Home » » Recent Articles:

Defense has been a struggle for Central Connecticut

by - Published February 22, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Every team has at least one team that is a bad matchup for one reason or another. For Central Connecticut, one of them would seem to be Bryant, a relentless offensive team that is tough enough to beat as it is and even tougher if they get some defensive stops. That was in evidence in the Blue Devils’ 88-67 loss to the Bulldogs on Thursday night, especially in the second half as Bryant broke open what was a close game for some of the first half and showed the growing pains this Central Connecticut team has had.

Central Connecticut has just one senior to go with four freshmen and a junior college transfer. Last season’s team had three seniors, all very experienced, along with a junior, so while last year’s team also had some youth they had more veterans to carry them. Head coach Howie Dickenmann is now starting three underclassmen and is bringing the one senior, Joe Efese, off the bench. How long he will stick with that lineup remains to be seen, but to a degree Tuesday night is an aberration because they struggled against a hot offensive team. The Bulldogs shot over 53 percent from the field on the evening.

… Continue Reading

Xavier starts big home stretch with a road win

by - Published February 21, 2013 in Columns

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Xavier opened its home stretch with a road win, and while it’s not a big one in that it came over an 8-17 team, it is a road win nonetheless, and one they had to battle to take home. In beating Rhode Island 55-42, the Musketeers got back on track as they head into a tough slate to end the regular season. They also ended a stretch with seven of ten games on the road and now get to go home for a few games.

This is not your vintage Xavier team in more ways than one. Whereas the Musketeers have in recent years had teams with good class balance, this year’s is a decidedly young edition with just four scholarship upperclassmen. They also come into mid-February not being a lock for the NCAA Tournament, and in fact they don’t look like an at-large candidate at all. They entered the week with an RPI of 98.

… Continue Reading

Boston College is growing up before our eyes

by - Published February 20, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – It was just the right situation.  Maryland, the clear favorite in the game, had just scored their signature win of the season over Duke.  Many teams have a letdown following such a big win unless they have had a number of them, and that’s not the case for this Maryland team as they have a dearth of such wins.  The Terrapins are also young.  Sure enough, it was also visible in Boston College’s 69-58 victory over Maryland on Tuesday night, but there was much more.

Boston College is growing up before our eyes.

“I don’t know if I’ve been more proud of my team than tonight,” said head coach Steve Donahue.  “I thought we just played really inspired basketball for 40 minutes.”

… Continue Reading

Maryland just can’t keep momentum from the win over Duke

by - Published February 20, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Just as quickly as Maryland’s win over Duke on Saturday night vaulted them into the NCAA Tournament conversation, the Terrapins may have moved right back outside of it.  A lackluster effort on Tuesday night culminated in a 69-58 loss that can undo a lot of what Saturday’s win did for them.

“I just don’t get it,” said head coach Mark Turgeon.  “I just don’t understand – right here, it’s a big game, it’s not a hostile environment.  You’ve just got to want it.  It just seemed like we were standing in quicksand all night, standing and watching.”

… Continue Reading

Motivated Boston University is on a roll in the final weeks

by - Published February 18, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – Likely in part because they are departing the conference after this season and thus not eligible for the America East tournament, Boston University has been flying under the radar. But make no mistake: the Terriers are a factor in the conference race, and look very much like a team motivated to win on their way out as they have won seven of eight after Sunday’s 68-56 win over New Hampshire.

“Every game from here on out, since conference play started, has been personal for us,” said freshman guard Maurice Watson, Jr. “We just feel like we’re getting the short end of the stick because we’re making a change. We want to leave them with a sour taste in their mouth when they play against the Terriers.”

… Continue Reading

Providence is hitting their stride in February

by - Published February 17, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey wasted no time heaping praise on the team that beat his Fighting Irish convincingly on Saturday. He had barely sat down when he started.

“I think they are the most underrated team in our league, quite frankly,” said Brey. “They are really hard to guard. I think Ed’s done a fabulous job with them.”

