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Princeton Tigers 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
princeton

Princeton Tigers (17-11 overall, 10-4 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G T.J. Bray
Jr. G Clay Wilson
Jr. F Denton Koon
So. F Hans Brase
Sr. F Will Barrett

Important departures:

F Ian Hummer (16.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.3 spg) is the only full-time starter gone from last season’s team, although part-time starting G Brendan Connolly (3.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg) has also departed.

Returning:

63.3 percent of scoring and 57.1 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Henry Caruso
Fr. F Steven Cook
Fr. C Pete Miller
Fr. F Hashim Moore
Fr. G Khyan Rayner
Fr. F Spencer Weisz

Schedule Highlights:

The Tigers have six home games in non-league play, featuring visits from Patriot League contender Lafayette and George Mason. The biggest road games are at Butler, Rutgers and Penn State, all of which are winnable games. They also play Pacific and Portland at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas. They get tested right away in Ivy League play, as the first three games are all on the road and none will be easy: Penn, Harvard and Dartmouth. Later, they play four straight at home as part of a season-ending stretch with five of seven in Jadwin Gymnasium.

Projected finish and outlook:

In any normal year, this Princeton team would have some people pick them to win and not look crazy for it. The Tigers have a solid veteran crew that should absorb the loss of Hummer far better than just about any other team in the league would, and he’s not a small loss. Barrett is highly skilled and has steadily developed, and now it’s his time to shine up front. Koon and Brase, the latter of whom had a good freshman season, help solidify that unit along with some depth that will get a boost from freshmen. Bray and Wilson lead the perimeter, and they also get senior Jimmy Sherburne back after missing last season due to injury. If someone emerges to provide depth there they should be better off. Bray is one of the league’s best players and yet can still be considered underrated as well. The toughest challenge will be getting past Harvard, and while they have had success against the Crimson in Jadwin Gym this year will be a little tougher.

Next: Yale Bulldogs

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Yale Bulldogs 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes
yale

Yale Bulldogs (14-17 overall, 8-6 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Armani Cotton
Jr. G Javier Duren
So. F Justin Sears
Sr. F Greg Kelley
Jr. F Matt Townsend

Important departures:

G Austin Morgan (10.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.1 spg) and G Michael Grace (5.1 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 2.2 apg) have departed from last season’s team, along with reserve G Sam Martin (4.6 ppg).

Returning:

69.6 percent of scoring and 89.4 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Anthony Dallier
Fr. F Sam Downey
Fr. G A.J. Edwards
Fr. G J.T. Flowers

Schedule Highlights:

The Bulldogs have five home games in non-league play, including visits from Northeast contender Bryant and America East contender Vermont. They open the season in Bridgeport in the Connecticut 6 Classic, then play at Connecticut, Rutgers, Lafayette, Hartford, Providence and Saint Louis along the way. In league play, the big stretch is late, as they have consecutive road weekends including the Penn-Princeton trip.

Projected finish and outlook:

Yale could go one of two ways this season given that they lost their starting backcourt from a year ago. While they relied on Morgan and Grace for a lot, there is potential to be better with Duren and Cotton having another year under their belts and Dallier likely being ready to contribute from the get-go. Duren is a wild card, as he’s very talented and athletic but can also be very erratic and unpredictable. Sears showed that he has a lot of potential, and if he becomes more consistent he will make a few All-Ivy teams before he leaves New Haven. Kelley seemed to settle into his role as last season went along, while Townsend seems the most likely to grab the other starting spot, although senior Jeremiah Kreisberg has started before and could regain that spot as well after losing it last year in part from an untimely injury. Although Yale’s offense looked bad at times last year, especially with their tendency to turn the ball over (only Penn gave the ball away more), it was at the defensive end where they struggled save for being the best rebounding team in the league. The Bulldogs might be a year away from contention, but James Jones’ teams have had a habit of doing so a little earlier than many project. If that is to happen this year, the guards have to prove to be an upgrade over the starters there last year.

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College of Charleston Cougars 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
charleston

College of Charleston Cougars (24-11 overall, 14-4 Southern Conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Anthony Stitt
Fr. G Canyon Barry
Sr. F Anthony Thomas
Jr. F Adjehi Baru
Sr. F Willis Hall

Important departures:

G Andrew Lawrence (13.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 spg) is the only starter gone from last season’s team, and key reserve F Trent Wiedeman (8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) is also gone.

