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Georgetown is missing an intangible

by - Published January 11, 2014 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Don’t let the nice record fool you. The good wins, don’t let them fool you, either. This is not last year’s Georgetown team. While that’s obvious since it’s a new season with new personnel, this team hasn’t taken that personality with it. That was one thing evident in the Hoyas’ 70-52 loss at Providence on Wednesday night, and it could be a big thing down the road.

Make no mistake: Georgetown has some things going for it. Depth is one thing this team has, and it gave the Hoyas a decided edge on Wednesday night. They had already played nine players just over halfway through the first half, and they were well on their way to rallying from being down ten early. Providence doesn’t have that depth with all the personnel issues they have had. But that wasn’t enough. Something was missing.

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Providence does what they know and continue to fight through adversity

by - Published January 9, 2014 in Columns

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Ed Cooley wasn’t kidding when he said Wednesday night’s 70-52 win over Georgetown was a character win. The Providence head coach knows it in more ways than one.

Simply put, Providence has had to hang in there and keep fighting with the deck seemingly stacked against them. This team is battle-hardened on and off the court, and while it’s been tough at times, this team is showing its toughness and benefiting from it more than ever. There has been adversity left and right for this team.

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Brad Brownell comes to Steve Donahue’s defense

by - Published January 5, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Speculation about Steve Donahue’s job status has taken off, to the point where one might not be off their rocker for thinking it’s gotten out of hand. If the Boston College head coach is looking for an ally, it’s clear he has a willing one in Clemson head coach Brad Brownell, his opposite number on Saturday afternoon. The Clemson mentor added some thoughts unprompted while discussing his team’s win.

Clemson beat Boston College 62-60 on Saturday to send the reeling Eagles to 4-11 on the season. Well before this, though, there had been talk of what could happen to Donahue as the Eagles lost a few early ones. As losses have mounted, so has speculation that Donahue is on some kind of borrowed time at The Heights. Brownell sees some similarities and drew a comparison and contrast at times.

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Saturday notes – January 4, 2014

by - Published January 5, 2014 in Columns

Conference play is very much underway all across the country now, and Saturday saw plenty of early games. As often happens, there were some surprises, especially with some of the favorites being on the road in this case.

Here are some notes from the day’s games.

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Clemson looks like they’re starting to grow up as ACC play opens

by - Published January 5, 2014 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – If you’re looking for a sleeper in the ACC, Clemson could be one possibility. The Tigers look like a growing team as conference play begins, picking up their first road win of the season in their ACC opener on Saturday by holding off Boston College 62-60. Along the way, it’s clear there’s a lot to like about this team and where they are trending.

Brad Brownell’s teams have always been able to defend, and this team is certainly doing that. They allow opponents to shoot just over 35 percent from the field on the season, including under 25 percent from long range. They are athletic enough to turn teams over, and while the 13 turnovers BC committed isn’t very high, it’s still above average for Clemson opponents on the season and it happened in a game played with a low number of possessions.

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Boston College isn’t as bad as you might think

by - Published January 2, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Boston College is done with non-conference play, and perhaps thankful for that. The Eagles are 4-10, with one of the losses being an early ACC loss, and there’s not a lot of positive press about this team. There’s been speculation about Steve Donahue feeling some heat, and that continued on Wednesday while the Eagles suffered a 73-58 loss at Harvard. All this, and they already fight to be relevant in the first place, both in their strong conference and locally in a pro sports town.

Now it’s time to look this over a little more, and be fair to this team and coach. Boston College isn’t as bad as some think.

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Richmond closing out a promising non-conference slate

by - Published January 1, 2014 in Columns

BOSTON – Richmond is closing out a promising non-conference run, with their 70-66 win at Northeastern on Tuesday being the latest part of that. What is most promising of all is a couple of things in how they won, especially since they didn’t play their best in the category they have been the strongest all year.

The Spiders have been a defense-driven team all season long, and that’s never a bad thing. The defense is good enough to potentially carry this team far in the Atlantic 10 as they are the top defensive team in the conference. Opponents shoot below 40 percent from the field against them, and they force well over 15 turnovers a night.

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How the conferences shake out as 2014 approaches

by - Published December 31, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Non-conference play is just about over at this point. Conference games are ready to take over the rest of the slate, with a few having an “opening day” of sorts, including the Big East with its well-publicized day of five games on Tuesday. A few have already had early conference games, with the West Coast Conference having its opening day on Saturday.

How are the conferences shaping up? Which ones look like we thought and which ones look nothing like what we thought before the season? Here is a look at all 32 conferences as conference play beckons.

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2013 BABC Holiday Classic – Sunday notes

by - Published December 30, 2013 in Columns

ROXBURY, Mass. – Two more games were on tap Sunday to close out the 2013 BABC Holiday Classic. Both involved Boston City League teams we saw on Friday, but with new opponents, and it was a split for the city schools with the loss being an impressive display by the winning team.

Sunday Scoreboard

Dorchester (MA) High 75, Nashua (NH) Bishop Guertin 63
Springfield (MA) Putnam 69, Hyde Park (MA) New Mission School 52

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Rhode Island is experiencing the predicted growing pains

by - Published December 30, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – As non-conference play winds down, Rhode Island is experiencing what many could have predicted they would before the season: growing pains. Their 77-64 loss to Southern Miss is perhaps a microcosm of the season, and it’s not surprising that it left head coach Dan Hurley musing about the state of his team as Atlantic 10 play approaches.

Rhode Island certainly had their moments. They responded to an early blitz by the Golden Eagles, leading for stretches in the first half and tying the game early in the second half. But once Southern Miss scored eight unanswered points to break the tie, the Rams were playing catch-up the rest of the way. They rallied to within 64-62, but the Golden Eagles then scored the next 11 points to seal it.

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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.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

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Everybody Needs a Head Coach

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

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