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Hartford shows a mixed bag of maturity in season opener

by - Published November 10, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
hartford

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Saturday’s season-opening 82-77 loss to Quinnipiac was a tale of two halves in more ways than one for Hartford. Although they had some good minutes in the bad half, it wasn’t enough to rally from a 15-point hole they dug themselves and left them heading home trying to look at the bright side from the good half.

The first half was everything Hartford could want. They took advantage of Quinnipiac looking listless at times, moving the ball well at the offensive end to get good shots. Yolonzo Moore looked like a sure all-conference point guard with 15 points on 6-8 shooting, including 3-4 from long range, and he led the good ball movement that produced those shots. Multiple players helped, and they look like a team with a lot of scoring options.

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BC didn’t quite play like the veteran team they are in loss

by - Published November 9, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
bostoncollege

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Two seasons ago, the reasons behind Boston College’s 82-78 loss at Providence in overtime would have been understandable. At that time, the Eagles were one of the least experienced teams in the nation with a lot of growing pains to come. But this is a different time, as the Eagles are now a very experienced team for one with just one senior, and the Eagles’ lack of poise and lackluster execution on Friday night are more concerning.

Friday night is just one game, and it can very well be an aberration. They will have to make it so since they take on UMass on Sunday at the Boston Garden. But on Friday, it cost them a very winnable game that could have shelf life later in the season.

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URI will be improved but something of a mixed bag for now

by - Published November 2, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
rhodeisland

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – You could excuse anyone last year for wanting to look ahead to this season at Rhode Island. There was probably some of that among the fan base, although those in the program didn’t do that. “Next year” is now here, and while expectations are certainly higher for Dan Hurley’s team, in all what they look like is a mixed bag at this point, and that was reinforced in their 93-77 victory over Southern Connecticut State University in an exhibition game on Friday night.

Last year, things got so bad that the Rams had to cancel a scrimmage due to a lack of available scholarship players. That was one more hit to their preseason preparation. This year, there is no such issue.

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New-look CAA trying to find its place in the changing landscape

by - Published October 23, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
colonial

BALTIMORE – As the Colonial Athletic Association goes through more changes, it’s natural to wonder where its place is in college basketball now.  The conference has had major membership changes over the last year and a half, and locations for major events like Media Day and the conference tournament are also changing.  While there is certainly a feeling of newness, one wonders what lies ahead for a conference that had a great run from 2006 to 2012 before things changed drastically.

The CAA is just one conference that is changing in an ever-changing landscape.  In the short term, the conference can be labeled one of the losers in the conference maneuvering.  In the last 18 months, George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU – the conference’s signature programs historically – have all departed, along with a Georgia State program that wasn’t in the conference long but looks like it might be on the rise under Ron Hunter.  What remains starts with five former America East schools and then includes newcomer College of Charleston and three charter members in James Madison, UNCW and William & Mary.  Next year, Elon joins the conference.

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Quick Hitters – September 29, 2013

by - Published September 29, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

It’s a great time of the year. Prep school visits are winding down and college teams have started practice, signs that the season isn’t far away. Also, college schedules are finally coming out, with a few more game times to be determined due to television.

Before getting back to some of the final prep school visits, here are some quick hitters from around college basketball.

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How UNC plays without Hairston will shape their season

by - Published August 24, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
northcarolina

One story that has seemingly been a constant this off-season is the life and times of P.J. Hairston. There’s good reason for it: the North Carolina rising junior led one of the nation’s most visible programs in scoring last season and bypassed a weak NBA Draft to return to school. Usually, that would mean a lot of talk about him as a potential All-American the following season and about how high he could go in the next draft with an additional year of development. Instead, he has had an off-season to forget. While his fate is still to be determined, what hasn’t been talked about much is that if he does eventually return to the court, the Tar Heels could be one of those teams that has some early adversity but is much more dangerous later in the season.

Every season, some teams have early personnel adversity they must overcome that is temporary in nature. Often, this takes the form of injuries, but disciplinary issues can come into play as well. The team usually loses a game or two they might not lose with a full squad, but at some point they will have that squad together. When that team is finally whole, they end up much more formidable.

