Home » Columns » Recent Articles:

Winning close games can change Georgia Tech’s fortunes

by - Published October 8, 2015 in Columns

Georgia Tech in recent years has been a snake-bit team. Even going back to the Paul Hewitt years, it always seemed like the Yellow Jackets were more than competitive, a team that when they finished down in the ACC standings always lost a bunch of close games to get there. The theory is that those close losses can turn into wins with a more experienced team, but theory doesn’t always follow reality. Brian Gregory and his squad need that more than ever this season.

It’s not as if Georgia Tech has lacked talent. They’ve had enough to win plenty of games, and this year’s team will be no exception, with three starters back led by senior Marcus Georges-Hunt, and six of their top nine scorers from last season. They add Adam Smith, a well-traveled guard who will finish his career at his third school, and who has scored points in the ACC as he was at Virginia Tech before this season.

… Continue Reading

New challenge ahead for Harvard

by - Published October 6, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Under Tommy Amaker, Harvard has had an unprecedented run of success in recent years. A program that had never been to the NCAA Tournament before Amaker’s arrival in Cambridge, Harvard is now looked at as a perennial favorite in the Ivy League. The past two NCAA Tournaments, they were a trendy upset pick, making good in 2014 with a win over Cincinnati (one that probably should be thought of as an upset in name only) before a tough loss to North Carolina last season. Before that, they beat New Mexico in 2013.

This time around, however, the Crimson will have a much bigger challenge to keep that run going.

The Ivy League has been on a big upswing in recent years, and Harvard has been no small part of that. Not only have they had the aforementioned success, but others have done their best to stay with them, much like others did with Penn and Princeton for years. The league has a lot of good teams now, as well as coaching stability at every school. Should Harvard falter, there are plenty of suitable candidates to carry the flag for the league.

… Continue Reading

With Marks gone, Boise State shouldn’t slip much

by - Published October 5, 2015 in Columns

Boise State has often reloaded on the gridiron, where the Broncos have had plenty of success. The hardwood, however, has been a different story – until now. They may have made the NCAA Tournament last year for the second time in three seasons, led by a senior, but with him gone, they shouldn’t drop much this year, if they drop at all.

This is somewhat new territory for the program. We’re talking about a program that has only been to the NCAA Tournament seven times in its entire history, and prior to the last two trips had never done so as an at-large selection. Last season, they had their highest seed since the tournament expanded to 64 teams, a No. 11. They still haven’t won a game, so there’s lots of new territory to still reach.

… Continue Reading

Was hiring Larry Brown really worth it for SMU?

by - Published September 30, 2015 in Columns

When SMU hired Larry Brown in 2012 after letting Matt Doherty go, it seemed a curious hire. He was 71 years old, clearly in the back end of his career, and had been out of the college game for nearly a quarter century. He was now about to lead a moribund program that had never really gained traction in Conference USA. He carried name recognition, the kind that would make them relevant even if they weren’t on the court, but whether it would pay off remained to be seen.

Three years later, that move appears to have backfired.

On Tuesday, the NCAA banned the Mustangs from the 2016 postseason for multiple violations that include academic fraud and unethical conduct. The program is also on probation for three years, while Brown has been suspended for 30 percent of his team’s games for the 2015-16 season (that comes out to about nine or ten games), and the team will lose nine scholarships over the next three seasons.

… Continue Reading

Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

by - Published September 24, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

It’s been a long struggle in the Patriot League for Army. The Black Knights are the only program in the league aside from relative newcomers Boston University and Loyola (Md.) to never win a league title, and join the Greyhounds in having never even reached the title game. In fact, they have finished in the first division of the league just twice, never higher than fourth.

That gives you an idea of the gargantuan task that was in front of head coach Zach Spiker when he took over after the sudden ouster of Jim Crews in 2009. And while there are bigger missions at the service academy than basketball, it is nonetheless part of life for some at the academy. Still, he has brought the program to new heights by recent measures, and now the hope is that he can take them just a bit higher in what should be “the year.”

… Continue Reading

After not quite making it last year, Tulsa will try again

by - Published August 31, 2015 in Columns

Every year, there’s at least one team that runs up a good record, either in non-conference or a conference, that becomes the subject of much speculation with regards to getting an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. Tulsa was just such a team last season, winning their first ten games in American Athletic Conference play en route to a 14-4 mark. The Golden Hurricane ultimately fell short and settled for a bid in the NIT.

Can they avoid that fate this season? There’s reason to believe they can, and they’ve already done something to help their cause there.

… Continue Reading

Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

by - Published August 27, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Perhaps Lorenzo Romar has a second act in store at Washington.

Perhaps the Huskies have some hope of rebounding yet, and relatively soon.

You can be forgiven for having wondered if Romar had peaked during his tenure in Seattle. In a Pac-12 that has seen Arizona once again become the signature program, while Utah has risen and Oregon has become a steady contender, Washington has gone from being a contender to almost a forgotten team. The 2014-15 season was perhaps a microcosm of this stretch in that it started out with a lot of promise, but crashed and burned.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 OVC Post-Mortem

by - Published August 24, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Undeniably, the story of the Ohio Valley Conference in 2014-15 and for much of the past 30 years starts with the Murray State Racers. The story of OVC basketball at the moment, though, currently features equal parts of the Racers and the Belmont Bruins.

Murray State was one of the most-discussed teams in the country by the end of this season after a blazing run through the regular season. The Racers shook off a shaky start to win 25 straight games, gained a spot in the national rankings and were a hot topic for their at-large candidacy for the NCAA Tournament.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 SWAC Post-Mortem

by - Published August 21, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Southwestern Athletic Conference has for some time been devoid of a signature basketball program. It now may have one. Or two.

Last year we documented the SWAC’s search for a true heavyweight program, a team to beat every season. We presented Southern, after the Jaguars had won a conference tourney championship and a regular season title in the previous two years.

We could just as easily now tout Texas Southern to take the Jaguars’ place. The Tigers have now won two straight SWAC tournament titles to make two straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. TSU also won the regular season championship this year to sweep both titles and lay its claim as the league’s top program. And the Tigers also have a regular season title from 2012-13, giving them two regular season and two tourney championships in the last three years.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 Atlantic Sun Post-Mortem

by - Published July 31, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Don’t be misled by the final regular season standings-the Atlantic Sun was a three-team race last year. And a really good one at that.

The final tally will forever show that North Florida edged out Florida Gulf Coast for the title in a terrific race that went down to the final days of the regular season. UNF stung FGCU on the road in the teams’ second-to-last game to clinch a season sweep of the Eagles and no worse than a share of the title. The Ospreys then went on to sweep through the A-Sun tournament for the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament bid.

… Continue Reading

Like Hoopville on Facebook


Your Phil of Hoops

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.

Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

September 24, 2015 by


Army was on a nice rise with its core up until Patriot League play last season, when they came back to earth. Now with a core of seniors, can this team be the one that finally takes home a Patriot League title?

Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

August 27, 2015 by


There has been some notable downward momentum at Washington recently, but there is more hope all the time that it could be reversed, and soon.

Hoopville Archives

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

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.