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George Mason hopes to improve in “Sophomore” year of the Atlantic 10

by - Published October 21, 2014 in Columns
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BROOKLYN, NY – Paul Hewitt knew this would not be easy. By his candid admission, the George Mason mentor expected the school’s first season in Atlantic 10 play to be a challenge. It was a challenge, and more.

“The Atlantic 10 was more than I estimated,” Hewitt said at the conference media day. “Six teams getting into the NCAA tournament, that’s a premier league.” George Mason finished 11-20 last season. Their conference record was 4-12 with the season ending with a first round conference tournament loss to Fordham.

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Williston Northampton begins a new chapter on the hardwood

by - Published September 26, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
willistonnorthampton

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. – Mike Shelton freely admits that this is uncharted territory for his new employer. Having already coached in Division 2 and 3 at the college level, he is now the head coach at the Williston Northampton School, located in western Massachusetts a little ways northwest of Springfield. It’s a school that has been on very few people’s radar in the world of New England prep school basketball, but there is a desire to change that.

Shelton comes with a career in coaching and an administration that wants to grow in athletics. There is the infrastructure for it to happen, which includes a nice facility where the basketball team plays. He’s changing things up right away as this team is made up almost entirely of newcomers. Many of them are from Massachusetts, so he is establishing the areas close to home first.

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Kent School has some pieces to compete in NEPSAC Class A

by - Published September 25, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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KENT, Conn. – The second stop on Wednesday was a short trip from the first one, as the Kent School is located just a few miles north of South Kent. A short trip from the center of town, much of the campus is nestled right alongside the Housatonic River. While the talent level is a bit different from their neighboring school, the Lions have a team that should be competitive in Class A this season.

The basketball court at the school was redone recently, and before you see that you will walk past a football field right next to the facility that was improved a summer ago. Both are signs that the athletic program is in growth mode these days, and the basketball team is hoping to be no small part of that.

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South Kent has a lot of pieces – and size – to compete in NEPSAC Class AAA

by - Published September 25, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
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SOUTH KENT, Conn. – There’s no magic formula for winning and success in sports, no matter the sport. Kelvin Jefferson isn’t about to claim to have discovered one, but the South Kent head coach seems to be finding the right combinations of late, with last year being the latest example.

South Kent didn’t have as much talent last year as they have in many of Jefferson’s years at the school, but the results are hard to argue with. Last season, the Cardinals were the No. 4 seed in the Class AAA Tournament and lost a tough one to Northfield Mount Hermon in the quarterfinals, then managed to reach the National Prep Championship. Jefferson has won over 100 games in his six years at the school.

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St. Thomas More will compete and get better as usual

by - Published September 24, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
author_kasiecki

OAKDALE, Conn. – Step into Jere Quinn’s office at St. Thomas More, and you see the testaments to his many years of coaching. He’s helped make many players better and won a lot of games over the years, largely through a no-nonsense style of coaching. The talent he’s had includes players who didn’t play Division I in college and elite players like Andre Drummond. He’s done it all at a small boys school well away from anything resembling a major city.

The Chancellors always have their fair share of talent, although they are rarely in the discussion for the most talented team in NEPSAC Class AAA. Still, they are always competitive, and there’s no reason to expect this season to be any different, especially as there is good talent for Quinn and his staff to work with.

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Holderness has a new coach and some young players with upside

by - Published September 22, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
holdernessschool

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Holderness School has tended to fly under the radar in the world of NEPSAC basketball. Although they had a couple of good teams with solid Division I prospects a few years back, they haven’t sustained that run. They have continued to land some prospects at the highest level, and now a new head coach will try to get them going again.

Former Cornell and Boston College assistant coach Woody Kampmann took over as the head coach in August, so his team was pretty set by the time he got the job. He inherits a group that has some good holdovers, as well as newcomers with potential.

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2014 Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase Evaluations

by - Published September 22, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
author_kasiecki

FOXBORO, Mass. – Friday night was a night for prospects to gather at Mass Premier Courts in Foxboro for the Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase. An event they have run for years, it saw over 200 players compete in a series of games over three hours. Although largely an event for seniors to be seen one last time by college coaches before the school season, there were some underclassmen who were noteworthy as well.

With that, we take a look at some of the players who stood out on the evening.

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Brooks School hopes to continue the rise with one more step

by - Published September 18, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
brooksschool

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The steady rise of the Brooks School in recent years nearly had a big highlight last season. For the fourth year in a row, they finished second in the Independent School League (ISL). They have gone from 17-8 in 2011-12 to 18-6 a year later and 21-6 last year. That got them into the NEPSAC Class B Tournament, where they pulled out two overtime thrillers to reach the championship. There, Cheshire Academy took home a 66-56 win.

Last season’s 21 wins marked a school record. This year’s team has a lot of key pieces among their ten players returning, so there’s every reason to think they can get back there again. The competition will be stiff, as always, but there’s a lot to like about this team even after viewing them a bit short-handed due to a few two-sport athletes who had a game.

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Phillips Exeter has a team with some upside

by - Published September 17, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
phillipsexeter

EXETER, N.H. – Phillips Exeter is naturally known for academics first. The basketball team at the school is not exempt from the requirements, so they are a good group of students as well. All the while, the program has been on a roll of late, as last season they won their second straight NEPSAC Class A title in dramatic fashion.

This time around, there are a couple of holdovers, but in all it’s mostly a new cast of characters for Jay Tilton to mold into a winning group. He has some good talent to work with in that regard, and there’s a little class balance as well. For comparison to the last two teams, at first glance they don’t appear nearly as talented and deep as the team two years ago, but might have a little more than last season’s team. This team is also smaller than both up front.

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Plenty of talent, including a good mix, at Brewster Academy

by - Published September 17, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
brewsteracademy

WOLFEBORO, N.H. – When you head to Brewster Academy these days, you know what to expect. In short, you expect to see a great collection of talent, likely the best NEPSAC Class AAA has to offer, and a group that will likewise provide a different challenge for head coach Jason Smith and his staff.

This year’s trip up didn’t disappoint. And while having all of this talent is a pleasant problem to have, Smith and his staff don’t simply roll out the balls and win games. That isn’t how they’ve won four NEPSAC titles and three national titles in the last seven years. They hold players accountable and get them to understand that everyone wants to knock them off. There is a target on this team’s back, and that presents a challenge all its own.

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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

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.

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by

vermontacademy

Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by

mastersschool

The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by

riversschool

The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.

Tabor Academy looks to have more depth this time around

October 13, 2014 by

taboracademy

Tabor Academy will once again be headlined by a frontcourt player. This time around, though, the Seawolves appear to have a deeper support cast than in recent years.