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Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

by - Published January 25, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

While this Saturday didn’t have quite the same top-tier matchups of a week ago, it was still an important day of action, especially in a couple of conferences where teams are tightly bunched together in the standings and played each other. The end result, for the most part is that the conference races remain quite muddled. That’s a reminder that there’s still a lot of basketball to play, and before long some of these races will probably sort themselves out.

With that, here are some thoughts on some of the day’s most noteworthy games.

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Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

by - Published January 18, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Saturday may have been a busy day of great high school basketball at the Spalding Hoophall Classic, but it was also a busy one for college teams with over 140 games on tap with Division I schools. Included were a few highly-anticipated games, though a couple of them ended up being double-digit affairs. There weren’t a lot of surprises in the results this time around, except perhaps for some games being either closer or not as close as one might expect.

Here are notes on some of the day’s college games.

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Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

by - Published January 15, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
rhodeisland

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – You can’t blame Dan Hurley if he felt frustrated and maybe in a bad place. He’s hyper-competitive and his team just lost a game that they controlled, and one where correspondingly they led most of the way. It’s a game they should have had in many respects. On Tuesday night, however, the Rhode Island mentor kept perspective, and he didn’t have to look far for an example of what he’s striving for.

“That’s a top team, obviously the class of our conference,” said Hurley after URI dropped a tough one to VCU on Tuesday. “It felt like we deserved a better result.”

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Saturday Notes – January 10, 2015

by - Published January 11, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

As conference play is now in full swing, Saturday offered an early referendum on a number of teams. While the day wasn’t full of shockers, there were plenty of noteworthy games. 11 games went to overtime, with three needing a second extra set of five minutes to decide. And if there’s one conference that stood out, it was the Big 12.

Simply put, the Big 12 is reinforcing the idea that it is the strongest conference from top to bottom this season. There’s no one that appears poised to run away with the conference, and the regular season champion might well have at least four or five losses. Kansas and Iowa State are 2-0, four other teams are 2-1, and Baylor and Texas are hardly stiffs even with their early 1-2 marks, though Texas ended a rough week on Saturday. The only two teams you might rule out of the race are Texas Tech and TCU.

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Streaky Lehigh has hit a rough patch

by - Published January 7, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
lehigh

BOSTON – Saturday’s 75-56 loss at Boston University wasn’t that close for Lehigh. In fact, they scored the game’s last 17 points, so the final score is a little more respectable and quite deceptively so. But more important than the score is where this team is trending, and while it looks to be downward to the untrained eye, that may not be the case. Make no mistake: the Mountain Hawks have areas of real concern, as you might imagine.

“We definitely need to improve,” said head coach Brett Reed. “We have to defend the three-point line, it’s a basic element of today’s game in college basketball.”

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Improving Dartmouth tries to keep building as Ivy play approaches

by - Published January 6, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
dartmouth

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Naturally, expectations in recent years for Dartmouth have been raised. That happens when you put together a couple of good recruiting classes like the Big Green has done in recent years. And when you consider that the program struggled for a while before Paul Cormier took over for a second stint, part of expectations rising comes from them having nowhere to go but up. All the while, Cormier is taking a measured approach to what he and his staff are doing in Hanover these days.

“It’s basically developing a program,” Cormier said when asked if this is an important year for the program’s core group. “The two (seniors) that are remaining, John (Golden) and Gabas (Maldunas), have gone through some tough times, and it’s nice to see them now being able to be in a competitive situation every game, game in and game out.”

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Saturday Notes – January 3, 2015

by - Published January 4, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Conference play is just about in full swing by now as Saturday was the opening day of conference play for several. The Big East, Big Ten and Pac-12 all got the jump on things earlier in the week among major conferences.

Also getting the jump on things are a few surprising teams – those of the 2-0 starts. One noticeable theme on Saturday was several teams winning to go to 2-0, teams that not many have projected to contend. There is a reason why we play the games, sure, but this is significant in another respect: while it’s early, being 2-0 is far better than being 0-2. A team starting 2-0 has more confidence and isn’t fighting an uphill battle in the standings, which at times can make teams put more pressure on themselves to win games.

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Saturday Notes – December 20, 2014

by - Published December 21, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Conference play is almost here, so the games are starting to get better. Saturday saw a number of great matchups and results every bit as noteworthy to go with them. Some were more noteworthy because of the margin than the bottom line result.

The day began inauspiciously enough with the news about Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin and his health. We extend our get well wishes to Cronin, and after hearing that hoped the day would get better. It did, though not for his team, as the day was full of good games. Included were a couple of games that took a bit long to decide – as in, three overtimes.

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Despite a hit on the bottom line, Stony Brook’s transition continues

by - Published December 16, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
stonybrook

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – It wasn’t the kind of tale of two halves that anyone would want, much less one that came in having lost two in a row. Indeed, as conference play gets closer, a coach would rather his team get more consistent. And for Stony Brook, the way the roof caved in on them in the second half of Saturday’s loss at Providence was not good no matter how you try to slice it. Still, it’s part of a growing process this team has to go through.

“For 27 minutes, we were pretty good,” said head coach Steve Pikiell.

The Seawolves were within 49-44 after leading at times in the first half. It was after that point that Providence took over and won it convincingly, going on a 10-1 run as part of a bigger 16-3 run from which they never looked back in the 79-61 triumph.

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Amidst Maine’s rebuilding challenge, there is hope

by - Published December 12, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
maine

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The long road back for Maine has started, and it has been challenging and at times quite painful. It’s not going to be an easy road back to relevance and contention. Along the way, though, there is reason for hope, and that was evident in a few ways Thursday night when the Black Bears lost at Boston College.

The fall from relevance in America East was a steep one for Maine. In 2010-11, they started off conference play at 8-1 and looked well on their way to the top seed in the conference tournament. The bottom fell out quickly, though, as they then lost six in a row before losing to Hartford in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. They never won more than six conference games after that, and Ted Woodward was let go as head coach after last season. In his place is Bob Walsh, who had a great run at Rhode Island College.

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Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

January 25, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

This Saturday didn’t have quite the marquee matchups as a week earlier, but there were some important ones, especially with teams in the middle of a few conferences trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

January 15, 2015 by

rhodeisland

Rhode Island controlled Tuesday night’s game against VCU, but couldn’t finish it and took a tough loss. Their improvement is evident, though, and they are keeping perspective on that in trying to keep improving.

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2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

2014 Prep School Tour

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

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.