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Boston University isn’t the defensive team they have been for years

by - Published December 12, 2012 in Columns
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – For years, you could bank on one thing about Boston University: they would be a defensive-oriented team. That was the identity of this team from Dennis Wolff’s days, continuing on with Pat Chambers and last year as Joe Jones took over. This season, that doesn’t appear to be the case at first glance, although for a while on Tuesday the Terriers looked like they were ready to turn a corner before the second half of their 65-64 loss at Harvard. In the end, though, a familiar item came back to haunt them: an inability to get a stop when they need it most.

“We’ve lost three games now at the buzzer,” said Jones after a short jumper by Harvard’s Siyani Chambers with four seconds left gave Harvard the victory. “We just haven’t been able to get the last stop of the game. It’s been unfortunate.”

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La Salle’s non-conference run could get them into the Atlantic 10 conversation

by - Published December 10, 2012 in Columns
lasalle

BOSTON – In conversation about the new and improved Atlantic 10, the first schools in the conversation tend to be preseason favorites Saint Louis and Saint Joseph’s, as well as newcomers Butler and VCU. All of that is understandable, and right now St. Louis probably comes up more in light of Rick Majerus’ unfortunate passing. Another team that wants to be in the conversation is La Salle, and after pulling out a 66-64 road win at Northeastern on Saturday night, the Explorers go into final exams looking like a team that could be in that mix.

The Explorers are not exactly a veteran team, but they’re certainly not inexperienced. They could be a year away from peaking with the core they have, but this year’s team looks pretty good right now. Ramon Galloway is the only senior who plays significant minutes, but they have a very experienced junior in Tyreek Duren, one of the most underrated point guards in the country, and classmate Sam Mills has played plenty of minutes as well in part because he’s an excellent defender.

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St. Francis Brooklyn suddenly a place of potential

by - Published December 9, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – St. Francis College is not a school that might naturally jump out at the casual fan as a place of potential. While it is located in Brooklyn, where there is in theory a natural recruiting base, it doesn’t seem to have much going for it at first glance. The home gym has been widely panned as not even being a bandbox, although teams in their conference don’t need to have big, state-of-the-art facilities and probably can’t support such a facility financially. In other words, it would seem to be a difficult place to win – and as such it’s easy to forget that the school actually has a pretty rich history in Division I basketball.

But now in his third season, Glenn Braica is trying to change all of that, and with some early results, can see potential perhaps even better than when he left St. John’s to take the job. The Terriers are one of five member schools that have never made the NCAA Tournament despite being members of Division I since the modern re-classification in 1948.

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Connecticut will go as far as Napier, backcourt will take them

by - Published December 9, 2012 in Columns
connecticut

STORRS, Conn. – There’s no question Connecticut will ride their guards as much as possible this season. Given their personnel, that’s about their only choice as they are far deeper on the perimeter than up front and more talented there. It’s also where their most natural leaders are, in particular the one who didn’t score for much of Friday’s 57-49 win over Harvard largely because he was busy helping others do that.

The easy pick as the star on Friday night would be DeAndre Daniels. The sophomore forward, a talent who simply got buried behind more experienced players a year ago, had a long-awaited breakout game with 23 points on 9-12 shooting. He had a career high by halftime, as he scored 15 points in the opening frame, and if he can do that more, it would be a big development.

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Providence starts out 7-2, but not the way some might have expected

by - Published December 8, 2012 in Columns
providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – If you envisioned Providence being 7-2 as they head into a break for final exams, you could easily have been right. There are plenty of games on the schedule to date that were winnable ones. But chances are, you didn’t think they would look the way they have thus far. You probably figured they would have a few more than five scholarship players healthy to go. After Thursday night’s 72-57 win over arch-rival Rhode Island, the Friars are defying logic, and one wonders if they have to continue it and for how long.

Before the season, freshman Kris Dunn was known to be out for about a month or so of games. Then Ricardo Ledo was deemed a partial qualifier by the NCAA, meaning he would sit this year aside from practice. It was once the season came that it got out of hand. First, it was Vincent Council, the senior point guard who was the anchor of the team, going down with a hamstring injury that will ultimately shelve him for about six weeks. Bryce Cotton has played hurt at times, including Thursday night when he was clearly limited from a knee injury suffered the prior game.

