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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 2, 2016

by - Published November 2, 2016 in The Morning Dish

It’s a wonderful time of the year – the time when the college basketball season beckons. There’s optimism everywhere, there’s anticipation, and we all wonder if players and teams will be as good as we think they will be. It’s the beginning of a fun journey for the next five months.

We’re ready to help you through these next five months. It is a journey meant to be enjoyed, not unlike the even longer journey that will end in Cleveland tonight.

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Kennedy tries to continue quietly winning at Ole Miss

by - Published October 31, 2016 in Columns

The SEC may be known much more for football these days, but on the hardwood, there are plenty of interesting story lines to follow. One that probably won’t get enough coverage is the job that the dean of coaches there – Andy Kennedy – continues to do winning consistently at Ole Miss, a school that has never been a powerhouse by any stretch.

When Rob Evans was the head coach in Oxford, he was the first coach in over 50 years to post a winning record over his tenure, and Rod Barnes kept things going after Evans left for another tough job in Arizona State, coming up just three wins shy of the program record at the time. Both won a National Coach of the Year honor while in Oxford.

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For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

by - Published October 21, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

In recent years, when the subject of the best basketball conferences has come up, how good the ACC and Big Ten are has often been at the center. Previously, it centered on the Big East before it broke up, including in 2011 when 11 of its 16 teams made the NCAA Tournament, while last year, the ACC set a record for NCAA Tournament wins by its members with 19. (And that was a year after the ACC came up one short of the previous record of 18 by the 1985 Big East.) The Pac-12 grabbed a bit of the conversation as well since it was very deep and intensely competitive. All the while, the Big 12 has been on quite a run, and has arguably been the best conference of late.

Continuing that run, however, will be a different challenge this season.

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Nevada looks ready to build on their CBI title

by - Published October 19, 2016 in Columns

Is Nevada the next team to play in the CBI and go on to bigger and better things soon after? There is a lot of reason to believe that the answer will be “yes”.

The Wolfpack, of course, did more than just play in the CBI last season – they won it in a dramatic third and final game against Morehead State. That built on a solid 10-8 showing in the Mountain West, though the conference was down appreciably last season from recent years. Now, though, the Wolfpack figure to be part of the conference rising again, as they appear to be on the rise as Eric Musselman’s sophomore campaign at the helm approaches. A pair of sophomores have a lot to do with the program’s clear direction.

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The turnaround begins now for Boston College

by - Published October 12, 2016 in Columns

Jim Christian has an excitement about what’s in front of him that he hasn’t had his first two seasons at Boston College. It comes at about the time he thought it might happen.

Now that might surprise you if you know where his team was last season. He has his reasons, though, and they’re understandable.

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A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

by - Published October 7, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Twelve months ago, the anticipation was building. There was plenty of buzz. Plenty of people wondered if the Pac-12 was going to have a new team at the top and carrying the flag. The questions that followed were only natural.

Could California upend teams like Arizona, Utah and Oregon that had been carrying the flag for the conference of late and even be a team to make a deep run in March? Were the Golden Bears at the beginning of something early in Cuonzo Martin’s tenure after getting two McDonald’s All-Americans to come there, including one whom virtually no one thought they had a shot at landing?

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2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

by - Published September 12, 2016 in Columns, Recruiting

DORCHESTER, Mass. – The 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams an early look at what they have as many fall leagues begin play. Teams played two games against teams they don’t normally play – namely, none against league opponents, though two leagues (Boston City and Hockomock) were very well-represented in the field.

There were a few blowouts along the way, but also a few dandies. Three teams had perfect days as well, and in all, some intriguing talent came to UMass-Boston.

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Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis – August 25, 2016

by - Published August 25, 2016 in Columns, Podcasts

Welcome to the latest edition of Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis. It’s been a while since we checked in, and we have plenty to talk about in this edition.

We begin with the recently concluded Olympics, where Team USA won another gold medal, finishing a phenomenal run for Carmelo Anthony and Mike Krzyzewski. We also look at where Team USA came from during the Krzyzewski era, as in the early part of the last decade Team USA had seen better days. At the time, even yours truly felt it was no accident.

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2015-16 American Athletic Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published August 24, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

After a good start in its first year of existence, the American Athletic Conference appears more and more to be a conference searching for an identity. On the hardwood, this became even more apparent as another year passed without a clear signature program, something that might surprise you at first.

You might look at the membership and think, The American has Cincinnati, Memphis and UConn, so they have their signature programs. They have SMU on the rise under Larry Brown, though we knew all along he wouldn’t be there for long given his age. But the bottom line tells a different story. Since UConn won the national championship in 2014, the Huskies have not been an elite program, missing the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and finishing in the middle of the pack in the conference this past season. Memphis has been trending downward, while Cincinnati has been a solid, consistent NCAA Tournament team but not one that has contended for a conference title. SMU has been on the rise, but they could not be a part of postseason play due to NCAA sanctions.

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2015-16 Big Sky Post-Mortem

by - Published August 22, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Big Sky puts out a good basketball product, at least from a competitive standpoint. Of all the mid-majors, this one might be hidden the most in terms of having so much working against it. The footprint is in the two western-most time zones and largely overshadowed not only by the Pac-12, but also the Mountain West and West Coast Conference. It has produced a few splashes over the years and little more, but within its own little world is a good product.

As tends to happen, some familiar faces were among those at the top. Weber State and Montana continue to be mainstays, as they are the two programs with the all-time best records both overall and in conference play among current members. In fact, they are the only current members whose Big Sky records are over .500 all-time. Save for 2014-15, when Weber State finished a surprising sixth, both teams have finished in the top three in the conference every year since 2008-09. The two have also combined for 19 conference titles, with no one else having more than four.

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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

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

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

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the great games Kentucky has been a part of lately. We go on to other ACC matters involving arch rivals, as well as some quick hits and a conference race that should be as good as expected.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a coaching legend reaching a milestone, the defending champs looking very good and continuing their winning ways close to home, and some off-court news during a light week of game action.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 by

Early season tournaments are the focus in this episode, with a look at how strong a few Big East teams are out of the gate and how strong the ACC could be. Plus one SEC team had a big week outside the scope of tournaments.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

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.