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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 27, 2015

by - Published November 27, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Here’s hoping all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, fellowship and football. And perhaps even some basketball.

Thanksgiving Day traditionally hasn’t been a hotbed for college basketball, but in recent years the sport has had an increasing presence on the day, with the continued proliferation of exempted tournaments. (And that’s not an all bad thing, considering the lackluster quality of the NFL games yesterday…)

Perhaps starting that trend, ESPN and Disney have staged a pair of your-name-here events over the holidays for nearly 10 years now, including the AdvoCare Invitational (nee: Old Spice Classic, Orlando Classic) in Orlando and the Wooden Legacy (formerly: Anaheim Classic, 76 Classic, DirecTV Classic) in southern California. Both have ebbed and flowed in their quality, but this year the Orlando event in particular is as good as any preseason eight-team tourney.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 20, 2015

by - Published November 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Though still a week from Thanksgiving Day, the holiday tournament season really began yesterday, and the results from the first two events were a good sampling of the first week of the 2015-16 season as a whole.

The Puerto Rico Tip-Off and Charleston Classic both got underway on Thursday, and the games featured some high scores, some low ones, a lot of free throws and another sprinkling of surprising results. We saw Butler red-hot-again. Mississippi State showed again that a turnaround under Ben Howland with Malik Newman isn’t going to be instant. Long Beach State may be inexperienced-but also already a better team than last year. And Virginia is Virginia, and still in a class among the nation’s best.

Among the tourney results:
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 17, 2015

by - Published November 17, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Knowing the climate of fandom and the avoidance theory advocated by many for the schools with the biggest budgets, there undoubtedly are some today questioning Virginia coach Tony Bennett for his scheduling a road game against George Washington, wondering why he would play such a “no-win” game.

On every account, they are wrong.

In the best game of Monday night, the Colonials knocked off the 6th-ranked Cavaliers 73-68 at a rocking Charles E. Smith Center on the GW campus. Patricio Garino scored 18 and Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh provided a key 18 points, offsetting 28 points by Malcolm Brogdon. George Washington led most of the night, but it was close the entire way with no lead greater than nine points.

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A game a day for the 2015-16 season: February

by - Published November 12, 2015 in Columns

We conclude our look at our favorite games for every day of the season from November through February, our ultimate dream road trip through an entire college basketball season.

To refresh: in some cases they’re the biggest matchup of the day, in others they may be what we think will be the best game to watch. Some days the picks are obvious, others they are no doubt up for debate, but we limited it to one pick and one special mention each day. We started this on Monday with November, continued with December on Tuesday, January and Wednesday, and today we finish with February:

Feb. 1: North Carolina at Louisville. Besides the obvious skill of these teams, it’s always a sweet pairing of the Tar Heels’ running and the Cardinals’ pressure defense. Honorable mention: SMU at Houston

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A game a day for the 2015-16 season: December

by - Published November 10, 2015 in Columns

Continuing our look at our favorite games for every day of the season, our ultimate dream road trip, if you will.

We started on Monday with November, and today we continue with December:

Dec. 1: Maryland at North Carolina. We’re not one to get into the hypefest aspect of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but this is a pretty easy pick. No. 1 and No. 3 in the AP preseason poll, former ACC rivals, etc. One of the best games of the year. This should be fun, and will only reinforce how much we think the Terrapins really should still be an ACC school. Honorable mention: Villanova at St. Joseph’s

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A game a day for the whole 2015-16 season: first up, November

by - Published November 9, 2015 in Columns

If one could go to any one college basketball game or event they wanted, for every day of the season, without restrictions, without worries about travel…

…it would take professional sports team-level travel accommodations, probably a pro athletes’ disposable income, and a whole lot of sleep on airplanes. As well as an understanding spouse.

Which doesn’t mean one can’t dream. Going into the 2015-16 season, we wanted to highlight what we see as the best game of the day, for every day of the regular season. The games we would go to every day of the season, if we could.

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2014-15 Pac-12 Post-Mortem

by - Published July 16, 2015 in Columns

Who in the Pac-12 can challenge Arizona for consistent supremacy? It’s a question we asked before the season and now must ponder again with the 2014-15 season in the books.

And ironically enough, the Wildcats could just as easily fall out of the top spot by default, at least for next season.

Sean Miller has brought Arizona back to being the signature program of the Pac-12. In the final years of Lute Olson’s tenure, there was a noticeable slide from the place of being a national power. That’s a thing of the past, though, as Miller is showing that he can coach, and he and his staff are getting big-time talent to Tucson for him to coach. That has its trade-offs, though, as the Wildcats have a mass exodus of talent this season, with three players entering the NBA Draft early and T.J. McConnell graduating. Even so, they bring in another terrific recruiting class and will remain the conference favorite for much of the foreseeable future.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, April 8, 2015

by - Published April 8, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The 2014-15 college basketball season is in the books, but there was still plenty to talk about a day after Monday’s terrific 2015 NCAA Tournament finale between Duke and Wisconsin.

Unfortunately but perhaps not surprisingly, officiating became a big topic of discussion after the game and remained so on Tuesday. A big reason for that were Bo Ryan’s pointed comments on CBS immediately after the game, when unprovoked he mentioned that “there was more body contact in this game than any game we played all year” and “it’s just a shame that it had to be played that way.”
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, April 7, 2015

by - Published April 7, 2015 in The Morning Dish

One of the greatest beauties of sports is that it really doesn’t matter how intricate or how detailed the analysis, evaluations and breakdowns are coming into a game. When the games are played, so much of that analysis goes out the window, and the outcome comes down to players making plays, which human beings seize the moment the most.

Coming into Monday night’s national championship game between Duke and Wisconsin, every dissection one could’ve wanted was available over the previous 46 hours. In fact, one didn’t even need to watch the analysis, for they could’ve broken down everything they could ever want from the multiple replays across several ESPN networks of this season’s earlier game between the two in December. (A prudent idea once or twice, but the repeated repeats… perhaps there is no greater example that we have too many cable channels than this one.)
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 29, 2015

by - Published March 29, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The 2015 NCAA Tournament now has its signature game. Just like last year, that game involves Kentucky.

Last year, Kentucky’s second round game against Wichita State was the best of the tourney and maybe one of the best in years, an up-and-down, back-and-forth, 78-76 UK win. Last night, in a tourney that started out strong but has almost bordered on dull the last couple rounds, Kentucky’s Midwest regional final against Notre Dame was a welcome return to the NCAA Tournament that we’ve been spoiled to expect. The Wildcats pulled it out, but not without more than a few nervous moments, as Notre Dame gave a heroic effort before missing a shot at the buzzer in falling 68-66.
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Your Phil of Hoops

Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

Hoopville Archives

Reader Poll

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 2015-11-12 10:09:26
end_date 2015-11-17 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Who is your pick to win the 2016 national championship?

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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 listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by


The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by


Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by


Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.