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Kris Dunn’s return a very welcome sight

by - Published November 19, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – After the first media timeout of Monday night’s game, Providence fans got what was undoubtedly a very welcome sight.  They looked on the court and saw a white jersey with the number 3 on the floor.  That would be Kris Dunn, the sophomore point guard who might be the team’s most important player.

As if that wasn’t enough, Dunn didn’t just get in the game.  He played well, in fact, handing out eight assists with three turnovers in 21 minutes, and going 1-2 from the field.  He also had three steals.  His minutes were understandably limited since it was his first game back, and one had to figure a big reason to play on Monday was so that he would make his debut before the Paradise Jam, which is next for the Friars after their 70-49 win over Vermont.

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Will BC’s first win be the start of something?

by - Published November 18, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Let’s just put this right out there: Boston College needed Sunday’s game.  Badly.  They almost didn’t get it, and if that happened it wouldn’t be pretty.

They pulled out an 82-79 win over Florida Atlantic, and while the questions about this team will keep coming, the Eagles come away feeling like this is the beginning of better things.

“Now that we’ve got it in our back pocket, I think this is going to get the ball rolling a little bit and we’re going to start to play good basketball,” said sophomore guard Joe Rahon.

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UMass continues good start and shows some maturity

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

AMHERST, Mass. – With two good wins under their belt to start the season, UMass certainly didn’t need to nullify either of them with a bad loss. While they were never in real danger on Sunday, the Minutemen allowed Youngstown State to hang around long enough to make a few of the Mullins Center faithful sweat a little before pulling away 85-69.

By pulling away late, the story certainly changes from a slippage of momentum to how the team has shown some maturity in their first three games. Certainly, the Minutemen could be playing better, but the bottom line has Derek Kellogg happy while still looking for more out of this team.

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Youngstown State may finally be ready to turn a corner

by - Published November 17, 2013 in Columns

AMHERST, Mass. – Youngstown State couldn’t break through for a significant non-conference win on Sunday to follow their opening weekend. The Penguins came in at 4-0, winning the Kennesaw State Tournament last weekend, a good start. UMass was a little tougher than the first four teams they played, so the 85-69 setback isn’t shocking, but in all this is a program that might be ready to turn a corner after a lot of struggles.

“When your two seniors have nights like they had, it’s tough to be able to come in and beat a team as talented as they are,” said head coach Jerry Slocum. “I thought offensively, we had some open looks, we didn’t make them.”

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Bryant gets a signature home win

by - Published November 17, 2013 in Columns

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – It’s sure to get missed by many for a lot of reasons, but Bryant’s 87-64 win over Vermont on Saturday is a very impressive and noteworthy one for the program. While the Bulldogs didn’t exactly knock off a perennial Final Four team, they didn’t have to. They scored a significant home win for the first time in their Division I history.

In their Division I history, Bryant has scored some nice wins, with many of them coming in the breakthrough season they had last year. They beat the likes of Boston College, Lehigh and Robert Morris, but all of those wins came on the road. They had chances at home – in past years against Harvard and Lehigh most notably, as well as some of the Northeast Conference’s best – but had come up empty. They had an NEC Tournament game at home and hosted Richmond in the CBI, but lost. And while they beat Mount St. Mary’s, who got to the NEC title game, during the regular season, that came before the Mountaineers became the conference’s hottest team entering the tournament.

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Blowout win may be just what Providence needed

by - Published November 17, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Saturday was a little different for Providence. The final score against Marist – a 93-48 romp – would jump out at anyone all by itself, and while understandable it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Providence won their first two games by four points each. They pulled one out in overtime against Boston College in the opener, then survived against cross-town rival Brown, who beat them across town last year, a few nights later. They won the games despite shooting below 41 percent from the field and allowing opponents to shoot over 45 percent. The big stat is that they out-rebounded their two opponents by 14 per game.

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Rhode Island bounces back, though it took some time

by - Published November 16, 2013 in Columns

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – The road to wins and ultimately improvement will not be a smooth one for Rhode Island this season. It won’t be a success-only journey. The first week has shown that, and Friday night’s 72-59 win over North Carolina A&T was perhaps a microcosm of the journey thus far.

Earlier in the week, the Rams were blown out at SMU 89-58. It was quite a reversal of last season, when SMU came into town with a nice record against a weak schedule and were blown out of the Ryan Center. Although the Rams were now on the road, the personnel is much better, so one would have figured that if nothing else it would at least be a competitive game, although winning on the road would be tougher. SMU is also better this season, and the Mustangs ran out to a halftime lead and ran away in the second.

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Toledo wasn’t lacking confidence and should have even more now

by - Published November 15, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Tod Kowalczyk told his team that they were the better team.  He wasn’t crazy for saying so, although there are those who would say he was, but his Toledo team proved it on the court Thursday night when they walked out of Conte Forum with a 95-92 win over Boston College.

“I told the guys in a timeout, we’re the better team,” said Kowalczyk, now in his fourth season at the school.  “I thought we played that way coming down the stretch.”

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No one saw this coming for Boston College

by - Published November 15, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – This wasn’t how the season was supposed to start. The best case scenario was, obviously, 3-0. Given who they had to play in the first three games, 2-1 would look good, and 1-2 might seem acceptable. But 0-3?

That’s not what anyone had in mind with Boston College. That’s what the reality is after Thursday night’s 95-92 loss to Toledo at Conte Forum. And a subdued Steve Donahue sounds like someone who is going back to the drawing board.

“I’m obviously disappointed,” said Donahue. “We’ve got to go back to work tomorrow and figure it out.”

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New to Division I, UMass-Lowell gets blitzed in Boston

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

BOSTON – Welcome to Division I, UMass-Lowell.

Wednesday night’s 91-65 loss at Boston University was not the first game in Division I for the River Hawks. It was, in fact, their second. But they’re still new to this level, and Wednesday night’s game seemed over before it started with the way the early minutes went.

“They did ambush us,” said sophomore guard D.J. Mlachnik. “We knew that was coming.”

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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

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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

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Hoopville Podcasts

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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

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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

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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.

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Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

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2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

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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.