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Streaky Lehigh has hit a rough patch

by - Published January 7, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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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 – December 6, 2014

by - Published December 7, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Saturday was quite a day of college basketball, and you had a feeling that was going to be the case early on. By about 4 p.m. Eastern, we already had four noteworthy games as Green Bay beat Miami, USC Upstate beat Georgia Tech, NJIT beat Michigan and North Florida won at Purdue. You had a feeling that was just the beginning, what with over 100 games on tap. While the pace of surprises slowed, the evening had plenty of good games.

Besides that, there were several big matchups on the day, from rivalry games to matchups of top teams to intriguing matchups of teams that have had good starts under the radar. It was a day where we learned a little more about a number of teams.

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Questions abound for Boston University early on

by - Published December 2, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
bostonuniversity

BOSTON – Joe Jones’ first words said it all on Sunday afternoon.

“A lot of questions for us,” said the Boston University head coach after the Terriers’ 69-59 loss to UMass-Lowell. “We’ve got a lot of questions we need to answer. We’ve got some things to figure out.”

It’s not entirely surprising that this is the case for the Terriers. Just look at their personnel and one key is clear: the Terriers lack a true point guard who can play right now. They are having to go essentially by committee with three wings, though Cedric Hankerson and John Papale have taken on the lion’s share of that duty. Both can handle and be playmakers, but they are also the team’s best scoring threats, so that hurts the offense.

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Houston is trying to find an identity early on

by - Published November 28, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
houston

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – An 84-63 loss is not usually a game you would think a lot of good will come out of. For Kelvin Sampson and Houston, Tuesday night’s loss at Harvard, a game the Crimson won going away, will serve as just that. The result didn’t surprise him at all, but he knew he wanted more out of this game than just the final score.

Houston has a new look this season all over. Sampson took over as head coach after James Dickey retired, and his first team has over a half dozen newcomers. Two of the newcomers, both junior college transfers, start for this team. With that comes an adjustment period for everyone, in stark contrast to the other bench in the gym. Sampson said he’s trying to figure his players out as much as they’re trying to figure him out.

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Young UNLV team grows in Brooklyn

by - Published November 23, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
unlv

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Sometimes a young team grows up in an early tournament. There is reason to believe that happened with UNLV in Brooklyn this time around. A night after the Runnin’ Rebels were humbled by Stanford, they used a strong second half to beat Temple 57-50 in the consolation game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

“It was a character win for us,” UNLV head coach Dave Rice said. “I think, certainly, with a new group the stage was pretty big last night and we got off to a tough start and we, quite frankly, panicked and tried to hit home runs.”

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Saturday Notes – February 6, 2016

February 7, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

It was a full day of action, one that included two top teams going down in a rarity. Also, a number of other teams suffered a loss that could be a critical blow to their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes.

Saturday Notes – January 30, 2016

January 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

In the midst of conference season, a non-conference set of games took center stage. They were far from alone in the important games of the day, though, and we take a look at notes from many of those games.

Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A number of games were pushed to another day by a storm on the east coast, but we had plenty of noteworthy games all the same on Saturday.

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Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

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

hoopguy-divisionII

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

hoopguy-yellow

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

hoopguy-cyan

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

author_kasiecki

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.

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