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Shaka Smart now tries to take Texas to another level

by - Published April 5, 2015 in Columns
texas

Shaka Smart finally found a job worth leaving VCU for. It was something that some thought might never happen, but was bound to – and may finally also end an annual ritual.

Ever since Smart, who will soon turn 38, took VCU on an unexpected Final Four run in his third season at the helm, his name has come up for one high-major job after another. It doesn’t matter who it was; if a high-major job opened up, his name got mentioned. When the off-season came, you knew his name would be all over the place for head coaching vacancies.

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

by - Published April 5, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
kentucky

INDIANAPOLIS – We need to appreciate what Kentucky did and what they gave us this season.

Hopefully, people who watch or cover college basketball have done their best to just enjoy this team, because it was worth the ride. The Wildcats did much more than just go 38-1, much as t-shirts will be sold with those two numbers and people will talk about this more than who who wins Monday night’s national championship game.

And in this time where teams are judged too harshly if they don’t go as far as some people think they should, it’s basically a foregone conclusion that a lot of people are not going to appreciate this.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, April 5, 2015

by - Published April 5, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

We have been blessed this NCAA Tournament. For a lot of reasons, it has been one for the ages, though most of all for the great games, especially in later rounds. And as we reach Easter Sunday, we should see that as a gift – as well as what Kentucky gave us this season, even as their season came to an end last night.

In the national semifinals, the first game proved to be an undercard. Taking nothing away from it, Duke comfortably beat Michigan State 81-61 to advance to tomorrow night’s national championship game. The Blue Devils were never seriously threatened in the second half, taking over the game with a 30-11 run after the Spartans ran out to a 14-6 lead early on. The Spartans never gave up, but basically ran out of gas. It was the worst NCAA Tournament loss in Michigan State’s history.

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A happy resolution comes in Delaware

by - Published April 1, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
delaware

A little over three weeks ago, Monte Ross held court with reporters for over ten minutes following a press conference. His Delaware team had just battled eventual champion Northeastern valiantly in the CAA quarterfinals, but fell short, and that meant the season was over. His contract was up sometime before next season, so there was an open question: would this be the last time?

Would it be the last time he led the Blue Hens?

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 30, 2015

by - Published March 30, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Two more teams advanced to the Final Four on Sunday. Their stories are a contrast, even as similar as the programs may be in recent times.

Most expected that Duke would be a Final Four team this season. Take a team that was good last year, though flawed, subtract good but not irreplaceable players, and add the likes of Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, and that was a natural expectation. Many years, that’s what they expect in Durham. When the Blue Devils ran out to a big start, the idea that they would be a Final Four team only grew, as did the talk that Okafor could be National Player of the Year.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 28, 2015

by - Published March 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

It’s been a long time coming for Gonzaga. The question now is if they have one more in them to go even further.

Since the late 1990s, Gonzaga has been the clear best team in the West Coast Conference and then some. They made a big splash by running to the Elite Eight in 1999, but weren’t just a flash in the pan. They became more than just the alma mater of John Stockton, as they started beating good teams in non-conference every year as well. They would be a lock to reach the NCAA Tournament, helping the WCC become a two-bid league in many recent years as other programs had to get better to compete with them.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 23, 2015

by - Published March 23, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Sunday was not a great day to be a No. 2 seed. That alone was noteworthy in two games on the day, but each was also noteworthy for other reasons.

We’ll start by mentioning the lone No. 2 seed to advance, which was Gonzaga (South). The Bulldogs ran out to a 46-29 halftime lead, shooting 62 percent in the opening frame, easily handling No. 7 Iowa 87-68. It’s the first time in six years that Gonzaga has reached the Sweet 16, and No. 11 UCLA awaits.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 21, 2015

by - Published March 21, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

If it was possible to have a day that was the opposite of Thursday, we pretty much had it on Friday. Whereas Thursday was a wild day with historic upsets – three double-digits seeds won by a point on the same day for the first time in NCAA Tournament history – Friday was, well, ho-hum. In fact, it was almost a historic day in just about the opposite fashion.

The first 15 games of the day saw every higher seed win. Since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams, there has never been a day in the round of 64 where all 16 higher seeds won. Then we had the last game of the day. It was one that was full of ridiculousness, quite frankly, but the most important thing is that the game kept the day from being historic. No. 11 Dayton beat No. 6 Providence 66-53, providing the lone upset of the day.

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Rhode Island has grown up right before our eyes

by - Published March 18, 2015 in Columns
rhodeisland

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – A year after a lot of growing pains, Rhode Island has, quite simply, grown up a lot. You could see it over the course of the season, and on Tuesday night, it was even clearer as the Rams took care of Iona in the first round of the NIT.

And along the way, we may have gotten a glimpse of the future in more ways than one for this team.

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2015 NCAA Tournament Players to Watch – Part 2

by - Published March 17, 2015 in Columns
ncaa

March has a way of bringing people out of the shadows. Whether it’s the causal sports fan who suddenly tunes in to college basketball in time for the NCAA Tournament or the unknown player who becomes a household name even for a day, March is the best month of basketball in part because of this.

Every year in the NCAA Tournament, players who have been outside the spotlight make a name for themselves under the bright lights of March. This year will surely be no different, especially considering how competitive the landscape is. With that, here’s a look at some players you may not have heard about yet, but will as the NCAA Tournament goes on.

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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

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.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Saturday notes

April 28, 2015 by

adidasuprising

Saturday was a full day of action in the adidas Gauntlet near Indianapolis, and here’s a look at some of the talent that stood out on the day as college coaches checked out the action.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Friday notes

April 25, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

Friday night got the adidas Gauntlet in Indianapolis going, and we take a look at a few players who stood out before a full day of action comes to us on Saturday.

Notes from the 2015 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 20, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was time for a trip to Hanover for late action in the Northeast Hoops Festival, and we have a look at some prospects who stood out on the day.

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.