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With lots of guard depth, St. Andrew’s can contend again

by - Published September 9, 2013 in Columns

BARRINGTON, R.I. – The first live day for Division I coaches to view open gym workouts led to a school that was so close to a title just six months ago. St. Andrew’s lost a heart-breaker in the NEPSAC Class AA final to Cushing Academy on a buzzer-beater in a game they led by double digits with just a few minutes left. It’s a loss that still stings, but Mike Hart’s team has a lot of depth and should be a factor once again this season. That was especially evident on Monday as neither of the two best players on the floor were the two best prospects on the team.

The best player on the floor was Henry Bolton (6’2″ Sr. PG-SG, Portsmouth (RI)), a well-built guard who enters his third season at the school. He’s more of a point guard than when he got there, although he really starred on the day by driving to the basket to score at will. Besides using his quickness and athleticism, he finished with contact and finished with the left hand. The Division I offers have been slow to come, but if he keeps playing like he did on Monday that shouldn’t be the case much longer.

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Abu, Terrell announce college choices in a special place

by - Published September 8, 2013 in Columns

ROXBURY, Mass. – As Abdul-Malik Abu and Jared Terrell made their college announcement on Saturday, there was much more going on than the headline attraction of two young men deciding where they be a year from now. While Abu had fun with it by grabbing the Oklahoma State cap and handing Terrell the NC State cap – before swapping them to the school each chose – there was also the reality of the setting and who these young men were, a point Terrell’s great grandmother drove home.

“Just remember that you come from Boston, Massachusetts,” she said to cheers from the packed house in a room at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center.

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How UNC plays without Hairston will shape their season

by - Published August 24, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

One story that has seemingly been a constant this off-season is the life and times of P.J. Hairston. There’s good reason for it: the North Carolina rising junior led one of the nation’s most visible programs in scoring last season and bypassed a weak NBA Draft to return to school. Usually, that would mean a lot of talk about him as a potential All-American the following season and about how high he could go in the next draft with an additional year of development. Instead, he has had an off-season to forget. While his fate is still to be determined, what hasn’t been talked about much is that if he does eventually return to the court, the Tar Heels could be one of those teams that has some early adversity but is much more dangerous later in the season.

Every season, some teams have early personnel adversity they must overcome that is temporary in nature. Often, this takes the form of injuries, but disciplinary issues can come into play as well. The team usually loses a game or two they might not lose with a full squad, but at some point they will have that squad together. When that team is finally whole, they end up much more formidable.

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Thoughts from the month of July

by - Published August 20, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

The all-important month of July has come and gone for 2013. As time goes on, the month seemingly becomes more important all the time, and in its second year of the current calendar setup, there are pros and cons that are becoming more apparent with time. While coaches can view players on weekends in April, that often sets the stage for who coaches will watch in July more than anything else.

This time around, I didn’t get out to see a lot of action, but what I saw was well worth the time spent doing it. So as we move on to the more quiet part of the summer, here are some thoughts from July regarding players, teams and the month itself.

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Transfer waivers have gotten out of hand

by - Published August 7, 2013 in Columns

For several years now, players transferring and being eligible to play right away when citing an ill relative has become very commonplace. It’s getting to the point where a player not seeking a waiver to play right away for such a reason is almost a surprise. While many have said this is getting out of hand, one has to wonder if the case of Isaac Hamilton and UTEP might be the last straw before legislative action gets taken, as this particular case is sure to be interesting to follow.

News broke recently that Hamilton, younger brother of former Texas forward Jordan and former Miami forward Gary, plans not to attend UTEP, where he signed a National Letter of Intent. Hamilton wants a release, but will not get one. This is not new, but UTEP head coach Tim Floyd has alleged that tampering has taken place, which will thicken the plot – and one can figure that Hamilton will probably want a waiver to play right away.

