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Northeastern is very much in the driver’s seat in the CAA

by - Published January 28, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – Sunday night didn’t settle anything once and for all in the Colonial Athletic Association.  Each team still has ten games left before the conference tournament, and this is still almost certain to be a one-bid league when it comes to the NCAA Tournament.  But what Sunday did settle is that right now, Northeastern is very much the team to beat, as the Huskies moved to 8-0 in the conference by putting on a clinic to beat George Mason 71-51.

Northeastern is now three games ahead of George Mason and James Madison in the loss column in the CAA.  With a lot of time left, that’s a nice place to be since it gives them some margin for error.  What’s more, the Huskies are 4-0 against the projected top three teams in the preseason, having swept George Mason and won at Drexel and at Delaware.  They still have visits from Drexel and Delaware, and their only meeting with James Madison, tied with George Mason for second, is at home in about three weeks.

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Win over Richmond shows how UMass is adjusting after a key injury

by - Published January 28, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

AMHERST, Mass. – Perhaps the best way to sum up UMass’ 70-65 win over Richmond is that the Minutemen found a way to pull it out.  It won’t go down as a particularly memorable game for one reason or another, but it was still a win over a team that had some momentum, and along the way they did some of what they will have to do to win games the rest of the way.

UMass wasn’t a great jump shooting team, especially from long range, to begin with.  Now that Jesse Morgan is out for the year after suffering a torn ACL over two weeks ago, they have to change a little of how they attack other teams offensively.  They were 3-15 from long range against Richmond, but the 15 attempts is their second-lowest total of the season.  They have taken 33 shots from deep in two games this season.  Conversely, they have taken about 10 percent fewer free throws than three-pointers.

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Richmond can’t quite finish at UMass and keep the momentum going

by - Published January 28, 2013 in Columns

AMHERST, Mass. – For a lot of the second half on Sunday, it looked like Richmond might keep their momentum going.  It looked as though the Spiders were knocked back at first, but they rallied and by the second half seemed to be in control of the game at times.  Then they went cold, and as UMass rallied to take the game away by a 70-65 score, the Spiders’ momentum may have gone with it.

UMass scored the game’s first six points and ran out to a 12-3 lead before Richmond came to life.  They would get closer in the first half, but it wasn’t until the second half that their aggressiveness had come back fully, and that was when they took the lead and held on to it for a while.  They got a number of key stops and baskets to keep UMass at arm’s length.

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A look around the country – January 27, 2013

by - Published January 27, 2013 in Columns

Saturday had quite a bit going on among the 143 Division I games that were played. It continued a wild week that saw a number of ranked teams get knocked off and a few conference races get a little more interesting early on.

A few thoughts on some of the games and what has been happening around the country:

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Bucknell rebounds from a tough loss the way a contender should

by - Published January 27, 2013 in Columns

WORCESTER, Mass. – A few days earlier, Lehigh scored a big win at Bucknell minus one of the nation’s best players. It’s easy to come away from that feeling like the Mountain Hawks are the Patriot League favorite at this point, as winning at Bucknell is tough enough with a full squad. It’s still early, however, and the early signs are that Bucknell is responding the way they need to, including Saturday’s hard-fought 65-58 win at Holy Cross.

“I think they responded the way you would want a championship-caliber team to respond,” said head coach Dave Paulsen.

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New Hampshire is searching desperately for answers

by - Published January 25, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

DURHAM, N.H. – Bill Herrion summed it up rather succinctly in the middle of his post-game press conference.

“We’re rock bottom,” said the subdued New Hampshire head coach.  “I’m not going to lie to you, we’re rock bottom right now.”

Thursday night’s 51-40 loss to Hartford was the Wildcats’ ninth in a row.  It was another game where the offense struggled to get going, and once the defense had some trouble, the game was over.  In past years the Wildcats would defend well enough to stay in the game, and the offense had enough to win some games.  That’s not the case with this team, and that’s before we get to the fact that they don’t seem to play well together at the offensive end.

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Nwakamma carries Hartford out of losing streak

by - Published January 25, 2013 in Columns

DURHAM, N.H. – After an ugly first half for both teams, Hartford woke up in the second half.  In particular, Mark Nwakamma woke up, and he carried the Hawks to a 51-40 win at New Hampshire that stopped a three-game losing streak and also showed why he is this team’s most important player.

Hartford has been a streaky team since the calendar turned over, which isn’t entirely surprising given that this is still a young team.  They started by winning their first three America East games before dropping three straight.  A year after opening up 0-13, the Hawks have managed to make that three-game losing streak their longest of the season, evidence of the strides this team is making.  A lot of that starts with the clear star of Thursday night’s game.

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Win over William & Mary helps explain Northeastern’s 7-0 CAA start

by - Published January 24, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BOSTON – Northeastern didn’t win Wednesday night’s game as comfortably as they probably should have.  The Huskies had a 16-point lead early in the second half and appeared to be dominating William & Mary, which one might expect given that the Huskies came in undefeated in CAA play and the Tribe was a game out of the cellar and mired in a seven-game losing streak.  In the end, they won 95-91 in double overtime, and head coach Bill Coen breathing a sigh of relief tells you how much the bottom line is what counts.

“We were very, very fortunate tonight to come away with a victory,” said Coen.  “A lot of teams, after surrendering a 15-point halftime lead, wouldn’t be able to find a way to win.  It speaks to this group because they stuck together, they believed in one another.”

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William & Mary needs to carry its second half rally into future games

by - Published January 24, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – One thing is a given with Tony Shaver’s teams at William & Mary: they will never stop competing.  There were plenty of reasons one might see a team mail it in on Wednesday night, but the Tribe rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half to take CAA leader Northeastern to double overtime before succumbing 95-91.  It left Shaver hoping that more of the positives from the game carry over than the negatives, as there were some of both.

When you’ve lost seven games in a row, traveling to play the conference leader and the hottest team in the conference is probably not the best medicine.  Sometimes, it’s not your night, and that was pretty much the case on Wednesday for the first 25 minutes as Northeastern had a 46-30 lead and appeared to be in complete control of the game.  Northeastern got inside the zone often for baskets and good  chances they didn’t cash in.  They also got some easy baskets off turnovers, at times utilizing a light press.  It looked like a matchup of an undefeated conference leader and a team one game out of the bottom.

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Providence has some growing pains with more players available

by - Published January 23, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The theory went that once Providence got their entire roster together, the Friars could be pretty good.  They were winning, albeit against a light schedule, with six or seven players and having to start a walk-on once.  They were winning with some of them playing out of position, and one of the players they were without was their senior leader.

That hasn’t happened, however, as Tuesday’s 68-64 loss to Pittsburgh was their seventh in nine games after running out to a 8-2 start.  Instead, they have been humbled since getting their entire roster together.

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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.

Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

September 24, 2015 by


Army was on a nice rise with its core up until Patriot League play last season, when they came back to earth. Now with a core of seniors, can this team be the one that finally takes home a Patriot League title?

Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

August 27, 2015 by


There has been some notable downward momentum at Washington recently, but there is more hope all the time that it could be reversed, and soon.

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

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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.