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Plenty of talent at the Northeast Hoops Festival

by - Published April 15, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

HANOVER, Mass. – The Northeast Hoops Festival is one of the big early spring events in the region, and this year it was better than ever. You name the elite program in New England, and they were in this. In addition, they had a number of good teams from outside the region to make it a packed field, and it was held at a fine new facility, the University Sports Complex in Hanover.

Sunday’s games included playoff rounds and saw some games that came right down to the end. Included in that was the Varsity American championship game, which featured New York-based House of Sport and Maine-based MB Nation. MB Nation controlled the game for most of the first half and a lot of the second, but House of Sport gradually rallied. They got within one in the final minute, when MB Nation took an ill-advised shot in traffic and lost possession. After a free throw tied it at 48, MB Nation threw the ball away, and House of Sport got a buzzer-beater to win 50-48.

Here is a look at some of the players we saw.

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Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

by - Published April 11, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
bostonuniversity

While there have surely been worse days in the program’s history, last Wednesday will not go down among the best ones for Boston University. Three players, including star guard Maurice Watson Jr., will all transfer. All of a sudden, the Terriers will have a drastically different look next year and don’t project to be nearly as good. One of them is a bigger loss than the others.

The school announced the transfers of James Kennedy, Malik Thomas and Watson last week. Kennedy, who is one of the nicest young men you could ever meet, has rarely played in his career, having battled injuries. Thomas has had his moments, and his departure will hurt, but it’s Watson’s departure that is both a little mind-boggling and will really hurt.

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Shabazz Napier grew into a championship leader

by - Published April 8, 2014 in Columns
connecticut

Shabazz Napier wasn’t always the easiest kid to root for. He was rough around the edges and could let his competitive streak get the best of him on occasion. Early on, he was an underachiever in the classroom. It would be easy to watch him and see him as a selfish player at times. You could be excused if you wondered if he wasn’t going to be one more example of a city legend somewhere who flamed out when it came to college.

If you knew him back in those days, you knew none of that was who he really is. And if you have followed him over the years, you know that none of that has been true for quite a while now. He wakes up on Tuesday morning with an incredible college legacy that includes two national championships, and one that is the product of tremendous growth into the player and person he always had the potential to become. That he is a two-time champion does not change him from what he was into something else; rather, it is his evolution into the person he is that changed him into a champion.

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2014 NIT Notebook

by - Published April 6, 2014 in Columns
nit

NEW YORK – A final word of notes, quotes, observations from the 2014 NIT.

The first is a simple one. The term “classic” often gets overused, but how else to describe the tournament, especially the championship, a game that saw 14 ties and 17 lead changes?

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Minnesota edges SMU for NIT Title

by - Published April 5, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

NEW YORK – In a championship game of thrills and all-out intensity, Minnesota defeated SMU 65-63 on Thursday night. The victory gave the Gophers the NIT championship and proved to be both a memorable game and a contest ever worthy of the Madison Square Garden location.

The three keys:

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Strong second half sends SMU to NIT final

by - Published April 3, 2014 in Columns
nit

NEW YORK – Throughout an illustrious coaching career spanning several decades through the colleges and NBA, Larry Brown has diagrammed many a play and defense. He’s also very active on the clinic circuit. When his SMU team trailed Clemson at the half by 12 in the NIT semis, Brown’s message was simple. No grease board was necessary.

“I just told them,” Brown said, “we were not matching the intensity and energy of Clemson. We had to do that to get back in it.”

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2014 East Regional Final notebook

by - Published April 2, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

NEW YORK – The 2014 Final Four is set. One of the last teams to advance was Connecticut, 60-54 winners over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Some notes from what was a classic in every sense:

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A Garden Party for the Huskies as UConn advances to the Final Four

by - Published March 30, 2014 in Columns
connecticut

NEW YORK – Riding a wave of momentum, UConn advanced to the Final Four by virtue of a thrilling victory at Madison Square Garden. The 60-54 decision over Michigan State in the East regional final was a thrilling contest that electrified the storied edifice. The possession numbers saw a 61-possession (slower) game, with UConn owning a 98-90 edge in offensive efficiency.

Three points of emphasis:

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How I voted for the 2014 USBWA awards

by - Published March 26, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Before Championship Week began in earnest, ballots were due for USBWA postseason honors. We vote for ten All-Americans, ten All-District players in our district, a National Freshman of the Year (Wayman Tisdale Award), Player of the Year (Oscar Robertson Trophy) and Coach of the Year (Henry Iba Award).

Since I am based near Boston, my district is District 1, which covers the six New England states. As was the case last year, they did not have us vote for a district Player of the Year or Coach of the Year; if I had a vote for each, I would give Shabazz Napier of Connecticut the former (barely over Bryce Cotton of Providence) and Derek Kellogg of UMass the nod for the latter.

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Once again, NCAA Tournament early rounds show how even the teams are

by - Published March 25, 2014 in Columns
ncaa

They say history repeats itself, and few would argue that. As it pertains to college basketball, we’ve seen it with the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament and the teams that have advanced in all rounds. It was the case last year, and now this year as well: we’re seeing that there’s not much difference between many of the teams in the field.

Many were surprised by a lot of the results, and in some cases that’s understandable while in others there wasn’t much to be surprised by. The seeds alone don’t tell the whole story for many of the teams.

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College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

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.

2013 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

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

Cesar Fulcar commits to Wentworth

The senior guard led Watertown to the state semifinal this past season

Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

Bay State Magic doesn’t have much size on their junior team this season, so they’ll have to win with execution and intangibles

Travel team profile: Mass Elite

Mass Elite is one of the largest travel teams in the state despite being relatively new

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is already 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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter