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Improving Dartmouth tries to keep building as Ivy play approaches

by - Published January 6, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
dartmouth

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Naturally, expectations in recent years for Dartmouth have been raised. That happens when you put together a couple of good recruiting classes like the Big Green has done in recent years. And when you consider that the program struggled for a while before Paul Cormier took over for a second stint, part of expectations rising comes from them having nowhere to go but up. All the while, Cormier is taking a measured approach to what he and his staff are doing in Hanover these days.

“It’s basically developing a program,” Cormier said when asked if this is an important year for the program’s core group. “The two (seniors) that are remaining, John (Golden) and Gabas (Maldunas), have gone through some tough times, and it’s nice to see them now being able to be in a competitive situation every game, game in and game out.”

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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 5, 2014

by - Published January 5, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

On Sunday morning, basketball didn’t feel so important. Deep down, I knew this could come any day, as he had fought a courageous battle with cancer for several years, but waking up to find out that Stuart Scott had passed away still stunk. It was still hard to take. And watching the nearly 15-minute video that ESPN put together about his life – with Robin Roberts narrating – as well as his speech at the ESPYs last year didn’t make it any better.

It all just drove home how he touched so many of us and how much he’ll be missed. Even my wife, who is not nearly as sports-oriented as yours truly, was touched by it all.

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Saturday Notes – January 3, 2015

by - Published January 4, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Conference play is just about in full swing by now as Saturday was the opening day of conference play for several. The Big East, Big Ten and Pac-12 all got the jump on things earlier in the week among major conferences.

Also getting the jump on things are a few surprising teams – those of the 2-0 starts. One noticeable theme on Saturday was several teams winning to go to 2-0, teams that not many have projected to contend. There is a reason why we play the games, sure, but this is significant in another respect: while it’s early, being 2-0 is far better than being 0-2. A team starting 2-0 has more confidence and isn’t fighting an uphill battle in the standings, which at times can make teams put more pressure on themselves to win games.

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Bryant needs a second scorer alongside Starks

by - Published January 3, 2015 in Columns
bryant

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – This isn’t the Bryant of the past couple of seasons. While that may be obvious, and even expected given that everyone knew they would be losing key players after last season, the reality of it is starting to become clearer as Northeast Conference play approaches. The most glaring issue is at the point of strength in recent years: the offense.

Head coach Tim O’Shea rightly notes that a team’s overall shooting number might be deceptive, especially for a team like his. The Bulldogs, after all, play against some high-major teams that are much more physically gifted than they are, and a game or two with a low percentage can skew statistics a little deceptively for either team. Still, that the Bulldogs are shooting over 38 percent from the field on the season is a bit surprising and troubling.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 3, 2015

by - Published January 3, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Being a college basketball coach is not the easiest job these days. Yes, many coaches make a lot of money, but the demands of the job can be a bit unforgiving at times. There is much more to it than simply running practice, drawing up a game plan and then coaching the game. While we have seen numerous instances of this over the years, and they always give us a reason to pause for perspective, Friday provided us with three more of them all at once.

A couple of them have been developing stories, thus they didn’t come out of left field. The third did, though, and it is one that really shouldn’t be part of the news cycle, but gets out there in the open and thus gets discussed.

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How the conferences shape up as we hit 2015

by - Published January 1, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
author_kasiecki

Non-conference play is basically done at this point. A handful of games remain for many teams, and we’ll see a non-conference game or two sprinkled in between conference games over the next couple of months, but conference play beckons. Several have already started, with the West Coast Conference getting jump on the rest of the country this past Saturday and Monday. For two months, we’ve had a look at teams to get an idea of who they are. They have shown us something thus far.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at how the conference races shape up based on what we’ve seen in non-conference play.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, December 29, 2014

by - Published December 29, 2014 in Columns
hoopguy-orange

It wasn’t enough to beat Michigan State. No, Texas Southern had one more trick up their sleeve, and we saw it on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers beat Michigan State in overtime just over a week ago, and this time a buzzer-beater by Jason Carter gave them a 58-56 win at Kansas State.

The Tigers had some help along the way. Kansas State was 2-8 from the free throw line in the final 69 seconds, allowing Texas Southern to rally from being down six a little earlier. The Wildcats were 8-20 from the foul line for the entire game.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 27, 2014

by - Published December 27, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Sports fans love rivalries. They get the juices going a little more than most games, because they involve that one team we all want to beat the most. When the teams meet, you can feel it – and that’s true whether you’re at the game or talking about it with people. From Red Sox-Yankees right down to Duke-North Carolina or Ohio State-Michigan, rivalries help fuel sports at every level.

Enter Kentucky-Louisville, which is arguably the best rivalry in college basketball right now – and takes center stage.

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New Hampshire has improved and can do better

by - Published December 24, 2014 in Columns
newhampshire

DURHAM, N.H. – Sometimes, overcoming adversity isn’t enough. It’s certainly not always enough to win games, but it’s also not necessarily enough to lose but still get better, meaning you lost more because of the opponent.

Sometimes, merely experiencing the adversity is the problem. Yes, we all face some of it, but sometimes it is self-inflicted. And for New Hampshire, right now overcoming adversity isn’t enough. Bill Herrion wants, and needs, to see better from his team. And they’re capable of doing that. They have shown as much.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, December 22, 2014

by - Published December 22, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

In an age where flash dominates sports, where no-look passes and high-flying dunks capture fans’ attention, and where future NBA talent is talked about so much in the college game, Virginia stands out.

And on a weekend where a Kentucky team that has been much-talked about annihilated a UCLA program that has plenty of history all its own, Virginia stands out in its own way. And the Cavaliers have been doing that since the start of last year, for that matter, even if very few people have noticed.

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Your Phil of Hoops

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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Recruiting Coverage

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.