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Bryant keeps setting records and accomplishing program firsts in Division I

by - Published January 11, 2013 in Columns

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – There are more indications all the time of how far Bryant has come since its Division I beginning as plenty of program” firsts” in the Division I era keep coming. That continued on Thursday night in the Bulldogs’ 103-95 win over Quinnipiac in their return home after three big road wins.

Let’s begin with the program firsts and records on the night. The team reached 100 points for the first time in its Division I history, set a Division I program record with their fifth straight win and a Division I record for wins in a season as it was their tenth win of the season. They also reached three wins in Northeast Conference play faster than any other season, although they were close two seasons ago when they did it in four games.

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Win at Providence an unusual win of sorts for Syracuse

by - Published January 10, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A coach doesn’t win over 900 games, as Jim Boeheim has, in just one fashion.  Along the way there are wins of all kinds, including ones that are a little unusual.  There are also ones without big-time stars, although those tend to be less frequent.  Wednesday night’s 72-66 win by Syracuse at Providence was both of those.

It certainly wasn’t the Orange’s best offensive outing of the season.  They struggled for a lot of the night, especially from deep as they were just 3-21 on three-pointers.  Syracuse isn’t a team likely to light it up from long range as it is, but even for this team that was a bad game.  A lot of it came from normally reliable players like Brandon Triche (2-10 from the field, including 0-4 from long range) and James Southerland (5-16, 1-8).

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Niagara shows they have plenty of room for growth in tough loss at Brown

by - Published January 9, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Niagara had a chance for a little more momentum heading into the meat of MAAC play. Already 3-1 in early conference games, the Purple Eagles had a chance to get a road win, something they’ve struggled to achieve this season. They looked like they might get it early, and still had a chance.

“I said to the guys going into overtime, this is what we need – a chance to win on the road,” head coach Joe Mihalich said.

Instead, they left Providence with a heart-breaking 75-74 loss in overtime.

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Trip to Yale leads to just the non-conference finish Florida needed

by - Published January 7, 2013 in Columns

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Florida had just the ending to their non-conference slate they needed on Sunday. They took care of business with a 79-58 blowout of Yale on Sunday in a rare visit to a mid-major school. The score tells the story for the game but doesn’t tell why it looks good for Florida going forward.

No one expected this game to turn into an upset. This isn’t one of James Jones’ best teams at Yale, and the last few minutes of the first half and the opening minutes of the second half, where the Gators scored the first 12 points and gave Yale fits with their press, ensured that the outcome of this one would not be in doubt. Yale didn’t mount much of a rally after that, although they were able to score a little more.

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DePaul hopes to make a leap but must finish better than against Providence

by - Published January 7, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – If DePaul is going to make the kind of jump in the Big East they may be capable of this season, they’ll have to finish games better than they did on Saturday night at Providence.  The Blue Demons may have won the game, but they went from dominating the early minutes of the second half to a so-so stretch in the final minutes where at one point Providence got the lead back into single digits and made the final score of 83-73 look respectable.

The first half was a tight ballgame, played within a nine-point window until the final seconds.  Then it was all DePaul for the first ten minutes of the second half as they scored the first six points and eventually ran the lead as high as 22.  Then they relaxed, and after both teams were stuck for a while, Providence got a rally going to eventually get within single digits and make it a ballgame.

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NC State wins opener but doesn’t exactly look like an ACC favorite

by - Published January 6, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Whether or not North Carolina State ultimately meets the expectation many have of them as ACC favorites is an open question as conference play commences.  That remains unchanged after pulling out a 78-73 win at Boston College on Saturday, a game the Wolfpack could easily have let slip away.

“We didn’t play our best basketball, but at the same time we’re fortunate enough to get the win,” said senior Scott Wood, who hit a big three-pointer and then sealed the game with free throws.

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UNCW fighting turnovers, inconsistency

by - Published January 6, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – UNCW has been what you might expect a team with its personnel makeup to be: inconsistent.  They can look very good, like a team with a very high ceiling, and they can look bad.  This is evidenced by just six of their games being decided by ten points or less (they are 2-4 in such games).  Saturday’s 68-64 loss at Northeastern was one more like that, played within a ten-point window, and familiar foes played a role in the result for UNCW.

