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Scanning the Nation: Notes from opening weekend

by - Published November 14, 2016 in Columns

A lot happened on Friday night. Not so much on Saturday, and a little more on Sunday. The season is still very, very young, but here are some quick hit notes looking around the country on the first weekend of the college basketball:

  • We mused before the season about whether Saint Mary’s could get any better offensively after being so, so good there last year. It was only one game, but one player who certainly looks like he may have is Jock Landale, who scored 33 points in the Gaels’ convincing 81-63 win over Nevada. Landale is part of an underrated SMC frontcourt that has size and skill, if not heaping servings of athleticism, and if he, Evan Fitzner and Dane Pineau can find more consistency then the Gaels are just that much more dangerous. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, November 4, 2016

by - Published November 4, 2016 in The Morning Dish

As we’ve steadfastly pointed out in the past (and probably will again sometime before the season starts), the college basketball season starts too early, and the sport really has a poorly planned way to start the year, opening with a host of guarantee games in what is still the heart of college football season.

One of the good things about college hoops starting as early as it has in recent years, though, (Nov. 11 this year) is it does allow less time to hear bad news. Because, sad as it is, it seems so much of the news in the offseason with this sport is less than positive. (More unneeded NCAA Tournament and officiating tweaks, anyone?)

Unfortunately, we received more unfortunate news Thursday as it was announced Arizona forward Ray Smith has suffered an ACL injury for the third time in three years. Smith also received meniscus damage in his knee, and with those injuries he has decided to end his basketball career. … Continue Reading

2015-16 SEC Post-Mortem

by - Published July 20, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

If you had any doubt that Kentucky is once more in control of the SEC, you needed to look no further than 2015-16.

This was supposed to be a season where the Wildcats would get clearly upended by some other teams. Sure, they had a shaky season a couple of years ago, and they haven’t always been the kings of the conference during the John Calipari era, but for the most part they have been there. This time, though, it wasn’t supposed to happen the way it did. There was a Vanderbilt team that was supposed to be good. There was Ben Simmons coming in to make LSU relevant and maybe more. There was Texas A&M, a team on the upswing and sure to be motivated after being left out of the NCAA Tournament a year earlier.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 3, 2016

by - Published March 3, 2016 in The Morning Dish

One of the most anticipated possible conference tournament finals of all will not be taking place this year, as the first two days of March are two-for-two in producing the upsets we’ve come to expect this time of year.

The latest team to come from seemingly nowhere to make noise is Hartford, a seemingly benign seventh seed in the America East tournament. The Hawks entered the tourney with a 9-22 record and had lost both regular season matchups against their quarterfinal opponent by a combined 42 points, yet stunned three-time defending champion Albany 68-59 to move into the semifinals.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 24, 2016

by - Published February 24, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Tulsa narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament last year, and the Golden Hurricane looked destined for a similar fate after their first meeting with Temple this year. After a second matchup with the Owls, though, it’s safe to say a lot has changed.

Tulsa posted an impressive 74-55 win over Temple Tuesday night, continuing to put itself firmly in consideration for a spot in the Big Dance with its fifth win in six games. The Golden Hurricane also notched another quality win-technically not an RPI top 50 win, as the Owls were 55th entering the night and likely will slip some from there (down to 57th this morning)-but a win over the current American Athletic Conference leaders.

The manner in which this came about was rather jarring. Temple jumped out to an early 25-13 lead on the strength of five three-pointers as Tulsa came out in a 2-3 zone. The hosts then switched to a man-to-man defense and proceeded to outscore the Owls 61-30 the rest of the way, including a second half performance that was dominating in every way, and by the end left Temple attempting to come back with full-court pressure that the Golden Hurricane navigated with ease.
… Continue Reading

Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis – February 20, 2016

by - Published February 20, 2016 in Columns

In our latest edition of Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis, we look at the incredible couple of days earlier this week where several of the top teams lost, including Duke’s seemingly improbable win at North Carolina after the injury to Matt Jones further depleted a Blue Devil team already down in numbers. We also look at some bubble teams like Alabama and Saint Joseph’s who have suddenly enhanced their candidacy greatly to enter the conversation.

Once all of that has been discussed, we also look at surging Kennesaw State, as Al Skinner’s efforts are starting to bear fruit in his first season, and look ahead to a great weekend of college basketball.

… Continue Reading

PlayPlay

The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 18, 2016

by - Published February 18, 2016 in The Morning Dish

February can be over any day now. After all that happened on a deliciously eventful Wednesday night, we’re sufficiently primed and ready for March, and the best month on the sports calendar can’t get here soon enough.

We still have 11 days (including a leap day) before the madness of March arrives, but Wednesday night gave us a taste of what’s in store. With variety galore, it reminded us of the buffet that is the first day of the NCAA Tournament (the Thursday one, not that Tuesday lead-in), all packed into a few evening hours. And it was so much more than one showcased game, though that one was plenty good, too.

Duke won. Or perhaps North Carolina lost. It will be debated for some time just what happened Wednesday night, but the Blue Devils’ 74-73 win will be remembered for some time-for Duke essentially going with an iron five lineup after Matt Jones went out early with an ankle injury, and for the Tar Heels inexplicably seeming to forget they had the most dominant player on the floor and not feeding the ball to Brice Johnson time and again late in a game where he still finished with a staggering 29 points and 19 rebounds.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 11, 2016

by - Published February 11, 2016 in The Morning Dish

When it came to trying to make the biggest splash, Wednesday night was a virtual game of ‘Can You Top This?’ across the college basketball landscape.

Multiple teams came up with big wins. Really big wins. As in, the type of wins that some may point to in mid-March as the decider that may have put them in the NCAA Tournament. And just when we thought one team had made the biggest statement of the night, another made its best attempt to one-up the others.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, December 11, 2015

by - Published December 11, 2015 in The Morning Dish

As rivalries go, Iowa-Iowa State doesn’t get a great deal of pub compared to many others. We all know Duke-North Carolina, Kentucky-Louisville, Georgetown-Syracuse, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State (Bedlam), and more. But Iowa-Iowa State has become quite a rivalry all its own; two years ago in the same building, they played a thriller that the Cyclones won. Thursday night provided the latest chapter in Hilton Coliseum.

It not only provided quite a story line with the game’s result, but also with what happened to someone who is not a part of either program.

… Continue Reading

Scanning the nation: the best from November in college basketball

by - Published December 1, 2015 in Columns

Reflecting on the first (half) month of the college basketball season, we look back at some of the bests, worsts, achievements and trends from November:

Best team, best player: Ignore the growling from Tom Izzo, because Michigan State looked sensational all month, even in games when their coach wasn’t happy with them (see: 24-point win over Eastern Michigan). The Spartans are deep, talented, and not bothered by the rule changes in the least. Oh, and Denzel Valentine has been the nation’s best player. It would normally be heresy to compare any player to Magic Johnson, but Valentine (19.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 8.5 assists per game) has been racking up numbers and triple-doubles at a pace worthy of mention with some of the sport’s all-time greats.

… Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – December 3, 2016

December 4, 2016 by

The first big Saturday of the college basketball season gave us all we could hope for, and it started right away. We have notes from a number of the day’s games right here.

Thanks to a big backcourt boost, Gonzaga should be even better this season

November 7, 2016 by

Gonzaga might have needed the West Coast Conference title they won in Las Vegas last year in order to be in the NCAA Tournament. With better guards, there should be no doubt about that this time around.

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by

The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

Hoopville Archives

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.

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

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.