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Rule changes are no magic bullet for increasing scoring

by - Published May 1, 2015 in Columns

As we’re now coming up on a month into the off-season, a hot topic has been scoring in college basketball. It was down this year, and at times during the season it was the subject of much debate because of some painfully low-scoring games we saw in 2014-15. Scoring has been down for a while now, and there are lots of theories about it as well as solution ideas.

One solution idea has been bandied about quite a bit, to the point where it seems inevitable it will come. If it does, we can’t get our hopes up. Simply put, we shouldn’t expect rule changes to solve all our problems.

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A 45-second shot clock for college basketball? Why not?

by - Published April 29, 2015 in Columns

If it wasn’t already the case, it seems that based on the ESPN report earlier this week, the 30-second shot clock for men’s college basketball is inevitable.

It’s not surprising news, but it is unfortunate. Not necessarily because a 30-second clock is an immediately terrible move-though it’s not a good one, and may even turn out to be a really bad one-but because it’s going to be done for the wrong reasons.

The idea that a 30-second shot clock will help the sport at all is highly debatable. Given such uncertainty of success, one would think there is a thicker threshold or burden of proof before a rule change was implemented than a few loud voices crying of the sport being in a “crisis,” while a few others push almost certainly because it is in their teams’ best interests.
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Rule changes for college basketball to adapt, avoid

by - Published April 28, 2015 in Columns

As we noted yesterday, college basketball is not the sport in a sky-is-falling crisis that it has been dramatically exaggerated to be for pretty much the entire 2014-15 season.

Evaluation is always a good thing, though, and for that reason it’s perfectly fair to consider the sport and whether rule changes and amendments would benefit it. We’re glad to do that, taking a look at some changes we’d like to see, and some that should be junked from consideration for a good long while.

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College basketball needs rule changes? Fans might say otherwise

by - Published April 27, 2015 in Columns

It is virtually accepted as fact by now that the sport of college basketball is in an important offseason.

With so much discussion of the sport’s state, that has become a truth, but the reality is the spring and summer of 2015 may be more crucial for what shouldn’t be done than what should be.

In its attempt to satisfy howls calling for change, college basketball could just as easily create new problems as it could fix the sport. Changes could peel away at the uniqueness of the college game, and in the eyes of fans firmly entrench the sport as nothing more than a far less-talented version of the NBA.
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adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Friday notes

by - Published April 25, 2015 in Columns, Recruiting

FISHERS, In. – The second session of the adidas Uprising circuit is near Indianapolis this weekend. Friday night got it started with three sets of games at the Best Choice Fieldhouse, and it’s the only stretch with all fixed matchups. Starting on Saturday morning, most of the matchups are determined by prior results, as bracket play begins. It’s a little different from how it was done last year.

Saturday will be a full day of action, with a few of the matchups now known and many more dependent on the outcome of Saturday’s games over the course of the day.

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Notes from the 2015 Northeast Hoops Festival

by - Published April 20, 2015 in Columns, Recruiting

HANOVER, Mass. – This spring is a bit unusual as the travel team schedule goes, as the two live weekends for college coaches have another weekend sandwiched in between. In the northeast, the place to be was the Northeast Hoops Festival, held primarily at the University Sports Complex. Saturday was full of pool play games, while Sunday was the time for playoffs and a couple of round robin sets of games with some premiere teams in the area.

The round robin series featuring Expressions, Mass Rivals, Metro Boston and the New England Playaz grabbed a lot of attention and saw good crowds. The game action lived up to its billing as well. They led the way, but there was more good talent observed on Sunday.

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2015 NCAA Tournament Final Review: A solid tourney by historical standards

by - Published April 13, 2015 in Columns

Collectively, the 2015 NCAA Tournament was a roller coaster. There was the high of the first few days before the tourney slipped into mediocrity in its middle rounds, only to rise back up again for a big finish at the end, worthy of all the history of such a splendid event.

It is the truth that three of the very best games of this year’s tourney came from the regional finals onward. Kentucky against Notre Dame, Wisconsin against Kentucky and Duke against Wisconsin were all competitive and terrific theater down to the wire. And also very high in the TV ratings, it might be noted, much as those who would prefer you to believe the sport is a steaming disaster would rather you not know that.

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2015 EYBL Hampton – Friday notes

by - Published April 11, 2015 in Columns, Recruiting

HAMPTON, Va. – The first of two live weekends for college coaches comes up quickly this season, as the national championship was settled just a few days ago. This weekend meant a trip to see the first of four weekends in the Nike EYBL circuit, with berths in the Peach Jam at stake during the next couple of months.

Friday night saw each team play one game. A full day is ahead on Saturday, and there will be time to view 16-under and 15-under action as well. The college coach turnout was pretty good on Friday evening, with a number of head coaches showing up in the building. More will probably make their first appearance on Saturday.

With that, here’s a look at a few who stood out in Friday night’s action.

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Tough loss? Look beyond the officials for an answer

by - Published April 10, 2015 in Columns

NEW YORK – The nets are cut down, the smoke has cleared and Duke in the National Champion. The critics still are having a field day regarding the officiating. Some, such as Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, feel it was a too Blue Devil-friendly whistle in the stretch. Of further note is the out-of-bounds play late in the contest. Officials reviewed it on the monitor, awarded the ball to Duke, who canned a crucial three-pointer in the ensuing possession. A huge three-pointer at that juncture.

A closer look, provided by several internet sites, in the days that followed show the ball just grazing the fingers of a Duke defender. Even on review the critics cry, the officials did not get the call right. In fairness, the angles and close ups presented in the recent days were arguably better than the courtside monitor.

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2015 Playaz Spring Fling – Friday notes

by - Published April 8, 2015 in Columns, Recruiting

NEPTUNE, N.J. – Over the years, Final Four weekend has also featured early travel team events that signify the spring recruiting circuit heading into high gear. This year continued that, with the Playaz Spring Fling taking place mostly at Rebounds, the Hoop Group headquarters.

The event annually brings together many top teams in the northeast regardless of sneaker affiliation. In a circuit increasingly being segmented by those companies now that they all have their own circuit forming a big part of the spring, this event is that much better because you get matchups you’re unlikely to see at other times of the spring and summer. In fact, those circuits all get going later this weekend.

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Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

Hoopville Archives

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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

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


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


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


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


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.