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The Morning Dish – Monday, December 22, 2014

by - Published December 22, 2014 in The Morning Dish

In an age where flash dominates sports, where no-look passes and high-flying dunks capture fans’ attention, and where future NBA talent is talked about so much in the college game, Virginia stands out.

And on a weekend where a Kentucky team that has been much-talked about annihilated a UCLA program that has plenty of history all its own, Virginia stands out in its own way. And the Cavaliers have been doing that since the start of last year, for that matter, even if very few people have noticed.

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USC’s growth shows some of its potential as conference play beckons

by - Published December 22, 2014 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – As USC’s non-conference slate winds down, it becomes clear that this stretch has been one of growth for the young Trojans. There is much more to come, but what they have shown with one game left before Pac-12 play bodes well for this team to make a lot of progress, even if that doesn’t result in contention in the conference this season.

The word “potential” can be used a lot with this team given their composition, and their youth is one of the most salient features of the team in Andy Enfield’s second season at the helm. That’s not the worst thing in the world coming off a season where they went 2-16 in Pac-12 play. And while the Trojans had a 9-4 mark before conference play began last season and have a 7-4 mark now, they appear to be positioned for a better couple of months this time around.

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Saturday Notes – December 20, 2014

by - Published December 21, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Conference play is almost here, so the games are starting to get better. Saturday saw a number of great matchups and results every bit as noteworthy to go with them. Some were more noteworthy because of the margin than the bottom line result.

The day began inauspiciously enough with the news about Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin and his health. We extend our get well wishes to Cronin, and after hearing that hoped the day would get better. It did, though not for his team, as the day was full of good games. Included were a couple of games that took a bit long to decide – as in, three overtimes.

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We need to enjoy this Kentucky team

by - Published December 21, 2014 in Columns

With all the attention on Kentucky and the individual talent the Wildcats have, there’s one thing we should all follow John Calipari in doing.

Just enjoy this. Enjoy that we get a chance to see it.

“The one thing I’m doing is really enjoying these guys,” Calipari said after the Wildcats drubbed UCLA 83-44 in the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago.

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Just how good is North Carolina?

by - Published December 20, 2014 in Columns

Last year, North Carolina was a team that no one could figure out. Lose to Belmont, beat Louisville. Lose at UAB, beat Michigan State. Beat Kentucky and Texas, lose at Wake Forest.

This year? The question is whether or not the Tar Heels can really challenge for the top of the ACC, and perhaps most of all, if they have enough to complement star guard Marcus Paige. The Tar Heels haven’t been quite so hard to figure out on a given night, but we’re still trying to figure out just how good this team is and will be.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 20, 2014

by - Published December 20, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Every year, there’s one or two game results that are beyond head-scratchers. They may be proof of a team being capable of an off night, or perhaps a harbinger of things to come. They can also be an example of what the winning team is capable of, even though that doesn’t tend to get as much attention.

In Miami’s case, their hope is that it’s not the first of those three.

An Eastern Kentucky team that has shown some promise during non-conference play broke through in a big way on Friday night, never trailing en route to a 72-44 thumping of Miami. The bottom line result is one thing; a 28-point margin? That raises questions.

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2014 Scholar Roundball Classic recap and notes

by - Published December 16, 2014 in Recruiting

WELLESLEY, Mass. – The second straight weekend with a prep school event in New England had a little different focus than the prior one. Namely, the Scholar Roundball Classic featured some of the best academic schools in the region taking the court against one another. Some of the schools don’t usually get a stage like this, so it also offered us a look at some schools that may not get easily seen otherwise.

Sunday’s action had a couple of close games mixed in, though most of the day had blowouts. With that, we go to the scores and then the player notes.

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Despite a hit on the bottom line, Stony Brook’s transition continues

by - Published December 16, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – It wasn’t the kind of tale of two halves that anyone would want, much less one that came in having lost two in a row. Indeed, as conference play gets closer, a coach would rather his team get more consistent. And for Stony Brook, the way the roof caved in on them in the second half of Saturday’s loss at Providence was not good no matter how you try to slice it. Still, it’s part of a growing process this team has to go through.

“For 27 minutes, we were pretty good,” said head coach Steve Pikiell.

The Seawolves were within 49-44 after leading at times in the first half. It was after that point that Providence took over and won it convincingly, going on a 10-1 run as part of a bigger 16-3 run from which they never looked back in the 79-61 triumph.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, December 15, 2014

by - Published December 15, 2014 in The Morning Dish

We know what Penn State went through a couple of years ago with their football program. It’s been through a lot, and they are now back in a bowl game this year. While the basketball program never had to go through a criminal and then NCAA investigation, it has had its own demons. Life inside the program is not easy.

Penn State is a classic example of a “football school.” Football is sport 1, 1-A, 1-B and more there, especially for the fan base. The basketball team plays a distant second fiddle, if that. I won’t go much into detail – a respected colleague who attended the school did a great job of that right here.

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Saturday Notes – December 13, 2014

by - Published December 14, 2014 in Columns

Saturday was not as busy as most Saturdays typically are, but there were some eagerly anticipated matchups on the day. Fortunately, several lived up to their billing, with a couple of overtime games mixed in, though the most highly-anticipated ones were not among them.

Several games needed a little more time, including a couple that went beyond one extra session. One of those games ended up being a big win for the road team.

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College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

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April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

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Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

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