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Atkins, Notre Dame continue to dig deep

by - Published February 17, 2014 in Columns
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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Eric Atkins and Notre Dame have had to dig deep this season. They have had some real adversity come their way, and haven’t handled it very well on the bottom line. With a stretch of three straight road games having just started, though, the Fighting Irish just might be getting to a point where wins won’t be so hard to come by.

“We’ve got a tough stretch here,” Atkins said after Notre Dame’s 73-69 win at Boston College on Sunday night. “It’s going to be tough, but I think things are coming together a little bit for us. I think everyone has really fallen into their roles, and everyone is stepping up.”

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Saturday Notes – February 15, 2014

by - Published February 16, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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In recent days, the winter weather has been in the news a lot, and that includes the context of college basketball as a number of games have been postponed due to the weather. Two more Atlantic Sun games fell victim to the weather on Saturday, as Lipscomb at Kennesaw State and Northern Kentucky at Mercer were both postponed.

Saturday started out with a few dandies, including an AAC and an ACC battle that each came down to the wire. An Atlantic 10 showdown was also on the slate, and late in the day a big SEC showdown was on tap. We also saw what is almost certainly the last in what’s become a great rivalry, and the Patriot League race got a little more interesting.

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Oliver Purnell may be running out of time at DePaul

by - Published February 15, 2014 in Columns
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.- You have to think Oliver Purnell is starting to run out of time at DePaul. Simply put, the program isn’t in a good place right now, and the Blue Demons’ 84-61 loss at Providence is only part of it.

Purnell is nearing the end of his fourth year at the school, and it’s tough to say the program is better off than before he came to Chicago. In those nearly four seasons, the Blue Demons are 40-80. The picture doesn’t look much brighter for next season, either, given the current personnel, as they start three freshmen right now and don’t really have an upperclassman who looks like a go-to guy for next season.

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Boston University gets the 40-minute effort they needed

by - Published February 10, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
bostonuniversity

BOSTON – The final box score shows Boston University beating Lafayette 88-54. Dig a little deeper and you understand how the score got to be that way. But watch Saturday’s game at Agganis Arena and you understand it better, as well as why it was so satisfying for this team, as it’s the type of effort they’ve needed.

“We had been talking about trying to put together two halves, trying to play consistently well for 40 minutes,” said head coach Joe Jones. “We’ve struggled with that at times. So tonight, it was great to see us play a complete game from start to finish.”

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Jabari Parker gets better as he nears a place in Duke history

by - Published February 10, 2014 in Columns
duke

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – By now Jabari Parker’s reputation has been well-established. He’s been the top player in his class in high school, has fallen off from that and overshadowed by others, and has reminded people at times just how good he is as a college freshman.

Even so, his performance in Duke’s 89-66 win at Boston College might be his best one to date. He looked like a man among boys in more ways than one, and while it was a 6-17 Eagles team that he did it against, he was one of the youngest players on the floor all night. When the season is over, he might be in a class by himself in his program’s history.

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Saturday Notes – February 8, 2014

by - Published February 9, 2014 in Columns
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Saturday saw a number of good matchups among the nearly 140 Division I games. Unfortunately, it’s a day that will likely end up being remembered for a bad incident near the end of a great day of basketball. As Texas Tech finished off a big win over Oklahoma State, Cowboy guard Marcus Smart shoved a fan behind the basket after he ran back to make a play and his momentum took him into the crowd. It was a shocking thing to witness from a young man who has the reputation of being a different kid than many others.

But focusing on basketball, there weren’t many matchups with two contenders battling one another. Still, a number of games saw teams a little back from the top of their conference playing one another. The end result in many cases seems to be that the picture isn’t much clearer than it was at the beginning of the day, especially in the ACC, Big Ten and Big 12. The Big 12 also saw several of the day’s best individual efforts.

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Lafayette’s tough season continues in blowout loss in Boston

by - Published February 9, 2014 in Columns
lafayette

BOSTON – Fran O’Hanlon must have thought it was January all over again. It was that kind of day for his team on Saturday at Agganis Arena, where his team was right there in the first couple of minutes and then never really in it as the Leopards were blown out 88-54 in a game that didn’t even seem that close.

“It was just a total domination by them,” said O’Hanlon.

That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell. Lafayette tied the game at 4 less than two minutes in, then it was never a ballgame after that. The Leopards had their second-worst shooting game of the season both from the field and from long range.

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Harvard freshman big man is simply impressive

by - Published February 8, 2014 in Columns
harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Zena Edosomwan has a way of impressing you. The best thing about it can probably be best summed up by a teammate who has a little in common with him, and it doesn’t just apply to this context.

“When he gets in the game, he just plays, and I think he just does it naturally,” said junior guard Wesley Saunders, who like Edosomwan hails from California.

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Brown isn’t quite ready to win a game like this

by - Published February 8, 2014 in Columns
brown

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Brown gave it all they had against the Ivy League favorites. Lack of effort wasn’t the problem, and talent-wise they might not have been far off. They had their chances, and head coach Mike Martin noted that several times in addition to the reality that they didn’t convert enough of their chances. That’s really what this came down to in one sense.

But in another sense, this was a battle of a young team against a veteran team that has won a lot of games on the latter’s home court. And that is not one this Brown team is ready to win just yet, their 52-45 setback at Harvard serving as the evidence.

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St. John’s has the momentum to make a run in February

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

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Times are good for St. John’s right now. You could see it after their 86-76 win at Providence, when JaKarr Sampson and D’Angelo Harrison got to the interview room before head coach Steve Lavin and sports information director Mark Fratto and proceeded to do their best impression of Fratto introducing the press conference. The youthful exuberance got a few laughs out of those who had gathered.

When you’ve won five of six and look like you’re starting to figure it out, you feel free to do something like this. It’s happening a little later than they surely would have liked, but it may not be too late.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

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

hofstra

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

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

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

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Travel team profile: All For One

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Conference Coverage

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

July 8, 2014 by

bigten

The Big Ten had some teams slip as the season went on, but plenty of others picked up the slack in another good year for the conference.

2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

July 7, 2014 by

sunbelt

Membership changes have been happening at quite a pace of late in the Sun Belt, and it was a new member that stole the show for much of this past season and seems poised to lead the way in the future.

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

bigsky

The teams that have led the way in the Big Sky of late were right there again this season. One of them won both the regular season and conference tournament, and also had a nice time with the post-season awards as well.

2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

July 1, 2014 by

meac

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year in the MEAC, as the Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of conference.

2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

June 30, 2014 by

big12

When it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney.

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