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Best players no one knows about – 2014-15 edition

by - Published November 12, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Last season, UL Lafayette won a terrific Sun Belt championship game in overtime against Georgia State. It was the conclusion of a great season, and at the nerve center of it all was Shawn Long, doing what he did quite often.

In that championship game, the junior had 11 points and 14 rebounds – not quite career numbers, but another day at the office. He was the only player in the conference to average a double-double last season. For good measure, he’s one of just two players in the entire country to average a double-double each of the past two seasons. He could go 4-for-4 in that regard.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, November 10, 2014

by - Published November 10, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Picking up where we left off with conferences, we start today with the best academic league of them all, the Ivy League.

The Ivy League is in the midst of a great up cycle, and league favorite Harvard has a lot to do with that. The Crimson will again be favored, though not to the same degree as last year when they were prohibitive favorites. They have the league’s best backcourt and plenty of options up front. They will be pushed, however, by the likes of Yale (whose own star, Justin Sears, will be in the running for Player of the Year), Princeton and Brown, for starters. Columbia figured to be right there, but the loss of Alex Rosenberg is a big blow and has to knock them back some.

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A new uphill battle for Providence lies ahead

by - Published November 9, 2014 in Columns
providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Since Ed Cooley came home, Providence has largely fought an uphill battle. The Friars weren’t the most talented team in the Big East to begin with, but injuries, suspensions and NCAA issues have constantly left them having to dig deep into their bench. It left them basically never resting Bryce Cotton, the departed guard who was the picture of the program’s toughness, battling injuries and becoming the best player not named Doug McDermott in the Big East last year – far more than anyone would have imagined when he first arrived on campus as a complete unknown.

They completed the great story with a Big East championship last year, one no one saw coming except the people in the locker room. Providence likely needed the Big East championship to get into the NCAA Tournament, as the Friars’ seed was right near that of the last at-large team in the field after they beat a ranked team in Creighton to take home the title.

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Holy Cross is trying to take the next step

by - Published November 8, 2014 in Columns
holycross

WORCESTER, Mass. – Milan Brown says the mantra for Holy Cross is “Take the next step.” Since he arrived on campus, the program has taken many steps to get to where they are now, entering the season as Patriot League contenders once again.

It’s been a long road back to this point.

When Brown took over in 2010 following a one-year stint for Sean Kearney, the program was a far cry from what it was at the beginning of the century. At that time, Holy Cross and Bucknell ruled the Patriot League, with the Crusaders going on a roll first. But as Ralph Willard’s tenure came to a conclusion, the rest of the league was getting better and made up a lot of ground.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 8, 2014

by - Published November 8, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

With the start of the regular season now less than a week away, we’ll now look at a few conferences on some of these upcoming days.

America East has a familiar look among its favorites, as Stony Brook should once again be the team to beat. The Seawolves have had a great run in recent years, but haven’t been able to get over the hump in the conference tournament. They’ll have good competition from a senior-laden Hartford team, as well as defending champion Albany.

Defending national champion Connecticut was chosen as the favorite in the American Athletic Conference coaches poll, but the thinking here is that SMU is more deserving of the nod. The Mustangs bring back plenty from last season, while most of the other top teams in the conference – the Huskies, Cincinnati and Memphis – all lose a lot. Newcomer Tulsa might be the sleeper.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 7, 2014

by - Published November 7, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Today, Hoopville begins its 14th year of covering college basketball and everything connected to it. As we celebrate 13 years and get ready for more, times are decidedly different than when we began, both on and off the court.

Back in 2001, there was no opening night for college basketball like there is now. There were games here and there in early season tournaments, and because it was only a handful of teams there was no feeling of a season beginning like there is in other sports. Now, there is anticipation and a feeling of beginning – plus some consistency to the start of the season.

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A lot is unknown about Boston College

by - Published November 7, 2014 in Columns
bostoncollege

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Things are very different at Boston College than a year ago, and that’s about the only thing that is known right now. Quite a bit is not known.

There’s a new coaching staff, as Steve Donahue was let go after a disaster of a season. The Eagles played the fifth-toughest schedule in the country according to Ken Pomeroy, a slate that included ten teams in the RPI top 50. They weren’t ready for it, even though it was a veteran team. Having just four non-conference home games didn’t help.

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New England Prep Schools 2014-15: looking back and looking ahead

by - Published November 3, 2014 in Recruiting
nepsac

In the five-plus weeks starting with September 9, I had the chance to visit over 20 prep schools across New England. It started with Putnam Science Academy on the first day that was live for Division I college coaches and ended with Vermont Academy. There was a wide range of talent and depth to be seen in that time, and the open gym workouts varied in terms of how good the action was on each day.

It’s clear that the action on the hardwood will be as competitive as we’ve come to expect this season. Class AAA will be hotly contested, and Class AA is well-known for its relative evenness from top to bottom. There is plenty to watch in all of the enrollment divisions as well. While a few teams repeated as champions last year, that doesn’t seem likely this season at first glance, but nothing is a given in September and October.

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Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

by - Published October 20, 2014 in Recruiting
marianapolis

THOMPSON, Conn. – Let’s put one thing out there right away: Marianapolis Prep appeared to be in a state of flux regarding basketball when this fall rolled around. That’s the big reason this profile has come out well after the visit to the school for an open gym. Marianapolis debated a move out of Class AA of NEPSAC, and as is always the case when a transition is considered, there is much more than just basketball involved. But they will remain a Class AA school and field a competitive team this season.

Andrew Vitale’s teams in recent years have done well to reach the Class AA Tournament several times since NEPSAC realigned, and the school has a history of postseason success. They were the seventh seed last year and fifth seed a couple of years ago. During the last days of the old alignment, they lost in the Class B final two years in a row during Tilton’s great run, and lost to them again in the first year of the new alignment.

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New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

by - Published October 17, 2014 in Recruiting
vermontacademy

SAXTONS RIVER, Vt. – Alex Popp is in a good place these days, and Vermont Academy is the beneficiary. A basketball guy, he’s moved around a bit, but it’s all because he’s a go-getter, and this is the most recent chance that presented itself. He took the job in June and has been on the go with it ever since.

His first team at the school looks like a pretty good one, the product of jumping right in and getting players that fit the school well. Vermont Academy has been on the rise in recent years, and this year could be the year for a bigger breakthrough if an early look at the personnel is any indication.

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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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

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

hoopguy-yellow

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

hoopguy-cyan

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

author_kasiecki

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.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Sunday notes

April 29, 2015 by

adidasuprising

Sunday was the conclusion of the adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis, and we take a look at some of the players who shined on a day that saw a few games that weren’t very competitive.