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Missouri Valley Notebook – November 30, 2010

by - Published November 30, 2010 in Conference Notes

The young season is two weeks old already, and the Missouri Valley Conference is off to a slow start – although against some strong competition. All teams have combined for a 33-21 non-conference record – not quite on pace to match last winter’s 90-39 mark.

What we’ve learned heading into December:

Wichita State is the only team helping its at-large opportunity so far. Yes, there is a long time to go after November, but the selection committee nevertheless will look at some of these good wins and losses – and in some cases, very bad losses. Wichita State (3-1) has steamrolled through the competition early, with the only defeat at the hands of Connecticut, 83-79. UConn, now ranked No. 7, shot its way to the Maui Tournament title, also knocking down the likes of No. 2 Michigan State and No. 9 Kentucky.

Other teams who may depend on at-large bids in March aren’t faring as well as the Shockers. After rushing out to a 4-0 start, Bradley has dropped two straight, including a head-scratching home loss to Eastern Illinois. Missouri State (4-2) sits in a slightly better position, with a 4-point loss to then-No. 23 Tennessee, but another loss to Conference USA foe, Tulsa. What may work in Missouri State’s favor this March is its 60-49 victory over fellow mid-major, Pacific. Northern Iowa’s (2-2) best chance to prove it hasn’t fallen far from last season’s success flopped during the second half of the season-opener at Syracuse, a 68-46 defeat. That was followed with another loss at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Creighton (4-2) has a lot to prove in the Mountain West-Valley Challenge Series this week. A date with BYU on Wednesday will give the Bluejays an opportunity to raise some eyebrows. It will also give Creighton another chance to beat a team with a winning record for the first time this season.

Through the questions though, Creighton has a fearsome trio forming for MVC opponents. Antoine Young, Kenny Lawson Jr. and newcomer Doug McDermott have combined for 44 points and almost 20 rebounds per game. If they’re unable to grab the needed non-conference wins, the Bluejays are certainly solidifying themselves as a scary team by the time the conference slate begins.

The Northern Iowa defense looks like it will have to be stellar for another postseason appearance. They allowed just 55 points per game last season and might need to duplicate that to stay competitive in the MVC during 2010-11 to aid a struggling offense. Not counting the victory over Division III Coe College, the Panther offense is managing a mere 58.7 points. The good news so far: The defense is still solid, allowing just 57.5 points in four games. Syracuse managed the best output so far against them during its 68-46 thumping.

Evansville (3-2) is continuing where it left off last season. A 71-68 overtime win at No. 23 Butler Saturday is the proof. As the only MVC team not to win at least 10 games last season, Evansville still finished the ’09-10 campaign 3-3. That included wins over league leaders Northern Iowa and Wichita State and another near-miss against Wichita State. With its current play, the Aces may be pushing 10 wins by the time they play Wichita State on Dec. 29. Even if they don’t have 10 by then, the Aces have clearly pulled themselves out of the Valley cellar.

Ranking the Missouri Valley (through Nov. 28)

  1. Wichita State (4-1)
  2. Missouri State (4-2)
  3. Bradley (4-2)
  4. Northern Iowa (2-2)
  5. Creighton (4-2)
  6. Evansville (3-2)
  7. Indiana State (3-3)
  8. Illinois State (5-1)
  9. Southern Illinois (3-3)
  10. Drake (2-3)

Games to watch this week

Tuesday, Nov. 30

Indiana State at No. 25 Notre Dame: After a rough start, the Sycamores have an opportunity to run their win streak to three and make a statement against the newly-ranked Irish.

Wednesday, Dec. 1

Iowa State at Northern Iowa: The unbeaten Cyclones (6-0) will try to continue their early season dominance over the MVC, having dropped 91 points on both Creighton and Drake. With the style Northern Iowa plays though, you can almost expect Iowa State and UNI to combine for 91 points Wednesday.

No. 21 BYU at Creighton: The Bluejays have yet to beat an opponent with a winning record. Wednesday is the perfect opportunity, as the No. 21 Cougars visit the Qwest Center unbeaten.

Saturday, Dec. 4

Wichita State at No. 17 San Diego State: This contest will be like a Bracket Buster in February, and could catapult the Shockers into the Top 25 with a win.

After Shaky Start, ACC Needs Holiday Tourney Joy

by - Published November 18, 2010 in Conference Notes

It might be early in the season, but the ACC is already entering a critical week.

After a bumpy start to the season, conference teams enter the holiday tournament season needing to win some statement games. And the outlook isn’t great.

In the first week and a half, Wake Forest has dropped two home games, and Georgia Tech got obliterated by Kennesaw State. The Yellow Jackets gave up 80 points to the Owls, who mostly played only five guys. Georgia Tech’s eight-man rotation floundered, shooting only 35 percent while committing 19 turnovers.

In Winston-Salem, the Demon Deacons figure to have a long season ahead in coach Jeff Bzdelik’s first year at the helm. Stetson shot 46.4 percent against Wake Forest and, more revealing, out-rebounded Wake Forest 42-31. ACC teams shouldn’t get outworked in their own building to open the season, unless they’re facing a top 10 opponent. That’s just embarrassing.

But there’s plenty of time to change course. Although the conference ranks fifth in winning percentage of the six power conferences, there’s no shame in Virginia Tech losing at Kansas State or Miami losing at Memphis. Road victories for either team would have been a major upset for the conference.

The early season emergence of the ACC must start tonight, when Maryland plays Pittsburgh in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The Terrapins are one of seven ACC teams playing in tournaments during the next 10 days. However, Maryland is one of the few teams with an opportunity to pick up crucial statement victories.

Against Pittsburgh, Maryland will be decided underdogs, and a strong showing, even in a loss, would give the Terrapins plenty to crow about. If the team can beat Pitt or their next opponent — either Illinois or Texas in the championship or consolation game — the trip to Madison Square Garden would be a success. The worst-case scenario for the ACC and Maryland is a two-game sweep in which the Terrapins don’t look competitive against some of the strongest teams from the Big East, Big Ten and Big 12.

