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Pat Chambers will be challenged at Penn State

by - Published November 21, 2011 in Columns

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Pat Chambers has a tough job ahead at Penn State. The first-year head coach has a team with a good deal of youth and in a tough place to recruit. The scandal engulfing the football program is irrelevant; this has always been one of the toughest high-major jobs out there. And as his team took home a victory over South Florida on Sunday in a game that was anything but pretty, it was a positive end to a weekend that gave some indication of his challenge.


The Nittany Lions were humbled 85-47 by Kentucky on Saturday. A game like that is usually indicative of the winning team playing very well and the losing team playing very poorly, two things that don’t come together often but isn’t the rarest combination of events, either. Since they started out 3-0, including a nice win over a good Long Island team that played later on Sunday, it was a big change in the bottom line for this team.

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Kentucky’s youth can be easy to forget at times

by - Published November 21, 2011 in Columns

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – With all the talent Kentucky has, it can be easy to forget a basic thing: this team is young. And experience matters in college basketball, although it doesn’t always make the difference in the ballgame. On Sunday, that was evident as the Wildcats struggled to fend off an Old Dominion team that lost a great deal from last season’s team in terms of significant contributors.


The growing pains of the Wildcats were all there for people to see on Sunday. Point guard Marquis Teague struggled with turnovers once again, as he’s had more of those than assists in all but one game in his young college career after handing out two assists and giving it away six times on Sunday. Their big men didn’t respond well to the physicality of the game, especially Anthony Davis, who had his moments early on but fouled out in just 20 minutes.

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Oregon State is poised to turn a corner

by - Published November 20, 2011 in Columns

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – It looked like it might happen a couple of years ago, but Oregon State might finally be poised to turn a corner under Craig Robinson. He has a young team, but it’s a team full of players he and his staff recruited and there’s good talent. Most of all, though, the intangibles that Robinson wants appear to be in place, and they were noticeable in the Beavers’ 100-95 overtime victory over Texas in the Legends Classic semifinals on Saturday night.


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Princeton gets first win, shows room for improvement

by - Published November 20, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PRINCETON, N.J. – In getting the first win of the season and the first career win for head coach Mitch Henderson, Princeton certainly did some things well on Saturday. But there was also plenty to take away for future work from their 61-53 win over Buffalo that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.


The Tigers started with a bang and were never seriously challenged in the first half, owing largely to their defense and Buffalo’s offense. The Bulls never got untracked at that end of the floor, and the first half numbers for them were ugly: 20 percent shooting and 12 turnovers. At one point, Princeton led 36-11 late in the first half.


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For UMass, having a point guard is making a difference

by - Published November 20, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

For much of his tenure at his alma mater, Derek Kellogg has lacked a true point guard. The UMass mentor has largely had to go with players who were natural shooting guards, such as David Gibbs, Ricky Harris and Gary Correia, and they did the best they could. And for the talent the team has had, one wonders if having a true point guard might have made a big difference during two seasons where they went 27-35. Right now, we are finding out that it just might, because at last the Minutemen have a true point guard.

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2011 National Prep Showcase – Friday Recap

by - Published November 19, 2011 in Columns

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The opening day of the National Prep Showcase is in the books. It featured some great shooting, a close game and several games that were close until one team pulled away in the second half. With that, here’s a look back at what happened on the day.



Friday Scoreboard


Lee (ME) Academy 70, Fork Union (VA) Military Academy 63

Chatham (VA) Hargrave Military Academy 115, Fitchburg (MA) Notre Dame Prep 91

North Bridgton (ME) Bridgton Academy 74, Delafield (WI) St. John’s NW Military Academy 71

Oakdale (CT) St. Thomas More 83, Waynesboro (VA) Fishburne Military School 56

South Kent (CT) School 94, La Jolla (CA) Prep 74

Landover Hills (MD) New Hope Academy 84, Winchendon (MA) School 62

Northfield (MA) Mount Hermon 97, Woodstock (VA) Massanutten Military Academy 93


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Boston College wins opener through growing pains

by - Published November 15, 2011 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Steve Donahue knows this will be different, but has to keep reminding himself. He’s used to having veteran teams, but not only does he have a young team, but he has one that is youthful and lacking in experience from pretty much every angle. His Boston College team has nine freshmen, just one senior and not a single player who played for the prior head coach in just his second season at the helm. In other words, it’s not even like he has a team full of sophomores that has at least practiced and played together for a year.


Donahue was already understanding what this entailed from practices and the team’s exhibition game. After Monday night’s 67-64 win over New Hampshire, it was driven home further.


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Providence tries a different role for Gerard Coleman

by - Published November 15, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – There are some important things about this Providence team that are different from last season, not the least of which is the coaching staff. One noteworthy change is that a key player will be coming off the bench, and if their first two games are any indication, the early returns are positive with Gerard Coleman moving out of the starting lineup.


Coleman started 29 of the 31 games he played in last season and was third on the team in scoring. As he is the second-leading returning scorer, he wouldn’t seem like a candidate to come off the bench, especially since the Friars don’t exactly have great guard depth. That would improve if the NCAA eventually clears Kiwi Gardner, but he is still a freshman. But there’s a reason new head coach Ed Cooley is doing this, and he arrived at it just before the season opener, although Coleman didn’t start both exhibition games.


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Northeastern’s frontcourt looks much better already

by - Published November 13, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BOSTON – One reason Northeastern is a hard team to project this season is the frontcourt. The Huskies were beaten badly on the backboards last season, and the group got something of an overhaul with the freshmen they have. The backcourt was fine, but the frontcourt was sure to have a different look and, since it’s a young group, some growing pains. If first impressions are worth anything, though, the Huskies may be a team we can project more favorably, because they more than held their own in Northeastern’s 82-74 win at Boston University on Friday.


The one statistic that will leap out at you is rebounding. Northeastern out-rebounded Boston University 52-32, and it wasn’t just the raw numbers that tell the story. The Huskies rebounded 19 of 39 available misses of their shots, and 33 of 45 available Terrier misses. They had a 22-11 edge in second-chance points. Two players, include one of the freshmen, had double-doubles with points and rebounds.

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Northeastern-BU reminds us what we miss and will miss more

by - Published November 12, 2011 in Columns

BOSTON – The gym was packed. Not only that, but it was a lively crowd, rocking from start to finish and on seemingly every play. It helped that the game went to overtime, although that didn’t always look like it would be the case as the visitors led by double digits for a stretch in the second half. It wasn’t just the home team whose fans made the atmosphere what it was, because the visiting team had its share of fans as well. In short, it was a great setting.


And sadly, it’s relevant to things to come in the larger picture of college basketball.

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College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by


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


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


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.

2013 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Cesar Fulcar commits to Wentworth

The senior guard led Watertown to the state semifinal this past season

Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

Bay State Magic doesn’t have much size on their junior team this season, so they’ll have to win with execution and intangibles

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is already 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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter