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Another Ivy League showdown is on the way

by - Published February 24, 2013 in Columns
harvard

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The stage is set for another showdown on Friday night. Two familiar foes in recent years will meet in Jadwin Gym with first place in the Ivy League on the line, and that’s pretty much what was expected all along. The only question was the teams’ records coming in, and they will remain separated by a game in the loss column after Harvard pulled out a 72-66 win at Yale on Saturday night.

Princeton took care of their end of the bargain by blasting Cornell a night after they took care of Columbia. With the late start in New Haven, this was known well before the game was over. It was just a question of whether or not Harvard would hold up its end and head to Princeton with one league loss or two.

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A look around the country – February 24, 2013

by - Published February 24, 2013 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Among the 140 games played on Saturday were the last BracketBusters games, as the event is going away after this season. The event was a mixed bag in its time; great for many of the teams that got TV games, just okay for those who didn’t. It also meant a change to many teams’ conference schedules over the years since it meant one weekend off from conference play, but many teams were already mixing in a conference game or two in December before it starts in earnest in January.

Saturday had more than that, though. What stands out the most is that the SEC had four overtime games, including one that took three overtimes to settle and another that took four. The SEC may not be very good this year, but it’s certainly been competitive, and Saturday was indicative of that.

Some thoughts coming out of the games played on Saturday:

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Dayton can’t get over the hump to reach its potential

by - Published February 23, 2013 in Columns
dayton

AMHERST, Mass. – Dayton might be best summed up as a team that’s been knocking on the door all season but hasn’t been able to get inside. They have looked very good, they have looked just okay, and they seem very close to being a good team. But the Flyers haven’t been able to get over the hump quite often this season, and Saturday’s 76-66 loss at UMass was no different.

Watch the Flyers and you can see that there’s a high skill level with this team to go along with some length and athleticism. They don’t have as much of the physical gifts as some teams, but they are hardly lacking. The big problem is that they haven’t yet been able to maintain a high level of play to reach the potential they have.

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Brown puts forth a rare bad effort against Harvard

by - Published February 23, 2013 in Columns
brown

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Give Harvard credit for coming to play on Friday night and putting forth a good game. Brown has played Harvard tough, taking them to double overtime earlier this month, and the Bears don’t lack confidence playing against them. But Brown did a lot to hurt its own cause on Friday night in dropping a 65-47 decision, and head coach Mike Martin didn’t mince words.

“That was unacceptable from me on down tonight,” said the Brown mentor. “We have to be a lot better than we were tonight, and we will be going forward. Absolutely unacceptable performance from our team tonight.”

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Defense has been a struggle for Central Connecticut

by - Published February 22, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
centralconnecticutstate

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Every team has at least one team that is a bad matchup for one reason or another. For Central Connecticut, one of them would seem to be Bryant, a relentless offensive team that is tough enough to beat as it is and even tougher if they get some defensive stops. That was in evidence in the Blue Devils’ 88-67 loss to the Bulldogs on Thursday night, especially in the second half as Bryant broke open what was a close game for some of the first half and showed the growing pains this Central Connecticut team has had.

Central Connecticut has just one senior to go with four freshmen and a junior college transfer. Last season’s team had three seniors, all very experienced, along with a junior, so while last year’s team also had some youth they had more veterans to carry them. Head coach Howie Dickenmann is now starting three underclassmen and is bringing the one senior, Joe Efese, off the bench. How long he will stick with that lineup remains to be seen, but to a degree Tuesday night is an aberration because they struggled against a hot offensive team. The Bulldogs shot over 53 percent from the field on the evening.

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Xavier starts big home stretch with a road win

by - Published February 21, 2013 in Columns
xavier

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Xavier opened its home stretch with a road win, and while it’s not a big one in that it came over an 8-17 team, it is a road win nonetheless, and one they had to battle to take home. In beating Rhode Island 55-42, the Musketeers got back on track as they head into a tough slate to end the regular season. They also ended a stretch with seven of ten games on the road and now get to go home for a few games.

This is not your vintage Xavier team in more ways than one. Whereas the Musketeers have in recent years had teams with good class balance, this year’s is a decidedly young edition with just four scholarship upperclassmen. They also come into mid-February not being a lock for the NCAA Tournament, and in fact they don’t look like an at-large candidate at all. They entered the week with an RPI of 98.

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Boston College is growing up before our eyes

by - Published February 20, 2013 in Columns
bostoncollege

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – It was just the right situation.  Maryland, the clear favorite in the game, had just scored their signature win of the season over Duke.  Many teams have a letdown following such a big win unless they have had a number of them, and that’s not the case for this Maryland team as they have a dearth of such wins.  The Terrapins are also young.  Sure enough, it was also visible in Boston College’s 69-58 victory over Maryland on Tuesday night, but there was much more.

Boston College is growing up before our eyes.

“I don’t know if I’ve been more proud of my team than tonight,” said head coach Steve Donahue.  “I thought we just played really inspired basketball for 40 minutes.”

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Maryland just can’t keep momentum from the win over Duke

by - Published February 20, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
maryland

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Just as quickly as Maryland’s win over Duke on Saturday night vaulted them into the NCAA Tournament conversation, the Terrapins may have moved right back outside of it.  A lackluster effort on Tuesday night culminated in a 69-58 loss that can undo a lot of what Saturday’s win did for them.

“I just don’t get it,” said head coach Mark Turgeon.  “I just don’t understand – right here, it’s a big game, it’s not a hostile environment.  You’ve just got to want it.  It just seemed like we were standing in quicksand all night, standing and watching.”

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Motivated Boston University is on a roll in the final weeks

by - Published February 18, 2013 in Columns
bostonuniversity

BOSTON – Likely in part because they are departing the conference after this season and thus not eligible for the America East tournament, Boston University has been flying under the radar. But make no mistake: the Terriers are a factor in the conference race, and look very much like a team motivated to win on their way out as they have won seven of eight after Sunday’s 68-56 win over New Hampshire.

“Every game from here on out, since conference play started, has been personal for us,” said freshman guard Maurice Watson, Jr. “We just feel like we’re getting the short end of the stick because we’re making a change. We want to leave them with a sour taste in their mouth when they play against the Terriers.”

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Providence is hitting their stride in February

by - Published February 17, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey wasted no time heaping praise on the team that beat his Fighting Irish convincingly on Saturday. He had barely sat down when he started.

“I think they are the most underrated team in our league, quite frankly,” said Brey. “They are really hard to guard. I think Ed’s done a fabulous job with them.”

Providence is clearly hitting its stride at long last, and Saturday was the best exhibition of that. After battling personnel issues through the early part of Big East play, this team finally seems to have settled into what they are. The Friars are healthy, have found their roles, they know what’s expected and they have found a rotation that is working. And it probably doesn’t hurt from an intangible standpoint that one of the players they were eager to get eligible is not with them now.

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Saturday Notes – February 6, 2016

February 7, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

It was a full day of action, one that included two top teams going down in a rarity. Also, a number of other teams suffered a loss that could be a critical blow to their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes.

Saturday Notes – January 30, 2016

January 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

In the midst of conference season, a non-conference set of games took center stage. They were far from alone in the important games of the day, though, and we take a look at notes from many of those games.

Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A number of games were pushed to another day by a storm on the east coast, but we had plenty of noteworthy games all the same on Saturday.

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Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

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.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.

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