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Mountain West 2016-17 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 29, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Mountain West was a fun conference to watch in 2016-17, in large part because very little went as expected, at least in the race for the conference title. Take the preseason predictions and throw them out the window, because the only pick the coaches got right was picking Fresno State to finish fourth, and only two teams finished one spot away from where they were picked.

The surprises start right at the top. San Diego State was thought to be a fairly comfortable favorite, though that might have been underselling Nevada a bit. The Wolfpack were going to need a couple of newcomers to become key players, and that’s never a sure thing, but there was no shortage of talent on the defending CBI champions. With Marcus Marshall and Jordan Caroline making instant impacts alongside holdovers like Cameron Oliver, the Wolfpack were basically the best team in the conference all season long, and they finished the job by winning the conference tournament. San Diego State, meanwhile, was good in non-conference but got out of the gates slowly in conference play and finished sixth with a .500 mark.

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2015-16 Mountain West Post-Mortem

by - Published July 7, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Mountain West Conference had been so good for so long. Every year, it seemed to get better, deeper, and look like it might compete with the Pac-12 some years. Getting several teams into the NCAA Tournament looked like the norm; as it is, the conference went 15 straight years with at least two teams in the field.

Then came 2015-16. The conference was having such a good run, you almost wonder if it was due for a season like this, a correction of sorts. And that’s what happened.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 20, 2015

by - Published January 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The issues of scoring and pace of play in college basketball continue to get a considerable amount of press, and that’s a very good thing.

ESPN this past weekend on College Gameday had a thoughtful, quality discussion of the state of the sport, and a good share of the conversation was about those very topics. Jay Bilas has rightly continued to be outspoken about the ridiculous levels of contact allowed in college hoops, which has no doubt affected offense for years. Basketball Times magazine has been a frontrunner in reporting on this topic for several years now (if you don’t get it, you’re missing out; what Blue Ribbon is to preseason annuals, BT is to reporting on the sport). And yesterday, USA Today looked into the issue again in depth, with comments from a number of people including Belmont coach Rick Byrd, who is the chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee.

Things do need to change, and we could write 10,000 words about this topic (in fact, we sort of have in the past already). From this view, it’s that important. But the one hope we have is that any changes in the near future do not come about from overreactions.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 13, 2015

by - Published January 13, 2015 in The Morning Dish

We now live in a world with six full-fledged comprehensive national sports networks, most of them available on fairly basic cable systems. There are also numerous other national and regional sports networks and outlets, some of them even focused on college sports entirely.

With all of this, one would’ve thought at least one of those networks somewhere would’ve had the stones to provide some fair counter programming to the college football game last night. Some kind of college basketball event-even on a lark-would’ve been a welcome alternative to umpteen channels of coverage of the same game.

All of the aforementioned channels fancy themselves as challengers in the sports television landscape. Instead, given the chance to do something interesting or-gasp-different, it seems programmers were scared and thought it easier to punt, to concede the night as a throwaway. That’s unfortunate.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 11, 2015

by - Published January 11, 2015 in The Morning Dish

When seeing the game’s score flash today for the first time, the first thought regarding a Louisville/North Carolina game was “wow, that’s a terrific non-conference contest, especially in January.”

Of course, we know Louisville is in the ACC now, but it’s still hard to picture unless we’re actually watching it. For those of us who grew up on college hoops in the 1980’s and 90’s, Louisville will always belong in the Metro Conference with city school mates like Memphis and Cincinnati, but that’s another story for another day. Conference USA was a reasonable fit for a while, the Big East worked because of how much success the Cardinals had in it, and even the AAC had some Metro-feel to it.

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2013-14 Mountain West Post-Mortem

by - Published May 19, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

With conference realignment being a headline the last few years, few conferences have escaped unharmed outside of the BCS conferences. The Mountain West is one of them, although they almost lost out big. The end result, as pertains to 2013-14, was another excellent season, led by the program that has become the standard bearer of late.

San Diego State had another big year, winning 31 games, including a 16-2 mark in Mountain West play to pace the conference. The 16 conference wins set a new record. They also reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by Arizona.

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Mountain West Notebook – A So-So Lobo Return

by - Published December 7, 2008 in Conference Notes

The view from the Mountain is about what you would expect at this point in the season. Collectively the Mountain West Conference is 52-20 as of December 7.

BYU has the only untarnished record at 8-0. One could argue that they really haven’t played anyone yet as their RPI is 81 and their strength of schedule is 287. The Cougars won’t get their first true test until Dec. 20 when they take on Arizona State in Tempe.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Colorado State is the only team with a losing record, as they sit at 3-5. But even they look to be an improved team this year. In their toughest contest to date, they lost by just one point to Tubby Smith’s Golden Gophers.

San Diego State (7-1) was crowned champions of the Great Alaska Shootout last week and got a big boost with the reinstatement of MWC First Team Player Lorrenzo Wade. A San Diego judge dismissed felony burglary charges against Wade, and he is now practicing with the team. He did not play in SDSU’s victory over cross-town rival USD on Saturday night, but he should see the court against Arizona on Wednesday night.

Wyoming is off to a 6-1 start and may have a more balanced and complete team this year. Last year the focus was all on their two standout guards, Brandon Ewing and Brad Jones. Now that Jones has graduated, Ewing has moved to the point guard position and wants to distribute the ball more and not just be the designated scorer from the two guard spot. It shows as the Cowboys have four players averaging double figures in scoring. With a stronger supporting cast, Ewing may get the opportunity he desires to refine his point guard skills and have a career in the professional ranks once his senior season is over.

The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels aren’t looking quite as dominant as many expected, and their 7-2 record shows it. They narrowly escaped with a win in their home opener versus the University of San Diego, even though San Diego had three key players on either suspension or out with an injury. After a couple of easy wins, the Rebels thought they were ready for a bigger test, but when the Bears came to town, the Rebels didn’t have an answer. First it was the Cal Bears, who defeated UNLV by 18 points. The next day, the Cincinnati Bearcats completed the sweep with a two-point victory.

The Air Force Falcons have one of the weakest out of conference schedules to date as indicated by their RP1 of 158 and Strength of Schedule at 226. They lost by 19 points to Stanford, the only team of significance on their pre-conference schedule. But at 6-2 and riding a three-game winning streak, they should rack up a few more wins this month and have some confidence going into conference play.

Utah (5-2) is an early season enigma. They have quality wins over Oregon, Missouri State and Mississippi but bad losses against Southwest Baptist on their home court and against Idaho State on the road.

The 6-3 TCU Horned Frogs are on a five-game winning streak and trying to prove that they are more than just a football school. They had a convincing 16-point road victory over Colorado on Saturday but will be further tested this week at home versus Wichita State before traveling to Indiana.

New Mexico (4-4) is still trying to find its rhythm in the absence of J.R. Giddens, who was last year’s MWC co-player of the year and then selected in the first round of the NBA draft. Tony Danridge, who missed all of last season with a broken leg, was expected to re-emerge as the team’s leading scorer and go-to guy. He led the team two years ago but has been inconsistent so far.

All indicators point to this being a better than average year for the Mountain West Conference, and there figures to be a considerable amount of parity. As teams take on a few more tough out of conference opponents in the next couple of weeks, we will start to see who rises to the top and whether they can hold onto that position by winning on the road.

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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.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

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

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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.

Hoopville Podcasts

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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

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The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

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In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

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Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

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For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

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Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

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The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

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2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

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