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Columbia Lions 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
columbia

Columbia Lions (12-16 overall, 4-10 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Grant Mullins
So. G Maodo Lo
Jr. G Steve Frankoski
Jr. F Alex Rosenberg
Jr. C Cory Osetkowski

Important departures:

G Brian Barbour (12.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.6 spg) and C Mark Cisco (8.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg) are the two starters gone from last season’s team, along with key reserve John Daniels (2.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg).

Returning:

61.2 percent of scoring and 57.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Jeff Coby
Fr. G Kendall Jackson
Fr. F-C Luke Petrasek
Fr. F Chris McComber
Fr. C Connor Voss

Schedule Highlights:

The Lions have nine home games in non-league play, and the road portion is not overwhelming. They play at Michigan State in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, before heading across the country to play three games in Portland. They also travel to Bucknell and play St. John’s in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival at the Barclays Center. The home slate is highlighted by visits from MAAC contender Manhattan and America East contender Stony Brook. Ivy League play has a tough opening after they start with Cornell at home, as the next five are on the road before they come home for four straight.

Projected finish and outlook:

A year after a promising start to what ended up being a disappointing season, the Lions will have a full-fledged youth movement in effect this season. They have just one senior to go with ten freshmen and sophomores, and with Barbour and Cisco being so important to last season’s team, in all the Lions are basically starting over. Mullins, Rosenberg, Frankoski and Lo are good building blocks, while Osetkowski will now get a bigger role along with freshman Conor Voss, a freshman big man. In particular, Osetkowski must emerge as he has the opportunity for a lot of consistent minutes and they need someone to produce inside. The big thing for this year is to see the freshmen and sophomores develop behind the more experienced players, and if that happens the Lions could position themselves for a run next year.

Next: Cornell Big Red

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Cornell Big Red 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
cornell

Cornell Big Red (13-18 overall, 5-9 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G JoJo Fallas
Jr. G Devin Cherry
So. G Nolan Cressler
Jr. F Shonn Miller
Jr. F-C Deion Giddens

Important departures:

Among starters, G Miles Asafo-Adjei (2.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.6 apg), G Jonathan Gray (10.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.0 apg), F Eitan Chemerinski (5.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and F Errick Peck (9.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 apg) (transferred to Purdue) are gone, along with key reserve Galal Cancer (5.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.7 apg).

Returning:

47 percent of scoring and 43 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G JoJo Fallas
Fr. G Desmond Fleming
Fr. G Robert Hatter
Fr. F David Onourah
Fr. G Darryl Smith

Schedule Highlights:

Six home games are on tap in a tough non-league slate that begins at Syracuse and later includes trips to Louisville, Notre Dame, Stony Brook and St. Bonaventure. Early in league play, they play four straight on the road before coming home for consecutive weekends.

Projected finish and outlook:

Like their fellow New York school, Cornell will look very different this season and it may feel to some like they’re starting over as they lose a lot from last season’s team. Although some of the losses were expected, Cancer’s loss hurts as he projected to be the starting point guard this year and next. As if that’s not enough, reports have indicated that Miller’s shoulder injury late last season has not healed well, and redshirting is a possibility. Now the Big Red must make do with a younger guard crop where the likes of Cressler and Cherry to get better. The Big Red also need some other holdovers to emerge, or else the other freshmen will get chances right away to supplant them. Injuries hurt the early development of a couple of Miller’s potential supporters up front, Holt Harmon and Braxston Bunce, so they will come in a little behind where they could be. Defense is the biggest area for improvement, and from that vantage point it might not be so bad that there is a lot of newness with this team. The Big Red forced some turnovers, but other than that they were a bad defensive team, and with the lack of proven scoring punch on this team even before Miller’s status didn’t get better, improvement at that end of the floor will be even more paramount. In all, the Big Red might be best off long-term if Miller redshirts, but no matter what, it appears that it could be a long season in Ithaca.

Next: Dartmouth Big Green

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Dartmouth Big Green 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
dartmouth

Dartmouth Big Green (9-19 overall, 5-9 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Alex Mitola
Sr. G Tyler Melville
Jr. F John Golden
So. F Connor Boehm
Jr. F Gabas Maldunas

Important departures:

F Jvonte Brooks (7.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.2 apg) (football) is the only starter gone from last season’s team.

