Home » Columns » Recent Articles:

Western Michigan should grow from non-conference challenges

by - Published December 9, 2014 in Columns
westernmichigan

BOSTON – Non-conference play is a time to figure things out. It’s a time to get better. And while many teams certainly want to win games, whether to rack up quality wins for NCAA Tournament at-large candidacy or gain confidence, for a team like Western Michigan, getting better is paramount. The Broncos are in a challenging stretch of trying to do a little of both, with the latest challenge being an 81-69 setback at Northeastern on Saturday.

The Broncos have an experienced group overall, though they are younger in the frontcourt. They are playing a challenging slate, with Saturday’s game being the fifth of seven in a row away from home. Adding to the challenge is the actual travel involved, as this is mixed in with several games in California. They began this stretch at San Diego, then played three in Anaheim as part of the Wooden Legacy. They lost the first two, but regrouped to finish fifth with a 2-1 mark in Anaheim.

… Continue Reading

Saturday Notes – December 6, 2014

by - Published December 7, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Saturday was quite a day of college basketball, and you had a feeling that was going to be the case early on. By about 4 p.m. Eastern, we already had four noteworthy games as Green Bay beat Miami, USC Upstate beat Georgia Tech, NJIT beat Michigan and North Florida won at Purdue. You had a feeling that was just the beginning, what with over 100 games on tap. While the pace of surprises slowed, the evening had plenty of good games.

Besides that, there were several big matchups on the day, from rivalry games to matchups of top teams to intriguing matchups of teams that have had good starts under the radar. It was a day where we learned a little more about a number of teams.

… Continue Reading

No Comments | Tags:

Boston College gets a win that could boost their season

by - Published December 6, 2014 in Columns
bostoncollege

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – You always know a turning point or defining moment in hindsight. Rarely do you know it when it happens. The book on Jim Christian’s tenure at Boston College is only just beginning, but Friday night’s 69-60 win over Providence may end up being one of those defining moments of his tenure. It may be just what this team needed.

“The theme all week was we’ve got to stop hoping to win and start knowing you’re going to win,” said Christian. “I think this was a game that can catapult us to that.”

… Continue Reading

NIT Season Tip-Off was a positive St. John’s experience

by - Published December 5, 2014 in Columns
stjohns

NEW YORK – At halftime of the semifinal game in the NIT Season Tip-Off, St. John’s’ prospects were less than favorable. The Red Storm trailed 40-31. It just wasn’t the score but the reasons behind it.

A defense that failed to close out effectively on the Minnesota shooters (6 of 11 for 45 percent from three). An offense that was impatient. The Golden Gopher zone was affording a perimeter shot after one or two passes. The Red Storm took the bait, did not hit a three-point attempt (0-9) and struggled on the offensive end.

… Continue Reading

Questions abound for Boston University early on

by - Published December 2, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
bostonuniversity

BOSTON – Joe Jones’ first words said it all on Sunday afternoon.

“A lot of questions for us,” said the Boston University head coach after the Terriers’ 69-59 loss to UMass-Lowell. “We’ve got a lot of questions we need to answer. We’ve got some things to figure out.”

It’s not entirely surprising that this is the case for the Terriers. Just look at their personnel and one key is clear: the Terriers lack a true point guard who can play right now. They are having to go essentially by committee with three wings, though Cedric Hankerson and John Papale have taken on the lion’s share of that duty. Both can handle and be playmakers, but they are also the team’s best scoring threats, so that hurts the offense.

… Continue Reading

A look back: VCU’s third place at the Legends was significant

by - Published December 2, 2014 in Columns
vcu

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Last Tuesday evening, before Thanksgiving dinner even hit the oven, VCU did something of team building importance. It was more than just claiming third place in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center. While the record books dutifully recorded a 77-63 victory over Oregon, the Rams did more than win a consolation game. This was the type of victory that proved significant on several accounts. First, to set the stage.

In Monday’s semifinal, VCU faced highly-regarded and nationally ranked Villanova. Following a close first half, VCU took the lead early in the second half. The Wildcats regrouped, going on a game changing 16-0 run and never looking back.

… Continue Reading

UMass-Lowell has to manage surprising success

by - Published December 2, 2014 in Columns
umass_lowell

BOSTON – Pat Duquette admits he and his staff didn’t see this coming. It’s a pleasant surprise, certainly, but UMass-Lowell’s surprising early success is something that the coaching staff will have to adjust to the implications of. Call it a pleasant problem, if you will.

“They’ve come together quicker than we imagined as a coaching staff, for sure,” Duquette said after the River Hawks beat Boston University 69-59 on Sunday.

… Continue Reading

Gonzaga shows their talent, depth and experience in New York

by - Published November 30, 2014 in Columns
gonzaga

NEW YORK – Simply put, Gonzaga is as balanced a team as you’ll find in college basketball this season. They’re also deep, and their players know how to play off each other. And while they had to hang on to beat St. John’s 73-66 to take home the NIT Season Tip-Off on Friday, they had the kind of response needed of a veteran team that’s going to make a deep postseason run, as many think they will.

Gonzaga’s guards understandably get a lot of attention, because they comprise one of the best backcourts in the country. Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. already formed a good one, but adding freshman Josh Perkins and USC transfer Byron Wesley makes them that much better. Pangos, the heart and soul of this team, is off to an unreal start, as he’s still knocking down shots the way he normally does, but has an incredible 38 assists and just four turnovers on the young season.

… Continue Reading

Minnesota’s big challenge is in front of them

by - Published November 28, 2014 in Columns
minnesota

NEW YORK – Minnesota made it through one challenge in their schedule, leaving Madison Square Garden with a win in two tries. At this point, though, the challenge is just beginning for them, with the hope that their 66-62 win over Georgia gives them just the boost they need to start.

Just before Wednesday’s semifinal loss to St. John’s, the school announced that guard Daquein McNeil was suspended indefinitely following a recent arrest. The sophomore was charged with two counts of assault after allegedly choking his girlfriend and whipping her with a belt. He will remain suspended until the legal process plays out, and that can take any amount of time.

… Continue Reading

Houston is trying to find an identity early on

by - Published November 28, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
houston

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – An 84-63 loss is not usually a game you would think a lot of good will come out of. For Kelvin Sampson and Houston, Tuesday night’s loss at Harvard, a game the Crimson won going away, will serve as just that. The result didn’t surprise him at all, but he knew he wanted more out of this game than just the final score.

Houston has a new look this season all over. Sampson took over as head coach after James Dickey retired, and his first team has over a half dozen newcomers. Two of the newcomers, both junior college transfers, start for this team. With that comes an adjustment period for everyone, in stark contrast to the other bench in the gym. Sampson said he’s trying to figure his players out as much as they’re trying to figure him out.

… Continue Reading

Advertisement

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.

Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

January 25, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

This Saturday didn’t have quite the marquee matchups as a week earlier, but there were some important ones, especially with teams in the middle of a few conferences trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

January 15, 2015 by

rhodeisland

Rhode Island controlled Tuesday night’s game against VCU, but couldn’t finish it and took a tough loss. Their improvement is evident, though, and they are keeping perspective on that in trying to keep improving.

Hoopville Archives

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

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.