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Northeastern has promise next season, but clear room for improvement

by - Published March 4, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
northeastern

RICHMOND, Va. – You can only survive so many turnovers for so long, unless you’re playing out-of-this-world defense as well or shooting the lights out when you don’t give the ball away. Northeastern did neither of those on Saturday night, and as a result the Huskies are headed home after an interesting season.

Northeastern managed to hang in early on despite VCU out-playing them. The Rams forced 11 turnovers in the first half, a number of them coming in the early minutes, but they never got a big lead. The Huskies were able to tie it at 26 at halftime thanks to holding the Rams below 40 percent from the field while they shot over 47 percent. VCU also turned the 11 turnovers into just nine points, so the giveaways weren’t hurting the Huskies yet.

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Monte Ross is getting the job done at Delaware

by - Published March 4, 2012 in Columns
delaware

RICHMOND, Va. – It’s time to recognize the job that Monte Ross has done at Delaware. That might seem like an odd idea coming off an 88-74 loss to Old Dominion in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament, but as the Blue Hens wait the next week to see if they will get another chance to play this season, stepping back to see how they got here is a worthwhile exercise.

A lot of Ross’ tenure at the school has not been pretty, and there have been fits and starts along the way. His first season must have seemed endless; the Blue Hens went 5-26 with a number of injuries and disciplinary actions that had to be taken, the latter as Ross had to lay down the law. They reached double-digit wins the next two years, then stepped back to just seven wins the following season. That was difficult, and things looked a little iffy at the point.

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Despite the quarterfinal loss, the tournament is a positive ending for UNCW

by - Published March 3, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
uncwilmington

RICHMOND, Va. – UNCW valiantly battled on Saturday against Drexel, but it wasn’t enough. With their best player picking up two early fouls, they actually had a lead in the first half, but that didn’t last and an early second-half run did them in en route to a 59-47 loss to end the season. With the season over, however, there’s a look toward a brighter future that was helped by this weekend.

UNCW had some challenging stretches this season that they had to manage through. They started the season with five straight losses, then had losing streaks of three, four and six games once the calendar rolled over into 2012. The last one led into the CAA Tournament, where they knocked off James Madison on Friday to get to Saturday’s game.

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James Madison fights the injury bug together and to the end

by - Published March 3, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
jamesmadison

RICHMOND, Va. – Perhaps it’s amazing that James Madison had any fight in the first place on Friday. A team torn apart by injuries, the Dukes started off Friday’s first round game well, but once they got behind it seemed like their will was taken away from them. Given what they’ve been through this season, it’s hard to blame them as their season ended with a 70-59 loss to UNCW in the first round of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.

“This season hasn’t been the season that we wanted,” senior guard Humpty Hitchens said in what was surely an understatement.

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2012 CAA Tournament – First Round Notes

by - Published March 3, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
colonial

RICHMOND, Va. – The first round of the CAA Tournament is in the books.  The seeds held to form save for the first game of the day, although Towson had a chance to change that before Delaware was able to hold them off.  William & Mary also made a charge at Northeastern, but to no avail, and the best team performance of the day came in the last game as Georgia State dominated Hofstra, playing like a team on a mission as head coach Ron Hunter described after the game.

Here are some quick hitters on what happened Friday:

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Quinn McDowell will be missed, and not just by William & Mary

by - Published March 3, 2012 in Columns
williammary

RICHMOND, Va. – Quinn McDowell didn’t want this to end. It’s only natural for any competitor to not want a career to end, but McDowell isn’t just any athlete. And as he was asked about his college career coming to an end, as happened Friday night, he fought back the tears and was at a loss for words.

“It’s difficult to believe it’s over,” said the senior, pausing at times. “In terms of wins and losses, my career has not gone exactly as I envisioned it, especially this season. As I told the guys, there’s not a group of guys that I would rather have gone through this year with, and that’s what’s made the last four years special.”

