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Veteran UAB team is playing like one right now

by - Published December 9, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – Jerod Haase said he was glad his team had a week before their next game after they scored a big win over North Carolina. It was to be a real test of how his team could respond without a letdown, given that there was time for the win to set in. And while UAB had some tough stretches against Northeastern, they came away with a hard-fought 74-69 win over the Huskies that shows this team to be in a good place right now.

Haase noted the experience level of his team as a big key. His team has just five holdovers from last season, but all five are seniors. His newcomers include a number of junior college players from elite schools. While Division I is a little different, and they are all getting acclimated to a new group of teammates, the experience does manifest itself in some ways. In part, it showed in between the win over North Carolina and Saturday’s win.

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Brigham Young is close, with fewer good opportunities remaining

by - Published December 9, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Dave Rose thinks his ballclub isn’t that far away. They’ve been right there. They have played well and won against some good teams. But as the non-conference slate winds down, his Brigham Young team could still use a signature win. They had such an opportunity in Saturday, but UMass handled them 105-96 and basically beat them at their own game.

Brigham Young plays at a fast pace, and they have done it well all season, including turning the ball over less than 11 times per game on average. They did it well on Saturday at the offensive end, shooting 48.5 percent from the field and handing out 15 assists with 11 turnovers. But UMass did it better, shooting 55.6 percent. UMass also did something unusual: they out-scored the Cougars in the paint, as BYU came into the game on average out-scoring opponents by ten points per game in the paint. The Cougars also lost for the first time all year when they out-rebounded an opponent.

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UMass shows once more why they are ranked once again

by - Published December 8, 2013 in Columns

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – If you wanted to get a good idea of why UMass is undefeated and ranked in the polls for the first time in 15 years, Saturday’s 105-96 win over Brigham Young was perfect. It was very much a team win, even if one of the stars had a big day, and it showed that this team is dealing with prosperity just fine right now.

When Cady Lalanne went out with two fouls less than four minutes in and Brigham Young up 8-3, it didn’t look good for the Minutemen. Sure, there was a lot of basketball left to play, but with the Cougars’ size and UMass’ best post player sitting, it could have gotten bad early. Brigham Young out-scores opponents by about ten per game with points in the paint, and Lalanne is the rim protector and top rebounder on this team. But what happened is a big part of why UMass remains undefeated.

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Providence and Rhode Island show what we can expect from each

by - Published December 6, 2013 in Columns

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Thursday night was everything you could want in a rivalry game. The atmosphere was what you would expect with a packed Ryan Center. The game was close throughout, with some swings for both teams although one had the lead more often than the other. It was a slug fest, and at one point things got heated, including between the coaches. It came right down to the buzzer.

And in some ways, Providence’s 50-49 win over Rhode Island, their fourth straight in this rivalry, will define the two teams going forward as well.

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John Dunne is looking beyond St. Peter’s record

by - Published December 2, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BOSTON – Coaches are not ones to look for moral victories, and John Dunne is no different.  The St. Peter’s mentor has been to the mountain top at the school and is trying to get back there, and wins have been hard to come by since their NCAA Tournament run in 2011.  Part of that journey means the record doesn’t matter right now, and the Peacocks fell to 2-4 on Saturday but have Dunne thinking positively.

“We lost the game, but I thought it was probably our most well-played game, including the two wins,” said Dunne.

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Arizona shows it has the potential to win a national title

by - Published November 30, 2013 in Columns

NEW YORK – The game was all anyone could have wanted, especially after having to wait a little extra time because of a triple overtime affair right before it. Two top teams battled it out for much of the game, each with a much-talked-about freshman. The end result confirmed what some suspected beforehand: Sean Miller has Arizona primed to make a national title run.

It may be November, and coaches and players are loathe to make such pronouncements now. But we’ll say it: Arizona’s 72-66 win over Duke in the NIT Season Tip-Off championship shows us how good this Wildcat team can be.

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Drexel, key players overcome adversity yet again in win over Alabama

by - Published November 30, 2013 in Columns

NEW YORK – For Drexel to take home the third place game in the NIT Season Tip-Off the way they did, they had to persevere through a lot. While the challenges that came with Friday were not minimal, the Dragons have a couple of key players in the game who have had to persevere through more in their college careers.

For Chris Fouch and Kazembe Abif, Friday was just one more challenge in a college career that has had plenty of them.

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Brown’s young talent needs time to grow

by - Published November 29, 2013 in Columns

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Brown reaches Thanksgiving with a 4-2 record, with both games that they lost being right there for the taking. They had Providence on the ropes before succumbing, and had early leads and chances down the stretch Wednesday before losing 70-67 at Bryant. In all, what’s clear is that this team has talent and can win games, but has a lot of room to grow that manifests itself primarily in a need to put forth a more complete and consistent effort.

The Bears have a younger team than they expected to enter the season with due to the departures of Andrew McCarthy and Tucker Halpern. They expected to have both, with the former coming back after sitting out last season, but neither has returned. That leaves them younger up front, especially on the wing, and in all they are looking for younger players to come through, notably two freshmen starters.

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Sacred Heart is getting closer, but wins are hard to come by

by - Published November 29, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Sacred Heart is progressing, although their bottom line isn’t going to show it as they are 1-5. For a lot of Tuesday’s game, Sacred Heard did what they needed to do to improve. They also did what they had to do to pull off a big win, one that would have been a program first as they have never defeated an ACC opponent.

In the end, however, they didn’t do what they need to do when it counted, and dropped a 75-67 overtime decision to Boston College. While the signs are encouraging, this team could surely use a little more reward on the bottom line to show for their efforts. And perhaps not finishing the job in regulation despite many chances was the clincher on Tuesday, because it was pretty much all Eagles in the extra session.

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Quick hitters from the past weekend of tournaments

by - Published November 27, 2013 in Columns

The past weekend was quite a stretch with some early-season tournaments, and now we’re into another week full of them. It’s a fun time of the year as we form some early impressions of many teams and some pick up wins that can have shelf life later in the season.

Here are some quick hitters coming out of the weekend:

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Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

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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.

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

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


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


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


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


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.