Home » Your Phil of Hoops » Recent Articles:

Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

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

The Big East still has its name and logo. It has several brand-name programs from its history, like Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s and Villanova. It has a Thompson coaching at Georgetown, and a legend from St. John’s is now coaching them. The tournament is still at Madison Square Garden, as if it could ever be anywhere else.

It sounds like little has changed. But something is missing as the third year of the current alignment tips off.

… Continue Reading

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

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

In a Big Ten Conference full of interesting teams for one reason or another, Purdue isn’t getting as much mention as one might expect given the team’s makeup and how they did last season. There are high expectations for the Boilermakers for obvious reasons, but they’ll have to earn their way to more relevance.

Last season, the Boilermakers were thought to be an also-ran in the Big Ten, a good team hidden by a number of very good teams in the conference and maybe a year away from a big year. That team had no seniors and five freshmen a year after going 15-17. There was potential, to be sure – big man A.J. Hammons was dripping with it, and a couple of others had shown some promise – but we’ve long established what a loaded word “potential” is. Instead of having growing pains, they tied for third in the Big Ten at 12-6, overcoming some non-conference adversity along the way. They made it to the NCAA Tournament, losing to Cincinnati.

… Continue Reading

New challenge ahead for Harvard

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

Under Tommy Amaker, Harvard has had an unprecedented run of success in recent years. A program that had never been to the NCAA Tournament before Amaker’s arrival in Cambridge, Harvard is now looked at as a perennial favorite in the Ivy League. The past two NCAA Tournaments, they were a trendy upset pick, making good in 2014 with a win over Cincinnati (one that probably should be thought of as an upset in name only) before a tough loss to North Carolina last season. Before that, they beat New Mexico in 2013.

This time around, however, the Crimson will have a much bigger challenge to keep that run going.

The Ivy League has been on a big upswing in recent years, and Harvard has been no small part of that. Not only have they had the aforementioned success, but others have done their best to stay with them, much like others did with Penn and Princeton for years. The league has a lot of good teams now, as well as coaching stability at every school. Should Harvard falter, there are plenty of suitable candidates to carry the flag for the league.

… Continue Reading

Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

by - Published September 24, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

It’s been a long struggle in the Patriot League for Army. The Black Knights are the only program in the league aside from relative newcomers Boston University and Loyola (Md.) to never win a league title, and join the Greyhounds in having never even reached the title game. In fact, they have finished in the first division of the league just twice, never higher than fourth.

That gives you an idea of the gargantuan task that was in front of head coach Zach Spiker when he took over after the sudden ouster of Jim Crews in 2009. And while there are bigger missions at the service academy than basketball, it is nonetheless part of life for some at the academy. Still, he has brought the program to new heights by recent measures, and now the hope is that he can take them just a bit higher in what should be “the year.”

… Continue Reading

Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

by - Published August 27, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Perhaps Lorenzo Romar has a second act in store at Washington.

Perhaps the Huskies have some hope of rebounding yet, and relatively soon.

You can be forgiven for having wondered if Romar had peaked during his tenure in Seattle. In a Pac-12 that has seen Arizona once again become the signature program, while Utah has risen and Oregon has become a steady contender, Washington has gone from being a contender to almost a forgotten team. The 2014-15 season was perhaps a microcosm of this stretch in that it started out with a lot of promise, but crashed and burned.

… Continue Reading

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

by - Published April 5, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

INDIANAPOLIS – We need to appreciate what Kentucky did and what they gave us this season.

Hopefully, people who watch or cover college basketball have done their best to just enjoy this team, because it was worth the ride. The Wildcats did much more than just go 38-1, much as t-shirts will be sold with those two numbers and people will talk about this more than who who wins Monday night’s national championship game.

And in this time where teams are judged too harshly if they don’t go as far as some people think they should, it’s basically a foregone conclusion that a lot of people are not going to appreciate this.

… Continue Reading

A happy resolution comes in Delaware

by - Published April 1, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

A little over three weeks ago, Monte Ross held court with reporters for over ten minutes following a press conference. His Delaware team had just battled eventual champion Northeastern valiantly in the CAA quarterfinals, but fell short, and that meant the season was over. His contract was up sometime before next season, so there was an open question: would this be the last time?

Would it be the last time he led the Blue Hens?

… Continue Reading

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

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

HARTFORD, Conn. – This isn’t the kind of uncharted waters you want to be in. Uncertainty is something humans hate more than anything else. For now, though, all Temple can do is wait and hope that they will be part of the field of 68. It’s something Fran Dunphy hasn’t had to do before.

Dunphy has had seasons where his team hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament. He’s a great coach, but he hasn’t been perfect. To this point in his career, he’s always known whether his team is in or out, though. While at Penn, his team was only going with a league championship, so he knew before Selection Sunday if he was in or out. At Temple, he’s won three conference championships, had other teams that were locks regardless and others that were definitely not making the Big Dance.

… Continue Reading

It didn’t take Larry Brown long to change SMU

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

HARTFORD, Conn. – SMU probably won’t have Larry Brown as their head coach for long. He’s 74 years old, and the school knew his time was limited when they hired him with a head coach-in-waiting in Tim Jankovich. However, his hire has had the impact they wanted: the program has a winning product in three years.

Now, people know about SMU. It’s a destination for players.

… Continue Reading

History shows the challenge ahead of East Carolina

by - Published March 14, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

HARTFORD, Conn. – The season is over, but a challenge is in front of East Carolina – or at least, the bigger part of the challenge. The first was changing conferences, which by itself is challenging enough. The second has to do with the school and which conference they are now in, and perhaps more with the former.

The Pirates gave regular season champion SMU all they could handle before losing in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday. Along the way, they set an American Athletic Conference Tournament record with 15 three-pointers.

… Continue Reading

Like Hoopville on Facebook


Your Phil of Hoops

Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

Hoopville Archives

Reader Poll

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 2015-11-12 10:09:26
end_date 2015-11-17 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Who is your pick to win the 2016 national championship?

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by


The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by


The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by


Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by


Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.