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Final Arch Madness Notes: MVC still in good hands in St. Louis

by - Published March 11, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
ArchMadness_25th_Anniversary

When Creighton departed the Missouri Valley Conference for the Big East, the levels of worry from some on the outside ranked from concern to spooked alarm that both the MVC and its signature Arch Madness men’s basketball event were in danger of a fall.

If there was one overall takeaway message from this year’s MVC Tournament, though, it is this: despite the doomsday predictions of some, the league and the event continues to roll with the punches and comes out strong at the end.
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So many positives, so little consolation for William & Mary

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns
williamandmary

BALTIMORE – You have to feel for those in the William & Mary program. Losing once in a championship game, especially in heart-breaking fashion, is hard enough. Losing twice in a row is that much harder.

Much of the country watched on Sunday as the Tribe won an instant classic in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament in double overtime. They were going to get another chance – their fourth try in eight years – to break through and get to the NCAA Tournament. That’s a string of chances few probably thought they would ever get once upon a time, before Tony Shaver took over.

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Final Big East tempo free numbers, on to The Garden

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns
bigeast

NEW YORK – The Big East’s annual get-together tips off at the “world’s most famous arena” on Wednesday. That makes this a perfect time to get a tempo free look at the conference. It will give us a little idea of what we can expect over the next few days.

Only Big East games are figured in for these listings, with all numbers courtesy of bbstate.com

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The long road to Northeastern’s first CAA championship

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns
northeastern

BALTIMORE – When Northeastern finished its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association, there were plenty of doubters. That might seem surprising when you consider they had the Player of the Year (Jose Juan Barea) and Defensive Player of the Year (Shawn James) and reached the semifinals of the conference tournament. They finished fifth, so they had to win two games to get there. But some were not impressed despite the challenges involved in switching conferences.

The thought from some was that if they had two award winners and finished fifth, how in the world would they ever win in the CAA? That first year, by the way, was the year George Mason made its legendary Final Four run. It was the CAA’s best year until a couple of years ago; the Patriots didn’t even win the conference tournament, losing to Hofstra in a semifinal game best remembered for a player who earned a one-game suspension.

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Semifinal loss at Arch Madness does not diminish Loyola’s improvement

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
Loyola Chicago Logo

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (March 7) – Sometimes, in order to fully appreciate a team’s season, one has to take a look at what was expected of them before it.

In the case of Loyola (Ill.), if one would’ve told Rambler fans before the season that their team would win 19 games and advance to the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, they would’ve been tickled pink. Hopefully they’re able to take that to heart after the sixth-seeded Ramblers fell to No. 11-ranked and second-seeded Northern Iowa 63-49 in the semifinals at Arch Madness on Saturday.
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What happens next for Delaware?

by - Published March 9, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
delaware

BALTIMORE – What now?

That’s probably the simplest, but also the most wide-ranging, question. There are lots of questions, actually, and no answers at the moment. There is lots of speculation, some of it even of the well-reasoned variety, but no clarity for now.

What happens to Monte Ross? What will Delaware look like next year and beyond, not only on the bench, but on the court? Why has it come to this? When will we know?

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Northern Iowa shows another side in winning MVC title

by - Published March 9, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
northerniowa

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (March 8) – The book on Northern Iowa, or at least the popular one anyway, is that the Panthers this year are a really good team because of their defense and Seth Tuttle. The second layer of analysis might mention their depth. Little is said of its offense, but let it be known: UNI is pretty darn good on that end, too.

The 11th-ranked Panthers proved as much in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament final, rallying from a huge deficit to defeat Illinois State 69-60 and clinch the Valley’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. UNI won its 30th game this season, clinched its third MVC title in seven years and now should be set for a very nice seed (three? four?) in the NCAAs.

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The place for improvement is clear for James Madison

by - Published March 8, 2015 in Columns
jamesmadison

BALTIMORE – Of the four teams that tied for first in the CAA, one of the more unlikely ones was James Madison. Next year, however, don’t be surprised if contention and something better than a Saturday exit from the tournament is expected from them.

The Dukes were already down several players from last season just to start, including the transfer of Charles Cooke. They were an inexperienced team, though perhaps not quite as much as last year. Things didn’t get better from there. Andre Nation, their most talented player, was dismissed from the program, robbing them of one of their most experienced players as well. Later, promising freshman Hari Hall missed the last month of the season due to injury.

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Family helped Elon get off the mat and win late games

by - Published March 8, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
elon

BALTIMORE – With Elon this weekend, you saw a mix of why they had to play on the first night of the CAA Tournament and some hope. It all went together, but didn’t translate into a big upset on Saturday to move on, as William & Mary took over the game early and scored a convincing 72-59 quarterfinal win.

The issues were clear. The Phoenix were not good defensively, and this was a bad time for that to be the case as they were up against a very good and disciplined offensive team. They had offensive issues, too, but it started on defense, particularly with the way William & Mary took the lead for good – primarily on three-pointers as they hit three in an 11-0 run to take the lead for good.

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Illinois State surprises Wichita State, on cusp of something special in MVC

by - Published March 8, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
illinoisstate

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (March 7) – One of the beauties of college sports is watching seniors stepping up their game in their final seasons. The motivation to keep one’s career going can frequently spur players to new heights, taking their teams on a ride with them.

Illinois State coach Dan Muller said it was going to take a player having a special day to defeat top seed and No. 8-ranked nationally Wichita State in his team’s semifinal Saturday at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. It was senior guard Daishon Knight who delivered, scoring 25 points in a masterful performance as the Redbirds shocked the Shockers 65-62.
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What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by

kentucky

Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by

delaware

There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

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

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Friday notes

April 25, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

Friday night got the adidas Gauntlet in Indianapolis going, and we take a look at a few players who stood out before a full day of action comes to us on Saturday.

Notes from the 2015 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 20, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was time for a trip to Hanover for late action in the Northeast Hoops Festival, and we have a look at some prospects who stood out on the day.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Saturday & Sunday notes

April 14, 2015 by

nikeeybl

Saturday was a full day of action at EYBL Hampton, and Sunday capped it off with a brief slate. We look at some of the talent that was on hand each day to close out the first live weekend.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Friday notes

April 11, 2015 by

nikeeybl

Friday night was the beginning at EYBL Hampton, with a relatively light night of action. We have notes on a few players from the opening games to get us started.

2015 Playaz Spring Fling – Friday notes

April 8, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

The spring travel circuit is getting started, and the Playaz Spring Fling was a good early stop as it usually is during the Final Four weekend.