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Turnovers become a new issue for Rhode Island against Providence

by - Published December 7, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
rhodeisland

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Last year, Rhode Island looked like they may have hit rock bottom when they played arch-rival Providence. In an 80-61 loss, the Rams were not very competitive and the game didn’t seem as close as the final score. This time around, the Rams looked better and were more competitive, but they lost to a Providence team that suited up six scholarship players, one of whom had a very gimpy knee. The Rams also looked like a team that has notable shortcomings and struggles.

Turnovers haven’t been a big problem all season, but they certainly were on Thursday night, especially in a key stretch. URI was staying close, but inside of ten minutes Providence scored ten unanswered points to open up a 52-39 lead. The Rams finished the night with a season-high 20 turnovers.

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History doesn’t repeat itself for Yale to start big road stretch

by - Published December 6, 2012 in Columns
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SMITHFIELD, R.I. – For a while, it looked like Wednesday night could be a bad case of deja vu for Yale. The second half basically belonged to them for stretches, and they had the game’s biggest lead at 60-51 with just over seven minutes to play. Before long, though, that lead was gone, the victim of an 11-2 run by Bryant. History might repeat itself in a milder – but no less heart-breaking – fashion.

Then came the stickback. It was just in time. It was by a freshman. Most of all, it meant a 64-62 win for Yale, and one they could use given what lies ahead.

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Kellogg hopes to get UMass playing his way after final exams

by - Published December 5, 2012 in Columns
umass

BOSTON – Final exams may have arrived at just the right time for UMass. The Minutemen are off for 10 days before their next game, and there is plenty to work on in between finishing the semester if Tuesday night’s 72-66 win at Northeastern is any indication. Most of it falls under the umbrella of playing the way head coach Derek Kellogg wants this team to play, and Tuesday night’s game may be a microcosm of that.

In each of their first three wins, UMass needed a buzzer-beater or a late shot to win it. In other words, they had not comfortably beat an opponent yet, or even won a game by a few more points that they sealed with free throws until Tuesday. And on Tuesday, they needed a late run after the final media timeout to take the game over, highlighted by a play that Kellogg would like to see a little more of.

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2012 Hoop Mountain Prep Classic – Sunday notes

by - Published December 3, 2012 in Columns
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BARRINGTON, R.I. – St. Andrew’s was the destination on Sunday for the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic.  The third and final day of the event had some good matchups in store among the seven games on the slate, and two games were one-possession affairs while another was close to that.  A couple of them were big upset bids in matchups of teams from NEPSAC Class AAA and Class AA, and the day ended with a blowout that might surprise some people.

 

Sunday Scoreboard

Lee (ME) Academy 79, Phoenixville (PA) Mont Clare Academy 66
New Hampton (NH) School 60, Saxtons River (VT) Vermont Academy 58
Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy 84, Worcester (MA) Academy 82
Tilton (NH) School 89, North Bridgton (ME) Bridgton Academy 74
Ashburnham (MA) Cushing Academy 61, Wilbraham (MA) Wilbraham & Monson Academy 41
Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s School 77, Salisbury (CT) School 73
Putnam (CT) Science Academy 87, Fitchburgh (MA) Notre Dame Prep 66

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Bryant beats Army and a virus in front of a big crowd

by - Published December 3, 2012 in Columns
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SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Tim O’Shea described it quite simply after his team scored their fourth straight win on Saturday.  They didn’t just beat Army 70-59; they beat another opponent for the first time, and did so in a home gym that looked nothing like it had before in the program’s Division I history.

“It builds,” said the Bryant mentor.  “We won today with a bunch of guys sick.”

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College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

2013 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Cesar Fulcar commits to Wentworth

The senior guard led Watertown to the state semifinal this past season

Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

Bay State Magic doesn’t have much size on their junior team this season, so they’ll have to win with execution and intangibles

Travel team profile: Mass Elite

Mass Elite is one of the largest travel teams in the state despite being relatively new

Travel team profile: Middlesex Magic

Today we look at the Middlesex Magic, run by the son of the program’s founder and getting better every year

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is already 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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter