Home » » Recent Articles:

Stony Brook takes two on the road to stay on top

by - Published February 7, 2012 in Columns
stonybrook

DURHAM, N.H. – Mission accomplished. That was the basic idea Steve Pikiell had after his veteran Stony Brook team took both ends of a road trip, the second one coming as they managed to grind out a 57-48 win at New Hampshire on Monday night. It was the latest evidence that his team is playing like a veteran group, and one that might be able to deliver a conference title two years after a regular season title didn’t lead to the NCAA Tournament.

“We needed both games on this trip, so the objective was done,” said the Stony Brook head coach.

… Continue Reading

A much-needed road win for West Virginia

by - Published February 6, 2012 in Columns
westvirginia

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – It might not have been apparent for much of the game, but West Virginia needed a win on Sunday afternoon. The Mountaineers got it, but not without some consternation as they trailed for much of the game and needed overtime for an 87-84 win over host Providence.

“We needed this bad,” said head coach Bob Huggins. “We haven’t been nearly as good on the road as we have in the past. I needed it for my sanity.”

… Continue Reading

Notre Dame reminds us that we don’t play the games on paper

by - Published February 5, 2012 in Full Court Sprints
hoopguy-orange

We always talk about how the games aren’t played on paper when looking at teams that don’t do what we expect. It’s a cliché, and it sticks around because everyone loves to predict how things will turn out in sports, no matter how wrong we could wind up being. All the while, the teams that end up better than we project can just laugh at us all they want.

Enter the 2011-12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame lost a great deal from last season’s team that entered the month of March playing about as well as any team in the country. Gone from that team are Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough and important role players Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott, the latter a big defensive leader for that team and a surprise early defection. Already, projections for this team were going to be that they were unlikely to contend for the top of the Big East. When they went 0-2 in Kansas City, including an 87-58 thrashing at the hands of Missouri, it looked like they would be who many thought they would be.

That wasn’t all. The Fighting Irish were not certain to have Tim Abromaitis back, as he played in two exhibition games in the 2008-09 season where he redshirted. But the NCAA granted him this year, so that helped as he was an experienced player and was second on the team in scoring last season. Then in late November, he tore the ACL in his right knee in practice, putting him out for the season.

At that point, the outlook was decidedly not good. But no one told head coach Mike Brey and his team that, and after Saturday’s convincing 76-59 win over Marquette, the Fighting Irish are alone in fourth place in the Big East.

“From the start of the season, no one thought we would be here,” said sophomore point guard Eric Atkins.

Notre Dame hasn’t compiled its record by beating up on the bottom feeders of the conference. Along the way, they have knocked off Louisville, Seton Hall and Connecticut on the road, and now Syracuse and Marquette at home.

“I am very proud of my group,” said Brey, who at this point looks like the runaway Coach of the Year in the Big East, if not nationally. “I told them in one of the final media timeouts that I felt like I was coaching men today. Last year’s team was men. That had a look of more than one fifth year senior on the court. I am thrilled where we are.”

Notre Dame can only get better given that this is a young team with a lot of players who are just finding themselves. Scott Martin is the only other senior besides Abromaitis on the team, while the emerging perimeter unit of Atkins, Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton are sophomore, sophomore and freshman respectively. Connaughton wasn’t expected to play much, but he scored 21 points on Saturday and now starts on the hardwood as well as the mound (the San Diego Padres drafted him last year).

“Right now, we’re really confident that we can beat any team – we can play with any team,” said Grant. “Our team confidence is really high right now, and I’d like to keep it that way because we are playing really well.”

That’s one thing no one can doubt at this point. The Irish have proven that to this point, and as a more confident team they will be even tougher to beat.

 

We take you coast to coast with news from around the college basketball nation.

Arizona had a big weekend, sweeping their trip to northern California after a 56-43 win at Stanford on Saturday. The Wildcats may be starting to come alive at a good time.

Syracuse got Fab Melo back for Saturday’s game, and they rolled to a 95-70 blowout win at St. John’s. The win was the 879th in Jim Boeheim’s career, tying him with Dean Smith for third on the all-time list.

Seton Hall’s struggles continued as Connecticut annihilated them 69-46 in Hartford.

Kentucky had an easy time at South Carolina, committing just three turnovers in their blowout win.

The Big 12 gets a little more interesting at Missouri rallied to knock off Kansas in a big rivalry showdown. Both teams are now 8-2 in conference play.

Who’s on top of the ACC? No, not Duke, although the Blue Devils will be tied if they beat Miami on Sunday. North Carolina is in a tie after a big 83-74 win at Maryland to move into a tie for that spot. The team they are tied with is Florida State, as the Seminoles are 7-1 after a 58-55 win over Virginia.

Temple is now alone in first place in the Atlantic 10 after a 73-56 win at Rhode Island, combined with Saint Joseph’s knocking off La Salle earlier in the day. Temple’s perimeter trio continues to be the driving force for this team.

Wyoming knocked off road-weary UNLV in a close one after the Runnin’ Rebels ran into snow-related travel delays en route to Laramie.

Northern Iowa beat Creighton on a buzzer-beater, right after Creighton had tied it on a big shot.

Iona won a big showdown against Manhattan for the lead in the MAAC.

