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In New Bedford, there’s another attempt to improve the game

by - Published November 13, 2013 in Columns

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – If you watch basketball these days at any level, you know that the game leaves something to be desired. Today’s players are more athletic but less skilled and the feel for the game is often lacking. Scoring has been down in recent years for a variety of reasons, to the point where the NCAA is now mandating that referees call the game tighter in part to increase scoring. The merits of that can and will be debated, but that’s not the only way to try to improve scoring.

Camps devote time to skill development, and plenty of players spend time with trainers. Nowadays trainers are seemingly a dime a dozen, and while most do a good job, the end product can still be improved.

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Harvard handles its personnel options just fine in opener

by - Published November 12, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – Now that the season is here, we got our first look at a question many wondered before the season: how would Harvard deal with its embarrassment of riches in personnel?  It was a question that made sense on the surface, but anyone who has been around the program knows it’s one that should have been easily answered long before the Crimson knocked off Holy Cross on Sunday at the Boston Garden.

The starting lineup might have surprised some, with both Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey on the floor at the opening tip.  With both having sat out last season, there is surely a rust factor of sorts, but one can figure they earned their spots.  More surprising, however, might have been the presence of junior Steve Moundou-Missi, only because he’s been so good coming off the bench and has no problem with doing so.  Head coach Tommy Amaker has said they refer to Moundou-Missi as their sixth starter.

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If Lalanne reaches his potential, UMass can as well

by - Published November 11, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – Make no mistake: Chaz Williams is the engine that makes UMass go. That’s been clear for his first two seasons in Amherst, and he reminded anyone who may have forgotten about that on Sunday. But if UMass is going to contend in the Atlantic 10, as many expect, they will need someone to complement him. The most likely candidate is Cady Lalanne, and that was evident in UMass’ 86-73 win over Boston College.

The Minutemen have a veteran group, and while expectations have always been high under Derek Kellogg, this year it makes sense. If you felt the team underachieved in recent years, that’s understandable to a degree since they have had talent. They have shown flashes of how good they can be, but haven’t put it all together just yet.

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Boston University shows something in win against Northeastern

by - Published November 11, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – A year older and wiser, and now in a new league, Boston University opened their season up by showing something on Sunday. Pulling out the 72-69 win over Northeastern was nice, especially since it’s the arch-rival from just across town. But how they won it is more meaningful than the win itself, especially if the Terriers are going to live up to their preseason billing as favorites in the Patriot League.

Sunday’s game is perhaps a prototype for the Terriers on the season. They know they’re a small team, especially on the perimeter, and they were up against a Northeastern team that went with a more traditional lineup of three frontcourt players than the three-guard lineup most college teams go with nowadays. It showed on the glass as Northeastern had a 41-30 edge, but thanks in part to the Terriers’ speed, the Huskies never took full advantage of the second chances with just a 10-6 edge in second-chance points. The Terriers also forced 17 turnovers and gave it away just ten times.

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New-look Fairfield shows promise in season opener

by - Published November 10, 2013 in Columns

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The box score will tell you Fairfield won their season opener by 13 points over Sacred Heart, 67-54 on Saturday. The box score will also tell you they did that despite 26 turnovers. But what the numbers won’t tell you is that the Stags have a lot of newness about them but will be a team worth watching this season and one the coaching staff is going to enjoy all the way around.

Last season’s team had an interesting personnel dynamic to it with the mix of seniors and freshmen. This season’s team is simply young, as they have just one senior and nine freshmen and sophomores. The interesting dynamic is that six players were in uniform last season and six weren’t. But that also means there’s a lot of opportunity to mold this group into something, and it’s clear that they’re already at work with that on one end of the floor.

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Sears wanted Yale to win and showed it emphatically

by - Published November 10, 2013 in Columns

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Justin Sears wanted this one. In case any of his teammates didn’t believe him, he was pretty demonstrative about it, too.

Sears didn’t just carry and will Yale to a 93-77 win over Central Connecticut on Saturday by being all over the floor, whether it was scoring or rebounding, or even a big block in transition with under four minutes left. While he did all of that – 26 points on 10-17 shooting, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots – that wasn’t all. He implored his teammates to get him the ball, emphatically signaling for it and even looking at a teammate right after he scored.

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Hartford shows a mixed bag of maturity in season opener

by - Published November 10, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Saturday’s season-opening 82-77 loss to Quinnipiac was a tale of two halves in more ways than one for Hartford. Although they had some good minutes in the bad half, it wasn’t enough to rally from a 15-point hole they dug themselves and left them heading home trying to look at the bright side from the good half.

The first half was everything Hartford could want. They took advantage of Quinnipiac looking listless at times, moving the ball well at the offensive end to get good shots. Yolonzo Moore looked like a sure all-conference point guard with 15 points on 6-8 shooting, including 3-4 from long range, and he led the good ball movement that produced those shots. Multiple players helped, and they look like a team with a lot of scoring options.

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For Quinnipiac, it was all about purpose in the opener

by - Published November 10, 2013 in Columns

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Tom Moore couldn’t find any other way to describe the difference between the two halves of his team’s 82-77 win over Hartford. The Quinnipiac mentor kept coming back to “purpose” as he tried to find another word for it to no avail.

“I don’t know that we could play with less purpose in the first half than we did,” said Moore. “I didn’t like anything about the first half. I can’t come up with a better word than an offensive purpose or defensive purpose.”

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BC didn’t quite play like the veteran team they are in loss

by - Published November 9, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Two seasons ago, the reasons behind Boston College’s 82-78 loss at Providence in overtime would have been understandable. At that time, the Eagles were one of the least experienced teams in the nation with a lot of growing pains to come. But this is a different time, as the Eagles are now a very experienced team for one with just one senior, and the Eagles’ lack of poise and lackluster execution on Friday night are more concerning.

Friday night is just one game, and it can very well be an aberration. They will have to make it so since they take on UMass on Sunday at the Boston Garden. But on Friday, it cost them a very winnable game that could have shelf life later in the season.

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Providence opens with a win they can be happy about

by - Published November 9, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – You can’t blame Providence if they’re feeling especially good after Friday night’s 82-78 overtime win over Boston College. It came at the end of what has not been a good stretch and with a lot of in-game adversity, and then they had to start with an opponent much like themselves in having something to prove in the opener.

To begin with, you wouldn’t have been crazy to think Boston College was the favorite despite being on the road. Providence entered the game fresh off the suspension of freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock being announced a couple of days earlier, and was already without injured point guard Kris Dunn, who might be the team’s most important player. Bryce Cotton was also limited coming into the game due to a sore knee, having not practiced for over a week. While BC wasn’t at full strength, either, as Lonnie Jackson and Dennis Clifford sat due to injury, Providence was clearly at a deficit personnel-wise.

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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

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

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

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 by

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

December 16, 2016 by

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

November 29, 2016 by

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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

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.