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Toledo wasn’t lacking confidence and should have even more now

by - Published November 15, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
toledo

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Tod Kowalczyk told his team that they were the better team.  He wasn’t crazy for saying so, although there are those who would say he was, but his Toledo team proved it on the court Thursday night when they walked out of Conte Forum with a 95-92 win over Boston College.

“I told the guys in a timeout, we’re the better team,” said Kowalczyk, now in his fourth season at the school.  “I thought we played that way coming down the stretch.”

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No one saw this coming for Boston College

by - Published November 15, 2013 in Columns
bostoncollege

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – This wasn’t how the season was supposed to start. The best case scenario was, obviously, 3-0. Given who they had to play in the first three games, 2-1 would look good, and 1-2 might seem acceptable. But 0-3?

That’s not what anyone had in mind with Boston College. That’s what the reality is after Thursday night’s 95-92 loss to Toledo at Conte Forum. And a subdued Steve Donahue sounds like someone who is going back to the drawing board.

“I’m obviously disappointed,” said Donahue. “We’ve got to go back to work tomorrow and figure it out.”

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New to Division I, UMass-Lowell gets blitzed in Boston

by - Published November 14, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
umass_lowell

BOSTON – Welcome to Division I, UMass-Lowell.

Wednesday night’s 91-65 loss at Boston University was not the first game in Division I for the River Hawks. It was, in fact, their second. But they’re still new to this level, and Wednesday night’s game seemed over before it started with the way the early minutes went.

“They did ambush us,” said sophomore guard D.J. Mlachnik. “We knew that was coming.”

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In New Bedford, there’s another attempt to improve the game

by - Published November 13, 2013 in Columns
author_kasiecki

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – If you watch basketball these days at any level, you know that the game leaves something to be desired. Today’s players are more athletic but less skilled and the feel for the game is often lacking. Scoring has been down in recent years for a variety of reasons, to the point where the NCAA is now mandating that referees call the game tighter in part to increase scoring. The merits of that can and will be debated, but that’s not the only way to try to improve scoring.

Camps devote time to skill development, and plenty of players spend time with trainers. Nowadays trainers are seemingly a dime a dozen, and while most do a good job, the end product can still be improved.

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Harvard handles its personnel options just fine in opener

by - Published November 12, 2013 in Columns
harvard

BOSTON – Now that the season is here, we got our first look at a question many wondered before the season: how would Harvard deal with its embarrassment of riches in personnel?  It was a question that made sense on the surface, but anyone who has been around the program knows it’s one that should have been easily answered long before the Crimson knocked off Holy Cross on Sunday at the Boston Garden.

The starting lineup might have surprised some, with both Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey on the floor at the opening tip.  With both having sat out last season, there is surely a rust factor of sorts, but one can figure they earned their spots.  More surprising, however, might have been the presence of junior Steve Moundou-Missi, only because he’s been so good coming off the bench and has no problem with doing so.  Head coach Tommy Amaker has said they refer to Moundou-Missi as their sixth starter.

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If Lalanne reaches his potential, UMass can as well

by - Published November 11, 2013 in Columns
umass

BOSTON – Make no mistake: Chaz Williams is the engine that makes UMass go. That’s been clear for his first two seasons in Amherst, and he reminded anyone who may have forgotten about that on Sunday. But if UMass is going to contend in the Atlantic 10, as many expect, they will need someone to complement him. The most likely candidate is Cady Lalanne, and that was evident in UMass’ 86-73 win over Boston College.

The Minutemen have a veteran group, and while expectations have always been high under Derek Kellogg, this year it makes sense. If you felt the team underachieved in recent years, that’s understandable to a degree since they have had talent. They have shown flashes of how good they can be, but haven’t put it all together just yet.

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Boston University shows something in win against Northeastern

by - Published November 11, 2013 in Columns
bostonuniversity

BOSTON – A year older and wiser, and now in a new league, Boston University opened their season up by showing something on Sunday. Pulling out the 72-69 win over Northeastern was nice, especially since it’s the arch-rival from just across town. But how they won it is more meaningful than the win itself, especially if the Terriers are going to live up to their preseason billing as favorites in the Patriot League.

Sunday’s game is perhaps a prototype for the Terriers on the season. They know they’re a small team, especially on the perimeter, and they were up against a Northeastern team that went with a more traditional lineup of three frontcourt players than the three-guard lineup most college teams go with nowadays. It showed on the glass as Northeastern had a 41-30 edge, but thanks in part to the Terriers’ speed, the Huskies never took full advantage of the second chances with just a 10-6 edge in second-chance points. The Terriers also forced 17 turnovers and gave it away just ten times.

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New-look Fairfield shows promise in season opener

by - Published November 10, 2013 in Columns
fairfield

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The box score will tell you Fairfield won their season opener by 13 points over Sacred Heart, 67-54 on Saturday. The box score will also tell you they did that despite 26 turnovers. But what the numbers won’t tell you is that the Stags have a lot of newness about them but will be a team worth watching this season and one the coaching staff is going to enjoy all the way around.

Last season’s team had an interesting personnel dynamic to it with the mix of seniors and freshmen. This season’s team is simply young, as they have just one senior and nine freshmen and sophomores. The interesting dynamic is that six players were in uniform last season and six weren’t. But that also means there’s a lot of opportunity to mold this group into something, and it’s clear that they’re already at work with that on one end of the floor.

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Sears wanted Yale to win and showed it emphatically

by - Published November 10, 2013 in Columns
yale

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Justin Sears wanted this one. In case any of his teammates didn’t believe him, he was pretty demonstrative about it, too.

Sears didn’t just carry and will Yale to a 93-77 win over Central Connecticut on Saturday by being all over the floor, whether it was scoring or rebounding, or even a big block in transition with under four minutes left. While he did all of that – 26 points on 10-17 shooting, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots – that wasn’t all. He implored his teammates to get him the ball, emphatically signaling for it and even looking at a teammate right after he scored.

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Hartford shows a mixed bag of maturity in season opener

by - Published November 10, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
hartford

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Saturday’s season-opening 82-77 loss to Quinnipiac was a tale of two halves in more ways than one for Hartford. Although they had some good minutes in the bad half, it wasn’t enough to rally from a 15-point hole they dug themselves and left them heading home trying to look at the bright side from the good half.

The first half was everything Hartford could want. They took advantage of Quinnipiac looking listless at times, moving the ball well at the offensive end to get good shots. Yolonzo Moore looked like a sure all-conference point guard with 15 points on 6-8 shooting, including 3-4 from long range, and he led the good ball movement that produced those shots. Multiple players helped, and they look like a team with a lot of scoring options.

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Your Phil of Hoops

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by

kentucky

Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by

delaware

There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

Hoopville Archives

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

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

hoopguy-yellow

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

hoopguy-cyan

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

author_kasiecki

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.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Sunday notes

April 29, 2015 by

adidasuprising

Sunday was the conclusion of the adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis, and we take a look at some of the players who shined on a day that saw a few games that weren’t very competitive.