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Thoughts from the month of July

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

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
author_kasiecki

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
hoopguy-yellow

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
author_kasiecki

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
bigeast

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
butler

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
author_kasiecki

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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A lot to take from the 2013 NBA Draft, not surprisingly

by - Published June 29, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
nbadraft

Leading up to the NBA Draft, much was said about how weak it was. The jury on that is out, although going by how a draft looked at the time it certainly appears to be the weakest one in a long time. But a key reason the draft was perceived as such is also the reason it was well worth watching and didn’t disappoint those who figured there would be a lot to take from this.

Just take a look at the eyebrow-raising results on the evening:

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2013 Hoopville Spring Finale notes

by - Published June 27, 2013 in Columns
hoopguy-orange

BOSTON – The 2013 Hoopville Spring Finale is in the books, and in addition the 2013 spring circuit is history.  Over 50 teams competed and six emerged victorious, including four programs that won here for the first time.  Plenty of other teams came close and/or walked away with just one loss on the weekend.  The all-important month of July now beckons.

Before we get to that, let’s look back at some notes from this weekend.

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2013 Hoopville Spring Finale sees several new champions

by - Published June 24, 2013 in Columns
author_kasiecki

BOSTON – Sunday was the day for championship games in the Hoopville Spring Finale, and six teams walked away with medals telling that story. The day started bright and early with young players in the morning before the oldest players took center stage in the afternoon. It also started with a few new faces in the winner’s circle before a couple of teams that have already won some titles returned to that place.

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