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What happens next for Delaware?

by - Published March 9, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
delaware

BALTIMORE – What now?

That’s probably the simplest, but also the most wide-ranging, question. There are lots of questions, actually, and no answers at the moment. There is lots of speculation, some of it even of the well-reasoned variety, but no clarity for now.

What happens to Monte Ross? What will Delaware look like next year and beyond, not only on the bench, but on the court? Why has it come to this? When will we know?

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Northern Iowa shows another side in winning MVC title

by - Published March 9, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
northerniowa

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (March 8) – The book on Northern Iowa, or at least the popular one anyway, is that the Panthers this year are a really good team because of their defense and Seth Tuttle. The second layer of analysis might mention their depth. Little is said of its offense, but let it be known: UNI is pretty darn good on that end, too.

The 11th-ranked Panthers proved as much in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament final, rallying from a huge deficit to defeat Illinois State 69-60 and clinch the Valley’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. UNI won its 30th game this season, clinched its third MVC title in seven years and now should be set for a very nice seed (three? four?) in the NCAAs.

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The place for improvement is clear for James Madison

by - Published March 8, 2015 in Columns
jamesmadison

BALTIMORE – Of the four teams that tied for first in the CAA, one of the more unlikely ones was James Madison. Next year, however, don’t be surprised if contention and something better than a Saturday exit from the tournament is expected from them.

The Dukes were already down several players from last season just to start, including the transfer of Charles Cooke. They were an inexperienced team, though perhaps not quite as much as last year. Things didn’t get better from there. Andre Nation, their most talented player, was dismissed from the program, robbing them of one of their most experienced players as well. Later, promising freshman Hari Hall missed the last month of the season due to injury.

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Family helped Elon get off the mat and win late games

by - Published March 8, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
elon

BALTIMORE – With Elon this weekend, you saw a mix of why they had to play on the first night of the CAA Tournament and some hope. It all went together, but didn’t translate into a big upset on Saturday to move on, as William & Mary took over the game early and scored a convincing 72-59 quarterfinal win.

The issues were clear. The Phoenix were not good defensively, and this was a bad time for that to be the case as they were up against a very good and disciplined offensive team. They had offensive issues, too, but it started on defense, particularly with the way William & Mary took the lead for good – primarily on three-pointers as they hit three in an 11-0 run to take the lead for good.

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Illinois State surprises Wichita State, on cusp of something special in MVC

by - Published March 8, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
illinoisstate

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (March 7) – One of the beauties of college sports is watching seniors stepping up their game in their final seasons. The motivation to keep one’s career going can frequently spur players to new heights, taking their teams on a ride with them.

Illinois State coach Dan Muller said it was going to take a player having a special day to defeat top seed and No. 8-ranked nationally Wichita State in his team’s semifinal Saturday at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. It was senior guard Daishon Knight who delivered, scoring 25 points in a masterful performance as the Redbirds shocked the Shockers 65-62.
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Gonzaga not a No. 1 seed even before BYU loss

by - Published March 6, 2015 in Columns
gonzaga

I may be in the minority, but prior to last Saturday night I was not really in the camp that thought Gonzaga should be a No. 1 seed. I was probably lukewarm to the idea, though it had been looking like a better case of late. It’s probably moot now that BYU beat them in Spokane, but should they sweep their way to a West Coast Conference championship, the subject will probably come up again.

Gonzaga has been a trendy team to speak of as a Final Four contender and a No. 1 seed as well. It’s understandable why; since the late 1990s they have ruled the West Coast Conference and annually play a loaded non-conference schedule, one where they win enough to be a lock for the NCAA Tournament whether they win the WCC or not. Last year might have been an exception, as I’m not sure they would have been in without a WCC championship, but they won, so it was moot.

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Tough loss doesn’t take away Sacred Heart’s improvement

by - Published March 6, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
sacredheart

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The other side of Wednesday night’s instant classic is Sacred Heart. The Pioneers came out on the wrong end of a game that unfortunately only one team could win. While there were no moral victories to be had, it’s undeniable that they were even in that game and nearly had it won is the end result of a big improvement from last season. It’s also an improvement that will be tough, but hardly impossible, to maintain in the immediate.