In San Juan, North Carolina is the highest rank team in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. That means the young, unproven Tar Heels are supposed to win the tournament, and anything short of a three-game sweep against a field that includes West Virginia and Minnesota would be a disappointment. We’ll quickly find out how this year’s Tar Heels handle the pressure of lofty expectations after last season’s squad fell apart.

Back on the shores of South Carolina, North Carolina State is one of the favorites in the Charleston Classic. The only way for the Wolfpack to pick up a quality win is to reach the championship game and beat Georgetown. A loss to anyone besides the Hoyas would be detrimental to North Carolina State’s résumé and the ACC’s credibility.

Georgia Tech and Boston College have the best opportunity to grab unexpected quality wins in the Legends Classic in Atlantic City and the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, respectively. Georgia Tech will face either Syracuse or Michigan in the championship or consolation game of the Legends Classic. However, the Yellow Jackets must first get past a tough UTEP team, which is perfectly capable of knocking off a shaky ACC team. The Eagles face a bunch of tough, unranked teams, with the exception of a possible match up with Temple. Boston College needs to represent the ACC well in potential games against Cal, Georgia, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Wisconsin.

On the West Coast, Virginia Tech finds itself in the same situation that North Carolina does in Puerto Rico: tournament favorite. The Hokies’ toughest opponents in the 76 Classic are Oklahoma State, UNLV, Stanford and Murray State. Unfortunately for Virginia Tech’s résumé, the Hokies won’t garner much more clout by doing anything less than stomping those teams, which won’t be easy, especially 3,000-plus miles away from Blacksburg, Va.

And then there’s Duke. The reigning national champs are No. 1, so they’re supposed to beat anyone, anytime. Despite those ridiculous expectations, the Blue Devils would have a great opportunity to assert themselves as the unquestioned favorites to win this season’s national title if they draw Kansas State and beat the Wildcats in the CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo. It’s practically a home game for the Wildcats, so a Duke victory would be huge for the ACC’s elite.

2010-11 Missouri Valley Conference Preview

by - Published November 11, 2010 in Conference Notes

A win over the NCAA tourney’s top seed, a CollegeInsider.com Tournament title and six overall postseason teams will be tough to top from last season, but the 2010-11 campaign should be even more competitive in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC).

Ali Farokhmanesh sunk the biggest shot in the history of Northern Iowa basketball last March to help the MVC champion Panthers stun No. 1 Kansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It ended a two-year drought from the Sweet 16 for the Missouri Valley. Unfortunately for Northern Iowa though, Farokhmanesh won’t slip on the purple and gold uniform this winter. He and the absence of two other starters from last season could drop the 30-win Panthers back to reality. … Continue Reading

2010-11 ACC Preview

by - Published November 11, 2010 in Conference Notes

For the second consecutive year, an ACC team will open the season as defending national champ. And Duke has a real shot at delivering back-to-back titles for the second time in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s illustrious career. At least, the Blue Devils have a far better chance than North Carolina did last season after the Tar Heels were overhyped and then overmatched en route to coach Roy Williams’ worst season in a couple of decades.

Although critics poke the ACC for lacking the quantity of elite teams that the Big East boasts, the ACC has once again proven that its best teams are legitimate title contenders every year. Duke managed to fly under the radar last season as the media fawned over veteran-laden Kansas and John Calipari’s freshmen sensations at Kentucky. But in the end, a ruthlessly balanced team stormed through the post-season and beat Cinderella, aka Butler, in a thrilling championship game. The two will reprise that battle in December when they meet in New Jersey. … Continue Reading

Colonial Athletic Association 2010-11 Preview

by - Published November 11, 2010 in Conference Notes

Although the Colonial Athletic Association didn’t produce multiple NCAA Tournament bids as was hoped before the season, the postseason was a very successful one for the conference. Six teams played in the postseason, with Old Dominion knocking off Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament and VCU winning the College Basketball Invitational. With much of the talent returning from last season, including many from projected top teams, there is reason to believe this year could be even better.

Nine All-CAA players return, including the reigning Player of the Year. 40 of 60 regular starters return, along with 12 of the top 20 scorers and rebounders. Around the conference, there are some solid newcomers as well, and a couple of players who missed last season due to injury also return.

… Continue Reading

2010 Patriot League Post-Mortem

by - Published May 28, 2010 in Conference Notes

The Patriot League continued to have a little different look this year, notably in the standings. For a while, it was dominated by Holy Cross and Bucknell, but for the third year in a row a program other than those two won the title. Two years ago, they shockingly finished at the bottom of the league; last year, Holy Cross finished second while Bucknell tied for last; and this season, they switched places as Bucknell finished second and Holy Cross suffered through a disastrous 9-22 season.

Last year, Lehigh showed signs of contending when they made a great non-league run, but they didn’t get it done in league play. This year, the Mountain Hawks were the best team for much of the season, and they carried that into the league tournament with three wins for the title. A big reason for that was, oddly enough, a freshman. C.J. McCollum wasted no time becoming a star, as he won Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors, the first player in league history to do so. He was second in the league in scoring overall, but it was in league play where he shined the most as he led in scoring, was sixth in rebounding and field goal percentage, third in three-point percentage and seventh in assists and assist/turnover ratio.

McCollum is symbolic of something else that is different about the league, which is the young talent. Oftentimes, young players in a league like this take a back seat to the veterans, but the Patriot League had a lot of young talent this year. Five of the top ten scorers, four of the top nine rebounders and five of the top seven three-point marksmen were underclassmen. McCollum wasn’t the only freshman on his team to be a key player, as Gabe Knutson was also a starter and key player for the Mountain Hawks. Bucknell placed three players on the All-Rookie team, the first team in league history to do that, and all played significant roles for the Bison this season along with sophomore Bryan Cohen, an All-Rookie selection a year ago. Lafayette got to the final in no small part due to the work of sophomores Jim Mower and Ryan Willen. Holy Cross was at times carried by sophomores R.J. Evans and Devin Brown. Jordan Sugars was the main complement to senior Chris Harris at Navy. Stephen Lumpkins teamed with George Mason transfer Vlad Moldoveanu for a solid 1-2 punch inside for American.