George Mason grabbed a share of the lead in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 54-50 win over Old Dominion in a first-place showdown. The Patriots are joined by VCU, 59-56 winners over Northeastern, and Drexel, 65-57 winners at Towson, at 11-2 in the conference.

Mississippi Valley State is now 10-0 in the SWAC and two games ahead in the standings, after knocking off Alabama State.

 

Sunday’s key matchups:

  • Michigan at Michigan State
  • Miami at Duke
  • Northwestern at Illinois
  • Stephen F. Austin at McNeese State
  • The biggest one of all: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI

Perimeter trio a driving force behind Temple’s success

by - Published February 5, 2012 in Columns
temple

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Temple has rode a six-game winning streak to the top of the Atlantic 10 after Saturday’s 73-56 win at Rhode Island. While it’s been a balanced effort for the Owls to get to this point, there’s no question that their perimeter trio of Ramone Moore, Khalif Wyatt and Juan Fernandez is the driving force behind this team’s success.

The Owls’ perimeter trio asserted themselves right out of the gates on Saturday, scoring the game’s first eight points on two three-pointers and a steal and layup by Moore, who leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring (Wyatt is second in that category). That helped them build a 16-5 lead before the first media timeout and later a 16-point lead in the half.

… Continue Reading

Cornell progresses through offensive struggles

by - Published February 4, 2012 in Columns
cornell

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A road win continues to elude Cornell this season, the latest being a 71-60 setback at Ivy League-leading Harvard on Friday night. It was a game that looked like a microcosm of the team’s season in several respects.

Cornell has struggled offensively all year, and that’s the clearest indication that this isn’t the Big Red of a couple of years ago. That was abundantly clear in the first half on Friday, as they struggled to get anything going and committed several turnovers that were of the costly variety. They weren’t much better in the second half, as their better shooting percentage was masked by more turnovers as well as a few baskets with the outcome not in doubt that made the score closer than it looked.

… Continue Reading

Northeastern is not yet a contender in the CAA

by - Published February 3, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
northeastern

BOSTON – Wednesday night was an opportunity for Northeastern to show something. One way or another, we would find out if this Husky team is a contender or pretender at the moment, as they hosted Drexel. And after a 61-53 loss, one thing is clear: this team is not a contender right now in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Northeastern is now 7-5 in CAA play, which is a respectable mark. But take a closer look, and one notices problems. One is that they are now three games out of fourth place, which means they need some help if they are to ultimately get a bye in the conference tournament next month. That has meant everything over the years, and it’s very difficult to win four games in four days. Perhaps more importantly, the Huskies have put that record together only against the teams they “should” beat. The Huskies are 0-4 against the teams that are ahead of them in the standings.

… Continue Reading

Drexel rounds into form among the CAA’s best teams

by - Published February 2, 2012 in Columns
drexel

BOSTON – Once Drexel regained the lead in the second half of Wednesday night’s game at Northeastern, the Dragons were well on their way to another win. They closed out the Huskies in a fashion that one would expect of a conference contender, and it’s the latest example of the Dragons looking like the team they were predicted to be in the preseason.

Northeastern took an early 29-27 lead in the second half, which was their first lead since the first minute of the game. But that lead was short-lived, and once Drexel went up 36-31 on a layup by Frantz Massenat, the Huskies were never within one possession the rest of the way.

… Continue Reading

Miami could make moves in the ACC

by - Published January 30, 2012 in Columns
miami

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Miami couldn’t seem to shake Boston College no matter what they did. They led often, but the game was played within a ten-point window even as the Hurricanes were doing a better job of defending the young Eagles as the game wore on. Suddenly, with the game tied at 49, all that changed, as the Hurricanes went on a 14-0 run and turned what was a close game into a 76-54 rout. It all went right with what head coach Jim Larranaga has preached to this team.

“I thought our guys stayed very poised,” said Larranaga, currently in his first season at the school. “Early in the season, we tended to go our own way and tried to do it on our own. Tonight, I thought we stuck with some things and were able to fight through it, and our defense got better as the game progressed. They were at 49 for a long time.”

… Continue Reading

Harvard asserts itself in the opening weekend of Ivy League play

by - Published January 29, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
harvard

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The first full weekend of Ivy League play is in the books, and one thing that wasn’t too surprising happened: the league favorites asserted themselves as just that. Harvard looked like a team on a mission, and coming away with two convincing road wins is what was desired.

“I think it’s a team on a mission this year,” said junior Kyle Casey, who led Harvard with 20 points and eight rebounds in Saturday’s 68-59 win at Brown. “Last year, we got down early, and being a veteran team, we learned from those experiences and tried to nip them in the bud.”

… Continue Reading

Hofstra just can’t break through in close CAA games

by - Published January 29, 2012 in Columns
hofstra

BOSTON – What more was there for Mo Cassara to say? Saturday’s 58-51 loss at Northeastern was a case of déjà vu for Hofstra, as they’ve seen this one before.

“We continue to hang around and be in games and have opportunities,” said the Hofstra mentor.

… Continue Reading

Advertisement

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.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.

We cannot load blog data at this time.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by

vermontacademy

Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by

mastersschool

The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by

riversschool

The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.

Tabor Academy looks to have more depth this time around

October 13, 2014 by

taboracademy

Tabor Academy will once again be headlined by a frontcourt player. This time around, though, the Seawolves appear to have a deeper support cast than in recent years.