Returning:

67.5 percent of scoring and 76.9 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Canyon Barry
Fr. G Joe Chealey
Fr. G Jonathan Cook
Fr. F Terrance O’Donohue
Fr. F-C Glen Pierre, Jr.
So. C David Wishon (transfer from Tulsa)

Schedule Highlights:

The Cougars’ non-conference slate includes eight home games, highlighted by visits from Charlotte, Miami and Kent State, with the first two coming in a four-game home stretch in November. The biggest road games are at Louisville, Davidson and three games in the Wooden Legacy starting with San Diego State and either Creighton or Arizona State. CAA play features a stretch with four of five on the road, ending at Delaware and Towson, followed by three straight at home starting with Drexel.

Projected finish and outlook:

The CAA’s new kids on the block should contend right away, as they return a lot from last season’s team although the two key contributors they lose were hardly bit players. The Cougars have a lot of continuity in their personnel and good class balance, and they have bought into what head coach Doug Wojcik is trying to do. They became a much better team defensively and on the glass last season, something he tried to improve immediately, and remained a good offensive team. While Lawrence will be missed, Stitt will basically slide right into that role, including from a leadership standpoint, and Wojcik likes what he’s seen from the newcomers, in particular Barry and Chealey, so both could press veterans like Nori Johnson for the second starting guard spot. Baru looks ready to break out after progressing well last year, and Anthony Thomas could see time at both forward spots although there is good depth up front. The Cougars have a good homecourt advantage and will get eight home games in a tough non-conference slate, so they will be ready to contend when conference play gets under way.

Next: Delaware Blue Hens

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Delaware Blue Hens 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
delaware

Delaware Blue Hens (19-14 overall, 13-5 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Devon Saddler
Jr. G Jarvis Threatt
Jr. G Kyle Anderson
So. F Marvin King-Davis
Sr. F Carl Baptiste

Important departures:

Delaware’s frontcourt starters are both gone from last season: C Jamelle Hagins (11.6 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 2.4 bpg) and F Josh Brinkley (7.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg).

Returning:

71.4 percent of scoring and 57.2 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Sr. G Davon Usher (transfer from Mississippi Valley State)
Fr. F Maurice Jeffers (redshirt)
Fr. F Barnett Harris
Fr. G Cazmon Hayes
Fr. F Devonne Pinkard

Schedule Highlights:

Just like last year, the Blue Hens will be tested in non-conference play, and often away from home as only four home games are on tap. The best of them looks to be against Robert Morris at the end of November, while they have a home-and-home with Charleston Southern. The Blue Hens will travel to Richmond, Villanova, Notre Dame, and North Dakota State and Ohio State for the Gotham Classic before playing Bryant at Madison Square Garden. In CAA play, they have an interesting month of February that starts with four straight at home followed by four of five on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Blue Hens took a big hit in the frontcourt from graduation, but they have a very experienced perimeter unit and that is reason enough to think they can contend again. While Hagins’ loss is huge, as he racked up the honors especially for his defense, Brinkley’s departure will be noticeable as well because although he was injured often, he was a warrior, an enforcer and more of an offensive threat than Hagins for most of their careers. Baptiste looks more ready to contribute than a year ago at this time, and late last season he played better when they needed more from him. King-Davis is the only other proven frontcourt player, which means newcomers have to contribute right away, and no one has emerged yet in early practice although they see some potential. The perimeter unit is in great shape with Saddler, one of the CAA’s best and a great leader. He is very driven and will be even more so since this is his last go-round, and he has good help starting with Threatt, who Ross thinks could rack up the assists. Threatt has the physical gifts and will drive often as he’s been known to get to the foul line, and with the offense being tweaked a bit given the personnel losses up front, that may favor him more. Anderson didn’t shoot quite as well last year as he did as a freshman, but he’s improved his skill set to where defenders can’t play him as just a shooter. Even with those three, Usher will have to get minutes as he led the SWAC in scoring last season. The Blue Hens have developed into a good defensive team, but Hagins helped erase some mistakes and the team knows they don’t have him anymore and must be better on the perimeter. They will be tested in non-conference play yet again, and last year they did well at overcoming the adversity from losing some games early. As a veteran team, they are well-prepared to tackle this challenge again and be in the mix for a conference title later in the season, continuing the good work Ross has done rebuilding them.

