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A game a day for the 2016-17 season: January

by - Published November 9, 2016 in Columns

We continue our look at our favorite games for every day of the season, our ultimate dream road trip through an entire college basketball season.

To refresh: in some cases they’re the biggest matchup of the day, in others they may be what we think will be the best game for any reason, whether it be competitiveness, rivalry, atmosphere, etc. We started on Monday with November, continued with December on Tuesday, and today we move into January:

Jan. 1: UAB at Middle Tennessee State. The new year starts with a matchup between perhaps the top two teams in Conference USA, winners in each of the last two NCAA tourneys (UAB in 2015, MTSU last year) and both capable of competing for an NCAA berth again this year. This is a game worthy of national television, and it’s an example of how poorly this sport handles TV coverage that Penn State against Rutgers will be on nationally this day but this one will not. Honorable mention: Michigan at Iowa

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A game a day for the 2016-17 season: December

by - Published November 8, 2016 in Columns

Continuing our look at our favorite games for every day of the college basketball season, our ultimate dream road trip if you will.

We started yesterday with November, and today we continue with December:

Dec. 1: Stephen F. Austin at Arkansas. With a new coach, no Thomas Walkup and a number of others gone too, the Lumberjacks are not the same team as they were the past few years, but SFA has no fear in games like this. Honorable mention: Cincinnati at Iowa State
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2016-17 CBB Preview Questions: Can the sport shake its self-inflicted identity crisis?

by - Published November 8, 2016 in Columns

As the 2016-17 college basketball season nears, one would think the caretakers of the sport should feel pretty good about its state.

The most recent NCAA Tournament provided a likable champion and one of the sport’s all-time greatest title games and finishes. The recent script that has seen freshmen dominating the sport was flipped, with juniors and seniors the top players in the country, regardless of how much some TV networks tried to tell us otherwise.

The long-desired goal to have more scoring was accomplished, and the aim to clean up physical defense was largely met. And, thus far, they did not come by sacrificing the parity and inclusiveness that forms so much of what makes the sport attractive nationally. … Continue Reading

A game a day for the 2016-17 season: November

by - Published November 7, 2016 in Columns

The logistics of finances and time make it impossible for one to travel literally across the country to go to whichever college basketball games one wants to in a season. That doesn’t mean we can’t dream.

Last year we made our first fantasy itinerary, where we would be every day of the season if we could pick one game to be at, and we’re doing the same again this year.

This is a list of the most attractive games of each day to one person, based on any number of criteria-teams, location, rivalry, you name it. It’s not a pick of where the two highest ranked teams would be that day, nor is it the game TV would hype the most that day.

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

by - Published November 7, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Last season, Gonzaga’s run to the Sweet 16 overshadowed the reality that this team was far from a lock for the NCAA Tournament in the first place. Had they not won the West Coast Conference Tournament, they might have been in the NIT, as it was not typical of the seasons the program has had the last two decades.

The Bulldogs didn’t run through the WCC as they often have over the past couple of decades. Saint Mary’s actually had the top seed in the conference tournament via tie-breaker after sweeping them during the regular season. In non-conference play, it was debatable whether or not wins over Washington and UConn (both in the Battle 4 Atlantis) would be enough. They whiffed on their other chances, dropping close ones to Texas A&M (also at the Battle 4 Atlantis), at home against Arizona and at SMU, all by single digits.

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Twenty teams to keep an eye on in 2016-17

by - Published November 7, 2016 in Columns

Different people enjoy college basketball for different reasons. It’s part of what makes the sport so enjoyable for some of us.

At the risk of being self-indulgent, one of the attractions of college basketball for me, from the time first watching the NCAA Tournament in 1987 at nine years old, but even earlier in that hoop season, has always been that you just never know where the next story will come from in this sport. The unpredictability, the joy of a team coming out of nowhere or finding out something about a team you knew next to nothing about-or even a team you thought you knew-is a big part of what makes the sport unique from so many others.

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Freshmen, not seniors, will rule the roost in 2016-17

by - Published November 7, 2016 in Columns

Every season of college basketball has its own themes and patterns. Some seasons have similar ones to prior seasons, though it’s rare for two seasons in a row to be the same. 2015-16 was the Year of the Senior, a season in which seniors featured as prominently in the college game as they have in a long time. This year, we should have no expectation of a repeat. If you like seniors in college basketball, hopefully you enjoyed last season while it was here.

2016-17 should see freshmen return to the center of attention. And it probably won’t even be close.

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Miami seeking a repeat appearance in NCAA for first time under Larranaga

by - Published November 1, 2016 in Columns

Miami’s 2016-17 roster breaks down neatly with half of the 10 returning scholarship players returning veterans and the other half newcomers.

Senior guard Davon Reed has a message for the latter five.

“I’ve made it plain and clear that I’m not trying to go backwards,” he said at a meeting with local media a couple of days before he and teammate and classmate Kamari Murphy took off with Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga for the Atlantic Coast Conference Media Days in Charlotte, North Carolina. “What my expectations for this team are I see that we have the talent to be back in the NCAA Tournament and be one of the top tier teams in this league.

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Kennedy tries to continue quietly winning at Ole Miss

by - Published October 31, 2016 in Columns

The SEC may be known much more for football these days, but on the hardwood, there are plenty of interesting story lines to follow. One that probably won’t get enough coverage is the job that the dean of coaches there – Andy Kennedy – continues to do winning consistently at Ole Miss, a school that has never been a powerhouse by any stretch.

When Rob Evans was the head coach in Oxford, he was the first coach in over 50 years to post a winning record over his tenure, and Rod Barnes kept things going after Evans left for another tough job in Arizona State, coming up just three wins shy of the program record at the time. Both won a National Coach of the Year honor while in Oxford.

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For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

by - Published October 21, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

In recent years, when the subject of the best basketball conferences has come up, how good the ACC and Big Ten are has often been at the center. Previously, it centered on the Big East before it broke up, including in 2011 when 11 of its 16 teams made the NCAA Tournament, while last year, the ACC set a record for NCAA Tournament wins by its members with 19. (And that was a year after the ACC came up one short of the previous record of 18 by the 1985 Big East.) The Pac-12 grabbed a bit of the conversation as well since it was very deep and intensely competitive. All the while, the Big 12 has been on quite a run, and has arguably been the best conference of late.

Continuing that run, however, will be a different challenge this season.

… Continue Reading

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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

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!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2017

February 22, 2017 by

We touch on Player of the Year candidates, the wild ACC featuring a still-slumping Virginia team and a really hard-luck Clemson team, an SEC program where the bottom is falling out, the final weekend in the CAA and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with coaching news in the ACC, then go to a few recent games. A surging Big East team and an amazing rally in the Big 12 lead the discussion after that.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 8, 2017

February 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at a marathon game from Tuesday night, which came just days after a wild Saturday. Then we have more on the SEC and Big 12, before one of Saturday’s big games leads us into talk about smaller conferences and television coverage.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at the week two national title contenders had, as well as a surprise at the top of the Big Ten and a legendary coach returning. Along the way, we also look at a couple of bigger picture items.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 26, 2017

January 26, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at a wild week in college basketball that was highlighted by Tuesday night. We also talk about who will likely be the top team in the polls and look ahead to the weekend, which features one last flurry of non-conference games.

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.