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Stevens’ departure a shocker, but Butler and college basketball will be fine

by - Published July 3, 2013 in Columns

Put me down as one of many who was shocked upon hearing the news.

I admit, I never saw Brad Stevens leaving Butler, at least not for a long time. And for an NBA job? That was an even further possibility from my mind.

If anything, I thought those who had him pegged as Mike Krzyzewksi’s successor at Duke might be on to something, although I wondered about that, too. It would make sense from one standpoint, but at the same time, the head coaching job at Duke is one of those jobs that it’s hard to imagine going to someone outside the program’s family even if there may seem to be a lack of obvious candidates.

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Players make New England Elite 75 better than last year

by - Published July 3, 2013 in Columns

WORCESTER, Mass. – The month of July got going with the New England Elite 75 on Monday afternoon at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Annually an event with some of the best talent in New England, the event was a much better showcase this year than last. Whereas last year many of the kids played like they were trying to amass highlight reels, this time around the kids played like they respected the event, and the end result was better basketball. That also made player evaluation easier.

With that in mind, we take a look at some of the talent that competed on Monday.

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A lot to take from the 2013 NBA Draft, not surprisingly

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

Leading up to the NBA Draft, much was said about how weak it was. The jury on that is out, although going by how a draft looked at the time it certainly appears to be the weakest one in a long time. But a key reason the draft was perceived as such is also the reason it was well worth watching and didn’t disappoint those who figured there would be a lot to take from this.

Just take a look at the eyebrow-raising results on the evening:

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2013 Hoopville Spring Finale notes

by - Published June 27, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – The 2013 Hoopville Spring Finale is in the books, and in addition the 2013 spring circuit is history.  Over 50 teams competed and six emerged victorious, including four programs that won here for the first time.  Plenty of other teams came close and/or walked away with just one loss on the weekend.  The all-important month of July now beckons.

Before we get to that, let’s look back at some notes from this weekend.

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2013 Hoopville Spring Finale sees several new champions

by - Published June 24, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – Sunday was the day for championship games in the Hoopville Spring Finale, and six teams walked away with medals telling that story. The day started bright and early with young players in the morning before the oldest players took center stage in the afternoon. It also started with a few new faces in the winner’s circle before a couple of teams that have already won some titles returned to that place.

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2013 Hoopville Spring Finale Preview

by - Published June 21, 2013 in Columns

The fourth annual Hoopville Spring Finale is on tap this weekend at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston.  June is a month without many team events on the travel circuit as camps and showcases take center stage for a lot of the month, and the Hoopville Spring Finale has filled a void in that respect as one of the best team events in the northeast at that time.  Many teams get a chance to prepare for the important events in July in Boston and have done so successfully before going on to success in front of college coaches.

Naturally, the base of teams is in Massachusetts and more specifically Boston, but once again a number of teams from outside the area will be competing as well.  Included in that group are three programs from Canada.  There will be teams competing in 10-under and 12-under age groups to go along with high school age groups, and right now we take a look at the latter set of teams competing this weekend.

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Looking back at a busy basketball Saturday in Massachusetts

by - Published May 20, 2013 in Columns

It was a busy weekend of basketball in Massachusetts, and Saturday saw action in two main events a long way from each other.  First, we checked in on the Hall of Fame Spring Classic in Amherst, then headed to the Massachusetts AAU Final Four in Foxboro.

One team that won a pair of games early in Amherst was the BC Eagles, who have a couple of notable wing prospects.  Calvin Crawford (6’8″ Sr. SF, Montgomery (NY) Valley Central HS) appears to have the higher ceiling, and he looked better here than in limited viewing last month as he had transition finishes and stickbacks.  Teammate Travis Cook (6’4″ Jr. SF, Middletown (NY) High) is a baby physically with some length, which he used to poke the ball away a couple of times.  While slight, he’s athletic and is worth keeping an eye on.

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2013 EYBL Hampton – Underclassmen

by - Published May 17, 2013 in Columns

HAMPTON, Va. – We already took a look at some from the class of 2014 who stood out in Hampton. Now we take a look at some underclassmen from the event, some of whom played up with an EYBL team and others we got a chance to check in out in games featuring younger teams.

It’s fair to say that a terrific crop of underclassmen competed in the event, including some who are more “potential” players right now, so there’s reason to like what’s in the future.

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2013 EYBL Hampton – Class of 2014

by - Published May 16, 2013 in Columns

HAMPTON, Va. – The second weekend of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League is in the books. Now in its fourth season, EYBL is by far the best thing going on the travel circuit, evidenced by the level and depth of talent the teams have and the college coach turnout on weekends like this where coaches can be on the road seeing players. Numerous head coaches were among those on hand to check out the talent.

In addition to EYBL, younger teams competed in a tournament format, many of them younger teams in the same programs with EYBL entries. The schedule allowed for a look at a couple of those teams, and some player notes from them are included here.

We will look back at some of the players who stood out on the weekend in two parts. This one looks at players from the class of 2014, while coming up later will be a look at players from the classes of 2015 and 2016.

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2013 Hall of Fame New England Invitational – notes and evaluations

by - Published April 25, 2013 in Columns

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The second half of the busy weekend of basketball took place at Wesleyan University, the main site of the Hall of Fame New England Invitational. There, teams largely from the northeast competed over two days in front of college coaches, including some from the Division I ranks.

Because of NCAA rules regarding the number of games a team may play in a sanctioned event, there was no true champion in the 17-under age group. The two teams left standing in the Platinum bracket were Connecticut Basketball Club and the New Jersey Pirates. A few teams bounced back from an early loss to play to the end in consolation brackets, such as another CBC team, Maine Athletic Club, NYC Jaguars, Rhode Island Hawks and Riverside Hawks.

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Your Phil of Hoops

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.

Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

September 24, 2015 by


Army was on a nice rise with its core up until Patriot League play last season, when they came back to earth. Now with a core of seniors, can this team be the one that finally takes home a Patriot League title?

Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

August 27, 2015 by


There has been some notable downward momentum at Washington recently, but there is more hope all the time that it could be reversed, and soon.

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 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.