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Brooks School hopes to continue the rise with one more step

by - Published September 18, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The steady rise of the Brooks School in recent years nearly had a big highlight last season. For the fourth year in a row, they finished second in the Independent School League (ISL). They have gone from 17-8 in 2011-12 to 18-6 a year later and 21-6 last year. That got them into the NEPSAC Class B Tournament, where they pulled out two overtime thrillers to reach the championship. There, Cheshire Academy took home a 66-56 win.

Last season’s 21 wins marked a school record. This year’s team has a lot of key pieces among their ten players returning, so there’s every reason to think they can get back there again. The competition will be stiff, as always, but there’s a lot to like about this team even after viewing them a bit short-handed due to a few two-sport athletes who had a game.

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Phillips Exeter has a team with some upside

by - Published September 17, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting

EXETER, N.H. – Phillips Exeter is naturally known for academics first. The basketball team at the school is not exempt from the requirements, so they are a good group of students as well. All the while, the program has been on a roll of late, as last season they won their second straight NEPSAC Class A title in dramatic fashion.

This time around, there are a couple of holdovers, but in all it’s mostly a new cast of characters for Jay Tilton to mold into a winning group. He has some good talent to work with in that regard, and there’s a little class balance as well. For comparison to the last two teams, at first glance they don’t appear nearly as talented and deep as the team two years ago, but might have a little more than last season’s team. This team is also smaller than both up front.

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Plenty of talent, including a good mix, at Brewster Academy

by - Published September 17, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting

WOLFEBORO, N.H. – When you head to Brewster Academy these days, you know what to expect. In short, you expect to see a great collection of talent, likely the best NEPSAC Class AAA has to offer, and a group that will likewise provide a different challenge for head coach Jason Smith and his staff.

This year’s trip up didn’t disappoint. And while having all of this talent is a pleasant problem to have, Smith and his staff don’t simply roll out the balls and win games. That isn’t how they’ve won four NEPSAC titles and three national titles in the last seven years. They hold players accountable and get them to understand that everyone wants to knock them off. There is a target on this team’s back, and that presents a challenge all its own.

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A lot to see at the 2014 Elite 75 Frosh/Soph Edition

by - Published September 15, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting

HANOVER, Mass. – The University Sports Complex was host to the New England Elite 75 Frosh/Soph Edition on Sunday. The event brought over 200 players going through skill stations and then competing in live games, with a number of evaluators on hand. All of the players competed together, as opposed to prior years where they were separated by class into two sessions.

The Class of 2017 has already established quite a reputation in New England and nationally. At this event, the class of 2018 showed favorably as well in their first big impression.

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Northfield Mount Hermon has simply become a solid program

by - Published September 14, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting

NORTHFIELD, Mass. – If you go to Northfield Mount Hermon, you get a sense of why the Ivy and Patriot Leagues are both doing well these days in college basketball. Both leagues have recruited a number of players from the school, which proudly proclaims to be the best combination of athletics and academics in the country. Also, whereas many schools will boast of alumni they have in conferences like the ACC or Big East, Northfield Mount Hermon is happy to tell you about all the alumni they have in the Ivy and Patriot League.

Last season was perhaps the best example yet that John Carroll has built a fine program at his alma mater. Continuing where Bill Batty left off, Carroll has produced a program with a NEPSAC champion in 2012 and a National Prep Champion in 2013. They won 24 games last season and at one time were atop a national prep school poll, all despite heavy personnel losses from the year before that left them with a very young team.

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St. Andrew’s has young talent to watch alongside veterans

by - Published September 12, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting

BARRINGTON, R.I. – Just outside the basketball gymnasium at St. Andrew’s, you can see four brand new tennis courts. They are a sign of things being well at the school, and they aren’t the only recent improvement there. The sport that the school has been most notable for, boys basketball, has been in a good place, and that continues heading into this season.

Mike Hart, the long-time head coach and athletic director, is in a good place. Each year he seems content with the group he’s assembled from a character standpoint, and this year is no different. He’s happy to have a low-maintenance group, and that should make it easier to try to get the most out of a team whose young talent makes them well worth keeping an eye on.

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Commonwealth Academy has plenty of talent and potential

by - Published September 11, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Potential. You hear the word a lot, especially when it comes to evaluating talent in any sport. It’s heard even more when it’s talent that’s far from being fully harnessed, and naturally it comes up more with younger players.

In New England prep school basketball, perhaps no school has had that word associated with it more in the last year than Commonwealth Academy. It is the operative word for multiple reasons when talking about this team. Tony Bergeron, a native of Springfield, has a lot of talent in his gym on a daily basis, and it’s young – they have no juniors or seniors in the entire program. So the word “potential” is a big one for this team.

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Putnam Science is poised to continue building after last season’s success

by - Published September 10, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting

PUTNAM, Conn. – Before last season, Putnam Science Academy had been building slowly but surely into a solid program, one who would have a team to be reckoned with every year. They had talent, perhaps more than they ever had, so it looked like a good year could be ahead. Most of all, though, by March they had the results.

After a 29-5 season that included an appearance in the National Prep Championship, Putnam Science is firmly on the map. They beat several NEPSAC Class AAA teams along the way and were ranked in the top five in one prep school poll. The off-season built on this, as the school received NEASC accreditation and is now applying to join NEPSAC.

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Mudiay’s sudden departure hurts SMU, but all is not lost

by - Published July 25, 2014 in Columns

Emmanuel Mudiay’s decision to head overseas instead of to SMU has some people wondering if it will be the start of a trend. It’s highly unlikely that ends up being the case, but one thing is for certain: his departure is a blow to SMU for the upcoming season. The Mustangs looked like they could be on their way to getting over the hump and into the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15. Now, they might still do it, but their ceiling won’t be as high.

Mudiay will be just the third player to opt to go overseas before attempting the NBA since the NBA put its minimum age requirement into effect almost a decade ago. Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler came before him, and while Jennings is a bona fide NBA player, he’s certainly not an all-NBA player and his one year overseas wasn’t exactly an unqualified success. His second NBA contract was far from a maximum deal. Tyler, who actually bypassed his senior year of high school, was even less ready both on and off the court for his foray into overseas basketball. In three seasons since being drafted he has played a grand total of 1,034 minutes in 104 games – less than ten minutes per game and less than 35 games per season.

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EYBL Finals at Peach Jam – Sunday notes

by - Published July 21, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – The final day of the EYBL Finals at Peach Jam saw just four games played, but they were all big and drew big crowds. Three were nationally televised. All four lived up to their billing as a whole, although there was a bizarre ending.

The day started with two semifinal games, which saw Team Penny and the Playaz advance, the latter in a hard-fought local rivalry matchup. Team Penny had five players score in double figures to knock off Boo Williams, while the Playaz, who didn’t even qualify for this event a year ago, had to hold off a late charge by Team Scan.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

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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

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


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


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


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


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.