While the league is looking different, the young talent is evidence that there is good basketball ahead for the league in the immediate future. The difference in the standings shows that teams have done their best to rise to the level that Holy Cross and Bucknell were at just a few years ago, and some have succeeded.

Final Standings

Overall Patriot League
Lehigh 22-11 10-4
Bucknell 14-17 9-5
Lafayette 19-13 8-6
American 11-20 7-7
Navy 13-17 7-7
Colgate 10-19 6-8
Holy Cross 9-22 5-9
Army 14-15 4-10

League Tournament

The story of the Patriot League Tournament was the dominance of eventual champion Lehigh, as the Mountain Hawks won all three games by at least 15 points. They took care of Army in the quarterfinals by pulling away late, while Lafayette and American won at home and Holy Cross was the lone road team to pull out a win as they knocked off Bucknell 67-64 in Lewisburg. The Mountain Hawks weren’t seriously challenged by American in a 79-57 semifinal win, while Lafayette won a back-and-forth battle with Holy Cross 66-63. That set up a championship game between two arch-rivals.

Lehigh led from start to finish, but was challenged in the second half by Lafayette. The Leopards made several runs at the lead, but could never tie the game. The final ten minutes were dominated by Lehigh senior Zahir Carrington, who took home the tournament MVP honors as he helped the Mountain Hawks pull away for a 74-59 win. Lehigh finished the game on a 12-1 run.

Postseason Awards

Player of the Year: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh

Rookie of the Year: C.J. McCollum, Lehigh

Defensive Player of the Year: Bryan Cohen, Bucknell

Coach of the Year: Fran O’Hanlon, Lafayette

All-Conference Team

Chris Harris, Sr. G, Navy

C.J. McCollum, Fr. G, Lehigh

Jared Mintz, Jr. F, Lafayette

Vlad Moldoveanu, Jr. F, American

Kyle Roemer, Sr. F, Colgate

Season Highlights

  • Marquis Hall, who had a fine freshman season of his own three years ago, finished his career most importantly with a Patriot League title, but also with a great accomplishment. The two-time Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year graduates as the only player in league history to surpass 1,500 points and 500 assists.
  • Army got a lot of buzz in non-league play, as new head coach Zach Spiker was getting results right away. The Black Knights haven’t lacked talent in recent years, so their record before league play wasn’t a big surprise. They rode winning streaks of five and four games to a 10-4 mark.
  • Vlad Moldoveanu made an instant impact for American once he was eligible in December after transferring from George Mason. He was third in scoring and rebounding in league games, as he didn’t play in enough games to qualify for the overall lead in any categories.
  • Lehigh was eighth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage at just under 40 percent from behind the arc.

What we expected, and it happened: Bucknell was more like the Bucknell of a few years ago. The Bison were hit hard by injuries in 2008-09 and also had a coaching change to adjust to. With a year under Dave Paulson and a good freshman class, the Bison had some growing pains in non-league play but finished second in the league behind Lehigh.

What we expected, and it didn’t happen: Holy Cross was the pick of many as the favorite before the season, but they didn’t come close to that, finishing 9-22 and seventh in the standings, a game out of last place. The Crusaders struggled at the defensive end for much of the season, and it showed in the win-loss column. Sean Kearney lasted just one season as the head coach, replaced by former Mount St. Mary’s head coach Milan Brown.

What we didn’t expect, and it happened: Lafayette was in contention for the top spot and made it to the championship game. The Leopards won eight games a year ago and didn’t look the part of a contender coming in, but they were right in the mix for the top spot and gave Lehigh a good game in the final of the tournament before a late run put the game away.

Team(s) on the rise: Bucknell. The Bison are back and the likely preseason favorite next year after a good showing in league play. Four of their top five were freshmen or sophomores this past season.

Team(s) on the decline: Colgate. A couple of years ago, the Raiders were in the title game. Now Kyle Roemer and Ben Jonson are gone from a team that finished sixth in the league.

2010-11 Patriot League Outlook

With the younger talent in the league, the future is bright. Just about every team projects to be better next season, so the league should improve on its non-league mark in addition to having a hotly contested race for the top starting in January. Six of the ten all-league players return, and all of the All-Rookie selections should contend for spots on that team before long.

Lehigh will have a chance to repeat, but the early favorite has to be Bucknell as the Bison bring back a lot of young talent that will only get better. Lafayette should be in the mix as they also bring back a lot, while American had growing pains with a less experienced roster this year. Holy Cross and Army each have the personnel to potentially make a jump into the top half as well.

If the league has the kind of year it could next year, ultimately it would be safe to say that the rest of the league succeeded in getting better to catch up to Holy Cross and Bucknell. They had little choice but to do so, and having done so the Crusaders and Bison are certainly not dominating the league any longer and not because they have fallen apart.

2010 Big South Post-Mortem

by - Published May 27, 2010 in Conference Notes

After winning the conference championship in 2009, Radford appeared stacked entering this season. And for a while, the Highlanders looked like they were on pace to repeat as champions. Player of the Year Artsiom Parakhouski was unstoppable night in and night out, helping Radford finish second to surprisingly dominant Coastal Carolina in the regular season. However, the Highlanders fell victim to Winthrop’s suffocating defense in the Big South Tournament’s semifinals.

Winthrop proved why the Eagles are a perennial conference contender by playing excellent defense throughout the season. The Eagles reaped the dividends of their efforts on defense by storming through the Big South Tournament for another championship. The Eagles captured the conference’s automatic bid, which ended up being an invitation to the play-in game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. In that game, Winthrop’s poor shooting spoiled another solid defensive effort, as the Eagles bowed out without playing a game in the field of 64.

But at least Winthrop reached the NCAA Tournament, a place Coastal Carolina had in its sights after winning the regular-season title. However, the Chanticleers couldn’t continue their success in the conference championship game. Coastal Carolina dropped the final bout at home as Winthrop’s defense knocked the Chanticleers out of rhythm throughout the game.

