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Boston College gains confidence before the break

by - Published December 28, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Boston College has come back from the Christmas break in a better place than they were before it. In fact, it’s better than where they were over a week before their last game, as their 83-73 win over Sacred Heart last Wednesday was their third straight.


With a young team, confidence is big, and head coach Steve Donahue has been talking about that all along. He knew the wins would be hard to come by and keeping up confidence would be a battle. There was no question the players would get better, and Donahue has constantly said that the players are doing what he has asked of them and then some. There hasn’t been a complaint about the effort and work ethic, and that’s not to be underestimated.

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Florida Atlantic isn’t far away as Sun Belt play approaches

by - Published December 27, 2011 in Columns

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – There was a consistent theme sounded after Florida Atlantic’s 63-51 loss at Harvard on Thursday night. The message: this team is not there yet, and mental toughness is the big key to getting there.


“We’re close, but we’re not there,” said head coach Mike Jarvis. “We were in a position win, like we’ve been many, many nights this year, but we just haven’t had the mental toughness to finish off. We’re not finishing what we start.”

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Stony Brook hopes more practice time helps

by - Published December 27, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Stony Brook probably welcomed the relative break in the action they are coming up on the end of. Their loss at Rutgers in the MSG Holiday Festival is their only game in a 17-day stretch surrounding final exams and the holidays, giving them a time with a lot of practice and few games that will allow players to get better physically and the team to iron some things out. After their 66-51 loss at Boston College almost a week earlier, it was clear that this comes at a good time.


The lowlight of that day was in the final 12 minutes of the first half. After the Seawolves went up 11-6, they went the final 11:50 of the half without scoring as Boston College scored 22 unanswered points. While the second half was more of a normal frame, the Seawolves dug themselves too deep a hole to get out of.

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Sacred Heart coach tries to send a message in visit to Boston College

by - Published December 23, 2011 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – With just one non-conference game left after Wednesday night’s game at Boston College, Dave Bike wanted to get a point across to his team and his best player. The long-time Sacred Heart mentor has a team with some offensive ability, and a few players in particular, but in the losing effort, they made a big rally without their best player on the floor.


In the first half of the Pioneers’ 83-73 loss, Gibson could hardly miss. He was 6-7 from the field, including 3-4 from long range, en route to 17 points. There was some buzz among those on press row about his shooting, especially since a couple of his three-pointers were not just barely behind the arc.

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Providence quietly develops in non-conference play

by - Published December 22, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – With their 67-52 win on Tuesday night, Providence improved to 10-2 on the season. The record is nice, but it doesn’t tell the whole story in more ways than one. This team is showing improvement, while the record is also a little deceptive.


Providence started the game with a 14-5 run, but New Hampshire stayed at least within striking distance the entire half. The Wildcats took a two-point lead early in the second half, but Providence regained the lead and New Hampshire stayed right with Providence for a while. As the half went on it looked like the Wildcats wore down and Providence eventually built the lead up to 19 at one point.

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Harvard has gone from hunter to hunted

by - Published December 22, 2011 in Columns

Coming off their first loss of the season, Harvard responded the way a ranked team would be expected to the last time out. They headed across town and had a complete effort in blowing out Boston University 76-52, with a balanced attack and a showing of why they should win the Ivy League this year. With that, they look more and more like a team that has made a transition.


The Crimson first did the job defensively, limiting the Terriers to just below 31 percent shooting. Brandyn Curry was the first key to that, as he so often is, as the junior point guard never let BU point guard D.J. Irving get going. He didn’t let Irving get driving opportunities, and also read the offense well to steal and deflect passes while off the ball.

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Northeastern needs answers in the backcourt, and fast

by - Published December 19, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BOSTON – Heading into the home stretch of non-conference play, Northeastern’s 71-62 loss to Princeton doesn’t portend good things. It’s not so much the loss as much as some of what could be seen in it, and given that this is college basketball, the backcourt questions that are raised are troublesome.


The Huskies only played two true guards on Sunday, and spent some time with just one on the floor. At times, the shooting guard spot was occupied by sophomore Alwayne Bigby or senior Kashief Edwards, neither of whom is a guard. While freshman Quincy Ford has some guard skills, he’s more like a big wing, with better ball skills than Kauri Black, who handled the ball a little too much on Sunday as he led the Huskies with five turnovers.

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Defense helps Princeton turn around after tough start

by - Published December 19, 2011 in Columns

BOSTON – The start to this season wasn’t exactly how Princeton probably drew it up. The Tigers were 1-5 in the first six games, with three losses being by six points or less, and they had some question marks offensively. While the offense is always a subject of conversation, an improvement at the defensive end has helped changed the team’s success, as Sunday’s 71-62 win at Northeastern was their fifth in six games.


In the Tigers’ five losses early on, they allowed the opponent to shoot 45.6 percent from the field. In addition, two opponents made more than half of their shots from long range. While the Tigers struggled offensively in those games, topping 38 percent just twice, the impact of their defense could not be understated.

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UNH’s win over Marist just what they needed coming out of finals

by - Published December 18, 2011 in Columns

DURHAM, N.H. – Saturday’s 73-56 win over Marist was just what New Hampshire needed in several ways. The Wildcats did it with their offense helping their defense, for one, as that’s been an area where they haven’t always played well. They also got a very balanced effort all the way around. It also came after a break for final exams, and one never knows what a team will be like in that first game after it. And there’s also something that jumped out at the eldest Wildcat.


“We never win games decisively like that,” said senior guard Alvin Abreu. “It feels good to get a win like that.”

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Boston College more confident as finals come to a close

by - Published December 17, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

It hasn’t been a banner season for Boston College if you look solely at the bottom line. Even after last Sunday’s 66-51 win over Stony Brook, the Eagles are 3-7 after breaking a four-game losing streak. The bottom line doesn’t reflect it, but there’s a feeling that this team is growing and it seemed evident on Sunday while the bottom line did reflect it this time around.


BC head coach Steve Donahue admits he’s been preaching to his team about winning four-minute stretches – covering the time between media timeouts in a game. Sometimes that’s what you have to do when wins are hard to come by, and it’s been known for a while that they were not likely to be plentiful for this team. Freshman forward Ryan Anderson talked about this a little more, noting that even though they’re competitors and thus don’t like losing, they are looking away from the bottom line when evaluating where they are.

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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.

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.

Hoopville Archives

2014 Prep School Tour

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

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy

You can also find them all right here.

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Suffield Academy looks to grow into Class A in NEPSAC

September 29, 2014 by


Signs of growth are present at Suffield Academy, and along the way the basketball team moves up into NEPSAC Class A this season as they try to keep the program growing.

Wilbraham and Monson has a new leader with a similar level of talent

September 29, 2014 by


A busy Sunday started with a trip to Wilbraham and Monson Academy, where there is a new head coach who has been at the school and some good talent to work with.

Williston Northampton begins a new chapter on the hardwood

September 26, 2014 by


A new era is dawning at the Williston Northampton School on the hardwood. It includes a new head coach who is changing some things up right away.

Kent School has some pieces to compete in NEPSAC Class A

September 25, 2014 by


The Kent School might not have the talent or depth of its neighboring prep school, but they have a team worth watching that could compete in Class A this season.

South Kent has a lot of pieces – and size – to compete in NEPSAC Class AAA

September 25, 2014 by


South Kent has a lot of size and lineup options this season. That will enable Kelvin Jefferson’s team to be very competitive in NEPSAC Class AAA.