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2013 Hoopville Spring Finale Preview

by - Published June 21, 2013 in Columns

The fourth annual Hoopville Spring Finale is on tap this weekend at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston.  June is a month without many team events on the travel circuit as camps and showcases take center stage for a lot of the month, and the Hoopville Spring Finale has filled a void in that respect as one of the best team events in the northeast at that time.  Many teams get a chance to prepare for the important events in July in Boston and have done so successfully before going on to success in front of college coaches.

Naturally, the base of teams is in Massachusetts and more specifically Boston, but once again a number of teams from outside the area will be competing as well.  Included in that group are three programs from Canada.  There will be teams competing in 10-under and 12-under age groups to go along with high school age groups, and right now we take a look at the latter set of teams competing this weekend.

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Looking back at a busy basketball Saturday in Massachusetts

by - Published May 20, 2013 in Columns

It was a busy weekend of basketball in Massachusetts, and Saturday saw action in two main events a long way from each other.  First, we checked in on the Hall of Fame Spring Classic in Amherst, then headed to the Massachusetts AAU Final Four in Foxboro.

One team that won a pair of games early in Amherst was the BC Eagles, who have a couple of notable wing prospects.  Calvin Crawford (6’8″ Sr. SF, Montgomery (NY) Valley Central HS) appears to have the higher ceiling, and he looked better here than in limited viewing last month as he had transition finishes and stickbacks.  Teammate Travis Cook (6’4″ Jr. SF, Middletown (NY) High) is a baby physically with some length, which he used to poke the ball away a couple of times.  While slight, he’s athletic and is worth keeping an eye on.

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2013 EYBL Hampton – Underclassmen

by - Published May 17, 2013 in Columns

HAMPTON, Va. – We already took a look at some from the class of 2014 who stood out in Hampton. Now we take a look at some underclassmen from the event, some of whom played up with an EYBL team and others we got a chance to check in out in games featuring younger teams.

It’s fair to say that a terrific crop of underclassmen competed in the event, including some who are more “potential” players right now, so there’s reason to like what’s in the future.

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2013 EYBL Hampton – Class of 2014

by - Published May 16, 2013 in Columns

HAMPTON, Va. – The second weekend of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League is in the books. Now in its fourth season, EYBL is by far the best thing going on the travel circuit, evidenced by the level and depth of talent the teams have and the college coach turnout on weekends like this where coaches can be on the road seeing players. Numerous head coaches were among those on hand to check out the talent.

In addition to EYBL, younger teams competed in a tournament format, many of them younger teams in the same programs with EYBL entries. The schedule allowed for a look at a couple of those teams, and some player notes from them are included here.

We will look back at some of the players who stood out on the weekend in two parts. This one looks at players from the class of 2014, while coming up later will be a look at players from the classes of 2015 and 2016.

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2013 Hall of Fame New England Invitational – notes and evaluations

by - Published April 25, 2013 in Columns

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The second half of the busy weekend of basketball took place at Wesleyan University, the main site of the Hall of Fame New England Invitational. There, teams largely from the northeast competed over two days in front of college coaches, including some from the Division I ranks.

Because of NCAA rules regarding the number of games a team may play in a sanctioned event, there was no true champion in the 17-under age group. The two teams left standing in the Platinum bracket were Connecticut Basketball Club and the New Jersey Pirates. A few teams bounced back from an early loss to play to the end in consolation brackets, such as another CBC team, Maine Athletic Club, NYC Jaguars, Rhode Island Hawks and Riverside Hawks.

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2013 Playaz Spring Fling, Phase III – players who stood out

by - Published April 23, 2013 in Columns

PATERSON, N.J. – The first stop on a busy basketball weekend was in New Jersey for the Playaz Spring Fling – Phase III. The final part of their series to open the spring is also a qualifier for the Nike Peach Jam in the 16-under age group, so a few top Nike teams were at the event in that age group. There was also an open division with eight teams competing. Pool play took place on Saturday, with playoff games set to go on Sunday.

A trip to Connecticut was on tap for Sunday, so here’s a look at some players who stood out during pool play on Saturday in New Jersey, as well as a few worth checking out again later.

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Team Boston Elite returns to the circuit, holds college nights

by - Published April 22, 2013 in Columns

LYNN, Mass. – Team Boston Elite has returned to the travel team scene. Claude Pritchard has resurrected the program after it went away a few years ago, not long after he had a team that quietly won a few tournaments with the likes of Raheem Singleton and Aaron Williams, and had a younger team in the program with Shabazz Napier before he later made his name playing for Metro Boston. The heart of the travel season is upon us, and this team is an unspectacular group of players that have some potential if they put the work in that they must.

The program held one of its college nights recently to allow a look at who will suit up for them. More will be coming in between their weekend tournament play.

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Looking back on over 100 games in 2012-13

by - Published April 11, 2013 in Columns

The 2012-13 season is in the books, and what a great season it was.  There were many great games, and the national championship game was certainly one of them.

For the fifth season in a row, I covered over 100 games in 2012-13.  This time around, I passed the mark of 118 a year earlier, so it was a busy year to say the least.  In addition, I got to see a lot of teams along the way, even though there were plenty of repeats as would be expected.  There were also a lot of great games among them, so picking a top ten list was a little more challenging for a good reason.  Of the 120 games I covered, 11 went to overtime, with two going to double overtime.

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Playaz Spring Fling once again starts the spring travel circuit

by - Published April 10, 2013 in Columns

PATERSON, N.J. – The non-stop basketball world transitions from college basketball into recruiting at this time of the year, and as is often the case, it started in the northeast with the Playaz Spring Fling in New Jersey. It wasn’t the tournament it has been over the years in terms of depth of talent, but it was nonetheless a good start to the spring recruiting season. This weekend, the 15-under and 17-under age groups competed, with the host Playaz program running a predominately 16-under tournament in two weeks that is also a Nike Peach Jam qualifier in that age group.

In the 15-under championship, DC Assault broke away from the Playaz late in the first half, then scored the first ten points of the second half to take a 41-18 lead en route to a 62-42 win. Ako Adams (6’2″ Fr. SG, Arlington (VA) Bishop O’Connell HS) led a balanced attack for D.C. Assault with 11 points, while Sam Green (6’6″ Fr. SF-PF, Forestville (MD) Bishop McNamara HS) added ten. Jajan Mosley (6’2″ Fr. SG, Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony’s) led the Playaz with a game-high 16 points.

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At Rutgers, unpleasant history repeats itself

by - Published April 4, 2013 in Columns

They say history repeats itself. Sometimes that happens more clearly and/or more often than one might imagine. A few short years ago, a coaching tenure that began with so much hope, so much promise and a feeling that the school finally had the right guy came crashing down. On Wednesday morning, the same thing happened at the very same school.

Once again, Rutgers had the wrong guy leading the men’s basketball program. Once again, Rutgers is on the search for a new leader, one whose tenure might begin with so much hope, promise and the feeling that they finally have the right guy at the helm. And once again, they are looking for a new leader for the wrong reasons.

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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.

Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

January 25, 2015 by


This Saturday didn’t have quite the marquee matchups as a week earlier, but there were some important ones, especially with teams in the middle of a few conferences trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by


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


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.

Hoopville Archives

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by


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


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


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


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


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.