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For Brown, having an identity may make a big difference

by - Published November 30, 2012 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – All things considered, Brown could certainly be worse off than their 3-3 record after Thursday night’s 69-56 win over Sacred Heart, the first home win for new head coach Mike Martin.  It wasn’t a very memorable win since the Pioneers were short-handed, but so were the Bears, and the game had to be played nonetheless.  It was, however, an impressive show of what this team might be this season.

Brown shot just 35 percent from the field, including 10-36 from long range.  Those aren’t numbers Martin is hoping to see often, and few coaches would feel like their team can win a lot of games with those numbers.  In part, the large number of three-point attempts can be attributed to Sacred Heart playing a lot of zone defense, but the Bears now have low-post scoring threats that should allow them to not have to live and die by the jump shot.

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Talented George Mason is winning, but not the way they want to

by - Published November 29, 2012 in Columns

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – George Mason’s 55-52 win at Rhode Island on Wednesday night was like several of their wins thus far. They had to grind the game out at a slower speed than they would like and had perhaps more of a struggle than they should, but their depth and talent won out. While they are 5-2, they have been consistently inconsistent thus far and have some clear work to do to live up to their talent.

“We all believe in each other, that’s our motto,” said sophomore forward Erik Copes, who had eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Patriots. “We grinded it out, believed in each other.”

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Vermont’s continued success, including on the road, makes sense after all

by - Published November 28, 2012 in Columns

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – You could be forgiven if you had some basic information on Vermont’s success in recent years and their 4-1 start this season and asked, “How do they do that?”  By almost any conventional measure or appearance, what this team is doing and has done appears to be lacking a clear answer at first glance.

First, take a look at the team.  There isn’t a natural point guard on the roster; Sandro Carissimo is the closest to it, and while he’s grown in that role since arriving in Burlington, his scoring instinct is never far away.  They have at times run the offense through his prep teammate, Brian Voelkel, over the last two-plus seasons from the wing.  Voelkel, by the way, doesn’t exactly pass the “look” test of a Division I basketball player at all, let alone one of the best players in his conference and his conference’s leading rebounder the past two years.  The Catamounts aren’t very athletic as a whole.

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Bryant perseveres and finally breaks through against Boston College

by - Published November 26, 2012 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – When Corey Maynard committed a sideline violation trying to inbound the ball with 3.9 seconds left and his team up by two, Tim O’Shea naturally wondered for a moment ifa case of deja vu was not far away.

“I said, no, this can’t be happening,” said the Bryant head coach. “If they had hit a shot there, I think I would have gone down to the mental hospital by the Charles River, just check me in for a few days. After all we had been through, I didn’t think the basketball gods could be that cruel.”

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New Hampshire tries to survive a tough road stretch

by - Published November 25, 2012 in Columns

WORCESTER, Mass. – New Hampshire is almost done with a five-game road stretch, and it won’t come a moment too soon. Saturday’s 60-50 loss at Holy Cross was in part a repeat of earlier games in terms of where they played well and where the problems were. It also might mean some lineup changes could be in store if current trends persist.

New Hampshire had to play from behind basically the entire afternoon, as they trailed 7-2 before the first media timeout and by as many as 11 in the first half. They were down by 10 at intermission largely because Holy Cross had a big possession advantage due to 10 offensive rebounds. Although they would rally in the second half and eventually take the lead, it was short-lived and they never got it again, especially once Holy Cross went to a zone defense.

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Michigan is the clear class of the NIT Season Tip-Off

by - Published November 24, 2012 in Columns

NEW YORK – Michigan made the most of its first trip to the NIT Season Tip-Off championship game, running away from Kansas State 71-57 to take home their first title. In so doing, they did exactly what they did to get to New York and looked like the clear class of the field.

Michigan has been almost unstoppable at the offensive end thus far, and Friday was no different. The Wolverines blitzed IUPUI and Cleveland State by 37 and 30 points, respectively. They have shot over 50 percent in all but one game thus far this season, shooting a still-pretty-good 46 percent against Pittsburgh on Wednesday. From long range, they have been lights out as well. In addition, they are less turning the ball over 10 times per game thus far.

