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Offense, especially turnovers, a key concern for Villanova

by - Published January 20, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – There’s no question Villanova had their chances on Saturday afternoon at Providence. In fact, both teams did, since host Providence was 29-48 at the foul line. But Villanova gave the ball away too many times and gave up too many offensive rebounds in their 69-66 loss, their third straight after a seven-game winning streak.

Villanova has struggled on offense, with their 69 points per game being a deceiving statistic. The Wildcats barely top 40 percent from the field and give the ball away 16 times per game. The latter was a big reason they had a tough time on Saturday, as they turned it over 25 times against the Friars, including 17 in the second half. They shot just under 45 percent from the field, so when they held on to the ball they shot a reasonable percentage for a win.

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An unusual hero helps Bryant pull out another one

by - Published January 18, 2013 in Columns

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Tim O’Shea knows there’s a long way to go. But the Bryant mentor also has enough experience to know that a game like Thursday night’s 79-78 overtime win against Mount St. Mary’s could be a difference-maker for a team that may be having a magical season.

“These are the games that make your season – when you win the two-pointer at Boston College, the one-pointer at Lehigh, the one-point overtime game tonight,” said O’Shea. “That’s a powerful swing in your confidence and your momentum as a team.”

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Mount St. Mary’s shows a lot in tough loss at Bryant

by - Published January 18, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – With Mount St. Mary’s, you saw it all on Thursday night. You saw the reasons why the team is a few games below .500. You saw the stamp the new staff is putting on the program. You saw a team that has a new level of energy. You saw some hope for the future.

Unfortunately, you also saw a great effort come up short in a tough 79-78 overtime loss to Northeast Conference leader Bryant. You saw a loss that could have been a big win that might turn the season in a different direction.

New head coach Jamion Christian has started to get some life in the program again. The Mount was one of the top teams in the NEC during much of Milan Brown’s tenure following legendary coach Jim Phelan. Christian is an alum of the school, he’s personable and knows the school and is doing all he can to get it going again. It won’t happen right away, but his team almost got a big boost on Thursday night.

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Miami continues to win without Johnson during a tough stretch

by - Published January 17, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Miami continued to do what they have done since Reggie Johnson fractured his left thumb in practice over three weeks ago. They had other players come up big, they survived a close call, and most of all, they won. Their 60-59 win at Boston College wasn’t very smooth or memorable, but it is a win and it is big for this team for multiple reasons.

Since Johnson went out, Kenny Kadji has taken his play to another level and Julian Gamble has been the biggest beneficiary of his minutes. Gamble has made the most of the extra minutes, although he wasn’t a big factor on Wednesday night as the Hurricanes went smaller at times to guard the Eagles’ lineup with four perimeter players. They’ve tried to get something out of both Raphael Akpejiori and freshman Tonye Jekiri as well, though neither has distinguished himself just yet as an offensive factor.

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Peyton Siva makes a deep and talented Louisville team go

by - Published January 15, 2013 in Columns

HARTFORD, Conn. – Rick Pitino said it all early in his post-game press conference about the biggest factor in his team’s 73-58 win at Connecticut on Monday night.

“We did a good job of weathering a Peyton Siva storm with him out,” the Louisville mentor said. “Once he came back and we weathered that storm, we were able to play much better defense and much better offense.”

The first half of Monday night’s game wasn’t quite what Pitino wanted, one figures. Siva sat about four minutes in with early foul trouble, and while Russ Smith was scoring and Gorgui Dieng was rebounding, they were alone. Pretty much no other Cardinal was much of a factor, especially offensively, even though Wayne Blackshear had seven points. Chane Behanan was on a milk carton.

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Charlotte uses balance and defense to keep winning

by - Published January 13, 2013 in Columns

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Charlotte was one team in the Atlantic 10 that was a little tough to project coming into conference play. They had a nice non-conference run, winning the Great Alaska Shootout as part of a nine-game winning streak to open the season. They have opened Atlantic 10 play with two straight wins, the latest a 58-50 win at Rhode Island on Saturday that showed how this team will win some games this season.

Charlotte didn’t play the toughest non-conference schedule around, but they won most of their games and some were against good teams that aren’t NCAA Tournament locks. Their only losses came at Miami and at home to Florida State. While there’s no shame in losing to those two, they also represent missed opportunities for significant wins for their NCAA Tournament resume. They also played just two true road games, although the wins in Alaska, much as none were against powerhouses, have some value as well.

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Even on a good offensive night, Quinnipiac’s offense a key reason for a loss

by - Published January 11, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – If you looked at the box score, your first thought is probably that there wasn’t much defense played. You would be correct. You might also think it wasn’t a bad night for the losing team, a team that has been offensively challenged this season. But there’s more than just the reality of not desiring moral victories that would explain why the numbers don’t tell the whole story for Quinnipiac in their 103-95 loss at Bryant on Thursday night.

There’s the reality of how they got to a couple of those numbers and how the game was decided in the second half. In sum, the night was a good one for a team whose confidence at the offensive end has been flagging at times. But that wasn’t all there is to it, and in the end some old demons came into play.

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Bryant keeps setting records and accomplishing program firsts in Division I

by - Published January 11, 2013 in Columns

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – There are more indications all the time of how far Bryant has come since its Division I beginning as plenty of program” firsts” in the Division I era keep coming. That continued on Thursday night in the Bulldogs’ 103-95 win over Quinnipiac in their return home after three big road wins.

Let’s begin with the program firsts and records on the night. The team reached 100 points for the first time in its Division I history, set a Division I program record with their fifth straight win and a Division I record for wins in a season as it was their tenth win of the season. They also reached three wins in Northeast Conference play faster than any other season, although they were close two seasons ago when they did it in four games.

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Win at Providence an unusual win of sorts for Syracuse

by - Published January 10, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A coach doesn’t win over 900 games, as Jim Boeheim has, in just one fashion.  Along the way there are wins of all kinds, including ones that are a little unusual.  There are also ones without big-time stars, although those tend to be less frequent.  Wednesday night’s 72-66 win by Syracuse at Providence was both of those.

It certainly wasn’t the Orange’s best offensive outing of the season.  They struggled for a lot of the night, especially from deep as they were just 3-21 on three-pointers.  Syracuse isn’t a team likely to light it up from long range as it is, but even for this team that was a bad game.  A lot of it came from normally reliable players like Brandon Triche (2-10 from the field, including 0-4 from long range) and James Southerland (5-16, 1-8).

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Niagara shows they have plenty of room for growth in tough loss at Brown

by - Published January 9, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Niagara had a chance for a little more momentum heading into the meat of MAAC play. Already 3-1 in early conference games, the Purple Eagles had a chance to get a road win, something they’ve struggled to achieve this season. They looked like they might get it early, and still had a chance.

“I said to the guys going into overtime, this is what we need – a chance to win on the road,” head coach Joe Mihalich said.

Instead, they left Providence with a heart-breaking 75-74 loss in overtime.

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Your Phil of Hoops

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by


Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by


There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by


Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

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

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.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Sunday notes

April 29, 2015 by


Sunday was the conclusion of the adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis, and we take a look at some of the players who shined on a day that saw a few games that weren’t very competitive.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Saturday notes

April 28, 2015 by


Saturday was a full day of action in the adidas Gauntlet near Indianapolis, and here’s a look at some of the talent that stood out on the day as college coaches checked out the action.