Next: Drexel Dragons

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Drexel Dragons 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
drexel

Drexel Dragons (13-18 overall, 9-9 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Frantz Massenat
Jr. G Damion Lee
So. F Tavon Allen
Sr. F Dartaye Ruffin
Jr. F Kazembe Abif

Important departures:

Two starters are gone from last season’s team: G Derrick Thomas (9.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.3 apg) and F-C Daryl McCoy (4.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg). G Aquil Younger (1.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg) (transferred) has also departed.

Returning:

76.7 percent of scoring and 66.1 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Mohamed Bah
Fr. G Major Canady
Fr. F Khris Lane
Fr. F Rodney Williams
Jr. G Freddie Wilson (transfer from Seton Hall, eligible in December)

Schedule Highlights:

Drexel opens a challenging non-conference slate at UCLA and Illinois State, then plays in the NIT Season Tip-Off hosted by Rutgers, where they will have a chance to advance to New York and get two more challenges before later road games at Davidson, Saint Joseph’s and Southern Miss. Of the four home games they have, the toughest is probably against Cleveland State. Early in CAA play, the Dragons play four of five at home, while they close out the regular season with three of four on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

More was expected of Drexel last year, and with much of that team back they might seem an odd selection to contend again. But injuries and difficulty with adversity didn’t help, and all of those things appear to be mitigated this time around at first glance. Massenat had a slump year in part because of dealing with expectations and then having more heaped on him, especially when Fouch was lost to another season-ending injury and Lee got hurt early and was uneven all season. Ruffin didn’t have the kind of year they needed from him as well, and Abif never really had an off-season prior to the year before and as a result didn’t play last season at a good weight. Fouch will try once more to make it through a season, and if he does he gives them a solid weapon alongside Lee and Allen. McCoy’s loss is bigger than many think, but that can be mitigated if Abif, who had a full off-season, starts to live up to his potential. The Dragons will need someone among the freshmen to have an impact right away in the same manner that Ruffin did three years ago, while the perimeter is more settled and will add an impact transfer in Freddie Wilson in December. While the Dragons’ offense wasn’t nearly as good last year, the defense wasn’t up to its usual standard last year, either, and Bruiser Flint thinks that transferred over to the offensive end. If they defend more like Flint’s teams usually do, there’s enough offensive firepower on this team to score enough to win on many nights.

Next: Hofstra Pride

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Hofstra Pride 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
hofstra

Hofstra Pride (7-25 overall, 4-14 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Eliel Gonzalez
Sr. G Dion Nesmith
Sr. G Zeke Upshaw
Jr. F Moussa Kone
SJr. F Steven Nwaukoni

Important departures:

Three starters are gone from last season’s team: G Stevie Mejia (11.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.1 apg, 2.0 spg), G Taran Buie (12.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 apg) (transferred) and F David Imes (7.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg)

Returning:

31 percent of scoring and 42.8 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Sr. G Dion Nesmith (transfer from Monmouth)
Sr. G Zeke Upshaw (transfer from Illinois State)
Fr. G Eliel Gonzalez
Fr. G Chris Jenkins
Fr. G Jamall Robinson

Schedule Highlights:

If there’s some good news for Hofstra fans, it’s that the Pride will have seven non-conference home games. They include dates with MAAC contender Manhattan and George Washington. The road portion will be tough, as they go to Louisville and Richmond as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, which concludes with two games at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, and they later play at SMU and Tulane. Conference play begins with a few home games as well, as they play four of six at home after opening at Delaware.

Projected finish and outlook:

Last season was one to forget for the Pride, from having two key players suspended early to having four players kicked off the team in December that changed the complexion of the season entirely. Joe Mihalich takes over and will get a mulligan on this season as the Pride will have a skeleton crew of a roster that will be hard-pressed to win a lot of games this time around. They will make do with graduate student transfers Nesmith and Upshaw, who have done all they could ask thus far, along with holdovers like Nwaukoni and Kone, the former of whom has quietly become a solid rebounder. Gonzalez may have the most potential of the freshmen, while Robinson comes from a winning program and Jenkins should be a keeper as well. Mihalich hopes to play fast, but with limited depth that might be difficult. The good thing is that he has three transfers sitting out who will make an instant impact next year, but the team can’t look ahead to that. This year will be as much about having the young guys grow for the future as anything else.

