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St. Francis Brooklyn suddenly a place of potential

by - Published December 9, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
stfrancis-ny

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – St. Francis College is not a school that might naturally jump out at the casual fan as a place of potential. While it is located in Brooklyn, where there is in theory a natural recruiting base, it doesn’t seem to have much going for it at first glance. The home gym has been widely panned as not even being a bandbox, although teams in their conference don’t need to have big, state-of-the-art facilities and probably can’t support such a facility financially. In other words, it would seem to be a difficult place to win – and as such it’s easy to forget that the school actually has a pretty rich history in Division I basketball.

But now in his third season, Glenn Braica is trying to change all of that, and with some early results, can see potential perhaps even better than when he left St. John’s to take the job. The Terriers are one of five member schools that have never made the NCAA Tournament despite being members of Division I since the modern re-classification in 1948.

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Connecticut will go as far as Napier, backcourt will take them

by - Published December 9, 2012 in Columns
connecticut

STORRS, Conn. – There’s no question Connecticut will ride their guards as much as possible this season. Given their personnel, that’s about their only choice as they are far deeper on the perimeter than up front and more talented there. It’s also where their most natural leaders are, in particular the one who didn’t score for much of Friday’s 57-49 win over Harvard largely because he was busy helping others do that.

The easy pick as the star on Friday night would be DeAndre Daniels. The sophomore forward, a talent who simply got buried behind more experienced players a year ago, had a long-awaited breakout game with 23 points on 9-12 shooting. He had a career high by halftime, as he scored 15 points in the opening frame, and if he can do that more, it would be a big development.

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Providence starts out 7-2, but not the way some might have expected

by - Published December 8, 2012 in Columns
providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – If you envisioned Providence being 7-2 as they head into a break for final exams, you could easily have been right. There are plenty of games on the schedule to date that were winnable ones. But chances are, you didn’t think they would look the way they have thus far. You probably figured they would have a few more than five scholarship players healthy to go. After Thursday night’s 72-57 win over arch-rival Rhode Island, the Friars are defying logic, and one wonders if they have to continue it and for how long.

Before the season, freshman Kris Dunn was known to be out for about a month or so of games. Then Ricardo Ledo was deemed a partial qualifier by the NCAA, meaning he would sit this year aside from practice. It was once the season came that it got out of hand. First, it was Vincent Council, the senior point guard who was the anchor of the team, going down with a hamstring injury that will ultimately shelve him for about six weeks. Bryce Cotton has played hurt at times, including Thursday night when he was clearly limited from a knee injury suffered the prior game.

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Turnovers become a new issue for Rhode Island against Providence

by - Published December 7, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
rhodeisland

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Last year, Rhode Island looked like they may have hit rock bottom when they played arch-rival Providence. In an 80-61 loss, the Rams were not very competitive and the game didn’t seem as close as the final score. This time around, the Rams looked better and were more competitive, but they lost to a Providence team that suited up six scholarship players, one of whom had a very gimpy knee. The Rams also looked like a team that has notable shortcomings and struggles.

Turnovers haven’t been a big problem all season, but they certainly were on Thursday night, especially in a key stretch. URI was staying close, but inside of ten minutes Providence scored ten unanswered points to open up a 52-39 lead. The Rams finished the night with a season-high 20 turnovers.

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History doesn’t repeat itself for Yale to start big road stretch

by - Published December 6, 2012 in Columns
yale

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – For a while, it looked like Wednesday night could be a bad case of deja vu for Yale. The second half basically belonged to them for stretches, and they had the game’s biggest lead at 60-51 with just over seven minutes to play. Before long, though, that lead was gone, the victim of an 11-2 run by Bryant. History might repeat itself in a milder – but no less heart-breaking – fashion.

Then came the stickback. It was just in time. It was by a freshman. Most of all, it meant a 64-62 win for Yale, and one they could use given what lies ahead.

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Kellogg hopes to get UMass playing his way after final exams

by - Published December 5, 2012 in Columns
umass

BOSTON – Final exams may have arrived at just the right time for UMass. The Minutemen are off for 10 days before their next game, and there is plenty to work on in between finishing the semester if Tuesday night’s 72-66 win at Northeastern is any indication. Most of it falls under the umbrella of playing the way head coach Derek Kellogg wants this team to play, and Tuesday night’s game may be a microcosm of that.