Final Standings

Team Overall Big South
Coastal Carolina 28-7 15-3
Radford 19-12 13-5
Winthrop 19-14 12-6
UNC-Asheville 15-16 11-7
High Point 15-15 10-8
Liberty 15-16 10-8
Charleston Southern 13-17 7-11
VMI 10-19 5-13
Gardner-Webb 8-21 5-13
Presbyterian 5-26 2-16

Big South Conference Tournament

For the ninth time in 12 years, Winthrop won the Big South championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles upset No. 2 Radford and No. 1 Coastal Carolina en route to the conference championship. In the championship game, Winthrop won its second game of the season against the Chanticleers, taking out the hosts 64-53.

After Winthrop gave up 72 points to No. 6 Liberty in the quarterfinals, the Eagles turned up the defensive pressure, holding Radford to 46 points and Coastal Carolina to 53. Senior forward and Defensive Player of the Year Mantoris Robinson paced Winthrop to the championship with 14 points against Coastal Carolina, including a solid 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

The most thrilling game of the tournament was Radford’s 64-61 overtime victory against No. 7 Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern rallied from eight points down in the final minutes of regulation but ran out of steam in overtime. The Highlanders built a six-point cushion to start overtime and held on for the win.

Big South Awards

Player of the Year: Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Coach of the Year: Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year: Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Defensive Player of the Year: Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

First-Team All-Conference:

Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Joseph Harris, Coastal Carolina

Nick Barbour, High Point

Chad Gray, Coastal Carolina

Jamarco Warren, Charleston Southern

Second-Team All-Conference:

Joey Lynch-Flohr, Radford

Austin Kenon, VMI

Kyle Ohman, Liberty

Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

John Williams, UNC-Asheville

All-Freshman Team:

Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Stan Okoye, VMI

Evan Gordon, Liberty

Kierre Greenwood, Coastal Carolina

Blake Smith, Radford

Season Highlights

4 Things We Saw Coming

1. Radford’s Artsiom Parakhouski dominated the conference on his way to Player of the Year honors.

2. Radford’s size propelled the Highlanders near the top of the conference.

3. VMI once again led the nation with the fastest pace. The Keydets also finished dead last in defensive efficiency, contributing to the team’s 19 losses.

4. New High Point coach Scott Cherry has the Panthers playing a faster pace and moving up the standings, finishing in the middle of the Big South pack.

4 Things We Thought We’d See

1. After shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from three-point range in 2008-09, Winthrop was supposed to be better, not worse, on offense this season. That didn’t happen as the Eagles regressed to 38.0 percent from the field and 24.8 percent from long range.

2. Gardner-Webb was supposed to be better after putting up 13 wins in 2008-09 and returning four starters. But the Bulldogs struggled, winning only eight games. Inconsistent guard play led to more than 18 turnovers per game and derailed the season.

3. With Liberty losing Seth Curry and other key contributors, the Flames were supposed to struggle big time this season. But coach Dale Layer found a way to keep Liberty in the top six.

4. To start the season, UNC-Asheville’s backcourt appeared to be the team’s strength. But the Bulldogs ended up averaging about 17 turnovers per game, worse than last season.

4 Things We Didn’t See Coming

1. With Winthrop’s shooting woes, the Eagles didn’t appear to be able to take out Radford in the conference semifinals. But Winthrop found a way to win and got past regular-season champ Coastal Carolina for the conference championship.

2. Coastal Carolina’s ascension to the top of the Big South standings was surprising, especially considering that the team relied mostly on freshmen and sophomores.

3. Coastal Carolina’s Chad Gray, a transfer from South Carolina, did more than just contribute some productive minutes for the Chanticleers. He led the team to the regular-season title with 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. For his efforts, he received first-team all-conference honors.

4. Charleston Southern’s Jeremy Sexton stormed through the Big South in his freshman campaign, earning the Rookie of the Year award. He averaged 12.7 points and 2.3 assists per game and shot better than 38 percent from three-point range.

Teams on the Rise:

Charleston Southern

The Buccaneers finished near the bottom of the pack this season. But they will return nearly their entire lineup, including freshman of the year, Jeremy Sexton. If Charleston Southern can continue to cut down on the turnovers, the Buccaneers could move up as a couple of other teams rebuild.

High Point

Under new coach Scott Cherry, the Panthers played better than expected this past season. If Cherry can keep this team on an upward trajectory, the Panthers should approach the top of the conference next season. The Panthers return six out of their top eight players, including leading scorer Nick Barbour, who averaged 18.9 points per game and will be a candidate for player of the year in 2010-11.

Team on the Decline:

Winthrop

The Eagles won the conference championship with an outburst of just-good-enough shooting and excellent defense. But Winthrop will lose the defensive player of the year, Mantoris Robinson, from a team that relies almost entirely on defense. The Eagles actually shot worse this season than they did last season. There’s no reason to expect this team to turn into excellent shooters all of a sudden, and if the team’s defense falters, the Eagles will plummet in the Big South standings.

Radford

The Highlanders will have to learn to succeed without Artsion Parakhouski, which promises to be a tall order next season. The player of the year averaged 21.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game for Radford this season. In addition, Radford will lose two others starters who averaged at least 32 minutes per game. Radford’s lineup figures to undergo major changes by opening night next season, and it could be a difficult season.

Next Season

This season and next season promise to look totally different in the Big South.

With the player of the year and defensive player of the year graduating, several top teams figure to move down the standings. Radford is in danger of making the biggest drop after Artsiom Parakhouski graduates. The player of the year was spectacular, but the Highlanders will have to find a way to win without him. Most likely, that’s not going to happen very often.

Winthrop will likely join Radford among the teams falling in the standings, unless the Eagles figure out how to shoot better. Winthrop won the conference championship with a great defense and mediocre offense. With the graduation of Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop loses the defensive player of the year. That has to hurt the team’s defensive prowess, which will likewise hurt the team’s win total.

In their place, several young teams, like Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, Liberty and High Point will be ready to move up the standings. Coastal Carolina already earned a regular-season title, and the Chanticleers figure to remain competitive for the league title. Charleston Southern, High Point and Liberty want to build on some success from this past season by moving into the top half of the conference next season.

