good about the one his team took home in dramatic fashion on Sunday by a 49-46 margin over Hotchkiss, their second NEPSAC Class A title in a row.

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Maine has work ahead to stop a repeat of this season

by - Published March 3, 2014 in Columns
maine

It’s not like anyone couldn’t see this coming. With Maine’s personnel, a season like the one that is mercifully nearing an end looked possible, even likely almost a year ago.

The Black Bears were already going to lose two seniors. Then Justin Edwards transferred and Alasdair Fraser opted to pursue a pro career overseas a year early, and leading three-point shooter Jon Mesghna followed them out the door. With that, the Black Bears had been gutted of talent and experience. Then junior Killian Cato missed the first semester due to academics, as if that wasn’t bad enough.

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Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

January 15, 2015 by

rhodeisland

Rhode Island controlled Tuesday night’s game against VCU, but couldn’t finish it and took a tough loss. Their improvement is evident, though, and they are keeping perspective on that in trying to keep improving.

Saturday Notes – January 10, 2015

January 11, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Conference play is now in full swing, and on Saturday we saw a number of games tell us something about teams and conferences in the early going. In that respect, one conference appears to be standing out right now.

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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.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

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.