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2014-15 Southland Post-Mortem

by - Published June 19, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
southland

Those buying into the overhyped storyline about college basketball being unwatchable this past season could’ve found their antidote if only they watched a little bit more of Stephen F. Austin and the Southland Conference.

SFA ran through the Southland as Coach Brad Underwood led his team to a second consecutive memorable year. The Lumberjacks lost just once in SLC play and ran off 28 wins in 29 games before a cold-shooting performance in the NCAA Tournament kept them from duplicating their feat from a year earlier of scoring a first round victory as a 12 seed in the Big Dance.

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2014-15 America East Post-Mortem

by - Published June 19, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
americaeast

The America East had a very familiar look at the top this season, in more ways than one. The conference championship game was a rematch, with a similar result in more ways than one, while the top three teams in the standings all looked very familiar.

After that, it gets interesting. It is perhaps where we can look for some change in the times to come.

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2014-15 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

by - Published June 10, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
sunbelt

Seemingly in a perpetual search for an identity due to so many membership changes, the Sun Belt Conference found one in 2014-15 as a conference that provided a little of it all.

The Sun Belt was both as predicted and unpredictable. It played games in the 90s and 100s…or the 30s and 40s. It even had some star power amidst rosters that would mostly generate a shrug on the national level. It was a unique mix, but in the end it worked out well for a now-venerable league that has faced numerous changes over the years but is nearing its 40th anniversary.

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2014-15 Big West Post-Mortem

by - Published June 9, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
bigwest

The Big West entered 2014-15 poised for a very good year, and it eventually got there, albeit in a very roundabout way.

A number of the storylines for the league coming into the season never quite materialized, for a myriad of reasons. Among them:

-Preseason favorite UC Irvine was hammered by injuries for much of the season. Mammoth (7-foot-6) game-changer Mamadou Ndiaye played in less than half the team’s games, and four other regulars missed substantial time. After a 3-2 start that included a scare of Arizona and a tough loss at St. Mary’s, the Anteaters really were never whole again the rest of the year.

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2014-15 CAA Post-Mortem

by - Published June 9, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
colonial

In a year full of competitive conference races, the Colonial Athletic Association fit right in while still being under the radar. It didn’t have a seven-way tie at the top at one point, like the Big South did or three games separating first from tenth like the Patriot League did for a lot of the season, but it did produce its own great result: a four-way tie for the regular season title.

The conference wasn’t top-heavy, either. Another team was two games back of the top four and two more teams another game back. The six losses by the top four teams were tied for the most by a regular season champion in CAA history and marked the first time in 18 years that the regular season champion had more than four losses. Drexel was 9-9 in CAA play and had to play on opening night of the conference tournament. The other 9-9 team, Delaware, knocked off three of the four teams that tied for first during the season.

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2014-15 WAC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 3, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
wac

There’s really no way around it; there is a perceived gap between New Mexico State and everyone else in the Western Athletic Conference, and that gap was quite real in the 2014-15 season.

The lone link between the WAC’s former days as a solid top 15 basketball conference and its current location near the bottom of NCAA Division I, the Aggies dominated the league, winning the regular season title by five games and eventually nabbing their fourth consecutive WAC tourney title and NCAA Tournament bid. NMSU lost just once in WAC play and outscored league opponents by an average of 14.2 points, winning 13 straight games entering the NCAA Tournament.

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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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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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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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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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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.