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Scanning the Nation Notebook: Atlantic 10, Wisconsin, Siena, Notre Dame & more

by - Published February 11, 2016 in Columns
glatczak

The Atlantic 10 is a more-than solid conference this year, comfortably in seventh in the conference RPI and with at least four NCAA Tournament-quality teams-and maybe five, depending on if St. Bonaventure can finish strong. That said, we fear the league is cannibalizing its own too much, and it’s conceivable that the A-10 could finish with as few as two or (gasp) one NCAA bid, should Dayton win the conference tournament.

George Washington, Saint Joseph’s, VCU and St. Bonaventure all are far from sure things for bids, and it’s certainly possible the selection committee will regard results such as GW winning at VCU and then losing at home (by 18 points) to Saint Joseph’s as signs of mediocrity more than strength. Should the numbers hold at or near their currents, we sure hope the committee seriously considers VCU’s improvement since late December (12 straight wins before the loss to the Colonials), St. Joe’s road record (9-0) and the Bonnies’ lack of bad losses (the worst are at RPI No. 106 Duquesne and 107 Siena, hardly a complete embarrassment), but we’re not optimistic. The committee likes to talk about road wins-and these four are a combined 26-8 away from home-yet regularly (and wrongly, from this view) ignores consistent road winners in favor of those who make one or two splashes away from home out of conference…
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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 30, 2016

by - Published January 30, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

What Shaka Smart did at VCU changed the idea of what the program should be. He wasn’t just one more coach who came in, won big as the program did for years as one of the CAA’s signature programs, then moved on to greener pastures. Yes, he won big, highlighted by their run to the Final Four in 2011, but they were consistent winners. He brought them into the Atlantic 10 and made them winners there, including a conference title last season, before leaving for Texas.

Now Will Wade inherits a stronger tradition, but higher expectations. And while the Rams had a relatively non-descript non-conference showing, they now look like a team that grew from it. About halfway through Atlantic 10 play, the Rams have yet to lose, the latest being Friday night’s 79-69 win at Davidson.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 25, 2016

by - Published January 25, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

When he was at Penn, Fran Dunphy always played a tough non-conference schedule. He wasn’t alone among Ivy League coaches, and he did it for the reason you would expect, but it was always a staple of what he did. He’s continued that at Temple, aided by the fact that the Owls did the same thing under John Chaney and would play certain teams just about every year.

Coaches talk about a non-conference schedule preparing a team for conference play all the time. This year, it has really worked for Temple, even as the Owls had growing pains during non-conference play. The most recent highlight came on Sunday, when they handed SMU their first loss of the season 89-80 in Philadelphia.

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How the conferences shape up as 2016 approaches

by - Published December 29, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
author_kasiecki

Not only are we in the midst of the holidays, but conference play beckons if it hasn’t already started. Non-conference play is almost complete, and teams form impressions during this time of how they will be in conference play. Even so, as is always the case this is imperfect. Conference play is a different animal, as teams are more familiar with each other from having played each other every year. That’s why we see some teams even in mid-majors get nice wins in non-conference play, but then lose games in conference play that strike the untrained eye as head-scratchers.

It is with that in mind that we take a look at how all 31 conferences shape up based on non-conference play thus far.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, December 14, 2015

by - Published December 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

The Big East just keeps on rolling. And while it’s a very different Big East than the one Chris Mullin knew as a player – not to mention a very different Big East than the one Syracuse was a part of just a few short years ago – one thing remains the case: the conference’s teams win a lot.

That’s not to say it’s come easily, because winning never does. It’s been far from a birthright. But like last year, Big East teams are winning at a clip few probably imagined, and Sunday continued that as they went 3-0 on the day, with another signature win among them.

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Fordham’s impressive start is drawing attention

by - Published December 9, 2015 in Columns
fordham

BRONX, N.Y. – Fordham’s 86-54 defeat of Central Connecticut on Saturday raised the Rams’ record to 6-1. Observers are starting to take notice. Let’s say Fordham gained a fair amount of attention just three days earlier. A thorough dismantling of St. John’s will do that.

The Red Storm were defeated handily, 73-57 before a packed house at the historic Rose Hill Gym. It was the type of game Fordham faithful will save their ticket stubs from, in loving memory.

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Providence-Rhode Island game will be even more memorable later

by - Published December 6, 2015 in Columns
author_kasiecki

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – While it’s always been one to watch if you’re a New Englander, the annual meeting between Providence and Rhode Island is one that has ebbed and flowed a bit. For a few years when the Rams struggled over a decade ago, it wasn’t as big a game. But as both teams have been better of late, especially this season, the game has been bigger and better. And with apologies to Providence head coach Ed Cooley, it’s a rivalry game, one that on Saturday night delivered everything you could want unless you were a Rhode Island fan.

And it’s a game that will be a little more memorable when we see these teams later in the season.

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New season, new challenge for Fordham’s Jeff Neubauer

by - Published November 12, 2015 in Columns
fordham

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Media day seems far removed. The season is upon us, with the opening tip reduced to hours as opposed to weeks or days. There is a significant task ahead in this new season. Jeff Neubauer knows this and accepts the challenge. The new Fordham coach realizes the road ahead and admits, among all that is facing him and the staff, job one for his team is defense. The Rams were subpar on offense last season posting a 96 offensive efficiency in Atlantic 10 play. On defense, the efficiency was 103, a figure over the norm of acceptability to moving up in this competitive conference.

“We are challenge our team to take it up and become an Atlantic 10-level defensive team,” Neubauer said back at the conference media day. “We want our defense to be a man to man and become a aggressive in half court.”

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The Morning Dish – Monday, November 9, 2015

by - Published November 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

The start of the college basketball season is just days away. Saturday marked the start of Hoopville’s 15th year of covering the sport, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

Why not? College basketball has certainly changed over the last 14 years, but there’s still something about it that pulls people like us in all the time. It still has plenty of outside factors, like the NBA and its constant pull, but the game itself is as enjoyable to cover now as it was 14 years ago.

As we bring back the Morning Dish for another season to start off each day throughout the college season, for the next few days until tip-off we will also give you a quick look at all of the conferences, a few each day.

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2014-15 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

by - Published July 17, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
atlantic10

The Atlantic 10 was bound to have a hard time duplicating the success of the 2013-14 season, and that is exactly what happened. That reality is much less an indictment of the conference in 2014-15 than it is a reminder of how historically good the preceding season was. In the end, the results show a mixed bag of promise and concern for the conference heading into next season.

Davidson joined the conference and showed they have much more going for them than being the school that produced NBA MVP Stephen Curry. The Wildcats came seemingly out of nowhere to win the regular season title outright. Besides the fact that they were coming from the Southern Conference, they played a very soft non-conference schedule, so they weren’t exactly projected to make a grand entrance into the conference. But they kept on winning, having gained confidence with their non-conference wins. They were one of three teams to reach the NCAA Tournament, but the conference’s streak of seven straight years with at least one team in the Sweet 16 was snapped.

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Saturday Notes – February 6, 2016

February 7, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

It was a full day of action, one that included two top teams going down in a rarity. Also, a number of other teams suffered a loss that could be a critical blow to their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes.

Saturday Notes – January 30, 2016

January 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

In the midst of conference season, a non-conference set of games took center stage. They were far from alone in the important games of the day, though, and we take a look at notes from many of those games.

Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A number of games were pushed to another day by a storm on the east coast, but we had plenty of noteworthy games all the same on Saturday.

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Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

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

hoopguy-divisionII

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

hoopguy-yellow

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

hoopguy-cyan

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

author_kasiecki

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.

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.

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March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

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