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Boston College isn’t as bad as you might think

by - Published January 2, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Boston College is done with non-conference play, and perhaps thankful for that. The Eagles are 4-10, with one of the losses being an early ACC loss, and there’s not a lot of positive press about this team. There’s been speculation about Steve Donahue feeling some heat, and that continued on Wednesday while the Eagles suffered a 73-58 loss at Harvard. All this, and they already fight to be relevant in the first place, both in their strong conference and locally in a pro sports town.

Now it’s time to look this over a little more, and be fair to this team and coach. Boston College isn’t as bad as some think.

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How the conferences shake out as 2014 approaches

by - Published December 31, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Non-conference play is just about over at this point. Conference games are ready to take over the rest of the slate, with a few having an “opening day” of sorts, including the Big East with its well-publicized day of five games on Tuesday. A few have already had early conference games, with the West Coast Conference having its opening day on Saturday.

How are the conferences shaping up? Which ones look like we thought and which ones look nothing like what we thought before the season? Here is a look at all 32 conferences as conference play beckons.

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Rhode Island is experiencing the predicted growing pains

by - Published December 30, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
rhodeisland

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – As non-conference play winds down, Rhode Island is experiencing what many could have predicted they would before the season: growing pains. Their 77-64 loss to Southern Miss is perhaps a microcosm of the season, and it’s not surprising that it left head coach Dan Hurley musing about the state of his team as Atlantic 10 play approaches.

Rhode Island certainly had their moments. They responded to an early blitz by the Golden Eagles, leading for stretches in the first half and tying the game early in the second half. But once Southern Miss scored eight unanswered points to break the tie, the Rams were playing catch-up the rest of the way. They rallied to within 64-62, but the Golden Eagles then scored the next 11 points to seal it.

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New Hampshire is going through a very challenging time

by - Published December 19, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
newhampshire

DURHAM, N.H. – There are challenges, and then there’s what New Hampshire is going through and has in front of them. Nine straight losses, which is the Wildcats’ current streak after dropping a 62-48 decision to Dartmouth at home on Wednesday, appear to be just the beginning of them.

Can things get worse? They might before they get better largely because of personnel, and it’s not just who they don’t have right now.

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Navy learns more in a tough loss at Bryant

by - Published December 15, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
navy

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Ed DeChellis is trying to figure out what he has with his team. That’s normal for non-league play, as well as with the youth on this team, as Navy’s ticket to the NCAA Tournament is in the Patriot League. Non-league play is winding down, and there are still more final exams for his team to come, but he learned more about them in a tough way as they battled back before succumbing to Bryant 90-80 in overtime on Saturday.

With the youth and a need to find some complementary pieces, as well as a lack of practice time lately because of final exams, DeChellis has been giving many players a chance to prove themselves.

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Northeastern having a tough time for a few reasons

by - Published December 10, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
northeastern

BOSTON – Northeastern wants better results than they have had thus far.  Their 2-7 record isn’t a result of not trying or wanting to win.  Part of it is from playing a very difficult schedule, but part of it is also the reality of trying to find the right personnel with a young team at a challenging time.  It has Bill Coen having to manage the confidence the team as they reach the break for final exams.

Anyone who knew Northeastern’s personnel heading into the season knew that the Huskies were going to be different this season.  Departed guards Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith were more than just the heart and soul of last season’s Huskies, so that was a big void to fill.  Who would emerge was far from a given since depth was a concern behind those two last season.  So it’s not a surprise that part of the challenge has been personnel-related.

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Brigham Young is close, with fewer good opportunities remaining

by - Published December 9, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
brighamyoung

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Dave Rose thinks his ballclub isn’t that far away. They’ve been right there. They have played well and won against some good teams. But as the non-conference slate winds down, his Brigham Young team could still use a signature win. They had such an opportunity in Saturday, but UMass handled them 105-96 and basically beat them at their own game.

Brigham Young plays at a fast pace, and they have done it well all season, including turning the ball over less than 11 times per game on average. They did it well on Saturday at the offensive end, shooting 48.5 percent from the field and handing out 15 assists with 11 turnovers. But UMass did it better, shooting 55.6 percent. UMass also did something unusual: they out-scored the Cougars in the paint, as BYU came into the game on average out-scoring opponents by ten points per game in the paint. The Cougars also lost for the first time all year when they out-rebounded an opponent.

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John Dunne is looking beyond St. Peter’s record

by - Published December 2, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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BOSTON – Coaches are not ones to look for moral victories, and John Dunne is no different.  The St. Peter’s mentor has been to the mountain top at the school and is trying to get back there, and wins have been hard to come by since their NCAA Tournament run in 2011.  Part of that journey means the record doesn’t matter right now, and the Peacocks fell to 2-4 on Saturday but have Dunne thinking positively.

“We lost the game, but I thought it was probably our most well-played game, including the two wins,” said Dunne.

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Sacred Heart is getting closer, but wins are hard to come by

by - Published November 29, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
sacredheart

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Sacred Heart is progressing, although their bottom line isn’t going to show it as they are 1-5. For a lot of Tuesday’s game, Sacred Heard did what they needed to do to improve. They also did what they had to do to pull off a big win, one that would have been a program first as they have never defeated an ACC opponent.

In the end, however, they didn’t do what they need to do when it counted, and dropped a 75-67 overtime decision to Boston College. While the signs are encouraging, this team could surely use a little more reward on the bottom line to show for their efforts. And perhaps not finishing the job in regulation despite many chances was the clincher on Tuesday, because it was pretty much all Eagles in the extra session.

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Hartford finally gets a much-needed break in the action

by - Published November 27, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
hartford

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – John Gallagher doesn’t have to look far for answers. They’re all right in front of the Hartford mentor and all part of the team that is off to a 2-5 start after dropping two at Mohegan Sun Arena in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off this weekend. They’re all going to get a break, too, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

“I thought, seven games in 15 days, this is on our second back-to-back in a two-week stretch, we had no legs and we didn’t have the juice that we play with,” said Hartford’s head coach.

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NC State is not making it easy on themselves

March 1, 2015 by

ncstate

North Carolina State appears to have put themselves in a good position for the NCAA Tournament, but they aren’t making this easy on themselves.

Saturday Notes – February 28, 2015

March 1, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at a very busy Saturday, one that was full of big games that included some conferences closing out their regular season with plenty of drama.

Saturday Notes – February 21, 2015

February 22, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

A busy Saturday saw a lot of results that shook up conference standings, including a three-way tie developing in one of them, and some at-large hopes took a hit as well.

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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.