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Charlotte uses balance and defense to keep winning

by - Published January 13, 2013 in Columns

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Charlotte was one team in the Atlantic 10 that was a little tough to project coming into conference play. They had a nice non-conference run, winning the Great Alaska Shootout as part of a nine-game winning streak to open the season. They have opened Atlantic 10 play with two straight wins, the latest a 58-50 win at Rhode Island on Saturday that showed how this team will win some games this season.

Charlotte didn’t play the toughest non-conference schedule around, but they won most of their games and some were against good teams that aren’t NCAA Tournament locks. Their only losses came at Miami and at home to Florida State. While there’s no shame in losing to those two, they also represent missed opportunities for significant wins for their NCAA Tournament resume. They also played just two true road games, although the wins in Alaska, much as none were against powerhouses, have some value as well.

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Even on a good offensive night, Quinnipiac’s offense a key reason for a loss

by - Published January 11, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – If you looked at the box score, your first thought is probably that there wasn’t much defense played. You would be correct. You might also think it wasn’t a bad night for the losing team, a team that has been offensively challenged this season. But there’s more than just the reality of not desiring moral victories that would explain why the numbers don’t tell the whole story for Quinnipiac in their 103-95 loss at Bryant on Thursday night.

There’s the reality of how they got to a couple of those numbers and how the game was decided in the second half. In sum, the night was a good one for a team whose confidence at the offensive end has been flagging at times. But that wasn’t all there is to it, and in the end some old demons came into play.

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Bryant keeps setting records and accomplishing program firsts in Division I

by - Published January 11, 2013 in Columns

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – There are more indications all the time of how far Bryant has come since its Division I beginning as plenty of program” firsts” in the Division I era keep coming. That continued on Thursday night in the Bulldogs’ 103-95 win over Quinnipiac in their return home after three big road wins.

Let’s begin with the program firsts and records on the night. The team reached 100 points for the first time in its Division I history, set a Division I program record with their fifth straight win and a Division I record for wins in a season as it was their tenth win of the season. They also reached three wins in Northeast Conference play faster than any other season, although they were close two seasons ago when they did it in four games.

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Win at Providence an unusual win of sorts for Syracuse

by - Published January 10, 2013 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A coach doesn’t win over 900 games, as Jim Boeheim has, in just one fashion.  Along the way there are wins of all kinds, including ones that are a little unusual.  There are also ones without big-time stars, although those tend to be less frequent.  Wednesday night’s 72-66 win by Syracuse at Providence was both of those.

It certainly wasn’t the Orange’s best offensive outing of the season.  They struggled for a lot of the night, especially from deep as they were just 3-21 on three-pointers.  Syracuse isn’t a team likely to light it up from long range as it is, but even for this team that was a bad game.  A lot of it came from normally reliable players like Brandon Triche (2-10 from the field, including 0-4 from long range) and James Southerland (5-16, 1-8).

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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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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

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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.