Returning:

75.8 percent of scoring and 60.1 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Wesley Dickinson
Fr. G Mike Fleming
Fr. C Cole Harrison
Fr. F Eli Harrison
Fr. F Ikemefuna Ngwudo

Schedule Highlights:

The Big Green will have an unusual eight home games in non-league play, including their first three games of the season that features a matchup with Northeast contender Bryant. Later, they play four in a row at home, including America East contenders Vermont and Hartford. Road trips include stops at Illinois and St. John’s. After their Ivy opener at Harvard, the next five league games are at home and the next four are on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

Dartmouth had some growing pains last season, as they showed promise at times and looked like a young team trying to figure it out at other times. With another good recruiting class in the mix, they could be primed for a leap this year, although with just one senior it could be another year with growing pains. Mitola came in and settled the point last year, while the perimeter has some good depth now. The frontcourt will have a good starting point with potential all-Ivy forward Maldunas joined by Golden and Boehm, and if someone among the freshmen emerges they will absorb the unexpected departure of Jvonte Brooks without much trouble, although this team will need to rebound better. Paul Cormier has improved the talent base nicely since returning to Hanover, and they aren’t far from contending. While they have room to improve defensively, there is more room for growth at the offensive end as they were at or near the bottom in more of those categories last season. This year will be a crucial one for where the heralded recruiting classes in recent years are headed.

Next: Harvard Crimson

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Harvard Crimson 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
harvard

Harvard Crimson (20-10 overall, 11-3 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Siyani Chambers
Sr. G Laurent Rivard
Jr. G Wesley Saunders
Sr. F Kyle Casey
Jr. F Kenyatta Smith

Important departures:

G Christian Webster (8.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.6 apg) is the only starter who has departed.

Returning:

87.7 percent of scoring and 90 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F-C Zena Edosomwan
Fr. G Matt Fraschilla
Fr. F Hunter Myers

Schedule Highlights:

Harvard’s non-league slate is a good one, led by five home games that include visits from Northeast contender Bryant, America East contender Vermont and Boston College. They head to Colorado, Patriot League contender Boston University and Connecticut, and early on will be the favorites in the Great Alaska Shootout. In Anchorage, they will open with Denver and play either Green Bay or Pepperdine in the second game. Early in Ivy League play, they have four straight at home before going on the road for consecutive weekends, the latter of which is the big Penn-Princeton weekend.

Projected finish and outlook:

Simply put, Harvard is a prohibitive favorite to win the league. They return almost every significant contributor from last season’s league champion and add back two former starters who missed last season as well as a player who will be too good to keep on the bench in Edosomwan. It gives head coach Tommy Amaker a lot of options for lineups and how to play, and the character of this team is such that egos shouldn’t get in the way as far as minutes and roles are concerned. Between Brandyn Curry, Chambers, Rivard and Saunders, the Crimson are terrific on the perimeter, while Casey and Smith lead a deep frontcourt after Smith’s emergence during the latter part of last season. It’s a unit that also has juniors Jonah Travis and Steve Moundou-Missi, both of whom could start for just about any other team in the league, and Edosomwan, who has been much heralded. While he’s perhaps a bit overrated from a talent standpoint, Edosomwan’s intangibles are off the charts, something that isn’t often said about a freshman. The Crimson will get some challenges in non-league play, but shouldn’t have to worry about an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. They should simply be too good for everyone else in the league.

Next: Penn Quakers

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Penn Quakers 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
pennsylvania

Penn Quakers (9-22 overall, 6-8 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Miles Jackson-Cartwright
So. G Tony Hicks
Sr. G Steve Rennard
Sr. F Fran Dougherty
Jr. F Henry Brooks

Important departures:

None

Returning:

100 percent of scoring and 100 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Tony Bagtas
Fr. G Matt Howard
Fr. F Dylan Jones
Fr. G Preston Troutt
Fr. C David Winfield, Jr.

Schedule Highlights:

The Quakers have a very challenging non-league slate with seven home games, including Big 5 matchups against Temple, La Salle and Saint Joseph’s, and they also have a visit from Penn State. They will also challenge themselves at Iowa, Villanova, MAAC contender Rider and George Mason. Ivy League play starts with a test of where this team is, as the first three games will be against Princeton and at Dartmouth and Harvard.

Projected finish and outlook:

If Penn can get through their non-league slate in a good place, they could make a leap in the standings. This is a team with good talent and lineup flexibility, allowing them to play several ways. They bring back everyone from last season and add good newcomers led by Bagtas, who could see a lot of minutes right away, and having a healthy Dougherty again will be a welcome sight. The backcourt is solid and won’t garner many headlines, but gives Jerome Allen a lot of options for combinations and ways to play, while Brooks and sophomore Darien Nelson-Henry are solid role players alongside Dougherty. The Quakers got better as the season went along last year, and the first way they can keep that up will be in the possession battle from taking better care of the ball as the Quakers led the league in turnovers last season and rebounding better as they had the worst margin in the league as well.

