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Dartmouth is on the cusp of being relevant again

by - Published January 28, 2012 in Columns
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – It’s been a while since Dartmouth was really relevant in the Ivy League. While a recent Player of the Year was a member of the Big Green, Alex Barnett did so on a team that tied for fourth place and had an overall 9-19 record, which doesn’t happen often in an eight-team league. Although Dartmouth is off to an 0-3 start in Ivy League play, there is reason to believe that they will be relevant again before long.

Dartmouth gave Harvard a battle for much of the game last month when they visited Cambridge for the league opener. For years while they have struggled, they have been known for giving even the best teams a run for their money in Hanover. Thus far, they are 0-3 in the early going after dropping a 66-59 decision at Brown on Friday night, and it’s a game they could have had. The bottom line isn’t going to show it, but the future is looking bright for this team.

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Bryant is better than season of tough luck might indicate

by - Published January 27, 2012 in Columns
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SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant’s season may be best symbolized by a play in the last minute of Thursday night’s 66-63 loss to Fairleigh Dickinson. Down 62-58, Frankie Dobbs made a great hesitation move and drove uncontested to the basket for a layup that rolled out. Despite that, Bryant still had a chance late, but came out on the losing end.

The Bulldogs’ 2-19 record is a little deceptive. While they have been blown out a few times, with four losses by 25 points or more, they have had their share of close games like Thursday night. The Bulldogs are 2-6 in games decided by single digits and 1-4 in games decided by five points or less. Those are stats that can sometimes determine the course of a season for a team.

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Quick Hitters – January 27, 2012

by - Published January 27, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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Quick hitters as we get ready for the weekend:

 

  • Boston University was not rebounding well in the early portion of their seven-game winning streak. But in the last two games, the Terriers have dominated the glass, and keeping that up will only help. Granted, it came against two of the worst teams in the conference, but one of them (UMBC) is normally a decent team on the glass. Part of that has come from an emphasis on rebounding of late, but not just at the defensive end. … Continue Reading

After tough loss at Northeastern, Delaware has to bounce back again

by - Published January 26, 2012 in Columns
delaware

BOSTON – When Delaware has been on the wrong end of a final score this season, most of the time it has been a game like Wednesday night’s 62-61 loss at Northeastern. It’s tough because they’ve been so close, but the good thing is that they have bounced back. This time around, bouncing back won’t be easy, although there’s reason to believe they’ll do it.

In the final minutes of Wednesday night’s loss, the Blue Hens looked like they would be able to get a big win. While Northeastern isn’t a conference leader, this game was on the road and the Blue Hens came in looking for their first three-game winning streak of the season. They have won two straight on three occasions, but you get the sense that this team could really get a burst of confidence if they put together a three-game winning streak that could turn into more.

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UMBC is simply not in a good place right now

by - Published January 25, 2012 in Columns
umbc

BOSTON – Just after the calendar turned over to 2012, UMBC seemed to have a new beginning of sorts. Their non-conference struggles meant nothing after a trip to New Hampshire led to a conference-opening win and an early lead in America East. It didn’t matter that they weren’t close in many games; for the moment, they were tied atop their conference and that was all that mattered. It was only one game, but perhaps that would help their confidence and ultimately their fortunes.

Three weeks later, the Retrievers are nowhere near the top of the conference, and look like a team that is going nowhere fast. Tuesday night’s 83-48 thrashing at Boston University might be as illustrative as anything of where this team is and how far they have fallen from their conference championship days of a few years earlier.

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Quinnipiac finally pulls one out to close road swing

by - Published January 22, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
quinnipiac

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Quinnipiac can now head home with the hope that their last game in the current road stretch does more for them than add one into the left-hand column. The Bobcats had a few tough games recently, and had another one in which they managed to pull out a 78-71 win in overtime at Bryant on Saturday.

“I can’t stress enough how much we needed it, because this team is young,” head coach Tom Moore said.

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Three coaching legends lose on the same day

by - Published January 22, 2012 in Full Court Sprints
hoopguy-orange

It’s not every day that three of the greatest coaches ever lose a game on the same day. Yet that’s what happened on another Saturday full of noteworthy games, as Syracuse suffered its first loss on the season, Duke lost at home to put an end to a long home winning streak and Connecticut lost as well.

And it all happened, ironically, on the day that a football coaching legend appeared close to losing his life. On Saturday night, there were conflicting reports about former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, but we did not learn for sure that he had passed until about 10:30 this morning. We send our condolences to Joe’s family and friends at this time.

The last time Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun and Mike Krzyzewski lost a game on the same day was January 18, 2003. The three coaches have combined for over 2,600 wins, so they have won a little more than they have lost, and one might even be surprised that this wasn’t the first day all three lost.

It started in the middle of the afternoon, with two of the games. Connecticut took on Tennessee in Knoxville, a return of a game played last year. The Volunteers got a double-double from freshman Jarnell Stokes and fended off a late Husky rally for a 60-57 win. Turning the ball over one time in the second half certainly helped, especially as taking care of the ball had been a problem for Tennessee of late. Connecticut shot just 36.4 percent from the field.