Year two for a coach is almost always more challenging than the first year, but given the challenges Anthony Latina faced with his team in his inaugural season a year ago, this might be different. The Pioneers were 5-26 as he took over for the retired Dave Bike, and they simply were not good. There was youth, there was an adjustment – though Latina was an assistant before ascending into the head coaching position, he is not Dave Bike Lite – and the Northeast Conference was very good last year.

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Third time is the charm for Bryant

by - Published March 5, 2015 in Columns
bryant

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – For Bryant, the third time was the charm. Not that it was as simple as that, but the end result said as much, and it could easily have not been the case for so many reasons that may or may not make sense right now.

“Honestly,” said senior guard Dyami Starks, “I looked at (Joe O’Shea’s) face, and he looked bewildered, like, ‘Did I hit that?'”

Starks was recounting the final seconds of regulation – what could have been the final seconds of Bryant’s season once again, in their home gym once again, in the quarterfinals of the Northeast Conference Tournament once again. Seconds earlier, he put up a shot from well behind the three-point line that was off-line. The ball bounced off the rim and went away from it, with precious seconds ticking off the clock, hope of keeping the game alive, keeping the season alive, fading with each tick.

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2015 CAA postseason awards – how one man voted

by - Published March 4, 2015 in Columns
colonial

On Thursday night, the CAA will hand out its postseason awards just before the conference tournament. It’s been quite a year in the conference, as was to be expected. With no clear favorite aside from perhaps Northeastern, if you go by returning talent and experience, this figured to be an interesting and highly competitive year, and it was just that. For the first time in the conference’s history, four teams finished tied for first, as evidence of it, and all four were 12-6.

As I am one of the voters for the conference’s postseason awards, I feel it is worth sharing how I voted and some of what went into each selection. It also gives some insight into how the conference looks overall as we head into the conference tournament in Baltimore this weekend.

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Boston College finally has a win to show for their efforts

by - Published March 2, 2015 in Columns
bostoncollege

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Finally. The waiting game of sorts is over for Boston College.

So many good battles against top ACC teams, so many tough losses. That was the story for Boston College, especially during a nine-game losing streak that started in late January. They would give the likes of Pittsburgh, Miami (twice each), Syracuse, Louisville and North Carolina all they could handle before succumbing late. Rarely were they never really in a game, like a week earlier against Notre Dame. Surely it had to be a matter of time before they would break through and pull one of these out. And indeed, it wasn’t even a matter of pulling it out – they were never seriously challenged on Saturday. NC State got no closer than 12 in the second half, and that only lasted for 14 seconds.

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Your Phil of Hoops

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by

kentucky

Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

April 1, 2015 by

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There has finally been a resolution to Monte Ross’ contract situation, and it’s a happy one for the Blue Hens’ head coach and his staff after the work they have done to rebuild the program.

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

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Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

Hoopville Archives

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Sunday notes

April 29, 2015 by

adidasuprising

Sunday was the conclusion of the adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis, and we take a look at some of the players who shined on a day that saw a few games that weren’t very competitive.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Saturday notes

April 28, 2015 by

adidasuprising

Saturday was a full day of action in the adidas Gauntlet near Indianapolis, and here’s a look at some of the talent that stood out on the day as college coaches checked out the action.

adidas Gauntlet Indianapolis – Friday notes

April 25, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

Friday night got the adidas Gauntlet in Indianapolis going, and we take a look at a few players who stood out before a full day of action comes to us on Saturday.

Notes from the 2015 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 20, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was time for a trip to Hanover for late action in the Northeast Hoops Festival, and we have a look at some prospects who stood out on the day.

2015 EYBL Hampton – Saturday & Sunday notes

April 14, 2015 by

nikeeybl

Saturday was a full day of action at EYBL Hampton, and Sunday capped it off with a brief slate. We look at some of the talent that was on hand each day to close out the first live weekend.