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St. Thomas More has talent, shooters and a very intriguing prospect

by - Published September 17, 2013 in Columns

OAKDALE, Conn. – Jere Quinn is known for his ability to coach.  His reputation precedes him, and anyone who has followed his teams at St. Thomas More over the years know one thing is true: give a young man a few months with him, and he comes out a better player.  Looking at the team he has this year, it is similar to many of his recent teams in that there isn’t a big-time player, but there is plenty of talent and there appears to be a good mix of the various talents as well.

If Monday’s open gym is any indication, opposing teams will have to guard the three-point line against the Chancellors this season.  They have a couple of deadly shooters from long range and plenty of others who are capable of hitting from deep.

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2013 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

by - Published September 16, 2013 in Columns

BOSTON – The Boston Back to School Showcase came and went quickly on Sunday with 19 teams in action.  Held at UMass-Boston, where renovations to the Clark Athletic Center have come out very well and more building is happening elsewhere on campus, the event was a mix of school and travel teams and provided a venue for teams and players to get some much-needed competition at a time when many school teams are also in fall leagues, albeit often without those who also play football.  On a busy day of basketball in the area, many of the players and teams in the event were also busy with games elsewhere and had a full day on the hardwood.

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Putnam Science looks ready to continue its rise

by - Published September 13, 2013 in Columns

PUTNAM, Conn. – In a relatively short time, Tom Espinosa has built Putnam Science Academy into a program to be reckoned with. They have scored some significant wins and produced good players for the college level. There is reason to believe that will continue this season and that they are only just beginning their ascent.

As was the case last year, Putnam Science will be a guard-oriented team. And as was the case, there’s a good crop of guards to lead the way, and as important as guards are at this level that’s a good place to be strong.

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At Northfield Mount Hermon, a championship changes little

by - Published September 12, 2013 in Columns

NORTHFIELD, Mass. – Oftentimes at the college level, one wonders what a significant milestone such as a national championship means for a program.  In the case of Northfield Mount Hermon, winning the national prep championship last year means very little will change.  They will continue to be a school that combines academics and athletics as well as anyone, meaning that trips there will mean getting to see excellent students on the hardwood.

It still means very good talent, too, and this year, much of that talent is very young.  In fact, John Carroll has the youngest team in the history of NEPSAC Class AAA.  With that comes opportunity, namely the chance to mold a lot of young players.

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Point guards lead the way at South Kent on a hot day

by - Published September 12, 2013 in Columns

SOUTH KENT, Conn. – The hottest day in New England in two months was spent well west of Boston, starting at the South Kent School.  It was so hot, head coach Kelvin Jefferson opened up all the doors to the gym, and not because he wanted everyone a stone’s throw away from there to come and see his team.  In fact, because of the heat and resulting condensation in the gym, he and his assistant were constantly manning the floor to keep it somewhat dry, and the players worked out for less than an hour on Wednesday.

There wasn’t a player whose shooting would make for a punchline involving the heat, but the Cardinals’ strength is clearly on the perimeter and especially at the point guard spot, which is never a bad place to be strong.

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Tilton not a big favorite but has the talent to contend again

by - Published September 11, 2013 in Columns

TILTON, N.H. – The halcyon days where Tilton was the unquestioned powerhouse of its domain in NEPSAC are in the past, but times are hardly bad there. You won’t find several high-major players with a possible McDonald’s All-American mixed in, but there is good talent. And if the Rams are in the winner’s circle come March once again, it won’t be a surprise for a few reasons.

The Rams have a lot of bodies and will have plenty of competitive practices, let alone games. The point guard spot is most symbolic of that, as they have two solid floor leaders who will probably play together at times in Gonzalo Santana (5’10” Sr. PG, Las Palmas de G.C., Spain) and Jonathan Joseph (5’7″ Jr. PG, Brockton (MA)). While Joseph has long been a sparkplug floor leader who showed a developing body and a good jumper on Tuesday in addition to his quickness, Santana looks like he could be the team’s emotional leader. The well-built guard was hot from long range on the day and will guard you all the way. A play that was symbolic of how he plays was when he was back on defense in transition and almost tied up a player trying to drive by him.

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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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Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by


Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

The wait is over for Stony Brook

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Hoopville Archives

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

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At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

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Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

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.