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adidas Gauntlet Dallas – Friday notes

by - Published April 26, 2014 in Columns
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DUNCANVILLE, Texas – Opening night in the first event in the adidas Gauntlet series saw a light slate of games, but neither the talent nor the college coach turnout was similarly light. There was plenty of good talent and a number of head coaches among those who came to check out the talent on hand.

Saturday will be a full day of action starting bright and early in the morning. Before that comes, here’s a look at a few players who stood out on the evening, starting with players in the class of 2015.

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McDaniels’ early departure a tough blow for Clemson

by - Published April 24, 2014 in Columns
clemson

If you’re a Clemson fan, the big news on Tuesday hurts. It’s news you didn’t want to hear.

You can hardly blame K.J. McDaniels for his decision to enter the NBA Draft, as his stock might never be higher. The junior forward certainly looked poised to have a big senior year, but in reality it would be tough to sustain the level of play he showed in the NIT as Clemson reached the quarterfinals before bowing out to SMU. He’s now projected to go somewhere in the back half of the first round, or even sneak into the lottery, and it’s not something that could have been foreseen a few months ago.

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Plenty of talent at the Northeast Hoops Festival

by - Published April 15, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

HANOVER, Mass. – The Northeast Hoops Festival is one of the big early spring events in the region, and this year it was better than ever. You name the elite program in New England, and they were in this. In addition, they had a number of good teams from outside the region to make it a packed field, and it was held at a fine new facility, the University Sports Complex in Hanover.

Sunday’s games included playoff rounds and saw some games that came right down to the end. Included in that was the Varsity American championship game, which featured New York-based House of Sport and Maine-based MB Nation. MB Nation controlled the game for most of the first half and a lot of the second, but House of Sport gradually rallied. They got within one in the final minute, when MB Nation took an ill-advised shot in traffic and lost possession. After a free throw tied it at 48, MB Nation threw the ball away, and House of Sport got a buzzer-beater to win 50-48.

Here is a look at some of the players we saw.

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Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

by - Published April 11, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
bostonuniversity

While there have surely been worse days in the program’s history, last Wednesday will not go down among the best ones for Boston University. Three players, including star guard Maurice Watson Jr., will all transfer. All of a sudden, the Terriers will have a drastically different look next year and don’t project to be nearly as good. One of them is a bigger loss than the others.

The school announced the transfers of James Kennedy, Malik Thomas and Watson last week. Kennedy, who is one of the nicest young men you could ever meet, has rarely played in his career, having battled injuries. Thomas has had his moments, and his departure will hurt, but it’s Watson’s departure that is both a little mind-boggling and will really hurt.

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Shabazz Napier grew into a championship leader

by - Published April 8, 2014 in Columns
connecticut

Shabazz Napier wasn’t always the easiest kid to root for. He was rough around the edges and could let his competitive streak get the best of him on occasion. Early on, he was an underachiever in the classroom. It would be easy to watch him and see him as a selfish player at times. You could be excused if you wondered if he wasn’t going to be one more example of a city legend somewhere who flamed out when it came to college.

If you knew him back in those days, you knew none of that was who he really is. And if you have followed him over the years, you know that none of that has been true for quite a while now. He wakes up on Tuesday morning with an incredible college legacy that includes two national championships, and one that is the product of tremendous growth into the player and person he always had the potential to become. That he is a two-time champion does not change him from what he was into something else; rather, it is his evolution into the person he is that changed him into a champion.

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How I voted for the 2014 USBWA awards

by - Published March 26, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Before Championship Week began in earnest, ballots were due for USBWA postseason honors. We vote for ten All-Americans, ten All-District players in our district, a National Freshman of the Year (Wayman Tisdale Award), Player of the Year (Oscar Robertson Trophy) and Coach of the Year (Henry Iba Award).

Since I am based near Boston, my district is District 1, which covers the six New England states. As was the case last year, they did not have us vote for a district Player of the Year or Coach of the Year; if I had a vote for each, I would give Shabazz Napier of Connecticut the former (barely over Bryce Cotton of Providence) and Derek Kellogg of UMass the nod for the latter.

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Once again, NCAA Tournament early rounds show how even the teams are

by - Published March 25, 2014 in Columns
ncaa

They say history repeats itself, and few would argue that. As it pertains to college basketball, we’ve seen it with the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and the teams that have advanced in all rounds. It was the case last year, and now this year as well: we’re seeing that there’s not much difference between many of the teams in the field.

Many were surprised by a lot of the results, and in some cases that’s understandable while in others there wasn’t much to be surprised by. The seeds alone don’t tell the whole story for many of the teams.

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At Boston College, speculation is now over with Steve Donahue

by - Published March 20, 2014 in Columns
bostoncollege

A few years ago, it would be just about impossible to imagine that Boston College would be searching for a new head coach for the second time in four years. Save for a blip on the radar screen, the program was in a period of success the likes of which has never been seen at The Heights. But here we are.

What many had speculated for a couple of months became official on Tuesday, as the school parted ways with Steve Donahue. There was some promise during his tenure, but the past season was a disaster that no one saw coming. Fresh off two seasons where wins were hard to come by but growth wasn’t after they basically started over in his second year, the Eagles went 8-24 this season, including a 4-14 mark in ACC play. Donahue over-scheduled, and the Eagles never recovered from a slow start that included several tough losses.

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2014 NCAA Tournament: Early thoughts

by - Published March 17, 2014 in Columns
ncaa

The NCAA Tournament selection committee has spoken. The 68 teams are set to begin the tournament on Tuesday with two of the First Four games. With that, the fun is about to begin.

Before that, here are some random thoughts on the selection, seeding and potential matchups, as well as reaction to some early chatter about the field.

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Providence ends all bubble talk in New York

by - Published March 16, 2014 in Columns
providence

NEW YORK – There will be plenty of good stories with teams that are in the NCAA Tournament, as usual. Few will be as good as that of Providence, who won the Big East Tournament on Saturday night by knocking off Creighton 65-58 in the championship game.

There’s the well-documented story of how Providence has had to make do with very little. Injuries and suspensions have gutted this team’s roster to the point where the Friars basically play six players, with the only thing resembling a backup guard being walk-on Ted Bancroft. They won Saturday’s game with six players getting on the court. It’s something they have had to do seemingly since Ed Cooley took over the program, as they have been snakebit with injuries often.

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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.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

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

hofstra

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

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

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

Conference Coverage

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

July 8, 2014 by

bigten

The Big Ten had some teams slip as the season went on, but plenty of others picked up the slack in another good year for the conference.

2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

July 7, 2014 by

sunbelt

Membership changes have been happening at quite a pace of late in the Sun Belt, and it was a new member that stole the show for much of this past season and seems poised to lead the way in the future.

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

bigsky

The teams that have led the way in the Big Sky of late were right there again this season. One of them won both the regular season and conference tournament, and also had a nice time with the post-season awards as well.

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

meac

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year in the MEAC, as the Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of conference.

2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

June 30, 2014 by

big12

When it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney.

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