After winning the conference championship in 2009, Radford appeared stacked entering this season. And for a while, the Highlanders looked like they were on pace to repeat as champions. Player of the Year Artsiom Parakhouski was unstoppable night in and night out, helping Radford finish second to surprisingly dominant Coastal Carolina in the regular season. However, the Highlanders fell victim to Winthrop’s suffocating defense in the Big South Tournament’s semifinals.

Winthrop proved why the Eagles are a perennial conference contender by playing excellent defense throughout the season. The Eagles reaped the dividends of their efforts on defense by storming through the Big South Tournament for another championship. The Eagles captured the conference’s automatic bid, which ended up being an invitation to the play-in game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. In that game, Winthrop’s poor shooting spoiled another solid defensive effort, as the Eagles bowed out without playing a game in the field of 64.

But at least Winthrop reached the NCAA Tournament, a place Coastal Carolina had in its sights after winning the regular-season title. However, the Chanticleers couldn’t continue their success in the conference championship game. Coastal Carolina dropped the final bout at home as Winthrop’s defense knocked the Chanticleers out of rhythm throughout the game.

Final Standings

Team Overall Big South
Coastal Carolina 28-7 15-3
Radford 19-12 13-5
Winthrop 19-14 12-6
UNC-Asheville 15-16 11-7
High Point 15-15 10-8
Liberty 15-16 10-8
Charleston Southern 13-17 7-11
VMI 10-19 5-13
Gardner-Webb 8-21 5-13
Presbyterian 5-26 2-16

Big South Conference Tournament

For the ninth time in 12 years, Winthrop won the Big South championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles upset No. 2 Radford and No. 1 Coastal Carolina en route to the conference championship. In the championship game, Winthrop won its second game of the season against the Chanticleers, taking out the hosts 64-53.

After Winthrop gave up 72 points to No. 6 Liberty in the quarterfinals, the Eagles turned up the defensive pressure, holding Radford to 46 points and Coastal Carolina to 53. Senior forward and Defensive Player of the Year Mantoris Robinson paced Winthrop to the championship with 14 points against Coastal Carolina, including a solid 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

The most thrilling game of the tournament was Radford’s 64-61 overtime victory against No. 7 Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern rallied from eight points down in the final minutes of regulation but ran out of steam in overtime. The Highlanders built a six-point cushion to start overtime and held on for the win.

Big South Awards

Player of the Year: Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Coach of the Year: Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year: Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Defensive Player of the Year: Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

First-Team All-Conference:

Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Joseph Harris, Coastal Carolina

Nick Barbour, High Point

Chad Gray, Coastal Carolina

Jamarco Warren, Charleston Southern

Second-Team All-Conference:

Joey Lynch-Flohr, Radford

Austin Kenon, VMI

Kyle Ohman, Liberty

Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

John Williams, UNC-Asheville

All-Freshman Team:

Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Stan Okoye, VMI

Evan Gordon, Liberty

Kierre Greenwood, Coastal Carolina

Blake Smith, Radford

Season Highlights

4 Things We Saw Coming

1. Radford’s Artsiom Parakhouski dominated the conference on his way to Player of the Year honors.

2. Radford’s size propelled the Highlanders near the top of the conference.

3. VMI once again led the nation with the fastest pace. The Keydets also finished dead last in defensive efficiency, contributing to the team’s 19 losses.

4. New High Point coach Scott Cherry has the Panthers playing a faster pace and moving up the standings, finishing in the middle of the Big South pack.

4 Things We Thought We’d See

1. After shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from three-point range in 2008-09, Winthrop was supposed to be better, not worse, on offense this season. That didn’t happen as the Eagles regressed to 38.0 percent from the field and 24.8 percent from long range.

2. Gardner-Webb was supposed to be better after putting up 13 wins in 2008-09 and returning four starters. But the Bulldogs struggled, winning only eight games. Inconsistent guard play led to more than 18 turnovers per game and derailed the season.

3. With Liberty losing Seth Curry and other key contributors, the Flames were supposed to struggle big time this season. But coach Dale Layer found a way to keep Liberty in the top six.

4. To start the season, UNC-Asheville’s backcourt appeared to be the team’s strength. But the Bulldogs ended up averaging about 17 turnovers per game, worse than last season.

4 Things We Didn’t See Coming

1. With Winthrop’s shooting woes, the Eagles didn’t appear to be able to take out Radford in the conference semifinals. But Winthrop found a way to win and got past regular-season champ Coastal Carolina for the conference championship.

2. Coastal Carolina’s ascension to the top of the Big South standings was surprising, especially considering that the team relied mostly on freshmen and sophomores.

3. Coastal Carolina’s Chad Gray, a transfer from South Carolina, did more than just contribute some productive minutes for the Chanticleers. He led the team to the regular-season title with 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. For his efforts, he received first-team all-conference honors.

4. Charleston Southern’s Jeremy Sexton stormed through the Big South in his freshman campaign, earning the Rookie of the Year award. He averaged 12.7 points and 2.3 assists per game and shot better than 38 percent from three-point range.

Teams on the Rise:

Charleston Southern

The Buccaneers finished near the bottom of the pack this season. But they will return nearly their entire lineup, including freshman of the year, Jeremy Sexton. If Charleston Southern can continue to cut down on the turnovers, the Buccaneers could move up as a couple of other teams rebuild.

High Point

Under new coach Scott Cherry, the Panthers played better than expected this past season. If Cherry can keep this team on an upward trajectory, the Panthers should approach the top of the conference next season. The Panthers return six out of their top eight players, including leading scorer Nick Barbour, who averaged 18.9 points per game and will be a candidate for player of the year in 2010-11.

Team on the Decline:

Winthrop

The Eagles won the conference championship with an outburst of just-good-enough shooting and excellent defense. But Winthrop will lose the defensive player of the year, Mantoris Robinson, from a team that relies almost entirely on defense. The Eagles actually shot worse this season than they did last season. There’s no reason to expect this team to turn into excellent shooters all of a sudden, and if the team’s defense falters, the Eagles will plummet in the Big South standings.

