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Observations on Seton Hall’s 2-0 start

by - Published November 18, 2015 in Columns

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – The season started with a weekend homestand, consisting of one game at the Rock and one on campus adding up to a 2-0 sweep for Seton Hall. A few observations from it are in order.

1. Not your easy “cupcake” competition. On Friday Seton Hall defeated Dartmouth 84-67 at the Prudential Center. Sunday the friendly confines of on-campus Walsh Gymnasium hosted the Pirates’ 69-59 decision over Wagner. In the estimation of Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, neither game was a sure “easy out.” “Dartmouth had a seven-game win streak and defeated Yale last season,” Willard said. “Wagner poses problems as their pressure did in the second half. Honestly, we do not have an easy one on our schedule. The way college basketball is these days you need you ‘A’ game every night.”

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New season, new challenge for Fordham’s Jeff Neubauer

by - Published November 12, 2015 in Columns

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Media day seems far removed. The season is upon us, with the opening tip reduced to hours as opposed to weeks or days. There is a significant task ahead in this new season. Jeff Neubauer knows this and accepts the challenge. The new Fordham coach realizes the road ahead and admits, among all that is facing him and the staff, job one for his team is defense. The Rams were subpar on offense last season posting a 96 offensive efficiency in Atlantic 10 play. On defense, the efficiency was 103, a figure over the norm of acceptability to moving up in this competitive conference.

“We are challenge our team to take it up and become an Atlantic 10-level defensive team,” Neubauer said back at the conference media day. “We want our defense to be a man to man and become a aggressive in half court.”

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Tough loss? Look beyond the officials for an answer

by - Published April 10, 2015 in Columns

NEW YORK – The nets are cut down, the smoke has cleared and Duke in the National Champion. The critics still are having a field day regarding the officiating. Some, such as Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, feel it was a too Blue Devil-friendly whistle in the stretch. Of further note is the out-of-bounds play late in the contest. Officials reviewed it on the monitor, awarded the ball to Duke, who canned a crucial three-pointer in the ensuing possession. A huge three-pointer at that juncture.

A closer look, provided by several internet sites, in the days that followed show the ball just grazing the fingers of a Duke defender. Even on review the critics cry, the officials did not get the call right. In fairness, the angles and close ups presented in the recent days were arguably better than the courtside monitor.

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Stanford takes the NIT in a close one

by - Published April 7, 2015 in Columns

NEW YORK – For Stanford, it was a second championship in four years. The Cardinal defeated Miami (FL) in a 66-64 overtime thriller in the National Invitation Tournament championship. The game at Madison Square Garden saw eight ties and five lead changes. It was a game worthy of championship classification.

Three points of emphasis:

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Larranaga cherishes win and Garden experience

by - Published April 2, 2015 in Columns

NEW YORK – A head coaching career that has seen the pinnacle, the Final Four. College basketball’s final weekend. There have been conference titles, rankings and the like. For Jim Larranaga, one thing was missing. The opportunity to coach at the “world’s most famous arena.”

Sure he played here for Providence. Served here as a Virginia assistant. In over three decades calling the shots, never the opportunity to walk the Garden sideline with his team on the floor. That changed on Tuesday night.

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Kentucky 78, West Virginia 39: Tempo Free Post-Mortem

by - Published March 28, 2015 in Columns

At the 16:33 mark, it was 7-2. It only got worse. Kentucky thoroughly dismantled West Virginia 78-39 in the Sweet 16.

Thursday’s night in Cleveland saw the Wildcats post an efficiency of 122. That was double the Mountaineer efficiency of 61. The win brought Kentucky’s record to 37-0, while West Virginia ends the year 25-10.

The pace of the contest was 64 possessions, a moderate tempo as full-court pressing was not an issue the final twenty minutes as Kentucky was enjoying a huge double-digit lead.

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Rhode Island 88, Iona 75: A tempo free recap

by - Published March 19, 2015 in Columns

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – The pace was in the eighties. Not a shock at all. It would have been if the tempo was more pedestrian 60 something. At any rate, playing a speed both clubs enjoy, Rhode Island defeated Iona 88-75. The first round NIT game at URI’s Ryan Centers saw the Rams improve to 23-9 while Iona finishes 26-9. The Gaels had 84 possessions to the 82 of Rhode Island.

The efficiency:

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Atlantic 10 to Big East: On the conference road (and rails)

by - Published March 17, 2015 in Columns

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In actuality, the day begins in New York at Penn Station. The first stop is the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the Barclays Center. The evening finishes at MSG for the Big East. A basketball odyssey of one day, two venues, two conferences, two boroughs, eight teams. Countless enjoyment for a basketball connoisseur.

10:45 a.m. – On the 2 train Brooklyn-bound out of Penn Station. No one in La Salle or Davidson gear spotted. Train is filled with later morning commuters and those entrenched in their 9 to 5 routine.

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Davidson at the buzzer

by - Published March 13, 2015 in Columns

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – La Salle led virtually the entire contest. The Explorers enjoyed as much an 18-point lead late in the first half. The near-game domination was erased as LaSalle went scoreless the final 4:45 of the contest. Davidson advanced 67-66 on a Tyler Kalinoski’s drive to the basket rimmed and dropped as the buzzer sounded.

A look at the numbers gets us going:

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Strong second half propels Bonnies

by - Published March 13, 2015 in Columns

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In a classic case of “survive and advance” St. Bonaventure defeated Saint Joseph’s 60-49 in Atlantic 10 first round action. The age-old axiom tells us it is difficult to defeat a team three times in one season. It is beyond difficult, more like impossible, to do it if your offensive efficiency is 77. The Barclays Center game came after the Bonnies swept the two regular season meetings. The first twenty minutes would leave casual followers wondering how St. Bonaventure managed to pull off a sweep.

In a slow to pedestrian 30 possessions, Saint Joseph’s, a 28-23 leader at the half, registered a 90 efficiency. Not great, but good enough for a lead when you allow a 77. The first half saw the teams combine for 15 field goals. St. Joseph’s with nine of those, had a 39 percent eFG mark while St. Bonaventure shot just 35 percent.

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Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

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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.

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

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


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


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


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


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


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.