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A game a day for the whole 2015-16 season: first up, November

by - Published November 9, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

If one could go to any one college basketball game or event they wanted, for every day of the season, without restrictions, without worries about travel…

…it would take professional sports team-level travel accommodations, probably a pro athletes’ disposable income, and a whole lot of sleep on airplanes. As well as an understanding spouse.

Which doesn’t mean one can’t dream. Going into the 2015-16 season, we wanted to highlight what we see as the best game of the day, for every day of the regular season. The games we would go to every day of the season, if we could.

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Twenty teams to keep an eye on in 2015-16

by - Published November 5, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

Top 25 lists. Sleeper lists. Hot “mid-major” lists. Cinderella lists. Hot seat lists. Coming into a college basketball season, there are any number of lists one can come up with.

We weren’t really looking to make a list under any of those set categories, but we were piqued by the idea of one that is something of a jumble of all of them (well, most of them). With that, we present 20 teams to keep an eye on in the 2015-16 season.

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2015-16 CBB Preview Questions: A different game, or is it?

by - Published November 3, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

College basketball’s Chicken Little phase has passed. The sky was allegedly falling, the sport was dubbed by some as “unwatchable,” in a crisis and two steps shy of oblivion, so this year we will have a game much different from the one we are used to.

Or maybe not.

Despite guarding a sport whose postseason ratings round-for-round continued to dominate those of the NBA, the NCAA basketball rules committee was coaxed by some loud but influential voices among coaches and media to make a host of alterations this summer, and those changes undoubtedly are the biggest overarching story entering the 2015-16 season.

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Georgia State has a new look but should have similar results

by - Published October 26, 2015 in Columns
georgiastate

It’s a new day at Georgia State. One of the great stories of March last year, they were among the darlings before the NCAA Tournament and then once it got going. They would have been a great story even without the dramatic win over Baylor and the family aspect involved. But that team is no more in a lot of respects, as the Panthers will have a new look this season. They will, however, not have such a new look in key respects.

Ron Hunter is still on the bench. And the Panthers should still contend in the Sun Belt Conference all the same.

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Kansas: The under-the-radar national title contender

by - Published October 22, 2015 in Columns
kansas

Amidst talk of who could be a Final Four and/or national title contender this season, one traditional powerhouse that should be in the mix isn’t getting talked about much, at least not in this vein. There’s an understandable reason, and there’s another reason that could go away and then lead to more talk of them as contenders.

Kansas isn’t being talked about enough. And when you look at their team, you see why they should be a contender, as well as why they are perhaps a bit under the radar, relatively speaking.

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Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

by - Published October 15, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
purdue

In a Big Ten Conference full of interesting teams for one reason or another, Purdue isn’t getting as much mention as one might expect given the team’s makeup and how they did last season. There are high expectations for the Boilermakers for obvious reasons, but they’ll have to earn their way to more relevance.

Last season, the Boilermakers were thought to be an also-ran in the Big Ten, a good team hidden by a number of very good teams in the conference and maybe a year away from a big year. That team had no seniors and five freshmen a year after going 15-17. There was potential, to be sure – big man A.J. Hammons was dripping with it, and a couple of others had shown some promise – but we’ve long established what a loaded word “potential” is. Instead of having growing pains, they tied for third in the Big Ten at 12-6, overcoming some non-conference adversity along the way. They made it to the NCAA Tournament, losing to Cincinnati.

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Winning close games can change Georgia Tech’s fortunes

by - Published October 8, 2015 in Columns
georgiatech

Georgia Tech in recent years has been a snake-bit team. Even going back to the Paul Hewitt years, it always seemed like the Yellow Jackets were more than competitive, a team that when they finished down in the ACC standings always lost a bunch of close games to get there. The theory is that those close losses can turn into wins with a more experienced team, but theory doesn’t always follow reality. Brian Gregory and his squad need that more than ever this season.

It’s not as if Georgia Tech has lacked talent. They’ve had enough to win plenty of games, and this year’s team will be no exception, with three starters back led by senior Marcus Georges-Hunt, and six of their top nine scorers from last season. They add Adam Smith, a well-traveled guard who will finish his career at his third school, and who has scored points in the ACC as he was at Virginia Tech before this season.

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New challenge ahead for Harvard

by - Published October 6, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
harvard

Under Tommy Amaker, Harvard has had an unprecedented run of success in recent years. A program that had never been to the NCAA Tournament before Amaker’s arrival in Cambridge, Harvard is now looked at as a perennial favorite in the Ivy League. The past two NCAA Tournaments, they were a trendy upset pick, making good in 2014 with a win over Cincinnati (one that probably should be thought of as an upset in name only) before a tough loss to North Carolina last season. Before that, they beat New Mexico in 2013.

This time around, however, the Crimson will have a much bigger challenge to keep that run going.

The Ivy League has been on a big upswing in recent years, and Harvard has been no small part of that. Not only have they had the aforementioned success, but others have done their best to stay with them, much like others did with Penn and Princeton for years. The league has a lot of good teams now, as well as coaching stability at every school. Should Harvard falter, there are plenty of suitable candidates to carry the flag for the league.

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With Marks gone, Boise State shouldn’t slip much

by - Published October 5, 2015 in Columns
boisestate

Boise State has often reloaded on the gridiron, where the Broncos have had plenty of success. The hardwood, however, has been a different story – until now. They may have made the NCAA Tournament last year for the second time in three seasons, led by a senior, but with him gone, they shouldn’t drop much this year, if they drop at all.

This is somewhat new territory for the program. We’re talking about a program that has only been to the NCAA Tournament seven times in its entire history, and prior to the last two trips had never done so as an at-large selection. Last season, they had their highest seed since the tournament expanded to 64 teams, a No. 11. They still haven’t won a game, so there’s lots of new territory to still reach.

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Was hiring Larry Brown really worth it for SMU?

by - Published September 30, 2015 in Columns
smu

When SMU hired Larry Brown in 2012 after letting Matt Doherty go, it seemed a curious hire. He was 71 years old, clearly in the back end of his career, and had been out of the college game for nearly a quarter century. He was now about to lead a moribund program that had never really gained traction in Conference USA. He carried name recognition, the kind that would make them relevant even if they weren’t on the court, but whether it would pay off remained to be seen.

Three years later, that move appears to have backfired.

On Tuesday, the NCAA banned the Mustangs from the 2016 postseason for multiple violations that include academic fraud and unethical conduct. The program is also on probation for three years, while Brown has been suspended for 30 percent of his team’s games for the 2015-16 season (that comes out to about nine or ten games), and the team will lose nine scholarships over the next three seasons.

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Saturday Notes – January 30, 2016

January 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

In the midst of conference season, a non-conference set of games took center stage. They were far from alone in the important games of the day, though, and we take a look at notes from many of those games.

Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A number of games were pushed to another day by a storm on the east coast, but we had plenty of noteworthy games all the same on Saturday.

Saturday Notes – January 16, 2016

January 17, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A busy Saturday saw some key ACC games, a six-way tie atop one conference, and much more, which we have some notes from.

Hoopville Archives

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

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.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.

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