The Seahawks can hang their hat on Keith Rendleman.  That was a given before the season, and the senior forward has done nothing to disabuse anyone of that notion thus far, including his 13 points and 14 rebounds on Saturday.  Tanner Milson, who hit six three-pointers en route to 20 points, has also started every game except Saturday’s, but he has become one they can count on, and Cedric Williams seems to be getting there if he isn’t already.  Head coach Buzz Peterson also mentioned Craig Ponder as being in that category, but after that, the growing pains of this inexperienced group are clear.

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Defense carries Rhode Island until the offense wakes up

by - Published January 5, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – One thing we knew about Rhode Island from early on this season was that defense is going to be this team’s calling card. That’s a change from past years, when the “Runnin’ Rams” could score with anyone and run teams off the floor but were not much to write home about defensively. On Friday night, their defense came in handy, as offense was hard to come by for much of their 59-47 win over Brown.

The first half was about as ugly as it gets. Both teams shot below 26 percent from the field, and if you need proof that it wasn’t just good defense on the part of both teams responsible for those numbers, Brown was 4-11 from the foul line and URI was 2-5. The teams combined for 19 turnovers, and Rhode Island led by just a touchdown, 21-14.

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Once again, UNH starts off conference play in alarming fashion

by - Published January 3, 2013 in Columns

DURHAM, N.H. – You can’t blame Bill Herrion for being concerned. A couple of post-game comments in summing up what he sees as a major issue for his team tells the whole story.

“We’ve lost something,” said the Wildcat mentor. “What I’m trying to explain to you as a coach is scary.”

Wednesday night provided New Hampshire with an opportunity to get a jump on the competition in hosting the America East opener. It was against Vermont, a tough opponent to be sure, but it’s better to be at home than on the road. They have also played Vermont tough at home in recent years. After a 64-51 loss to the Catamounts that wasn’t even as close as the final score, though, one might wonder if there will be a case of deja vu in more ways than one.

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Growing pains come first for young Dartmouth

by - Published January 2, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – There is a lot of reason for optimism with Dartmouth, and two straight recruiting classes like the ones they have pulled in will make that happen. But what usually happens at first is youth being served, as well as growing pains, and it is quite clear that this group is going through that right now as they head home with a 2-9 record after Monday’s 79-58 loss at Boston College.

Dartmouth is young, with just one junior and a little-used senior on the roster. The core of this team for the present and foreseeable future will be the recruiting classes of the past two years. The young players come with plenty of talent, but rarely does that translate into instant success. With a challenging, road-heavy non-league slate, they have also been humbled in their introduction to college basketball. However, this team also shapes up as one that other Ivy League teams will not want to play in February. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them knock off a contending team at home sometime in the final weeks of the regular season.

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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

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by


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


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 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.

Hoopville Archives

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
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy

You can also find them all right here.

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Suffield Academy looks to grow into Class A in NEPSAC

September 29, 2014 by


Signs of growth are present at Suffield Academy, and along the way the basketball team moves up into NEPSAC Class A this season as they try to keep the program growing.

Wilbraham and Monson has a new leader with a similar level of talent

September 29, 2014 by


A busy Sunday started with a trip to Wilbraham and Monson Academy, where there is a new head coach who has been at the school and some good talent to work with.

Williston Northampton begins a new chapter on the hardwood

September 26, 2014 by


A new era is dawning at the Williston Northampton School on the hardwood. It includes a new head coach who is changing some things up right away.

Kent School has some pieces to compete in NEPSAC Class A

September 25, 2014 by


The Kent School might not have the talent or depth of its neighboring prep school, but they have a team worth watching that could compete in Class A this season.

South Kent has a lot of pieces – and size – to compete in NEPSAC Class AAA

September 25, 2014 by


South Kent has a lot of size and lineup options this season. That will enable Kelvin Jefferson’s team to be very competitive in NEPSAC Class AAA.