Around that same time, Florida State looked like they had a shot to end Duke’s 45-game home winning streak, as they were right there with the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. They had leads late in the game as well. And finally, with the game tied at 73 in the final seconds, the Seminoles got the ball up the floor to Michael Snaer in front of his own bench, where he hit a three-pointer just as time expired to give Florida State their second big win in as many Saturdays, a 76-73 decision over Duke.

Not only had Duke not lost at home since North Carolina knocked them off in February 2009, but they also had a longer (64 games) home winning streak against unranked opponents. They had a chance to tie their own ACC record of 46 straight home wins, set between January 13, 1997 and February 9, 2000.

Florida State is now looking more and more like the team some thought they would be this season. In the preseason, a good number of prognosticators thought they might be the third-best team behind Duke and North Carolina. Virginia had emerged as that team, and probably still is, but now the Seminoles look like another formidable team in an ACC that is not looking much better than last year. They are in a three-way tie atop the ACC at 4-1, along with the two teams they have knocked off the past two Saturdays.

By the time the evening came around, one already had a sense that Syracuse could suffer its first loss of the season. The team announced earlier in the day that sophomore center Fab Melo would not make the trip to Notre Dame and Cincinnati and that junior forward Mookie Jones had left the school for personal reasons. The Orange are so deep, it would not have been a shocker if they came away with two wins, but if they dropped one it would not have been a surprise. Sure enough, a Notre Dame team that knocked off Louisville a couple of weeks ago beat Syracuse 67-58 in South Bend.

Notre Dame led throughout the game and beat a No. 1 team for the eighth time, which ties for the fourth-highest total. They did it led by junior big man Jack Cooley, who went for 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Fighting Irish out-rebounded Syracuse 38-25. While Melo’s absence hurt there, it wasn’t a big factor in the Orange’s offensive struggles on the night.

 

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

With Syracuse losing, that left just one team undefeated: Murray State. The Racers were 82-65 winners at SIU-Edwardsville to improve to 20-0 on the season.

Missouri got perhaps its most impressive win yesterday, going on the road to beat Baylor. That’s two in a row now for Baylor, and it seems that at the moment, Baylor is close, but not there when it comes to the top of the Big 12.

Georgetown got all they could handle from Rutgers, and needed to score the game’s last seven points to eke out a 52-50 win in the nation’s capital.

Louisville continued Pittsburgh’s misery as they went into the Peterson Events Center and left with a 73-62 win over the Panthers, who are now 0-7 in the Big East and have lost eight straight.

UNLV convincingly won a key matchup with New Mexico, the second straight loss for the Lobos as they took on the two favorites in the conference this past week.

Mississippi State won an overtime thriller at Vanderbilt in a key matchup among teams chasing Kentucky in the SEC.

Todd Bozeman returned to the bench at Morgan State, but his team’s struggles continued as they lost for the fifth time in seven games by dropping a 62-61 decision against visiting North Carolina A&T.

Late Saturday night, Long Beach State picked up a key road win at UC Santa Barbara. That makes the 49ers 7-0 in conference play, a full two games ahead of three teams in the loss column.

Wake Forest gets a much-needed road win at Boston College

by - Published January 21, 2012 in Columns
wakeforest

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Wake Forest’s 71-56 win at Boston College on Saturday won’t make national headlines at all. It was a win over a team that most figure will battle to stay out of the ACC cellar. But the Demon Deacons are fresh off a bad year and in the midst of one with a lot of ups and downs, so they’re not about to downplay what this win means for them.

“This is another big step for us in our journey to be the type of team we all want to be,” said head coach Jeff Bzdelik.

… Continue Reading

Quick Hitters – January 21, 2012

by - Published January 21, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Quick hitters as we head into a busy Saturday:

 

  • If there was any doubt as to the value of a point guard, look no further than Boston University and floor leader D.J. Irving. There are a few reasons the Terriers have now won five games in a row and is tied with Stony Brook (who they beat last Saturday) atop the America East Conference, but Irving’s return to health following a concussion last month is chief among them. That was readily apparent to one opposing coach, who thinks he’s the Terriers’ best player.

    “I think they’re at their best when the ball is in his hands and getting guys shots,” said Albany head coach Will Brown.

… Continue Reading

Ron Hunter is already changing the culture at Georgia State

by - Published January 19, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
georgiastate

BOSTON – Ron Hunter knew what he inherited when he took the head coaching job at Georgia State. He knew he had a culture to change, and he knew he was in a different place. But thus far, he’s loving every minute of it, and the early results don’t hurt. Now he has a different issue on his hands with his team, which stands 5-2 in CAA play after a 60-57 loss at Northeastern on Wednesday night.

Hunter, who loved that he was able to walk to Fenway Park during the team’s trip to Boston, is full of energy and positive vibes. He’s pleasant to talk to and all along has felt good about this team, as well as the job itself. It would be easy to dismiss it as coach-speak, but he felt like a few players were ready to be better and liked the experience on the team, although it wasn’t winning experience. You can tell his confidence in the team is not misplaced by a long shot.

… Continue Reading

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Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

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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

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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

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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.

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Recruiting Coverage

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.