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UCF’s young perimeter needs help next year

by - Published March 13, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
ucf

HARTFORD, Conn. – UCF had a tough ending to a tough season. Now the work begins on getting better, and to that end they have a good base. They showed some reason for hope in the season-ending loss in the first round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament.

UCF played from behind for much of the game, at one point trailing East Carolina by 17 in the first half. They managed to hang around, though, and that gave them a chance. Their inability to get stops for a stretch took away any real momentum they had for a lot of the second, and kept them from breaking through to eventually tie or take the lead. They didn’t quit, though, and in the final seconds a Kasey Wilson stickback sent the game into overtime.

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Big East first round: Efficiency is the key

by - Published March 12, 2015 in Columns
bigeast

NEW YORK – Slower pace and efficient offense was the key in first round Big East Tournament action on Wednesday. In the opener at Madison Square Garden, Marquette defeated Seton Hall 78-56. Using a strong second half, Creighton defeated DePaul in the night cap, 78-63.

Marquette earned their second consecutive victory following a six-game losing streak. Coach Steve Wojciechowski feels injuries set his team back and a return to health has them playing better of late. “Tonight we might have played as well as we can,” he said.

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Why Murray State belongs in the NCAA Tournament

by - Published March 12, 2015 in Columns
murraystate

As expected following its loss in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament final, Murray State has become this year’s “Great Taste, Less Filling” debate of Championship Week, the most hotly discussed team in the lead-up to this year’s NCAA Tournament.

We made a preliminary call already for Murray State’s inclusion in the tourney, and Gary Parrish summed up its case well on CBSSports.com on Wednesday, but the Racers are a complex case that deserves examination.

To some, they’re the team with a mediocre RPI in the 60s, no top 50 wins, two top 100 wins and a low strength of schedule in a weak conference. To others, they’re the 27-5 team that won 25 straight games prior to a heartbreaking one-point loss to Belmont in the OVC final, a game played in Belmont’s home city of Nashville and decided on an off-balance three-pointer going in with two seconds left in the game. They play an exciting, up-tempo style, have one of the best players in the country in sophomore guard Cameron Payne, and anyone who has watched them before and after knows this was not the same team the last 26 games that it was early in the season.
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2015 USBWA awards: one man’s vote

by - Published March 12, 2015 in Columns
author_kasiecki

About a week ago, I shared how I voted for the CAA’s postseason awards. While that was quite an exercise this season, casting my USBWA ballot was a little different challenge and not just because of the scope. There’s also timing – right as conference tournaments pick up. On the national level, we vote for ten All-Americans, five freshman All-Americans, the Oscar Robertson Trophy (a national Player of the Year), the Wayman Tisdale Award (the nation’s top freshman), and the Henry Iba Award (national Coach of the Year). More locally, we also vote for ten All-District players, a district Player of the Year and a district Coach of the Year.

With that settled, in all the votes involved for this were probably not quite as challenging as the CAA postseason honors. That is in large part a testament to how competitive the CAA was this year and that included for the postseason honors.

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Final Arch Madness Notes: MVC still in good hands in St. Louis

by - Published March 11, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
ArchMadness_25th_Anniversary

When Creighton departed the Missouri Valley Conference for the Big East, the levels of worry from some on the outside ranked from concern to spooked alarm that both the MVC and its signature Arch Madness men’s basketball event were in danger of a fall.

If there was one overall takeaway message from this year’s MVC Tournament, though, it is this: despite the doomsday predictions of some, the league and the event continues to roll with the punches and comes out strong at the end.
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So many positives, so little consolation for William & Mary

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns
williamandmary

BALTIMORE – You have to feel for those in the William & Mary program. Losing once in a championship game, especially in heart-breaking fashion, is hard enough. Losing twice in a row is that much harder.

Much of the country watched on Sunday as the Tribe won an instant classic in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament in double overtime. They were going to get another chance – their fourth try in eight years – to break through and get to the NCAA Tournament. That’s a string of chances few probably thought they would ever get once upon a time, before Tony Shaver took over.

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Final Big East tempo free numbers, on to The Garden

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns
bigeast

NEW YORK – The Big East’s annual get-together tips off at the “world’s most famous arena” on Wednesday. That makes this a perfect time to get a tempo free look at the conference. It will give us a little idea of what we can expect over the next few days.

Only Big East games are figured in for these listings, with all numbers courtesy of bbstate.com

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The long road to Northeastern’s first CAA championship

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns
northeastern

BALTIMORE – When Northeastern finished its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association, there were plenty of doubters. That might seem surprising when you consider they had the Player of the Year (Jose Juan Barea) and Defensive Player of the Year (Shawn James) and reached the semifinals of the conference tournament. They finished fifth, so they had to win two games to get there. But some were not impressed despite the challenges involved in switching conferences.

The thought from some was that if they had two award winners and finished fifth, how in the world would they ever win in the CAA? That first year, by the way, was the year George Mason made its legendary Final Four run. It was the CAA’s best year until a couple of years ago; the Patriots didn’t even win the conference tournament, losing to Hofstra in a semifinal game best remembered for a player who earned a one-game suspension.

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Semifinal loss at Arch Madness does not diminish Loyola’s improvement

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
Loyola Chicago Logo

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (March 7) – Sometimes, in order to fully appreciate a team’s season, one has to take a look at what was expected of them before it.

In the case of Loyola (Ill.), if one would’ve told Rambler fans before the season that their team would win 19 games and advance to the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, they would’ve been tickled pink. Hopefully they’re able to take that to heart after the sixth-seeded Ramblers fell to No. 11-ranked and second-seeded Northern Iowa 63-49 in the semifinals at Arch Madness on Saturday.
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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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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

delaware

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

temple

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

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

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

hoopguy-yellow

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

hoopguy-cyan

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

author_kasiecki

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.

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.