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2013 Hall of Fame National Invitational evaluations

by - Published July 23, 2013 in Columns

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A trip to the western part of Massachusetts was in order for the Hall of Fame National Invitational.  Traditionally held at the MassMutual Center downtown, this time around it was held primarily at Western New England University and Springfield College, both just a short drive from one another.

Friday night and some of Saturday included some showcase games between some of the event’s top teams, many of whom had a bye in the bracket play and thus would otherwise play their first games much later than everyone else.  By Saturday afternoon, bracket play had begun in earnest.

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The Showdown does well in following Reebok’s Breakout Camp

by - Published July 18, 2013 in Columns

PHILADELPHIA – Right after the Reebok Breakout Camp was over, The Showdown got going with most of the camp’s players joining their travel team.  Run by Elevate Hoops, the two-day tournament consisted of three age groups from rising seniors down to rising sophomores, with the oldest group naturally being the one of most interest to the college coaches and media in attendance.

The first championship game was a battle of local teams in the 15-Under division.  Philly Triple Threat took the lead in the first half and held it by five at the break, but they never really broke it open.  Philly Pride finally broke through around the halfway point of the second half and later grew the lead en route to a 60-51 victory.  Deandre Hunter (6’6″ So. SF, Philadelphia (PA) Friends Central HS scored 19 points to lead Philly Pride, while Anthony Carr (5’11” So. PG, Philadelphia (PA) Abington Friends HS) led Philly Triple Threat with a game-high 20 points and Joshua Sharkey (5’7″ So. PG, Philadelphia (PA) Abington Friends HS) added 19.

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New Big East not off to the most auspicious start

by - Published July 6, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Monday morning tipped off another round of conference changes, as often happens on that date, and this year the changes were quite seismic. The Great West Conference is now defunct, the Patriot League has ten members, and most of all, the American Athletic Conference officially opened for business and the Big East has a whole new look. And for the new Big East, the start has not been particularly auspicious.

The conference’s new start has been slowed largely by the drawn-out process of hiring a commissioner. Val Ackerman is a solid selection, but the lateness of the hire left her little time to start assembling a staff before the change occurred on Monday. A trip to the conference Web site reflects that: as of Saturday morning, there was only the main page and links to the school sites and the conference’s social media accounts.

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Stevens’ departure a shocker, but Butler and college basketball will be fine

by - Published July 3, 2013 in Columns

Put me down as one of many who was shocked upon hearing the news.

I admit, I never saw Brad Stevens leaving Butler, at least not for a long time. And for an NBA job? That was an even further possibility from my mind.

If anything, I thought those who had him pegged as Mike Krzyzewksi’s successor at Duke might be on to something, although I wondered about that, too. It would make sense from one standpoint, but at the same time, the head coaching job at Duke is one of those jobs that it’s hard to imagine going to someone outside the program’s family even if there may seem to be a lack of obvious candidates.

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Players make New England Elite 75 better than last year

by - Published July 3, 2013 in Columns

WORCESTER, Mass. – The month of July got going with the New England Elite 75 on Monday afternoon at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Annually an event with some of the best talent in New England, the event was a much better showcase this year than last. Whereas last year many of the kids played like they were trying to amass highlight reels, this time around the kids played like they respected the event, and the end result was better basketball. That also made player evaluation easier.

With that in mind, we take a look at some of the talent that competed on Monday.

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Your Phil of Hoops

The wait is over for Stony Brook

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Stony Brook is finally going to the NCAA Tournament, and the story of tragic endings – and all that goes with it – is a thing of the past.

Saturday Notes – February 27, 2016

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The last Saturday of exclusively regular season play seemed to follow the script of many others. We look at notes from many of the day’s games of consequence.

Saturday Notes – February 20, 2016

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On a day with a lot of games that had NCAA Tournament implications, it seemed like more bubble teams lost games they couldn’t afford to than won to advance their candidacy further.

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 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.

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

Recruiting Coverage

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.

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


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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.