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The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 13, 2014

by - Published December 13, 2014 in The Morning Dish
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Friday was a busy day with off-court matters, but in was a particularly bad day for a couple of teams with. It was a quiet night on the court, but this didn’t have to happen. One team can absorb the blow a lot better than the other, and the reasons are different.

In the morning, we learned that Kentucky will be without junior forward Alex Poythress for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in practice on Thursday. This is not a small loss, and his story has been one of a player with plenty of talent who has not had it easy during his college career but has become a key piece. His motor was inconsistent, but he’s improved that to give this team more of what they need. They will miss him, but they have more than enough talent and depth to absorb this loss from a production standpoint. Intangibles are another story, although even there the Wildcats appear to have enough to absorb his loss at first glance.

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Amidst Maine’s rebuilding challenge, there is hope

by - Published December 12, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
maine

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The long road back for Maine has started, and it has been challenging and at times quite painful. It’s not going to be an easy road back to relevance and contention. Along the way, though, there is reason for hope, and that was evident in a few ways Thursday night when the Black Bears lost at Boston College.

The fall from relevance in America East was a steep one for Maine. In 2010-11, they started off conference play at 8-1 and looked well on their way to the top seed in the conference tournament. The bottom fell out quickly, though, as they then lost six in a row before losing to Hartford in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. They never won more than six conference games after that, and Ted Woodward was let go as head coach after last season. In his place is Bob Walsh, who had a great run at Rhode Island College.

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Rhode Island has potential amidst some difficulty

by - Published December 12, 2014 in Columns
rhodeisland

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Non-conference play has been both a time of promise and a time of difficulty for Rhode Island. The promise has shown in the wins and at times in some of the losses, while the difficulty is certainly there in losses like Wednesday’s 68-60 loss at arch-rival Providence. In that game, as much as any, you can see the potential as well as the areas of concern for this team.

In running out to a 5-3 start, Rhode Island has certainly impressed at times and looked like a team that has put most of the growing pains of last season behind them. The Rams are more talented as a whole, and holdovers pressed into more immediate duty last season than the staff probably wanted have benefited from that. E.C. Matthews looks ready to blossom into one of the Atlantic 10’s best talents, while Hassan Martin looks stronger and more confident. Freshman Jared Terrell has made an instant impact and classmate Jarvis Garrett helps off the bench.

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2014 Hoop Mountain Prep Classic – Sunday notes

by - Published December 9, 2014 in Recruiting
author_kasiecki

BARRINGTON, R.I. – The 2014 Hoop Mountain Prep Classic is in the books. Sunday was the third day of action at the St. Andrew’s School, with six games on tap, and most of the games were competitive, including a thrilling overtime affair, though it ended with the most lopsided game of the day.

We start with a look at the scores, then move on to some player notes.

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Western Michigan should grow from non-conference challenges

by - Published December 9, 2014 in Columns
westernmichigan

BOSTON – Non-conference play is a time to figure things out. It’s a time to get better. And while many teams certainly want to win games, whether to rack up quality wins for NCAA Tournament at-large candidacy or gain confidence, for a team like Western Michigan, getting better is paramount. The Broncos are in a challenging stretch of trying to do a little of both, with the latest challenge being an 81-69 setback at Northeastern on Saturday.

The Broncos have an experienced group overall, though they are younger in the frontcourt. They are playing a challenging slate, with Saturday’s game being the fifth of seven in a row away from home. Adding to the challenge is the actual travel involved, as this is mixed in with several games in California. They began this stretch at San Diego, then played three in Anaheim as part of the Wooden Legacy. They lost the first two, but regrouped to finish fifth with a 2-1 mark in Anaheim.

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The Morning Dish – Monday December 8, 2014

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

Remember Dunk City? Remember the 2013 NCAA Tournament run that Florida Gulf Coast went on that captivated the country for a week?

You may have forgotten about FGCU, but they are reminding us that 2013 was no flash in the pan for them. That was already the case, and Sunday’s 84-75 win over UMass in Springfield is just one more reminder. And this win was not unlike their two wins in 2013 that caught our attention.

