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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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Trip to Yale leads to just the non-conference finish Florida needed

by - Published January 7, 2013 in Columns

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Florida had just the ending to their non-conference slate they needed on Sunday. They took care of business with a 79-58 blowout of Yale on Sunday in a rare visit to a mid-major school. The score tells the story for the game but doesn’t tell why it looks good for Florida going forward.

No one expected this game to turn into an upset. This isn’t one of James Jones’ best teams at Yale, and the last few minutes of the first half and the opening minutes of the second half, where the Gators scored the first 12 points and gave Yale fits with their press, ensured that the outcome of this one would not be in doubt. Yale didn’t mount much of a rally after that, although they were able to score a little more.

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DePaul hopes to make a leap but must finish better than against Providence

by - Published January 7, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – If DePaul is going to make the kind of jump in the Big East they may be capable of this season, they’ll have to finish games better than they did on Saturday night at Providence.  The Blue Demons may have won the game, but they went from dominating the early minutes of the second half to a so-so stretch in the final minutes where at one point Providence got the lead back into single digits and made the final score of 83-73 look respectable.

The first half was a tight ballgame, played within a nine-point window until the final seconds.  Then it was all DePaul for the first ten minutes of the second half as they scored the first six points and eventually ran the lead as high as 22.  Then they relaxed, and after both teams were stuck for a while, Providence got a rally going to eventually get within single digits and make it a ballgame.

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NC State wins opener but doesn’t exactly look like an ACC favorite

by - Published January 6, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Whether or not North Carolina State ultimately meets the expectation many have of them as ACC favorites is an open question as conference play commences.  That remains unchanged after pulling out a 78-73 win at Boston College on Saturday, a game the Wolfpack could easily have let slip away.

“We didn’t play our best basketball, but at the same time we’re fortunate enough to get the win,” said senior Scott Wood, who hit a big three-pointer and then sealed the game with free throws.

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UNCW fighting turnovers, inconsistency

by - Published January 6, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – UNCW has been what you might expect a team with its personnel makeup to be: inconsistent.  They can look very good, like a team with a very high ceiling, and they can look bad.  This is evidenced by just six of their games being decided by ten points or less (they are 2-4 in such games).  Saturday’s 68-64 loss at Northeastern was one more like that, played within a ten-point window, and familiar foes played a role in the result for UNCW.

The Seahawks can hang their hat on Keith Rendleman.  That was a given before the season, and the senior forward has done nothing to disabuse anyone of that notion thus far, including his 13 points and 14 rebounds on Saturday.  Tanner Milson, who hit six three-pointers en route to 20 points, has also started every game except Saturday’s, but he has become one they can count on, and Cedric Williams seems to be getting there if he isn’t already.  Head coach Buzz Peterson also mentioned Craig Ponder as being in that category, but after that, the growing pains of this inexperienced group are clear.

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Defense carries Rhode Island until the offense wakes up

by - Published January 5, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – One thing we knew about Rhode Island from early on this season was that defense is going to be this team’s calling card. That’s a change from past years, when the “Runnin’ Rams” could score with anyone and run teams off the floor but were not much to write home about defensively. On Friday night, their defense came in handy, as offense was hard to come by for much of their 59-47 win over Brown.

The first half was about as ugly as it gets. Both teams shot below 26 percent from the field, and if you need proof that it wasn’t just good defense on the part of both teams responsible for those numbers, Brown was 4-11 from the foul line and URI was 2-5. The teams combined for 19 turnovers, and Rhode Island led by just a touchdown, 21-14.

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Once again, UNH starts off conference play in alarming fashion

by - Published January 3, 2013 in Columns

DURHAM, N.H. – You can’t blame Bill Herrion for being concerned. A couple of post-game comments in summing up what he sees as a major issue for his team tells the whole story.

“We’ve lost something,” said the Wildcat mentor. “What I’m trying to explain to you as a coach is scary.”

Wednesday night provided New Hampshire with an opportunity to get a jump on the competition in hosting the America East opener. It was against Vermont, a tough opponent to be sure, but it’s better to be at home than on the road. They have also played Vermont tough at home in recent years. After a 64-51 loss to the Catamounts that wasn’t even as close as the final score, though, one might wonder if there will be a case of deja vu in more ways than one.

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Growing pains come first for young Dartmouth

by - Published January 2, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – There is a lot of reason for optimism with Dartmouth, and two straight recruiting classes like the ones they have pulled in will make that happen. But what usually happens at first is youth being served, as well as growing pains, and it is quite clear that this group is going through that right now as they head home with a 2-9 record after Monday’s 79-58 loss at Boston College.

Dartmouth is young, with just one junior and a little-used senior on the roster. The core of this team for the present and foreseeable future will be the recruiting classes of the past two years. The young players come with plenty of talent, but rarely does that translate into instant success. With a challenging, road-heavy non-league slate, they have also been humbled in their introduction to college basketball. However, this team also shapes up as one that other Ivy League teams will not want to play in February. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them knock off a contending team at home sometime in the final weeks of the regular season.

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Boston College in a much better place entering ACC play

by - Published January 2, 2013 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Non-conference play is in the books for Boston College, and this time things are a little different than a year ago. That was to be expected given the youth of last season’s team, but at times in the first couple of months one might have had to wonder since the Eagles went 0-3 in the Charleston Classic, lost to Bryant and played poorly in losing to Harvard for the fifth year in a row. But the Eagles rebounded from that and will enter ACC play on a good note after Monday’s 79-58 blowout of Dartmouth.

A year ago as ACC play beckoned, Boston College was 5-9 and lost their last two games. This time around, the Eagles will enter ACC play with an 8-5 mark and a five-game winning streak. Granted, all of the wins came at home, and none were against teams that are a lock to be in the NCAA Tournament. In one they trailed by double digits for a significant period before rallying to win in overtime. Still, they are winning this time around and that has to make a big difference for them.

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Holy Cross could use some production on the wing

by - Published December 30, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – For much of the first half on Saturday, Holy Cross stayed with Boston College and led at times. The Crusaders had something to do with Boston College’s offense not looking good for most of the first ten minutes, although BC also looked like a team that had not played in a week and had a few days off from practice. But in the second half, Boston College was the more aggressive team and also shut down the Crusader offense for a big stretch, and in the 70-60 loss to the Eagles, some of Holy Cross’ offensive issues were there to see along with some hope.

Holy Cross isn’t without room for improvement defensively, and that was where Milan Brown got started after the game. In particular, the Crusader mentor noted that they knew how Boston College plays but didn’t defend quite according to the game plan, which was to make sure that BC would shoot more than drive to the basket and create. The Eagles were able to do that, however, and it was a key component of the win.

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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

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.

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.