Next: Princeton Tigers

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Princeton Tigers 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
princeton

Princeton Tigers (17-11 overall, 10-4 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G T.J. Bray
Jr. G Clay Wilson
Jr. F Denton Koon
So. F Hans Brase
Sr. F Will Barrett

Important departures:

F Ian Hummer (16.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.3 spg) is the only full-time starter gone from last season’s team, although part-time starting G Brendan Connolly (3.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg) has also departed.

Returning:

63.3 percent of scoring and 57.1 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Henry Caruso
Fr. F Steven Cook
Fr. C Pete Miller
Fr. F Hashim Moore
Fr. G Khyan Rayner
Fr. F Spencer Weisz

Schedule Highlights:

The Tigers have six home games in non-league play, featuring visits from Patriot League contender Lafayette and George Mason. The biggest road games are at Butler, Rutgers and Penn State, all of which are winnable games. They also play Pacific and Portland at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas. They get tested right away in Ivy League play, as the first three games are all on the road and none will be easy: Penn, Harvard and Dartmouth. Later, they play four straight at home as part of a season-ending stretch with five of seven in Jadwin Gymnasium.

Projected finish and outlook:

In any normal year, this Princeton team would have some people pick them to win and not look crazy for it. The Tigers have a solid veteran crew that should absorb the loss of Hummer far better than just about any other team in the league would, and he’s not a small loss. Barrett is highly skilled and has steadily developed, and now it’s his time to shine up front. Koon and Brase, the latter of whom had a good freshman season, help solidify that unit along with some depth that will get a boost from freshmen. Bray and Wilson lead the perimeter, and they also get senior Jimmy Sherburne back after missing last season due to injury. If someone emerges to provide depth there they should be better off. Bray is one of the league’s best players and yet can still be considered underrated as well. The toughest challenge will be getting past Harvard, and while they have had success against the Crimson in Jadwin Gym this year will be a little tougher.

Next: Yale Bulldogs

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Yale Bulldogs 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
yale

Yale Bulldogs (14-17 overall, 8-6 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Armani Cotton
Jr. G Javier Duren
So. F Justin Sears
Sr. F Greg Kelley
Jr. F Matt Townsend

Important departures:

G Austin Morgan (10.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg) and G Michael Grace (5.1 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 2.2 apg) have departed from last season’s team, along with reserve G Sam Martin (4.6 ppg).

Returning:

69.6 percent of scoring and 89.4 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Anthony Dallier
Fr. F Sam Downey
Fr. G A.J. Edwards
Fr. G J.T. Flowers

Schedule Highlights:

The Bulldogs have five home games in non-league play, including visits from Northeast contender Bryant and America East contender Vermont. They open the season in Bridgeport in the Connecticut 6 Classic, then play at Connecticut, Rutgers, Lafayette, Hartford, Providence and Saint Louis along the way. In league play, the big stretch is late, as they have consecutive road weekends including the Penn-Princeton trip.

Projected finish and outlook:

Yale could go one of two ways this season given that they lost their starting backcourt from a year ago. While they relied on Morgan and Grace for a lot, there is potential to be better with Duren and Cotton having another year under their belts and Dallier likely being ready to contribute from the get-go. Duren is a wild card, as he’s very talented and athletic but can also be very erratic and unpredictable. Sears showed that he has a lot of potential, and if he becomes more consistent he will make a few All-Ivy teams before he leaves New Haven. Kelley seemed to settle into his role as last season went along, while Townsend seems the most likely to grab the other starting spot, although senior Jeremiah Kreisberg has started before and could regain that spot as well after losing it last year in part from an untimely injury. Although Yale’s offense looked bad at times last year, especially with their tendency to turn the ball over (only Penn gave the ball away more), it was at the defensive end where they struggled save for being the best rebounding team in the league. The Bulldogs might be a year away from contention, but James Jones’ teams have had a habit of doing so a little earlier than many project. If that is to happen this year, the guards have to prove to be an upgrade over the starters there last year.

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2013-14 CAA Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Columns
colonial

A new era will begin for the Colonial Athletic Association with this season, as change has not only been a constant of late but has also changed the conference dramatically. While College of Charleston comes aboard this season, the CAA was also dealt a blow when George Mason announced it would join the Atlantic 10 this season. With that, the conference’s long-time stalwarts – George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU – have all departed in the past year and a half. Elon joins next season to bring the conference back to ten teams.

To boot, all of this comes off a season in which the CAA ranked 22nd in RPI.

