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Saturday Notes – January 2, 2016

by - Published January 3, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Conference play is in full swing now all across the country, and Saturday gave us a big taste. It was a slate with mostly conference games, and some dandies among them. It’s too early to make much of the first conference game for anyone, but it can go with or against the impression the non-conference showing of many teams left on us.

There’s a lot of basketball left to play, obviously, but we’ve gotten off to a good start. Here are some notes from many of the day’s games.

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Saturday Notes – December 19, 2015

by - Published December 20, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

With final exams in the books, Saturday represented a return to the busy Saturdays that we will see for most of the remainder of the season. It was also a day with a number of great matchups and some very significant outcomes. We saw the Crossroads Classic produce a couple of good ones as usual, as well as a few big ones in New York, and a few more teams appear to be gaining confidence with the wins continuing to pile up.

With that, here are notes from many of the day’s games.

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Saturday Notes – December 12, 2015

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

College basketball is starting to take center stage on Saturdays, as this one was full of TV games, and many of them good ones. A few teams scored important wins, but most of all, the games generally lived up to their billing. This is something college basketball needs at a time when college football is otherwise fading from the spotlight for a bit with the time in between the end of the regular season and bowl games.

Here are notes from a number of those games on the day, including some rivalry games.

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Saturday Notes – December 5, 2015

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

College football took center stage on Saturday with championship games, but college basketball gave us plenty as well. We had great rivalry games, many intriguing matchups, and some other results of note from a busy day full of games. It was a good taste of what Saturdays will be like most of the time from here until March.

With that in mind, here are some quick thoughts on some of the day’s games.

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UCLA shows it has a high ceiling

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

It’s easy to look at UCLA’s win over Kentucky as a big win that will boost the team. When you factor in the slow start the Bruins have, that’s an even more tempting angle to take. There’s no question this win can be just that. The biggest determinant of that, however, will be what UCLA does from here, because success will make this win worth something. What is clear, however, is that this win shows that UCLA has quite a high ceiling.

The jury has been out on the Bruins even before they opened the season with an 84-81 overtime loss to Monmouth. While we have found out since then that Monmouth is perhaps a little better than many thought, it was still a home game. They went 1-2 in Maui, and while there’s no shame in losing to Kansas, they lost to Wake Forest and barely knocked off UNLV. So we don’t know just how good this team is or can be, even allowing for teams to be finding themselves a bit early in the season.

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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
bigeast

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.

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Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

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

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.

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New challenge ahead for Harvard

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

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.

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

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

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.”

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Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

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

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.

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Your Phil of Hoops

The wait is over for Stony Brook

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Stony Brook is finally going to the NCAA Tournament, and the story of tragic endings – and all that goes with it – is a thing of the past.

Saturday Notes – February 27, 2016

February 28, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

The last Saturday of exclusively regular season play seemed to follow the script of many others. We look at notes from many of the day’s games of consequence.

Saturday Notes – February 20, 2016

February 21, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

On a day with a lot of games that had NCAA Tournament implications, it seemed like more bubble teams lost games they couldn’t afford to than won to advance their candidacy further.

Hoopville Archives

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

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

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

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

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hoopguy-divisionII

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Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

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2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

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