Radford

The Highlanders will have to learn to succeed without Artsion Parakhouski, which promises to be a tall order next season. The player of the year averaged 21.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game for Radford this season. In addition, Radford will lose two others starters who averaged at least 32 minutes per game. Radford’s lineup figures to undergo major changes by opening night next season, and it could be a difficult season.

Next Season

This season and next season promise to look totally different in the Big South.

With the player of the year and defensive player of the year graduating, several top teams figure to move down the standings. Radford is in danger of making the biggest drop after Artsiom Parakhouski graduates. The player of the year was spectacular, but the Highlanders will have to find a way to win without him. Most likely, that’s not going to happen very often.

Winthrop will likely join Radford among the teams falling in the standings, unless the Eagles figure out how to shoot better. Winthrop won the conference championship with a great defense and mediocre offense. With the graduation of Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop loses the defensive player of the year. That has to hurt the team’s defensive prowess, which will likewise hurt the team’s win total.

In their place, several young teams, like Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, Liberty and High Point will be ready to move up the standings. Coastal Carolina already earned a regular-season title, and the Chanticleers figure to remain competitive for the league title. Charleston Southern, High Point and Liberty want to build on some success from this past season by moving into the top half of the conference next season.

2010 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

by - Published May 27, 2010 in Conference Notes

The 2009-10 season came after an off-season of transition for the Atlantic 10, as the conference moved its offices from the long-time home of Philadelphia to Newport News, Virginia. That was forgotten once the action got going on the hardwood, and not just because that’s what fans cared about. It was a big year for the conference, as it topped the previous record for non-conference wins with 135 and placed three teams in the NCAA Tournament. For good measure, two teams made a run to the NIT Final Four, with Dayton taking home the title, and three teams made the CBI, with Saint Louis making it to the final before losing to VCU (which also took out George Washington in the opening round).

For a lot of conference play, there was much buzz about how many teams might make the NCAA Tournament. At one point, many felt the conference could get as many as six teams, especially with the weak Pac-10, disappointing Big Ten and down years in conferences like the ACC and Conference USA. Six teams were certainly in play for a while, but much like two years ago, some of the teams in the bottom half of the conference started playing spoiler late in the season.

The post-season has been a good one thus far for the conference in the coaching ranks. Chris Mooney and Brian Gregory passed on overtures from other schools who had head coaching vacancies to stay with Richmond and Dayton, respectively. Fordham hired Tom Pecora to take over its program, while Charlotte hired Alan Major, regarded by many as an under-the-radar assistant, to take over for Bobby Lutz. Overall, there is some stability, which bodes well for the future.

Final Standings

Overall Atlantic 10
Temple 29-6 14-2
Xavier 26-9 14-2
Richmond 26-9 13-3
Saint Louis 23-13 11-5
Charlotte 19-12 9-7
Rhode Island 26-10 9-7
Dayton 24-12 8-8
Duquesne 16-16 7-9
St. Bonaventure 15-16 7-9
George Washington 16-15 6-10
Massachusetts 12-20 5-11
Saint Joseph’s 11-20 5-11
La Salle 12-18 4-12
Fordham 2-26 0-16

Conference Tournament

The first round took place at campus sites, with the home team winning three of the four games by double digits. The only game that did not fit that description was UMass’ 59-56 win at Charlotte in a defensive struggle. The seeds held in the quarterfinals save for Rhode Island’s 63-47 win over Saint Louis, although Xavier had to hold off Dayton and Richmond had to do the same with UMass to move on. Temple shut down Rhode Island for a 57-44 win in one semifinal, while Richmond needed overtime to knock off Xavier in a great game in the other semifinal. The Spiders got a game-tying layup from Kevin Anderson (27 points) to send it to overtime, where David Gonzalvez (26 points) hit a three-pointer to start them on the road to victory in the extra session.

In the championship game, Temple appeared to pull away early in the second half as they were up four at the half and led by 12 with just over 12 minutes left. But Richmond rallied, holding the Owls to just 33 percent from the field in the second half, and made it a ballgame late, where the Owls had to make free throws to seal the 56-52 win.

Postseason Awards

Player of the Year: Kevin Anderson, Richmond

Rookie of the Year: Chris Gaston, Fordham

Most Improved Player: Chris Johnson, Dayton

Defensive Player of the Year: Damian Saunders, Duquesne

Coach of the Year: Fran Dunphy, Temple

All-Conference Team

Kevin Anderson, Jr. G, Richmond

Lavoy Allen, Jr. F, Temple

Jordan Crawford, So. G, Xavier

Damian Saunders, Jr. F, Duquesne

Chris Wright, Jr. F, Dayton

Season Highlights

  • Of the 135 non-conference wins, 19 came against BCS conferences. That ranked fourth this season behind the Big 12 (28 wins), SEC (25) and ACC (25).
  • Fran Dunphy continues to be a master on the bench. Temple lost a lot from last season’s team, including Dionte Christmas, but all the Owls did was win 29 games and their third straight conference title.
  • The All-Atlantic 10 first team didn’t have a single senior, although one member of it (Jordan Crawford) will not be back next season.
  • Rhode Island didn’t finish the regular season well after winning a lot of close games early, but Jim Baron became the first Ram coach to lead the team to three straight 20-win seasons.
  • Although they faded in conference play, George Washington had a nice non-conference run that included five road wins. Only two teams in the conference won more road games than the seven the Colonials posted in total on the season.

What we expected, and it happened: Xavier had a new coach and no clear go-to guy, but the Musketeers continued to win. They didn’t miss a beat with Chris Mack taking over for the departed Sean Miller, and Jordan Crawford became the star of the team. Mack posted the most wins of any first-year coach in Division I, and the Musketeers reached the Sweet 16 for the third straight season.

What we expected, and it didn’t happen: La Salle was far from the contender many expected them to be, finishing 4-12 in the conference and not making the conference tournament. The Explorers were a senior-laden team, but an early injury to Ruben Guillandeaux set them back and a foot injury to Kimmani Barrett around the start of conference play was a back-breaker. The Explorers didn’t win a game in the month of February after they looked like they might come to life early in Atlantic 10 play. They weren’t deep in the backcourt before the injury to Guillandeaux, who started the season strong, and it showed as no team turned the ball over more than the Explorers did. They didn’t make up for it at the other end as only one team forced fewer turnovers.