… Continue Reading

College of Charleston Cougars 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
charleston

College of Charleston Cougars (24-11 overall, 14-4 Southern Conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Anthony Stitt
Fr. G Canyon Barry
Sr. F Anthony Thomas
Jr. F Adjehi Baru
Sr. F Willis Hall

Important departures:

G Andrew Lawrence (13.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 spg) is the only starter gone from last season’s team, and key reserve F Trent Wiedeman (8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is also gone.

Returning:

67.5 percent of scoring and 76.9 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Canyon Barry
Fr. G Joe Chealey
Fr. G Jonathan Cook
Fr. F Terrance O’Donohue
Fr. F-C Glen Pierre, Jr.
So. C David Wishon (transfer from Tulsa)

Schedule Highlights:

The Cougars’ non-conference slate includes eight home games, highlighted by visits from Charlotte, Miami and Kent State, with the first two coming in a four-game home stretch in November. The biggest road games are at Louisville, Davidson and three games in the Wooden Legacy starting with San Diego State and either Creighton or Arizona State. CAA play features a stretch with four of five on the road, ending at Delaware and Towson, followed by three straight at home starting with Drexel.

Projected finish and outlook:

The CAA’s new kids on the block should contend right away, as they return a lot from last season’s team although the two key contributors they lose were hardly bit players. The Cougars have a lot of continuity in their personnel and good class balance, and they have bought into what head coach Doug Wojcik is trying to do. They became a much better team defensively and on the glass last season, something he tried to improve immediately, and remained a good offensive team. While Lawrence will be missed, Stitt will basically slide right into that role, including from a leadership standpoint, and Wojcik likes what he’s seen from the newcomers, in particular Barry and Chealey, so both could press veterans like Nori Johnson for the second starting guard spot. Baru looks ready to break out after progressing well last year, and Anthony Thomas could see time at both forward spots although there is good depth up front. The Cougars have a good homecourt advantage and will get eight home games in a tough non-conference slate, so they will be ready to contend when conference play gets under way.

Next: Delaware Blue Hens

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Delaware Blue Hens 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
delaware

Delaware Blue Hens (19-14 overall, 13-5 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Devon Saddler
Jr. G Jarvis Threatt
Jr. G Kyle Anderson
So. F Marvin King-Davis
Sr. F Carl Baptiste

Important departures:

Delaware’s frontcourt starters are both gone from last season: C Jamelle Hagins (11.6 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg) and F Josh Brinkley (7.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg).

Returning:

71.4 percent of scoring and 57.2 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Sr. G Davon Usher (transfer from Mississippi Valley State)
Fr. F Maurice Jeffers (redshirt)
Fr. F Barnett Harris
Fr. G Cazmon Hayes
Fr. F Devonne Pinkard

Schedule Highlights:

Just like last year, the Blue Hens will be tested in non-conference play, and often away from home as only four home games are on tap. The best of them looks to be against Robert Morris at the end of November, while they have a home-and-home with Charleston Southern. The Blue Hens will travel to Richmond, Villanova, Notre Dame, and North Dakota State and Ohio State for the Gotham Classic before playing Bryant at Madison Square Garden. In CAA play, they have an interesting month of February that starts with four straight at home followed by four of five on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Blue Hens took a big hit in the frontcourt from graduation, but they have a very experienced perimeter unit and that is reason enough to think they can contend again. While Hagins’ loss is huge, as he racked up the honors especially for his defense, Brinkley’s departure will be noticeable as well because although he was injured often, he was a warrior, an enforcer and more of an offensive threat than Hagins for most of their careers. Baptiste looks more ready to contribute than a year ago at this time, and late last season he played better when they needed more from him. King-Davis is the only other proven frontcourt player, which means newcomers have to contribute right away, and no one has emerged yet in early practice although they see some potential. The perimeter unit is in great shape with Saddler, one of the CAA’s best and a great leader. He is very driven and will be even more so since this is his last go-round, and he has good help starting with Threatt, who Ross thinks could rack up the assists. Threatt has the physical gifts and will drive often as he’s been known to get to the foul line, and with the offense being tweaked a bit given the personnel losses up front, that may favor him more. Anderson didn’t shoot quite as well last year as he did as a freshman, but he’s improved his skill set to where defenders can’t play him as just a shooter. Even with those three, Usher will have to get minutes as he led the SWAC in scoring last season. The Blue Hens have developed into a good defensive team, but Hagins helped erase some mistakes and the team knows they don’t have him anymore and must be better on the perimeter. They will be tested in non-conference play yet again, and last year they did well at overcoming the adversity from losing some games early. As a veteran team, they are well-prepared to tackle this challenge again and be in the mix for a conference title later in the season, continuing the good work Ross has done rebuilding them.

Next: Drexel Dragons

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