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Important practice time awaits Kansas State

by - Published November 24, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

NEW YORK – Kansas State came into The World’s Most Famous Arena without a major test in the early going this season. They won all of their first four games by double digits, then got a test on Wednesday night as they survived a Delaware team that had two key players miss parts of the second half. They got their big early test on Friday with Michigan, and the end result wasn’t too good: a 71-57 loss that arguably wasn’t quite that close.

The test was really twofold for this team with a new head coach. For one, they had not had a close game this season, so they got a test of how to handle that situation. They also haven’t had a real quality win thus far, mainly because they had not played a team that is a good bet to be in the NCAA Tournament.

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Delaware leaves New York with concerns following the great opportunity

by - Published November 23, 2012 in Columns

NEW YORK – Getting to Madison Square Garden in the NIT Season Tip-Off was big for Delaware, as one might imagine. It gave the Blue Hens a chance to play on a big stage and two chances at quality wins, which could matter if they contend in the CAA as they should. Head coach Monte Ross and his staff scheduled for a veteran team in 2012-13, and this only helped. But the trip also had some concern on the health front, and while the Blue Hens haven’t been hit with a devastating injury, they have something to pay attention to going forward.

While Wednesday’s loss to Kansas State and Friday’s 85-59 blowout at the hands of Pittsburgh were both hard to take, more concerning is that two of the Blue Hens’ best players didn’t play every minute they could in New York. Senior big man Jamelle Hagins and sophomore guard Jarvis Threatt both missed time in the first game, and with the way injuries can derail a season this will be something to watch.

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Boston College comes home and battles for a much-needed win

by - Published November 22, 2012 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Steve Donahue understandably doesn’t want to get caught up in just wins and losses. Given the youth of his team and the growth still to come, wins are great but are not the be-all, end-all. Still, after going 0-3 in the Charleston Classic last weekend, a win like Wednesday’s 50-49 outcome against Auburn is quite welcome, especially with some of how it came about.

Wednesday’s game won’t go down as a thing of beauty. Auburn played a physical game and the Eagles did all they could to match it, making it a big test for them. The Tigers want to make games a grind, and on Wednesday they did that. The Eagles were up to the task, among other things out-rebounding the Tigers 35-28

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Albany is surely thankful to be home for a change

by - Published November 21, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Surely no one was happier to get home from the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament than Albany. And yet, the Great Danes couldn’t get comfortable there for long. So goes the November portion of their non-conference schedule, which has been more than a grind and included a tough 67-64 loss to Loyola (Md.) in the Springfield Bracket championship game on Sunday.

The Great Danes opened the season at home against Duquesne on November 9. Two days later, they lost at Ohio State, and went right from Columbus to Seattle, where two days later they beat Washington. They were barely home when they headed to Connecticut for two games this weekend, and had to fly to South Carolina on Monday for a Tuesday night matchup at South Carolina State, which they won in a romp 83-55.

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Your Phil of Hoops

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by


Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by


There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by


Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

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 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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Friday notes

April 25, 2015 by


Friday night got the adidas Gauntlet in Indianapolis going, and we take a look at a few players who stood out before a full day of action comes to us on Saturday.

Notes from the 2015 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 20, 2015 by


Sunday was time for a trip to Hanover for late action in the Northeast Hoops Festival, and we have a look at some prospects who stood out on the day.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Saturday & Sunday notes

April 14, 2015 by


Saturday was a full day of action at EYBL Hampton, and Sunday capped it off with a brief slate. We look at some of the talent that was on hand each day to close out the first live weekend.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Friday notes

April 11, 2015 by


Friday night was the beginning at EYBL Hampton, with a relatively light night of action. We have notes on a few players from the opening games to get us started.

2015 Playaz Spring Fling – Friday notes

April 8, 2015 by


The spring travel circuit is getting started, and the Playaz Spring Fling was a good early stop as it usually is during the Final Four weekend.