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Thoughts from the month of July

by - Published August 20, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
hoopguy-cyan

The all-important month of July has come and gone for 2013. As time goes on, the month seemingly becomes more important all the time, and in its second year of the current calendar setup, there are pros and cons that are becoming more apparent with time. While coaches can view players on weekends in April, that often sets the stage for who coaches will watch in July more than anything else.

This time around, I didn’t get out to see a lot of action, but what I saw was well worth the time spent doing it. So as we move on to the more quiet part of the summer, here are some thoughts from July regarding players, teams and the month itself.

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New Big East not off to the most auspicious start

by - Published July 6, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
bigeast

Monday morning tipped off another round of conference changes, as often happens on that date, and this year the changes were quite seismic. The Great West Conference is now defunct, the Patriot League has ten members, and most of all, the American Athletic Conference officially opened for business and the Big East has a whole new look. And for the new Big East, the start has not been particularly auspicious.

The conference’s new start has been slowed largely by the drawn-out process of hiring a commissioner. Val Ackerman is a solid selection, but the lateness of the hire left her little time to start assembling a staff before the change occurred on Monday. A trip to the conference Web site reflects that: as of Saturday morning, there was only the main page and links to the school sites and the conference’s social media accounts.

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A lot to take from the 2013 NBA Draft, not surprisingly

by - Published June 29, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
nbadraft

Leading up to the NBA Draft, much was said about how weak it was. The jury on that is out, although going by how a draft looked at the time it certainly appears to be the weakest one in a long time. But a key reason the draft was perceived as such is also the reason it was well worth watching and didn’t disappoint those who figured there would be a lot to take from this.

Just take a look at the eyebrow-raising results on the evening:

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Charlotte wanted more but feels like they accomplished something

by - Published March 23, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
charlotte

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Just minutes after a season ends, it’s not easy to sum up a season in an instant analysis style. Ask Alan Major about this season right now, however, and there’s a clear theme from the Charlotte head coach: pride in how his team handled so much that was thrown at them in the 2012-13 season and a feeling the program is on its way to where he hopes it will be.

Charlotte’s final record this season is 21-12. It’s a good record, although plenty of teams will sport better ones come April 9. They also started off 9-0, so one might wonder what’s impressive about going 12-12 to end the season. Let’s just say that none of it came easily, and along the way this team developed an identity as a team with the chemistry and belief in one another that they can get through anything.

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Saturday Notes – December 20, 2014

December 21, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

A busy Saturday is in the books, and we saw the matchups get better, the results continue to be noteworthy and tell us more, and a couple of the games needed a lot of extra time to decide.

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

December 16, 2014 by

stonybrook

Stony Brook was able to hang with Providence until the roof caved in several minutes into the second half. It’s part of a growing process this team in transition needs, and it continues despite dropping a few games along the way.

Amidst Maine’s rebuilding challenge, there is hope

December 12, 2014 by

maine

Maine has a long road ahead as they rebuild under new head coach Bob Walsh. Amidst the early struggles, the Black Bears have shown some reason for hope going forward.

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Recruiting Coverage

2014 Scholar Roundball Classic recap and notes

December 16, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

We look at some notes and evaluations from Sunday’s action at the Scholar Roundball Classic, where the blowouts included some noteworthy performances.

2014 Hoop Mountain Prep Classic – Sunday notes

December 9, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at Sunday’s action in the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic, which included an overtime thriller and a couple of lopsided contests, and some prospects who helped themselves out with their play.

Some notes from the National Prep Showcase

November 28, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

The busy weekend that just passed also included a few games at the National Prep Showcase. Here are a few notes from some of the action early on Friday and Saturday.

New England Prep Schools 2014-15: looking back and looking ahead

November 3, 2014 by

nepsac

With a series of prep school open gym visits in the book and the season not far away, here’s a look back at open gyms and a look forward to the season in the New England prep school ranks.

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

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.