In each of their first three wins, UMass needed a buzzer-beater or a late shot to win it. In other words, they had not comfortably beat an opponent yet, or even won a game by a few more points that they sealed with free throws until Tuesday. And on Tuesday, they needed a late run after the final media timeout to take the game over, highlighted by a play that Kellogg would like to see a little more of.

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2012 Hoop Mountain Prep Classic – Sunday notes

by - Published December 3, 2012 in Columns
author_kasiecki

BARRINGTON, R.I. – St. Andrew’s was the destination on Sunday for the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic.  The third and final day of the event had some good matchups in store among the seven games on the slate, and two games were one-possession affairs while another was close to that.  A couple of them were big upset bids in matchups of teams from NEPSAC Class AAA and Class AA, and the day ended with a blowout that might surprise some people.

 

Sunday Scoreboard

Lee (ME) Academy 79, Phoenixville (PA) Mont Clare Academy 66
New Hampton (NH) School 60, Saxtons River (VT) Vermont Academy 58
Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy 84, Worcester (MA) Academy 82
Tilton (NH) School 89, North Bridgton (ME) Bridgton Academy 74
Ashburnham (MA) Cushing Academy 61, Wilbraham (MA) Wilbraham & Monson Academy 41
Barrington (RI) St. Andrew’s School 77, Salisbury (CT) School 73
Putnam (CT) Science Academy 87, Fitchburgh (MA) Notre Dame Prep 66

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Bryant beats Army and a virus in front of a big crowd

by - Published December 3, 2012 in Columns
bryant

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Tim O’Shea described it quite simply after his team scored their fourth straight win on Saturday.  They didn’t just beat Army 70-59; they beat another opponent for the first time, and did so in a home gym that looked nothing like it had before in the program’s Division I history.

“It builds,” said the Bryant mentor.  “We won today with a bunch of guys sick.”

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Mississippi State trying to manage through youth and injuries in Ray’s first season

by - Published December 1, 2012 in Columns
mississippistate

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – At times, one must wonder if Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray has asked himself, “What have I gotten myself into?” In fact, he may have had one of those moments about five minutes into the second half of Saturday’s 73-63 loss at Providence, when his team had a 3-on-1 break and ended up with a blocked shot and turnover out of it.

To be fair to the first-year head coach, this isn’t the first time a new head coach has come into an obvious rebuilding situation, and one where the first year isn’t pretty. He will have time to get the program rolling again. But the young season thus far would appear to be more than a little taxing on the soul, although Ray says otherwise.

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For Brown, having an identity may make a big difference

by - Published November 30, 2012 in Columns
brown

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – All things considered, Brown could certainly be worse off than their 3-3 record after Thursday night’s 69-56 win over Sacred Heart, the first home win for new head coach Mike Martin.  It wasn’t a very memorable win since the Pioneers were short-handed, but so were the Bears, and the game had to be played nonetheless.  It was, however, an impressive show of what this team might be this season.

Brown shot just 35 percent from the field, including 10-36 from long range.  Those aren’t numbers Martin is hoping to see often, and few coaches would feel like their team can win a lot of games with those numbers.  In part, the large number of three-point attempts can be attributed to Sacred Heart playing a lot of zone defense, but the Bears now have low-post scoring threats that should allow them to not have to live and die by the jump shot.

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Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

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.

It didn’t take Larry Brown long to change SMU

March 15, 2015 by

smu

Larry Brown won’t be the head coach at SMU forever. As such, it’s a good thing he has already turned the program into one that can get better players and possibly win championships.

History shows the challenge ahead of East Carolina

March 14, 2015 by

eastcarolina

East Carolina’s first season in the American Athletic Conference is complete. With that, the challenge they face as shown by their history looks clear, and they may have just the right coach to navigate it.

Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

Be sure to listen 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.

The show will air on WNYM AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on Selection Sunday, then from 5-7 p.m. each Sunday up to the Final Four. Check here every Sunday evening starting with Selection Sunday, March 15, for a link to the live stream.

Coming up soon: archives of this year's shows.

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.

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Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.