Next: James Madison Dukes

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James Madison Dukes 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
jamesmadison

James Madison Dukes (21-15 overall, 11-7 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Andre Nation
So. G Ron Curry
So. G Charles Cooke
Sr. F Andrey Semenov
S0. F Taylor Bessick

Important departures:

The Dukes were a very experienced team last season, and gone from that team are four starters: G Devon Moore (11.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.3 spg), G A.J. Davis (12.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.3 spg), F Rayshawn Goins (12.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and G-F Alioune Diouf (4.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

Returning:

36.2 percent of scoring and 30.4 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Yohanny Dalembert
Fr. G-F Kent Jackson
Fr. F Ivan Lukic
Fr. F Tom Rivard
Fr. F Paulius Satkus
Fr. F Tom Vodanovich

Schedule Highlights:

Dukes fans had best enjoy non-conference home games while they can, because there are only two of them plus an exhibition game: Detroit in mid-November and Ball State to close out 2013. They hit the road for games at Virginia, Valparaiso and Richmond, while playing in three in-season events: Northern Illinois Tournament (three games), E-Tech Lumberjack Classic (two games) and the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic against Hampton at the Richmond Coliseum. In CAA play, they have a brutal stretch of four games in eight days in February: at Towson, at Drexel, Hofstra and at Delaware.

Projected finish and outlook:

Last year, things finally broke in James Madison’s favor just enough, and a very experienced team took home the CAA title. Now the Dukes basically start over with a team that has 12 freshmen and sophomores and no true seniors (Semenov is a graduate student who got a sixth year of eligibility). With Nation suspended for the first 15 games, players like Lukic and Kent Jackson will get more of an opportunity right away than they would have otherwise. While that won’t help early on, it could help down the road as they develop another player or two earlier than they might have planned. It also means Cooke, who improved nicely at the end of last season, and Curry will have to lead the way on the perimeter. Bessick should slide into a starting spot up front, as he has improved greatly since last season, and other freshmen will back him up. Semenov offers tangibles such as shooting and intangibles such as his experience with adversity and success in his career, and this team will need every bit of both. They will also need to take better care of the ball, and early practice has borne that out as a major concern. There will be some serious growing pains for this team, especially early on, but there are a lot of options with all the size they have and a good talent base, so while the outlook isn’t good overall this season, the future looks brighter and it wouldn’t shock anyone if the Dukes knock off someone they shouldn’t late in the season.

Next: Northeastern Huskies

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Northeastern Huskies 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
northeastern

Northeastern Huskies (20-13 overall, 14-4 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Demetrius Pollard
So. G David Walker
Jr. F Quincy Ford
Jr. F Reggie Spencer
Jr. F Scott Eatherton

Important departures:

The Huskies lose two starters from last season’s team, and they are big ones: G Jonathan Lee (13.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.8 spg) and G Joel Smith (16.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.8 apg).

Returning:

60 percent of scoring and 73.8 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Kwesi Abakah (redshirted)
Jr. F Scott Eatherton (transfer from St. Francis (Pa.))
Fr. G C.J. Hill
Fr. G-F Jimmy Marshall
Fr. G T.J. Williams

Schedule Highlights:

The Huskies will play another challenging non-conference slate that features four home games.  They open with cross-town rival Boston University at the Boston Garden, then head to Stony Brook, VCU and Vanderbilt, while also opening with Georgetown in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and playing two games in the Tulane Classic.  Home games are against Central Connecticut, Ivy League favorite Harvard, UAB and Richmond.  They open CAA play with their stretch of four games in eight days.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Huskies are a tough team to project this season, but one thing is certain: they will be hard-pressed to match last season’s success given how much Lee and Smith meant to them from a production and (more importantly) leadership standpoint.  Who emerges behind them will make all the difference, and while Pollard and fellow junior Marco Banegas-Flores have had their moments, neither will make anyone forget Lee or Smith right now.  Walker will be fine after a solid freshman year, and the perimeter will be in better shape if sophomore Zach Stahl plays like he’s capable of after an up-and-down freshman year where he tried to do a little too much at times.  Head coach Bill Coen thinks Stahl may have had the best preseason of any Husky, and in another bright spot, he said sophomore guard Derrico Peck may have been their most improved player over the summer.  The frontcourt is in much better shape, as Ford should be one of the conference’s best and Spencer made a nice leap from his freshman year.  It’s now time for Ford to become an elite player in the conference, and he’s shown in the past that he can be a go-to guy when the chances have been there.  They are high on Eatherton and think he will make an impact right away, especially on the glass where they were deficient last season as they had the worst rebounding margin in the conference.  The Huskies won a lot of games with a good team concept offensively, and they’ll need to do that again this season while improving on the glass.  The former will be tough to do unless a couple of players can make up for the losses of Lee and Smith.