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Saturday Notes – December 6, 2014

by - Published December 7, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Saturday was quite a day of college basketball, and you had a feeling that was going to be the case early on. By about 4 p.m. Eastern, we already had four noteworthy games as Green Bay beat Miami, USC Upstate beat Georgia Tech, NJIT beat Michigan and North Florida won at Purdue. You had a feeling that was just the beginning, what with over 100 games on tap. While the pace of surprises slowed, the evening had plenty of good games.

Besides that, there were several big matchups on the day, from rivalry games to matchups of top teams to intriguing matchups of teams that have had good starts under the radar. It was a day where we learned a little more about a number of teams.

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Boston College gets a win that could boost their season

by - Published December 6, 2014 in Columns
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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – You always know a turning point or defining moment in hindsight. Rarely do you know it when it happens. The book on Jim Christian’s tenure at Boston College is only just beginning, but Friday night’s 69-60 win over Providence may end up being one of those defining moments of his tenure. It may be just what this team needed.

“The theme all week was we’ve got to stop hoping to win and start knowing you’re going to win,” said Christian. “I think this was a game that can catapult us to that.”

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 6, 2014

by - Published December 6, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Earlier this week, the ACC/Big Ten Challenge was the center of attention. For the past couple of nights it’s the SEC/Big 12 Challenge that has taken over. And just like one game in particular in the former got everyone’s attention, and was about as good as billed, there was one matchup in the latter that many were eagerly awaiting. It wasn’t quite as good as billed in the second half, but it was a competitive game, for the most part.

Texas had about as good a month of November as Kentucky, as previously detailed in this space. The Longhorns also have a lot of length, so they figured to be able to match up with Kentucky. Texas led several times in the first half and had a big edge on the glass, and the teams were tied at 26 at the break. It figured to be quite a second half.

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Questions abound for Boston University early on

by - Published December 2, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
bostonuniversity

BOSTON – Joe Jones’ first words said it all on Sunday afternoon.

“A lot of questions for us,” said the Boston University head coach after the Terriers’ 69-59 loss to UMass-Lowell. “We’ve got a lot of questions we need to answer. We’ve got some things to figure out.”

It’s not entirely surprising that this is the case for the Terriers. Just look at their personnel and one key is clear: the Terriers lack a true point guard who can play right now. They are having to go essentially by committee with three wings, though Cedric Hankerson and John Papale have taken on the lion’s share of that duty. Both can handle and be playmakers, but they are also the team’s best scoring threats, so that hurts the offense.

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Saturday Notes – December 20, 2014

December 21, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

A busy Saturday is in the books, and we saw the matchups get better, the results continue to be noteworthy and tell us more, and a couple of the games needed a lot of extra time to decide.

Despite a hit on the bottom line, Stony Brook’s transition continues

December 16, 2014 by

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Stony Brook was able to hang with Providence until the roof caved in several minutes into the second half. It’s part of a growing process this team in transition needs, and it continues despite dropping a few games along the way.

Amidst Maine’s rebuilding challenge, there is hope

December 12, 2014 by

maine

Maine has a long road ahead as they rebuild under new head coach Bob Walsh. Amidst the early struggles, the Black Bears have shown some reason for hope going forward.

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Recruiting Coverage

2014 Scholar Roundball Classic recap and notes

December 16, 2014 by

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We look at some notes and evaluations from Sunday’s action at the Scholar Roundball Classic, where the blowouts included some noteworthy performances.

2014 Hoop Mountain Prep Classic – Sunday notes

December 9, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at Sunday’s action in the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic, which included an overtime thriller and a couple of lopsided contests, and some prospects who helped themselves out with their play.

Some notes from the National Prep Showcase

November 28, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

The busy weekend that just passed also included a few games at the National Prep Showcase. Here are a few notes from some of the action early on Friday and Saturday.

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

November 3, 2014 by

nepsac

With a series of prep school open gym visits in the book and the season not far away, here’s a look back at open gyms and a look forward to the season in the New England prep school ranks.

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

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.