What we didn’t expect, and it happened: Saint Louis finished in fourth place and made a deep postseason run, reaching the championship of the CBI. The Billikens looked to be at least a year away with a roster that featured 11 freshmen and sophomores and no seniors. But they racked up a good record in a manageable non-conference slate, then started February with six straight wins.

Team(s) on the rise: Saint Louis. The Billikens had no seniors on the roster, and after getting to the final of the CBI expectations will certainly be higher next season.

Team(s) on the decline: Saint Joseph’s. The Hawks were expected to be in rebuilding mode this year, but they looked worse than a rebuilding team. The upshot is that they finished with a winning record at home in their first year in the new arena, but there wasn’t much else to write home about this year and next year isn’t certain to be much, if any, better. Three players have transferred, Darren Govens and Garrett Williamson graduate and only two seniors will be on next year’s roster.

2010-11 Atlantic 10 Outlook

As good as this year was, next year could be even better for the conference. Ten all-conference players return next year, including four of five from the first team, as well as a strong crop of players that comprised the All-Rookie team. Stability is ever-present with many teams, especially from a coaching standpoint. Teams that lose key players won’t drop all the way back; Xavier and Temple will be fine, as will Dayton despite graduating several starters. Richmond shouldn’t be a one-year wonder, and Jim Baron appears to have Rhode Island in a good place although they’ve fallen agonizingly short of the NCAA Tournament a couple of times recently. Saint Louis, St. Bonaventure and George Washington appear to be on the way up, although a few teams don’t look to be on the rise right now. The immediate future for some middling programs like Charlotte, Duquesne and UMass is a little tough to figure right now.

A year ago, the conference’s move to Newport News, Virginia seemed like an odd destination given the conference’s geographic footprint. It had to make one wonder what the future of the conference would look like. Right now, the future looks quite positive based on the season just completed and what the season ahead could look like.

2010 Colonial Athletic Association Post-Mortem

by - Published May 20, 2010 in Conference Notes

The Colonial Athletic Association’s 25th anniversary season saw something that rarely happens these days: the team picked to win actually won. Old Dominion, the preseason favorite, was the top seed in the conference tournament and took home the title and lone NCAA Tournament bid. They proceeded to beat Notre Dame in the first round before bowing out to Baylor in the second round.

What the season didn’t see is a second team in the NCAA Tournament. Although a couple of teams had good non-conference wins and relatively good profiles, no one joined Old Dominion in the NCAA Tournament. Northeastern and William & Mary made the NIT, while VCU and Hofstra made the CBI (VCU won it) and George Mason made the Collegeinsider.com Tournament. The general feeling was that the Monarchs had a good chance at an at-large bid if someone knocked them off in the CAA Tournament.

The CAA set a record with the six postseason teams, one more than the five from last season.

The conference had a clear top seven teams and a good drop-off to the five teams behind them in the standings. All seven teams won at least 10 CAA games, the first time that has ever happened. Hofstra, who finished seventh, got there largely from a great month of February. There wasn’t a dominant team among the top seven, and while the bottom five were clearly a notch below them, every one of those teams scored a win over a team in the top seven. All five teams were there for a reason: Towson lacked any semblance of frontcourt play, Georgia State was consistently inconsistent, UNC Wilmington could never get their offense going, and injuries hit James Madison and Delaware hard.

This year was one where juniors fared well, which lends some hope for next year. Nine of the 15 all-conference players were juniors, with seven of them placing on the first or second team. One will not be back, as VCU big man Larry Sanders declared for the NBA Draft and signed with an agent, but having eight all-conference juniors return for one more year bodes well.

One subject of discussion around the conference tournament centered on the future of it. Right now, the CAA Tournament is set through 2012 in Richmond, but the condition of the Richmond Coliseum is the elephant in the proverbial room. Sources say the city is likely to put some money into it, but commissioner Tom Yeager had a long list of issues with the facility and it’s unlikely enough money will be put into it to resolve an appreciable number of them. The current economic conditions have something to do with it, but there’s also a question of the bang for the buck the city would get as the Coliseum is used for more than just the CAA Tournament. For a lot of reasons, it’s hard to imagine the tournament being held outside of Richmond, and that was the general sentiment expressed, but that possibility may be explored more in the months ahead as the conference looks for where it will be held following 2012.

Final Standings

Overall Colonial
Old Dominion 27-9 15-3
Northeastern 20-13 14-4
William & Mary 22-11 12-6
George Mason 17-15 12-6
VCU 27-9 11-7
Drexel 16-16 11-7
Hofstra 19-15 10-8
Towson 10-21 6-12
Georgia State 12-20 5-13
UNC Wilmington 9-22 5-13
James Madison 13-20 4-14
Delaware 7-24 3-15

Conference Tournament

The first round saw just one upset, with No. 11 James Madison sending Drexel home early. A night later, the Dukes threatened to do the same thing to William & Mary before a big second half by Danny Sumner and a clutch shot late by David Schneider put the favorites in the semifinals. Hofstra narrowly escaped in the first round against Georgia State, then took Northeastern to the brink in the quarterfinals in a double overtime loss. The semifinals were terrific games, with Old Dominion knocking off arch-rival VCU and William & Mary handing Northestern a heart-breaking loss to set up the title game matchup. William & Mary made it a game after a slow start, but the favorites had too much and took home the title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It marked eighth time in the last nine years that the top seed has won the tournament.

