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2013 MAAC quarterfinal notes

by - Published March 10, 2013 in Columns
maac

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The MAAC quarterfinals are in the books. The afternoon games saw the seeds hold to form, while the evening started off with an upset that was also a game for the history books, but not in a good way. The last game followed its predecessor with the lower seed pulling off the upset.

With that, some leftover thoughts from the MAAC quarterfinals played on Saturday:

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Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith have grown and shared a lot together

by - Published March 9, 2013 in Columns
northeastern

Northeastern’s first CAA regular season title has been driven by an unlikely senior backcourt. Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith come from different parts of the country and different worlds, and they have decidedly different games and personalities. But teams that win do so with togetherness even with differences, and when you look at the success of the Huskies, one place to start is with what Lee and Smith share together.

They share more than meets the eye, especially since they came to Huntington Ave. They have shared playing time, roles and work ethic, and have done much of it together with a bond they forged almost as soon as they arrived in a different world than the one they grew up in.

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Needham, Fairfield seniors live another day

by - Published March 9, 2013 in Columns
fairfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Derek Needham didn’t want his career to end on Friday night. A classmate felt the same way and a teammate at the opposite end of the experience spectrum helped him out, and in turn they helped Fairfield move on with a 54-47 win over St. Peter’s.

Needham isn’t the only senior on Fairfield, as fellow guards Colin Nickerson and Desmond Wade are also coming up on the end of their college careers. But he’s the big name on the team, the program’s third all-time leading scorer, the guy who has been an impact player from the minute he arrived on campus and scored in double figures in all but one game of his freshman campaign. He’s the charismatic young man who is well-known around the campus and not just because he’s a basketball player. He’s the star guard who didn’t play in the conference tournament last year due to a broken foot.

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Siena shows some toughness in advancing to the MAAC quarterfinals

by - Published March 9, 2013 in Columns
siena

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Oftentimes, when a team has the lead for much of the game and loses it without much time left, it’s a big psychological blow. For a team like Siena, where wins have been hard to come by and especially of late, that is the case even more so. That makes Siena’s 70-64 win over Marist in the first round of the MAAC Tournament a positive development, and one they’ll need heading into Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup with regular season champion Niagara.

In a back-and-forth first half, Siena held the lead throughout largely from inside play as O.D. Anosike was determined not to end his career on Friday night and Davis Martens gave them a nice boost off the bench. That opened up the outside game for Rob Poole, and the Saints were shooting 52 percent in the first half to overcome nine turnovers.

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Butler bounces back from blowout loss, look more like themselves

by - Published March 8, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
butler

AMHERST, Mass. – Butler was much more like themselves on Thursday night, a game after a decidedly un-Butler-like performance at VCU. In between, there was some reflection and focused practices, and the end result was a 73-62 win at UMass where the Bulldogs were solid all around and for most of the game.

The 84-52 loss at VCU caught everyone by surprise. Butler may lose games, and they have been blown out before, but it is very rare. Games like that just don’t happen. So it’s not surprising that after the game, it was a little unusual.

“You question yourself a little bit when you get beat in the way we got beat on Saturday, and these guys deserve to enjoy this one,” said head coach Brad Stevens.

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2013 CAA Awards: How one person voted

by - Published March 7, 2013 in Columns, Conference Notes
colonial

The Colonial Athletic Association will hand out postseason awards on Friday night, the eve of the conference tournament as is tradition. The awards are voted on by the conference’s head coaches, SIDs and select media members. As I am one of the voters, sharing how I voted provides a worthwhile look back on the regular season.

This time around, it was a tough call for one major award and an easy call for two of them. For the all-conference teams, it wasn’t as difficult, and easier than that was the All-Rookie team as it wasn’t a big year for instant impact freshmen in the conference. With the All-Defensive team, it was difficult simply because defense is so often a team operation and with no real statistics or metrics for individual players it’s very difficult to evaluate without seeing everyone play more than once or twice. (Steals and blocked shots only tell us so much because it’s easy for players to get into foul trouble attempting both.)

With that in mind, here is a look at how I voted and what went into each vote. On each of the teams, the players are listed alphabetically.

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Mount St. Mary’s resets again to stay hot and advance

by - Published March 7, 2013 in Columns
mountsaintmarys

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The magic carpet ride continues for the hottest team in the Northeast Conference.  A Mount St. Mary’s team that few had going far this season, a season with a coaching change, is now in the NEC Tournament semifinals after a big 75-69 road victory at Bryant on Wednesday night, their eighth straight win.  It’s a team that won by doing something they’ve had to do a lot of over the last year – hit the reset button.

There have been a lot of moments where this team has had to his the reset button and pull things together.  There was the coaching change, for one, coming at the end of a long season.  There were some rough games early on this season.  There was the 1-4 start in NEC play.  There have been many times where the defense has had to do it as they allow opponents to shoot an unseemly 51 percent from the field on the season.  And on Wednesday night, there was the first half, where the Mountaineers shot 28 percent from the field and allowed the Bulldogs to shoot over 48 percent.

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An unexpected end to Bryant’s season

by - Published March 7, 2013 in Columns
bryant

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – It wasn’t supposed to end this way.  The storybook season was supposed to include a magical run in March, completing the amazing turnaround from last year with an NCAA Tournament bid.  Perhaps a couple of things would fall right and they would even get to do it at home.

Instead, Bryant’s season came to an end on Wednesday night, the latest victims of the hottest team in the Northeast Conference after a 75-69 loss to Mount St. Mary’s.  And while there can be a look ahead to a brighter future, that’s for a later time.

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Providence could work their way onto the bubble

by - Published March 6, 2013 in Columns
providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Could Providence become a bubble team?  The answer to that might not be as easy as you think, or may have thought not so long ago.  Providence’s 76-66 win over Seton Hall on Tuesday night is certainly not a resume builder, but it puts them above .500 in Big East play, something that likewise seemed unthinkable once upon a time.

It wasn’t all that long ago that some might have written this team off as far as postseason play was concerned.  The Friars started Big East play 2-7 with a pair of three-game losing streaks, and they simply didn’t look good.  The two wins came at Seton Hall and at home against Villanova, neither of which seemed very impressive at the time and still don’t now.  A 5-1 month of February changed all of that, and now they are 2-0 in March to stay on a roll.

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BC’s Dick Kelley an unsung hero in our line of work

by - Published March 5, 2013 in Columns
bostoncollege

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – In our work, we deal with many people. Anyone who reads our stories knows we deal with players and coaches, and at times game officials. There are also athletic directors, commissioners, other school and conference administrators, players’ parents and other family members at times as well. But they are far from alone.

Tying it all together are those who work in media relations, the people that you very rarely hear about. But they are hugely important to our line of work. Known to many as “SIDs” (Sports Information Directors, as titles tend to vary but the work is the same), they rarely get any pub – and Boston College’s Dick Kelley was fine with that. On Sunday, however, he got just that in a ceremony that had so many dimensions to it before Eagles’ game against Virginia. And it was clear he was overwhelmed by it all.

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Saturday Notes – February 6, 2016

February 7, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

It was a full day of action, one that included two top teams going down in a rarity. Also, a number of other teams suffered a loss that could be a critical blow to their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes.

Saturday Notes – January 30, 2016

January 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

In the midst of conference season, a non-conference set of games took center stage. They were far from alone in the important games of the day, though, and we take a look at notes from many of those games.

Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A number of games were pushed to another day by a storm on the east coast, but we had plenty of noteworthy games all the same on Saturday.

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Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

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

hoopguy-divisionII

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

hoopguy-yellow

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

hoopguy-cyan

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

author_kasiecki

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.

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