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2015-16 Conference USA Post-Mortem

by - Published June 2, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

After being largely ignored and certainly disrespected throughout the regular season, Conference USA made the biggest noise on the first weekend of the postseason with Middle Tennessee State’s 90-81 victory over second-seeded Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Despite their 21 wins in the regular season and three in the conference tournament, the Blue Raiders were rated no better than a No. 15 seed as the league’s only NCAA representative. Regular-season champion UAB, a 26-game winner at the time at-large invitations were issued, had to settle for the NIT.

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2015-16 WAC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 1, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

For as much as the Western Athletic Conference got kicked while it was down, one might’ve expected the league to be dead by now.

As the WAC teetered on the brink of extinction after watching its football members run for cover in other leagues, a floodgate of stories of its demise was opened. Some took almost a morbid glee in its struggles, apparently because watching and discussing endless conference realignment brings them more joy than even the games themselves. The conference survived, though, and while it’s still a long climb back to stability in the NCAA Division I college sports landscape, the good ol’ WAC also continues to show that there is hope of better days ahead. Not a guarantee, mind you, but at least reason for optimism. … Continue Reading

2015-16 Southern Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published June 1, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

When all was said and done, there was just nothing that could stop Tennessee-Chattanooga’s re-emergence in 2015-16 as the Southern Conference’s best team.

A first-year, first-time head coach? No problem. Early season road chances against teams like Dayton, Georgia and Illinois, rather than being confidence-shakers, instead were platforms for glossy wins. A season-ending injury to the team’s top scorer was only a minor hiccup. A brutal conference schedule that included a stretch of five games in 10 days was just a chance to win five games in 10 days. … Continue Reading

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

by - Published May 31, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Michael Gbinije seemingly had “college All-American” and probably more written all over him growing up. He played at a powerhouse in DeMatha Catholic in Maryland, and as often happens with good players there, was highly recruited. When he chose Duke, many probably figured he had a lot ahead of him.

Well, he did, but the road was far from easy. His college career was quite a journey that took him elsewhere, but could still take him to the promised land beyond college. For that matter, he experienced the promised land of the Final Four in his final season, though it’s one as unexpected as how he got to this point.

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2015-16 Pac-12 Post-Mortem

by - Published May 31, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Pac-12 had quite a season in 2015-16, during which the conference celebrated 100 years of existence. It provided tremendous basketball, even if a fair amount of the country didn’t get to see much of it because of the time difference. And it happened with what appears to be a changing landscape all the way around.

For starters, the Pac-12 was a major presence in the RPI. Only the Big 12 was better in terms of conference RPI, but the Pac-12 placed six teams in the RPI top 50 and 10 in the top 100. Since the NCAA adjusted the formula to account for game location in 2004-05, only 12 conferences have produced a better RPI than the Pac-12 did this season.

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2015-16 Summit League Post-Mortem

by - Published May 31, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Summit League has been on the rise for much of this decade, but the confederation of Midwest and Great Plains schools really outdid itself in 2015-16.

Riding a very nice non-conference performance, the Summit in late December was as high as eighth in the conference RPI. That put it ahead of the Mountain West, Missouri Valley, West Coast Conference and briefly even the American Athletic Conference, and is an almost unconscionable feat for a conference that played just 34.1% of its non-conference games at home. … Continue Reading

Departures like Beard’s still far more exception than the norm

by - Published May 24, 2016 in Columns

It would’ve been fun to see an itinerary for former UNLV coach Chris Beard’s tenure as the Runnin’ Rebels coach, all 19 days of it.

One wonders exactly how much moving and unpacking a college basketball coach can do in the immediate weeks after departing one school for a new job. Was there time to pick out a house? An apartment? Maybe this was a one-suitcase trip to start, with the rest on the moving vans arriving later in the summer. Maybe he had to make trips to Wal-Mart for toiletries and In-N-Out for food.

Beard’s hopscotch from Arkansas-Little Rock to Nevada-Las Vegas to Texas Tech didn’t quite set a record for shortest stay for a coach in one location-that would still be Gregg Marshall spending a day at College of Charleston before returning to Winthrop in 2006 and Dana Altman doing the same at Arkansas before returning to Creighton a day later. Suffice to say, though, Beard’s “tenure” will be mentioned in the same breath as those two and others like them for years to come.
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For Georges Niang, a path to the NBA may not include the draft

by - Published May 16, 2016 in Columns

In a season full of senior stars, Georges Niang is one who might have seemed an unlikely one once upon a time. His is a story of how intangibles supplement talent and physical gifts and bring someone a long way.

As a high schooler, Niang won – a lot. He played for the powerful BABC program, long the premier travel program in New England, and they rarely lost games while winning a Nike EYBL title and an AAU national championship during his time. It didn’t stop there, as his teams at the Tilton School won four straight NEPSAC Class AA titles and nearly won a fifth, and also won a National Prep Championship. He was no small part of all of those teams, scoring over 2,300 points at Tilton and being a constant presence for BABC, though more of a glue guy on the latter for a good deal of his career.

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2015-16 ACC Post-Mortem

by - Published May 13, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

Atlantic Coast Conference coaches spent much of the season boasting about the league’s competitiveness and balance, but in the end, the 2015-16 race had a very familiar look at the top.

North Carolina finished with a 14-4 ACC record to win its first regular-season title since 2012 and Virginia, which finished alone at the top in the 2013 and ’14 seasons, checked in at 13-5 to share second place with Miami.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 America East Post-Mortem

by - Published May 13, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

If you looked at how the America East standings have been the past few years, then looked at the final standings this time around, there was a familiar look. Consistency can be a good thing in many contexts, but as it applies to America East, it is not in one respect: right now, the conference appears to be stuck in neutral from a competitive standpoint.

Over the past six seasons, the conference has been dominated by Stony Brook, Albany and Vermont. Boston University was annually a contender, too, before departing for the Patriot League, but the overall pattern doesn’t change. In particular, the past two seasons have seen the same four teams finish in the top four, and then a big drop-off as four games separated fourth from fifth place each season. The bottom of the conference is having a tough time moving up, with most of the programs in some form of transition.

… Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by

The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

October 7, 2016 by


With some big-time additions, much was expected of Cal a year ago, and the season did not end well. This time around, expectations may be reduced, but the Golden Bears have a chance to end the season better.

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by


Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

Hoopville Archives

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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 COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by


We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by


We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by


We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by


Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

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.