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Quick Hitters – March 2, 2012

by - Published March 2, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Quick hitters as we move toward the first weekend of Championship Week:

  • New Hampshire will head into the America East Tournament playing about as well as any team outside of the top three in the conference, and if you’re looking for a dark horse it’s probably the Wildcats. They went 6-2 in February and finished fifth, and they have won at Boston University and at home against Vermont. They didn’t break through against Stony Brook, however, and the Seawolves likely await them if they knock off Albany in the quarterfinals. … Continue Reading

2012 CAA Postseason Awards: One Man’s Vote

by - Published March 1, 2012 in Columns
colonial

The Colonial Athletic Association will hand out postseason awards on Thursday night, the eve of the conference tournament. The awards are voted on by the conference’s head coaches, SIDs and media members. As I am one of the voters, sharing how I voted is one way to look back on the regular season. This time around, the voting was tougher than last year in most categories, which mirrors the preseason when there wasn’t as much established talent returning as last year. Plenty of players emerged over the course of the season, but none of the votes were easy and the biggest one of them all was probably the toughest one since I first became a voter back in 2006.

With that in mind, here is a look at how I voted and the thought process behind each vote. Note that on all of the teams, the players are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

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Connecticut is searching for something, and running out of time

by - Published February 29, 2012 in Columns
connecticut

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Connecticut looks like a team that is searching for some things. The Huskies are missing something – leadership, toughness, perhaps something else – and that was even more clear after Tuesday night’s 72-70 loss at Providence, where they led by as many as 14 in the second half before allowing the Friars to win the game simply by wanting it more.

The Huskies don’t have head coach Jim Calhoun right now as he recovers from back surgery, and they didn’t have him for three games earlier this season. But one wonders how much of a difference he might make with this team. He has been with the team enough that a temporary absence shouldn’t have a major effect. With the Huskies now being guaranteed to finish with a losing record in Big East play, a team that much was expected of is in an unthinkable position.

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Kyle Casey deserves a better ending

by - Published February 27, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – If there’s any justice in this world, Kyle Casey will have a better ending.

Many will look back at Harvard’s heart-breaking 55-54 loss to Penn and see Casey as a goat. He got the ball from an inbounds pass in the final seconds, but was called for a charging foul and had a basket waived off as a result. The basket would have put Harvard ahead with 3.5 seconds left. A win would have clinched a tie for the Ivy League title and put the Crimson at a point where very little could keep them from the coveted NCAA Tournament bid.

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Saturday Notes – December 20, 2014

December 21, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

A busy Saturday is in the books, and we saw the matchups get better, the results continue to be noteworthy and tell us more, and a couple of the games needed a lot of extra time to decide.

Despite a hit on the bottom line, Stony Brook’s transition continues

December 16, 2014 by

stonybrook

Stony Brook was able to hang with Providence until the roof caved in several minutes into the second half. It’s part of a growing process this team in transition needs, and it continues despite dropping a few games along the way.

Amidst Maine’s rebuilding challenge, there is hope

December 12, 2014 by

maine

Maine has a long road ahead as they rebuild under new head coach Bob Walsh. Amidst the early struggles, the Black Bears have shown some reason for hope going forward.

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Recruiting Coverage

2014 Scholar Roundball Classic recap and notes

December 16, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

We look at some notes and evaluations from Sunday’s action at the Scholar Roundball Classic, where the blowouts included some noteworthy performances.

2014 Hoop Mountain Prep Classic – Sunday notes

December 9, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at Sunday’s action in the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic, which included an overtime thriller and a couple of lopsided contests, and some prospects who helped themselves out with their play.

Some notes from the National Prep Showcase

November 28, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

The busy weekend that just passed also included a few games at the National Prep Showcase. Here are a few notes from some of the action early on Friday and Saturday.

New England Prep Schools 2014-15: looking back and looking ahead

November 3, 2014 by

nepsac

With a series of prep school open gym visits in the book and the season not far away, here’s a look back at open gyms and a look forward to the season in the New England prep school ranks.

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

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 and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.