Next: Towson Tigers

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Towson Tigers 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
towson

Towson Tigers (18-13 overall, 13-5 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Jerome Hairston
So. G Four McGlynn
Sr. G Mike Burwell
Sr. F Marcus Damas
Sr. F Jerrelle Benimon

Important departures:

C Bilal Dixon (6.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg) is the only starter who has departed, joined by key reserve G Kris Walden (3.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.3 apg) (transferred to Delaware State).

Returning:

85.1 percent of scoring and 77.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Barrington Alston (redshirted)
Fr. F John Davis
Fr. F Walter Foster
Fr. F Marquis Marshall (redshirted)
So. G Four McGlynn (transferred from Vermont)

Schedule Highlights:

The Tigers open SECU Arena in style with eight non-conference home games, headlined by a visit from Temple.  The road slate has plenty of challenges for a team that should contend, as they travel to Villanova, Kansas, Oregon State and North Dakota State, while also playing two games in the Lumberjack E-Tech Classic.  In CAA play, they will get tested right away, as three of their first five games are on the road against fellow contenders: Drexel, College of Charleston and Delaware.  They start February with three straight at home and end the month with three straight on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

It hasn’t taken long for Pat Skerry to turn Towson into a contender.  They return four starters from the best defensive team in the conference, including the reigning Player of the Year in Benimon.  There’s plenty to help him out, and they will have a lot of depth both on the perimeter and up front.  Damas could be an all-conference player, Burwell is a solid complement and Hairston should continue to grow with a full season now under his belt.  McGlynn should help right away on a team that didn’t shoot well from long range last year, as should all of the new frontcourt players, with Alston and Davis adding toughness and sophomore Timajh Parker-Rivera ready to play a bigger role.  The Tigers could also go with a traditional lineup or essentially play three or four guards with all of the parts they have.  The biggest challenges will be shooting better, taking better care of the ball and dealing with being the hunted after being the hunter.  The non-conference slate will prepare them well with several challenges, and they get eight home games at their brand new arena.

Next: UNC Wilmington Seahawks

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UNCW Seahawks 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
uncwilmington

UNCW Seahawks (10-20 overall, 5-13 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Chris Dixon
So. G Craig Ponder
So. G Freddie Jackson
Jr. F Cedric Williams
Sr. F Shane Reybold

Important departures:

Keith Rendleman (17.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.6 bpg) is the only started who has departed, and Tyree Graham (4.8 ppg in 16 games) is the only other departure who played anything resembling significant minutes.

Returning:

68.7 percent of scoring and 67.2 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Sr. G Ben Eblen (transferred from Alabama)
Fr. C C.J. Gettys (redshirted)
Jr. C Yemi Makanjoula (transferred from Tennessee)
Fr. F Chuck Ogbodo

Schedule Highlights:

A manageable non-conference slate features seven home games, including a visit from MAAC contender Manhattan and former CAA foe Old Dominion. They open the season with a visit to Iowa to play Iowa and Iowa State two days apart. The most notable road dates later are at Western Kentucky, Marshall and North Carolina, although they will also go to new assistant coach Eddie Biedenbach’s old school, UNC Asheville, in late December. In CAA play, they begin February with a daunting stretch of four games in eight days with three on the road: at Delaware, at Drexel, William & Mary and at Hofstra.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Seahawks are very much a “potential” team in that they have a lot of options and could have more if a couple of players are eligible. They have no shortage of capable bodies on the perimeter, but finding the right combination is the big challenge for Buzz Peterson. Ponder has had a fine off-season, while Dixon and Tanner Milson are the most experienced and Jackson is up there as well. Eblen will figure into the mix somehow, perhaps grabbing a starting spot, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they play four guards often. They have the bodies to play two true frontcourt players, however, as Williams is the certainty with Reybold, Gettys, Luke Hager, Makanjoula and Ogbodo as other possibilities. The team is still awaiting word on whether or not Makanjoula or Ogbodo will be eligible this season, which has made practice difficult. If they are, Makanjoula likely starts alongside Williams, who has had well-documented home and road splits in his career and must now become more consistent with Rendleman’s departure. They also need him to stay home on the post more offensively, and that has been Peterson’s big challenge since they have plenty who can score away from the basket. Peterson shook up the coaching staff this off-season, and the hope is that the players respond in a better way. Their biggest area for improvement is a need to take better care of the ball offensively, as they were fine defensively when they weren’t giving up easy baskets off turnovers.

Next: William & Mary Tribe

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