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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 20, 2015

by - Published January 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

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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How the conferences shape up as we hit 2015

by - Published January 1, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
author_kasiecki

Non-conference play is basically done at this point. A handful of games remain for many teams, and we’ll see a non-conference game or two sprinkled in between conference games over the next couple of months, but conference play beckons. Several have already started, with the West Coast Conference getting jump on the rest of the country this past Saturday and Monday. For two months, we’ve had a look at teams to get an idea of who they are. They have shown us something thus far.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at how the conference races shape up based on what we’ve seen in non-conference play.

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New Hampshire has improved and can do better

by - Published December 24, 2014 in Columns
newhampshire

DURHAM, N.H. – Sometimes, overcoming adversity isn’t enough. It’s certainly not always enough to win games, but it’s also not necessarily enough to lose but still get better, meaning you lost more because of the opponent.

Sometimes, merely experiencing the adversity is the problem. Yes, we all face some of it, but sometimes it is self-inflicted. And for New Hampshire, right now overcoming adversity isn’t enough. Bill Herrion wants, and needs, to see better from his team. And they’re capable of doing that. They have shown as much.

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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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UMass-Lowell has to manage surprising success

by - Published December 2, 2014 in Columns
umass_lowell

BOSTON – Pat Duquette admits he and his staff didn’t see this coming. It’s a pleasant surprise, certainly, but UMass-Lowell’s surprising early success is something that the coaching staff will have to adjust to the implications of. Call it a pleasant problem, if you will.

“They’ve come together quicker than we imagined as a coaching staff, for sure,” Duquette said after the River Hawks beat Boston University 69-59 on Sunday.

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Albany’s consistent identity appears to remain intact

by - Published November 16, 2014 in Columns
albany

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – By now, largely because he’s been at the school for a good while, Will Brown has carved out a clear identity for his teams at Albany. They are typically tough and persistent, in a fashion that reflects their coach, and especially when it matters most – late in games and in the conference tournament. They know how to hang in long enough to take over and pull out games late. When his team is experienced, these are all at another level.

While Albany lost their season opener at Providence by a 64-60 count, it looks like this edition of the Great Danes is a vintage Will Brown team at first glance. The coach is talking about them as if that’s the case, too.

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New season, same challenge for New Hampshire

by - Published November 15, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
newhampshire

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – There were some positives in New Hampshire’s season-opening 58-50 loss at Boston College on Friday night. The Wildcats made it tough on Boston College with their defense, they out-rebounded the Eagles and they had an early lead. They tried to make a game of it in the second half after BC appeared to be in control. They were in it despite being short-handed. All of those things bode well for the rest of a long season.

In the end, though, it’s a game they lost, and they’re not about to start talking about moral victories, even while taking a long view. And if they take a long view, the reality is that the new season has already seen an old problem for the Wildcats: scoring.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 8, 2014

by - Published November 8, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

With the start of the regular season now less than a week away, we’ll now look at a few conferences on some of these upcoming days.

America East has a familiar look among its favorites, as Stony Brook should once again be the team to beat. The Seawolves have had a great run in recent years, but haven’t been able to get over the hump in the conference tournament. They’ll have good competition from a senior-laden Hartford team, as well as defending champion Albany.

Defending national champion Connecticut was chosen as the favorite in the American Athletic Conference coaches poll, but the thinking here is that SMU is more deserving of the nod. The Mustangs bring back plenty from last season, while most of the other top teams in the conference – the Huskies, Cincinnati and Memphis – all lose a lot. Newcomer Tulsa might be the sleeper.

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2013-14 America East Post-Mortem

by - Published May 23, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
americaeast

The America East Conference had a different look and a very familiar look in 2013-14. It started with one and ended with the other.

The season started without one of the signature programs in the conference, as Boston University was off to the Patriot League. While other programs have emerged, the Terriers had a long run of success and were consistent contenders and winners. Their departure hurts the conference, make no mistake about it.

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Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

January 25, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

This Saturday didn’t have quite the marquee matchups as a week earlier, but there were some important ones, especially with teams in the middle of a few conferences trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

January 15, 2015 by

rhodeisland

Rhode Island controlled Tuesday night’s game against VCU, but couldn’t finish it and took a tough loss. Their improvement is evident, though, and they are keeping perspective on that in trying to keep improving.

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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.