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2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

by - Published July 1, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
bigsky

The 2013-14 season saw one of the Big Sky’s signature programs, and the one that has given it arguably the biggest NCAA Tournament wins in recent memory, return to the Big Dance. It wasn’t that Weber State wasn’t good; they have been a consistent postseason team. They just couldn’t knock off one particular team in the conference tournament that had their number.

Since reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2007, Weber State lost three times – all to Montana – in the Big Sky championship game. This time around, the Wildcats didn’t have to go through the Grizzlies, who were bounced in the quarterfinals, and handily beat North Dakota in the championship game. It finished what was pretty much a dominating season for them, as they also won the regular season title and dominated the postseason awards.

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2013-14 MEAC Post-Mortem

by - Published July 1, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
meac

Though it is often right around the bottom of NCAA Division I, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference furnishes some really good teams from time to time. North Carolina Central provided yet another example of that this year.

The 2013-14 season was N.C. Central’s year. The Eagles completed their four-year ascent to the top of MEAC and were easily its best team, winning both the regular season and tournament titles and capturing their first-ever D-I tourney bid. The Eagles finished 28-6 overall, won at North Carolina State, and were competitive in every one of their losses, even giving Wichita State a stiff challenge on the road in December.
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2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 30, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
big12

Top to bottom, the Big 12 was the best college basketball conference in the country this year. Let’s get that out of the way right now.

In fact, 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. And as good as those seven teams were, the league’s eighth and ninth teams may have spoken most to the Big 12’s depth.
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2013-14 Northeast Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published June 30, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
northeastconference

The Northeast Conference has had a good run in recent years, from one of its best seasons in 2011-12 to seeing a new member become a contender as they become eligible for the conference tournament. The conference always has some good basketball with its top teams, and this year was no exception. Part of that was once again evident in the conference tournament, as the regular season champion once again didn’t take home the title.

Robert Morris has been a mainstay for several years now. You could argue that the Colonials are the signature program in the conference, as they have won at least 12 conference games each of the past seven seasons. The past two seasons, they have won the regular season title by two games. Yet a conference championship remains elusive, as they captured two straight in 2009 and 2010 but have yet to do it again.

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2013-14 SWAC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 30, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
swac

It has been some time since the Southwestern Athletic Conference has had a true heavyweight program, but Southern University may be on the verge of changing that.

Not since Davey Whitney won three regular season titles in four years from 1999-2002 in the second stint of his brilliant career at Alcorn State has the SWAC had a consistent year-in, year-out team to beat. Under coach Roman Banks, though, Southern has won a SWAC tourney title and a regular season title in the last two years. The latter came this season, when the Jaguars won the league by three games despite returning just two starters from the team that nearly shocked Gonzaga in the round of 64 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
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It’s wonderful that Isaiah Austin was the star of the NBA Draft

by - Published June 28, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

The show on NBA Draft night was stolen by a player who will never play a minute in the NBA. And that’s perfectly fine for a lot of reasons.

There are many things we can talk about from the NBA Draft. It was a deep draft, there are players with a world of potential taken at the top, and there was a subplot with a late first-round pick who led the national champions.

We could talk about all of that and more. But I’m surely not alone in thinking that Isaiah Austin’s place on this night is the highlight, and well worth talking about in looking back.

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2014 Hoopville Spring Finale notes

by - Published June 26, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
hoopguy-orange

ROXBURY, Mass. – The 2014 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of things happen. There were some thrillers along the way, as well as some blowouts, as is often the case. A number of players capped off a good spring, while a few others showed that they could be primed to break out in July. Two programs in their first spring of competition won championships.

With those thoughts in mind, let’s take a look back at some highlights from the weekend.

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2014 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

by - Published June 24, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
hoopguy-yellow

ROXBURY, Mass. – The 2014 Hoopville Spring Finale was a story of old and new champions. That may seem obvious at first glance, but the event featured several programs who won their first championship in the event as well as a stalwart program continuing its winning ways in the event. The first-timers notably featured a couple of brand new teams.

Sunday featured the championship games, and while a few were blowouts there were a few dandies as well.

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2014 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

by - Published June 20, 2014 in Columns, Recruiting
hoopguy-cyan

The fourth annual Hoopville Spring Final takes place this weekend at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center and the neighboring Madison Park Community Center. While this is the fifth straight year Hoopville has run an event on this weekend, the first one in 2010 was named the Hoopville Elite 8. This year, the tournament will feature over 50 teams, including over a dozen from Canada. Game play will begin Saturday morning and continue through Sunday afternoon.

The schedule for the event can be found here. Now, some thoughts on what to watch for in the high school ages, starting with the 14-Under as this group features players who will be freshmen in high school in the fall.

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2013-14 WCC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 17, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
westcoast

The West Coast Conference had a nice year in 2013-14, to be sure. For a time, though, it looked like it would be even more than that.

The WCC once again put two teams in the NCAA Tournament, just like it has in four of the past five years. Gonzaga again advanced at least one round, just like it has in each of the past six years. The league went 71-41 out of conference against Division I foes and finished a very respectable ninth in the RPI, proving its No. 10 ranking from the year before was no fluke.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Simply put, Syracuse needs to improve offensively

November 22, 2014 by

syracuse

Jim Boeheim didn’t have many things to say about his team’s offense, but that said it all. It’s at that end of the floor that Syracuse’s fate this season will be determined.

Growing pains are here for talented Brown team

November 20, 2014 by

brown

Brown has good talent and should be a factor in the Ivy League, but with three sophomores starting on the perimeter, growing pains are in the foreseeable future

New season, same challenge for New Hampshire

November 15, 2014 by

newhampshire

It’s a new season at New Hampshire, and while the Wildcats look like they will defend, they also appear to have the same challenge they have had for a long time now: scoring.

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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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

New England Prep Schools 2014-15: looking back and looking ahead

November 3, 2014 by

nepsac

With a series of prep school open gym visits in the book and the season not far away, here’s a look back at open gyms and a look forward to the season in the New England prep school ranks.

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.