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Boston College is growing up before our eyes

by - Published February 20, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – It was just the right situation.  Maryland, the clear favorite in the game, had just scored their signature win of the season over Duke.  Many teams have a letdown following such a big win unless they have had a number of them, and that’s not the case for this Maryland team as they have a dearth of such wins.  The Terrapins are also young.  Sure enough, it was also visible in Boston College’s 69-58 victory over Maryland on Tuesday night, but there was much more.

Boston College is growing up before our eyes.

“I don’t know if I’ve been more proud of my team than tonight,” said head coach Steve Donahue.  “I thought we just played really inspired basketball for 40 minutes.”

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Maryland just can’t keep momentum from the win over Duke

by - Published February 20, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Just as quickly as Maryland’s win over Duke on Saturday night vaulted them into the NCAA Tournament conversation, the Terrapins may have moved right back outside of it.  A lackluster effort on Tuesday night culminated in a 69-58 loss that can undo a lot of what Saturday’s win did for them.

“I just don’t get it,” said head coach Mark Turgeon.  “I just don’t understand – right here, it’s a big game, it’s not a hostile environment.  You’ve just got to want it.  It just seemed like we were standing in quicksand all night, standing and watching.”

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Motivated Boston University is on a roll in the final weeks

by - Published February 18, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – Likely in part because they are departing the conference after this season and thus not eligible for the America East tournament, Boston University has been flying under the radar. But make no mistake: the Terriers are a factor in the conference race, and look very much like a team motivated to win on their way out as they have won seven of eight after Sunday’s 68-56 win over New Hampshire.

“Every game from here on out, since conference play started, has been personal for us,” said freshman guard Maurice Watson, Jr. “We just feel like we’re getting the short end of the stick because we’re making a change. We want to leave them with a sour taste in their mouth when they play against the Terriers.”

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Providence is hitting their stride in February

by - Published February 17, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey wasted no time heaping praise on the team that beat his Fighting Irish convincingly on Saturday. He had barely sat down when he started.

“I think they are the most underrated team in our league, quite frankly,” said Brey. “They are really hard to guard. I think Ed’s done a fabulous job with them.”

Providence is clearly hitting its stride at long last, and Saturday was the best exhibition of that. After battling personnel issues through the early part of Big East play, this team finally seems to have settled into what they are. The Friars are healthy, have found their roles, they know what’s expected and they have found a rotation that is working. And it probably doesn’t hurt from an intangible standpoint that one of the players they were eager to get eligible is not with them now.

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Young Harvard takes the first Ivy League showdown

by - Published February 17, 2013 in Columns

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Round one of the Ivy League battle for the top went to the home team, as tends to happen. Harvard, a young team that has grown up a lot during the season, used a big second half to knock off Princeton 69-57 and go up by a game in the all-important loss column. While they played like a championship-caliber team, Harvard knows a lot of basketball is still left to be played. With that, as well as the past as a guide, Harvard will take nothing for granted right now.

Ivy League play is just past the halfway point, but already is looks like it will once again be a two-team race between the teams that battled in Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday night. Both entered the night two games up in the loss column over everyone else in the league. That’s not the case now and not just because of this game’s result, as Cornell also won to go to 5-3, a game behind Princeton in the loss column for second place. Cornell has come to life in Ivy League play after some struggles in non-league play, but there’s every reason to think this will come down to Harvard and Princeton.

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A look around the country – February 17, 2013

by - Published February 17, 2013 in Columns

Another Saturday full of college basketball games – over 140 of them in Division I – is in the books. We’re at the time of the year where unexpected results seem to multiply, as younger teams start to grow more and the sense of urgency is either there or it’s not and makes more of a difference. While a few conference races appear to be shaping up, some others are only looking more jumbled.

With all of that in mind, here are some thoughts coming from Saturday’s games.

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Loss at Providence an aberration for Notre Dame

by - Published February 16, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Throw out Saturday’s 71-54 loss at Providence for Notre Dame. It’s an aberration, and maybe it was something they were due for given what they’ve had to do lately. The Fighting Irish have now lost their last two games decided in regulation, but they have come a couple of games apart. And while they didn’t play well, head coach Mike Brey very accurately assessed that this outcome is more about the home team.

“It’s been a long week, but I’d say 95 percent of tonight was Providence’s performance, and they were fabulous,” said Brey.

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Allen tries to guide Penn through a lot of growing pains

by - Published February 16, 2013 in Columns

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Ivy League has two standard-bearing programs that have dominated the league for much of its existence. Penn and Princeton have combined to win 51 of the league’s 65 titles to date in men’s basketball, with Penn claiming 25 of them. The Quakers have often been right there with Princeton in the years the Tigers were champions as well, and they have done it with veteran and young teams alike. They seemed immune to having to rebuild like so many programs must.

So it would surely surprise someone to look up at the Ivy League standings and see Penn with a 5-18 overall record, not to mention 2-4 in the Ivy League. That’s where they stand after Friday night’s 73-54 loss at Harvard. The records have an explanation, but they would surely still surprise many.

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Delaware could finish this season like they did last season

by - Published February 14, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BOSTON – Last season, Delaware lost a heart-breaker at Northeastern, a game that they had in their grasp.  The Blue Hens were not deflated, however, although they lost their next game at Drexel, because then they didn’t lose again until the CAA Tournament.  This time around, the Blue Hens pulled out a dramatic 76-74 overtime win at Matthews Arena and hope a different game result is part of the same result after the game.

“I don’t know if that was exactly what I drew up in the huddle, but all’s well that ends well,” head coach Monte Ross said of the game-winning shot, a deep three-pointer by Jarvis Threatt with the shot clock running down.

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Holy Cross hopes end to losing streak is the start of something better

by - Published February 13, 2013 in Columns

WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross needed a win, simply put.  They came into Tuesday night having lost five in a row.  But more than that, they could have used a good, convincing win, especially since they at one point looked like they might have a chance at just that.  They’ll be content with their 66-57 win over Navy, but not content with how they had to hang on at the end.

“You definitely would rather win ugly than lose pretty,” said sophomore guard Justin Burrell.  “We’re definitely not content with the way we played in the second half.  We talked about some of the mistakes that we made.  We’re not satisfied with our play, so we’re going to continue to build off of that with these couple of days that we have in practice, and hopefully we can get better.”

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Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

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.

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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.

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

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.