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After a tough end, North Carolina stars look towards the NBA Draft

by - Published June 8, 2016 in Columns

Villanova’s national championship win will long be remembered for the finish. It’s also true that one reason it will long be remembered is that the Wildcats were not exactly loaded with can’t-miss NBA prospects – indeed, when the book is written on that team in a couple of years in that context, they may go down as the first team in about 30 years to win without a future first round draft pick on the roster. What is less remembered, though, is that they beat a team led by seniors, one of whom was nearly a hero but instead is mainly a footnote in that game.

There are reasons why it’s forgotten that North Carolina was led by seniors Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson. Mainly, it’s the fact that the Tar Heels came up on the short end. Partly, it’s that Paige missed time with an injury during the season. Perhaps a bigger contributor than that is the fact that a pair of Tar Heels declared for the NBA Draft as early entrants after the season, but both returned to school.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 CAA Post-Mortem

by - Published June 7, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The final season of the CAA under its first commissioner had a lot to remember. And when the season ended, the changes were only just about to begin, and they didn’t end with the retiring leader.

The conference had some good talent returning, and there was every reason to expect it to be as competitive as ever. That certainly panned out, although a three-game difference between the teams who tied for first and the three teams right behind them might not indicate it. Road teams had a particularly good year, winning exactly half the time in conference play, and no team ran the table at home. Seven of the ten teams had a winning road record in conference play, and only one of those teams didn’t have a winning overall road record (William & Mary finished 7-7, which is still .500).

… Continue Reading

2015-16 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published June 7, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

For a year at least, the Horizon League harkened back to some glory years, and we’re not talking about 2010 and 2011.

Butler’s back-to-back NCAA title game appearances those years are remembered most recently, and because of their relatively current nature are what most will instantaneously cite as the high water mark of the Horizon. This past season didn’t have that-or even an NCAA Tournament win for that matter-but it was reminiscent of a time when the league was one of the more consistently entertaining ones in the country, as well as capable of more than occasional national noise. … Continue Reading

Wichita State stars hope to repeat their act at the next level

by - Published June 3, 2016 in Columns

When the history book is written on Wichita State basketball, Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker will occupy a prominent place. They are the biggest reasons the Shockers have just had an amazing four-year stretch that began with a Final Four appearance, featured an undefeated regular season and ended with an impressive NCAA Tournament win before they bowed out in the next round.

Now, it’s on to the next act. And that next act has nothing certain about it – certainly nothing as certain as the place they will occupy in their alma mater’s basketball history book.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 Southland Post-Mortem

by - Published June 3, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Southland Conference has had greatness in its midst the past four years, as Stephen F. Austin has put together what is nothing less than the most dominant four-year stretch in the league’s 53-year history.

The Lumberjacks in 2015-16 completed their second perfect 18-0 conference season in three years, becoming the first to win four consecutive outright regular season titles in Southland annals. SFA is a staggering 69-3 in league games over that stretch and 116-19 overall, averaging a nifty 29 wins per year. The last two years, Brad Underwood’s team followed a familiar pattern of taking a few early season losses against top competition before gelling and thoroughly dominating in conference, winning 35 of 36 league games. … Continue Reading

2015-16 Ivy League Post-Mortem

by - Published June 3, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

Sometimes, the basketball gods get one right. In 2016, they got one right with Yale.

In 2015-16, the Ivy League didn’t quite continue to steady climb it had been on in recent years. It was in a nice up cycle, but this time around, it didn’t have the same feeling not only among the contenders, but also in the middle of the pack. Part of that is because Harvard, who has ruled the league in recent years, dropped off significantly first from graduation losses and then further a key injury. The Crimson still competed, but this was a very different team.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 Big East Post-Mortem

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

For three seasons now, the Big East has had its share of critics. First, that it’s not as good as the American Athletic Conference, the new conference formed from the split of the old Big East – a cry that grew louder when UConn won the national championship in the first year after the split. Next was that they overachieved, and they had a bunch of good schools but no national power. Then there were troubles in the NCAA Tournament, the ultimate measuring stick.

And in 2015-16, they were all obliterated. The conference had great validation come its way, none more so than on the last night of the season.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 MVC Post-Mortem

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

The end of the 2015-16 season marked the end of an era in the Missouri Valley Conference, and that’s saying something.

History is not made easily in the 109-year old MVC, the second-oldest NCAA Division I conference in the country and a place where names like Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Wes Unseld and Ed McCauley grace the list of former stars. Yet there’s no doubt that Wichita State’s backcourt of Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet-plus hard-nosed teammate Evan Wessel-will forever be mentioned among the all-time greats in the venerable conference.
… Continue Reading

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.

… Continue Reading

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

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Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – December 3, 2016

December 4, 2016 by

The first big Saturday of the college basketball season gave us all we could hope for, and it started right away. We have notes from a number of the day’s games right here.

Thanks to a big backcourt boost, Gonzaga should be even better this season

November 7, 2016 by

Gonzaga might have needed the West Coast Conference title they won in Las Vegas last year in order to be in the NCAA Tournament. With better guards, there should be no doubt about that this time around.

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.

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.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

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.