Postseason Awards

Player of the Year: Charles Jenkins, Hofstra

Rookie of the Year: Chris Fouch, Drexel

Defensive Player of the Year: Larry Sanders, VCU

Coach of the Year: Tony Shaver, William & Mary

All-Conference Team

Chaisson Allen, Jr. G, Northeastern

Matt Janning, Sr. G, Northeastern

Charles Jenkins, Jr. G, Hofstra

Gerald Lee, Sr. F, Old Dominion

Larry Sanders, Jr. F-C, VCU

Season Highlights

  • CAA teams were 80-76 in non-conference play, highlighted by seven wins over teams from the six power conferences, nine more against Atlantic 10 teams and a 4-1 mark against Conference USA opponents.
  • Old Dominion became the third CAA team in the last five years to win at least one NCAA Tournament game. It was the first time since 2007 that happened, and coincidentally, all three teams were a No. 11 seed.
  • William & Mary had the best non-conference run of any CAA school. The Tribe had a difficult schedule, but pulled off wins at Wake Forest and Maryland and also beat Richmond at home.
  • Northeastern had a tough non-conference slate, and early on they lost a lot of close games. But late in December, they started an 11-game winning streak that carried them well into CAA play.
  • Charles Jenkins could always score, he rebounded well for his size and people knew he was unselfish. But this year, he found a consistent jump shot, especially from long range as he was fourth in the conference at 40.9 percent, and that helped him become the conference’s Player of the Year.
  • In a bad year for James Madison, Denzel Bowles was the big bright spot as he led the conference in scoring and rebounding.

What we expected, and it happened: Old Dominion was the conference’s best team. They were the preseason favorites, and for much of the conference season was on top in the standings. The Monarchs rode the leadership of Gerald Lee and a well-balanced lineup to the NCAA Tournament and a first round win.

What we expected, and it didn’t happen: James Madison finished near the bottom. A torn ACL ended Devon Moore’s season before it began, and that didn’t help since he was a big reason the Dukes surprised many last year. The Dukes never really got untracked, and head coach Matt Brady felt the team didn’t improve over the course of the season the way he hoped they would.

What we didn’t expect, and it happened: William & Mary was a contender and in the discussion for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid. Certainly, one had to figure the Tribe would be closer to the team of two seasons ago than that of last season, but surely no one had them picking up the aforementioned non-conference wins and then getting to the conference championship game for the second time in three years.

Team(s) on the rise: George Mason and VCU. The Patriots showed their youth at times this season and might have overachieved a little, although they certainly weren’t lacking talent. The Rams had some growing pains at first adjusting to new head coach Shaka Smart and life without Eric Maynor, but they took advantage of the CBI to grow as a team and improve from the regular season. Larry Sanders is gone a year early, but the Rams have a year under Smart and will return a lot next season.

Team(s) on the decline: Georgia State. It’s hard to put anyone in this category with so many teams having a lot of players back, and if we’re talking about projections for next season, it would be easy to put Northeastern here because the Huskies lose so much. But the Huskies are in a good position looking a little past next year even if they take a step back. Georgia State, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be getting better. They looked to be a team on the rise before 2008-09 and didn’t hit their stride until late in the season, and never seemed to get untracked this season. What next season holds is anyone’s guess, but most figured this team would be off and running by now after all the promise Rod Barnes’ first season had.

2010-11 CAA Outlook

2010-11 could be a banner year for the conference just based on returning talent. Of the 15 all-conference players, 10 will return next season, including the Player of the Year, and all but one from the All-Defensive team will return. But go to the statistical leaders and it gets better, because the top four scorers and six of the top ten all return, along with 11 of the top 13 rebounders and eight of the top ten assist men. For good measure, the top five marksmen from long range will return as well.

It doesn’t stop there, as many teams will return a high percentage of starters and key players, while the two bottom teams in the conference will each return a starter who missed this season due to injury. Old Dominion will have a strong chance to repeat as champions with only two departing seniors, although Gerald Lee will not be a small loss. George Mason and VCU will bring back most of their teams and should be contenders, and Hofstra will also return much of its team but has not had a smooth off-season in the coaching department. Northeastern and William & Mary will take hits in the personnel department, but neither should fall far and both are in good positions long-term.

It all adds up to reason for optimism in the conference next season. Coaches expressed plenty of that at Media Day last October, and chances are there will be even more of it five months from now.

NC State: Sidney Lowe Is Officially on the Clock

by - Published May 11, 2010 in Conference Notes

For the first time in a while, things are looking good for North Carolina State and coach Sidney Lowe.

Junior forward Tracy Smith decided to return to school instead of remaining in the NBA Draft. Committed, then decommitted five-star recruit C.J. Leslie returned to Lowe’s fold. He joins fellow five-star recruit Ryan Harrow and four-star recruit Lorenzo Brown to form one of the best incoming classes.

Three out of four of the team’s top scorers will be back next season, too.

But one major departure from the Wolfpack family will be athletic director Lee Fowler, the man who hired Lowe in 2007.

And that means Lowe’s days are numbered unless he can win the support of the Wolfpack faithful.

Thankfully for Lowe, the path to the hearts of Wolfpack fans doesn’t require a complicated road map. It just requires a journey along the Road to the Final Four in March 2011.

Smith promises to be one of the best big men in the ACC next season. Lowe has two uber-talented guards in Harrow and Brown to run his offense, something that junior point guard Javier Gonzalez has not been able to do in three seasons. With Harrow and Brown alternating time at point guard, Gonzalez can spend more time at the 2 guard spot.

Freshman swingman Scott Wood, a strong long-range shooter, figures to pair with Leslie to create match up problems against teams that try to double Smith in the post. All of a sudden, Lowe has a talented lineup that has no reason not to succeed. And that places lofty expectations on Lowe to deliver results on the court, not just on the recruiting trail.

The natives are already restless. A Google search for “fire sidney lowe” delivers 4,040 results. Someone already has FireSidneyLowe.com registered in protest. And 87 Facebook users have joined the Fire Sidney Lowe fan page. On Twitter, several Wolfpack fans prognosticated that Lowe would be following Fowler out of Raleigh.

The unpopular AD recently agreed to step down despite having three years remaining on his contract. His tenure will close June 30, the end of this academic year.

For Lowe, anything short of a run to the NCAA Tournament — possibly the second weekend of the Big Dance — will likely close Lowe’s tenure at the end of next basketball year.

College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

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2013 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Cesar Fulcar commits to Wentworth

The senior guard led Watertown to the state semifinal this past season

Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

Bay State Magic doesn’t have much size on their junior team this season, so they’ll have to win with execution and intangibles

Travel team profile: Mass Elite

Mass Elite is one of the largest travel teams in the state despite being relatively new

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is already 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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter