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John Dunne is looking beyond St. Peter’s record

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

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
arizona

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
drexel

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
brown

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
sacredheart

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
author_kasiecki

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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Hartford finally gets a much-needed break in the action

by - Published November 27, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
hartford

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – John Gallagher doesn’t have to look far for answers. They’re all right in front of the Hartford mentor and all part of the team that is off to a 2-5 start after dropping two at Mohegan Sun Arena in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off this weekend. They’re all going to get a break, too, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

“I thought, seven games in 15 days, this is on our second back-to-back in a two-week stretch, we had no legs and we didn’t have the juice that we play with,” said Hartford’s head coach.

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Richmond rebounds and shows potential despite incomplete feeling

by - Published November 26, 2013 in Columns
richmond

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Chris Mooney still has that feeling – call it an incomplete feeling. The Richmond head coach was happy his team responded well on short notice, and can see his team’s potential, but there’s still a hard feeling. They had a chance. And they came up short.

“I do still have that feeling that I wish we had done a little bit better against North Carolina,” said Mooney after his team responded with a blowout of Fairfield that was never a ballgame.

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Could North Carolina’s big weekend change their season?

by - Published November 26, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
northcarolina

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – A week made a big difference for North Carolina.  It’s still November, but in a week North Carolina basically went from outhouse to penthouse with a weekend in Connecticut that was all they could have wanted.  It could change the direction of their season.

Even before North Carolina lost to Belmont last Sunday, the Tar Heels didn’t look good.  It wasn’t shocking that they lost to Belmont, a well-tested team, but they were supposed to win being at home.  After that, the question wasn’t even if they could beat Louisville in a potential championship matchup in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, but rather, could they even get past Richmond first?  It was one more thing for this team to deal with after the off-season issues and unresolved eligibility concerns with P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald.

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Michigan State finds multiple ways to win

by - Published November 24, 2013 in Columns
michiganstate

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – When you have the best team, you tend to find a way to win games.  That fits Michigan State in Brooklyn on Saturday, and it wasn’t one factor but rather multiple ones that were behind the Spartans taking home the championship of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic by knocking off pesky Oklahoma.

“We were a little bit slight of people, and even though it was disappointing and we played a little sporadic, it shows a little character that you can figure out a way to win a game,” said head coach Tom Izzo.

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College Basketball Tonight

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