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Observations on Seton Hall’s 2-0 start

by - Published November 18, 2015 in Columns

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – The season started with a weekend homestand, consisting of one game at the Rock and one on campus adding up to a 2-0 sweep for Seton Hall. A few observations from it are in order.

1. Not your easy “cupcake” competition. On Friday Seton Hall defeated Dartmouth 84-67 at the Prudential Center. Sunday the friendly confines of on-campus Walsh Gymnasium hosted the Pirates’ 69-59 decision over Wagner. In the estimation of Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, neither game was a sure “easy out.” “Dartmouth had a seven-game win streak and defeated Yale last season,” Willard said. “Wagner poses problems as their pressure did in the second half. Honestly, we do not have an easy one on our schedule. The way college basketball is these days you need you ‘A’ game every night.”

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

by - Published November 13, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

The Big East still has its name and logo. It has several brand-name programs from its history, like Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s and Villanova. It has a Thompson coaching at Georgetown, and a legend from St. John’s is now coaching them. The tournament is still at Madison Square Garden, as if it could ever be anywhere else.

It sounds like little has changed. But something is missing as the third year of the current alignment tips off.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 10, 2015

by - Published November 10, 2015 in The Morning Dish

With opening day now just three days away, we continue our quick glance look at all 32 NCAA Division I conferences with six more today.

The Big East will again be one of the best conferences top-to-bottom in the country and certainly the best secret among the biggies. That says more about viewers still adjusting to national sports network options than the league, which if one is watching they’ll see it still retains a good share of the charm from its golden days. Villanova is the favorite for another league title, but Georgetown and Butler are capable of wresting it away. Xavier will remain good, and watch out for Marquette with a talented freshman class, including McDonald’s All-American Henry Ellenson. Unfortunately for the league, it’s still quite conceivable that there once again are a lot of very good teams and no great ones, which would lead to questions after the NCAA Tournament once again.
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2015-16 CBB Preview Questions: A different game, or is it?

by - Published November 3, 2015 in Columns

College basketball’s Chicken Little phase has passed. The sky was allegedly falling, the sport was dubbed by some as “unwatchable,” in a crisis and two steps shy of oblivion, so this year we will have a game much different from the one we are used to.

Or maybe not.

Despite guarding a sport whose postseason ratings round-for-round continued to dominate those of the NBA, the NCAA basketball rules committee was coaxed by some loud but influential voices among coaches and media to make a host of alterations this summer, and those changes undoubtedly are the biggest overarching story entering the 2015-16 season.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, June 26, 2015

by - Published June 26, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Today we bring you a special NBA Draft edition of The Morning Dish:

While a number of recent college stars received their first assignments in their careers as professionals, last night’s NBA Draft also was good for taking us back a couple months and reminding us just what we had in college basketball this past season.

It wasn’t necessarily a prevailing storyline during the Final Four-and there’s nothing wrong with that, by the way-but this year’s Final Four was loaded with future NBA talent. Loaded. And it wasn’t all just at Kentucky, or even Duke, as this year’s NCAA semifinals included eight first round draft picks and a total of 11 draftees just this year, nearly 20% of the entire draft.
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Atlantic 10 to Big East: On the conference road (and rails)

by - Published March 17, 2015 in Columns

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In actuality, the day begins in New York at Penn Station. The first stop is the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the Barclays Center. The evening finishes at MSG for the Big East. A basketball odyssey of one day, two venues, two conferences, two boroughs, eight teams. Countless enjoyment for a basketball connoisseur.

10:45 a.m. – On the 2 train Brooklyn-bound out of Penn Station. No one in La Salle or Davidson gear spotted. Train is filled with later morning commuters and those entrenched in their 9 to 5 routine.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 15, 2015

by - Published March 15, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Unwatchable? In a state of crisis? We challenge anyone who watched even a little bit of the college basketball action on Saturday to come to those conclusions about this sport.

While college basketball certainly has areas with room for improvement-and indeed, sometimes is not pretty-the fact is the product still provides consistent drama-and we haven’t even started the NCAA Tournament. Contrary to some of what you hear, the sport is not dying. College basketball still delivers, over and over.
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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 14, 2015

by - Published March 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish

March is always a magical month, where so many things happen that seemingly defy logical explanation. The way games end falls into that category as much as anything else, and Friday showed that again.

We start in Brooklyn at the Atlantic 10 Tournament, where Davidson trailed for most of the game, but rallied. Still down by one, they had a play in the final seconds to win it, and Tyler Kalinoski put it up near the basket and got it to drop as time expired. Ray Floriani has more on this.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, March 13, 2015

by - Published March 13, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Texas was so close. So, so close.

A chance to make a convincing argument for the Longhorns’ inclusion in the NCAA Tournament was right there. They had Iowa State down for almost literally the entire game. They led by 16 points in the first half and by 10 points for almost the entire second half. They still led by 10 with 3:35 left.

Somehow, Texas still lost. The team that has looked the part but lost to good teams time and again did it once more, falling to the second-seeded Cyclones 69-67 in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals as Iowa State scored the final 12 points of the game, capped by Monte Morris hitting a jumper at the buzzer.
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Big East first round: Efficiency is the key

by - Published March 12, 2015 in Columns

NEW YORK – Slower pace and efficient offense was the key in first round Big East Tournament action on Wednesday. In the opener at Madison Square Garden, Marquette defeated Seton Hall 78-56. Using a strong second half, Creighton defeated DePaul in the night cap, 78-63.

Marquette earned their second consecutive victory following a six-game losing streak. Coach Steve Wojciechowski feels injuries set his team back and a return to health has them playing better of late. “Tonight we might have played as well as we can,” he said.

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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.

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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.