Providence is clearly hitting its stride at long last, and Saturday was the best exhibition of that. After battling personnel issues through the early part of Big East play, this team finally seems to have settled into what they are. The Friars are healthy, have found their roles, they know what’s expected and they have found a rotation that is working. And it probably doesn’t hurt from an intangible standpoint that one of the players they were eager to get eligible is not with them now.

… Continue Reading

Young Harvard takes the first Ivy League showdown

by - Published February 17, 2013 in Columns

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Round one of the Ivy League battle for the top went to the home team, as tends to happen. Harvard, a young team that has grown up a lot during the season, used a big second half to knock off Princeton 69-57 and go up by a game in the all-important loss column. While they played like a championship-caliber team, Harvard knows a lot of basketball is still left to be played. With that, as well as the past as a guide, Harvard will take nothing for granted right now.

Ivy League play is just past the halfway point, but already is looks like it will once again be a two-team race between the teams that battled in Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday night. Both entered the night two games up in the loss column over everyone else in the league. That’s not the case now and not just because of this game’s result, as Cornell also won to go to 5-3, a game behind Princeton in the loss column for second place. Cornell has come to life in Ivy League play after some struggles in non-league play, but there’s every reason to think this will come down to Harvard and Princeton.

… Continue Reading

A look around the country – February 17, 2013

by - Published February 17, 2013 in Columns

Another Saturday full of college basketball games – over 140 of them in Division I – is in the books. We’re at the time of the year where unexpected results seem to multiply, as younger teams start to grow more and the sense of urgency is either there or it’s not and makes more of a difference. While a few conference races appear to be shaping up, some others are only looking more jumbled.

With all of that in mind, here are some thoughts coming from Saturday’s games.

… Continue Reading

No Comments | Tags:

Loss at Providence an aberration for Notre Dame

by - Published February 16, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Throw out Saturday’s 71-54 loss at Providence for Notre Dame. It’s an aberration, and maybe it was something they were due for given what they’ve had to do lately. The Fighting Irish have now lost their last two games decided in regulation, but they have come a couple of games apart. And while they didn’t play well, head coach Mike Brey very accurately assessed that this outcome is more about the home team.

“It’s been a long week, but I’d say 95 percent of tonight was Providence’s performance, and they were fabulous,” said Brey.

… Continue Reading

Allen tries to guide Penn through a lot of growing pains

by - Published February 16, 2013 in Columns

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Ivy League has two standard-bearing programs that have dominated the league for much of its existence. Penn and Princeton have combined to win 51 of the league’s 65 titles to date in men’s basketball, with Penn claiming 25 of them. The Quakers have often been right there with Princeton in the years the Tigers were champions as well, and they have done it with veteran and young teams alike. They seemed immune to having to rebuild like so many programs must.

So it would surely surprise someone to look up at the Ivy League standings and see Penn with a 5-18 overall record, not to mention 2-4 in the Ivy League. That’s where they stand after Friday night’s 73-54 loss at Harvard. The records have an explanation, but they would surely still surprise many.

… Continue Reading


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.

Your Phil of Hoops

Young UNLV team grows in Brooklyn

November 23, 2014 by


Teams often grow from early season tournaments, and that appears to be what UNLV did in Brooklyn. The young Runnin’ Rebels need the experience.

Simply put, Syracuse needs to improve offensively

November 22, 2014 by


Jim Boeheim didn’t have many things to say about his team’s offense, but that said it all. It’s at that end of the floor that Syracuse’s fate this season will be determined.

Growing pains are here for talented Brown team

November 20, 2014 by


Brown has good talent and should be a factor in the Ivy League, but with three sophomores starting on the perimeter, growing pains are in the foreseeable future

Hoopville Archives

Reader Poll

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 17/11/2014 12:00:00
end_date 22/11/2014 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Which conference will be the best one in 2014-15?

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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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

November 3, 2014 by


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 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.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by


Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by


The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by


The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.