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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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2013-14 Atlantic Sun Post-Mortem

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

The Atlantic Sun doesn’t get a whole lot of publicity over the course of the season. But when the postseason comes around, beware. Atlantic Sun teams have won a game each of the past two NCAA Tournaments. And that’s just the beginning.

Atlantic Sun teams have won 14 postseason games over the past four years, and have won at least one game every year since 2009. The conference has continued to perform well in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, where they placed two teams this season.

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2013-14 Southland Post-Mortem

by - Published June 12, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
southland

Few college basketball teams in a season have a true program-defining year, with unprecedented success that resets the bar for what they’re capable of accomplishing. What Stephen F. Austin did this year out of the Southland Conference, though, most certainly qualifies.

The Lumberjacks had a truly special season, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in the Southland since Louisiana Tech was a member and none other than Karl Malone was leading the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16 in 1985. Stephen F. Austin went 32-3, including a 29-game winning streak and a perfect 18-0 run through the SLC. Topping it off was a memorable NCAA Tournament win over VCU before the run finally ended in the Round of 32 against hot-shooting UCLA.

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2013-14 MAC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 12, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
mac

No more are the days when, in projecting the best teams in the Mid-American Conference, one could eliminate half the deck before even starting their breakdown.

Since the MAC went to divisions in 1997, the East Division has dominated play with few exceptions. That was especially true of late, as East teams Akron, Kent State, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio accounted for all nine league NCAA Tournament appearances from 2005-13. Meanwhile, the MAC West seemed proficient at only being as bad as the East was good. Just one of its teams even qualified for the MAC tourney final in that time (Toledo in 2006), and its weakness was never better displayed than 2007-08 when three teams combined to ‘win’ the West in a three-way tie at 7-9.

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Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Your Phil of Hoops

Houston is trying to find an identity early on

November 28, 2014 by

houston

Houston went on the road and was soundly defeated by Harvard on Tuesday. It’s a game that Kelvin Sampson hopes to take a lot from early in his tenure with a new-look team as they try to find out who they are.

Young UNLV team grows in Brooklyn

November 23, 2014 by

unlv

Teams often grow from early season tournaments, and that appears to be what UNLV did in Brooklyn. The young Runnin’ Rebels need the experience.

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.

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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.