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2013-14 Big East Post-Mortem

by - Published May 6, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
bigeast

A new era in the Big East began in 2013-14, and it was not hard to tell this was not your father’s Big East. The name was there, some familiar teams were as well, and the conference tournament was once again at Madison Square Garden. For that matter, the campaigning by coaches on behalf of the conference was the same.

But no matter how much it might look like the Big East we all knew, this was different.

For starters, three new teams joined the seven that split from the old Big East. Butler, Creighton and Xavier all left other conferences, and Creighton was a contender right away with a veteran team led by Doug McDermott. Xavier had its ups and downs but managed to reach the NCAA Tournament, while Butler had a depleted roster for new head coach Brandon Miller, in part from an injury to key guard Roosevelt Jones that cost him the season, and struggled.

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Creighton and the cover story

by - Published March 21, 2014 in Columns
creighton

NEW YORK – On first thought, it was Photoshopped. Had to be. Looking over the Creighton White and Blue Review site led a link to a Big East “Holy Land” site that showed a Sports Illustrated cover of Creighton’s Doug McDermott with two dance team members and the headline “college basketball’s best kept secret.” On closer inspection the cover was accurate, not a replica.

In 1978 SI produced a similar cover with Larry Bird and two Indiana State cheerleaders and the same headline. The background and photo are remarkable similar.

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2014 NCAA Tournament: Early thoughts

by - Published March 17, 2014 in Columns
ncaa

The NCAA Tournament selection committee has spoken. The 68 teams are set to begin the tournament on Tuesday with two of the First Four games. With that, the fun is about to begin.

Before that, here are some random thoughts on the selection, seeding and potential matchups, as well as reaction to some early chatter about the field.

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Providence ends all bubble talk in New York

by - Published March 16, 2014 in Columns
providence

NEW YORK – There will be plenty of good stories with teams that are in the NCAA Tournament, as usual. Few will be as good as that of Providence, who won the Big East Tournament on Saturday night by knocking off Creighton 65-58 in the championship game.

There’s the well-documented story of how Providence has had to make do with very little. Injuries and suspensions have gutted this team’s roster to the point where the Friars basically play six players, with the only thing resembling a backup guard being walk-on Ted Bancroft. They won Saturday’s game with six players getting on the court. It’s something they have had to do seemingly since Ed Cooley took over the program, as they have been snakebit with injuries often.

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Creighton in the finals

by - Published March 15, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

NEW YORK – They led by as much as 19. In the second half they saw it reduced to a one-possession game with just under two minutes left. Creighton showed their poise and determination by closing out a 86-78 victory at Madison Square Garden. The semifinal victory puts Creighton in the final against Providence.

A look at some of the numbers on the evening:

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Providence 80, Seton Hall 74: Box score breakdown

by - Published March 15, 2014 in Columns
bigeast

NEW YORK – Providence is headed to the Big East title game for the first time since 1994. Back then, the Friars captured the championship under the tutelage of Rick Barnes. The Friars held off Seton Hall in the semifinal opener at Madison Square Garden on Friday evening.

A look at the numbers for some insights:

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Tournament madness: To Barclays and back

by - Published March 14, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

BROOKLYN and NEW YORK – Two venues, four games. Two tournaments in a day. The logistics can be maddening. A ride to Secaucus train station is followed by a 10-minute train ride to Penn Station. Then pick up the subway to Barclays Center.

Well, game plan gone. The lot is full so it’s a drive to New York. The drive is fast, but there is traffic in midtown and virtually every parking lot has no vacancy. Still salvage a space in one at 7th and 36th, three blocks from MSG and the subway. Finally, a connection without a wait as the Brooklyn-bound train is on the track upon my arrival.

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Survive and advance: Seton Hall edges Butler in first round of the Big East Tournament

by - Published March 12, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

NEW YORK – On many occasions this season, Seton Hall has seen its fate decided in the last few possessions. Wednesday night, it was on the final one.

The pirates edged Butler 51-50 in the first round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. With just over three seconds remaining, Butler inbounded under its own basket. A long pass allowed for a shot just inside half court. The shot was off, and the Hall survived to face Villanova at noon in the quarterfinals.

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Xavier triumphs and Robert Morris survives: Notes, numbers and quotes

by - Published February 28, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

TEANECK, N.J. – Early in the week Xavier ventured into Madison Square Garden and posted a 65-53 victory over St. John’s. It was a huge win for the Musketeers coming off a thorough defeat at Georgetown a few days earlier. For the home standing Red Storm, meanwhile, it was a second straight loss with the clock ticking on NCAA possibilities.

The possession numbers:

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Seton Hall 82, Georgetown 67: Box score break down and added thoughts

by - Published February 23, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

NEWARK, N.J. – The Georgetown Hoyas boarded a team bus home immediately following the 82-67 loss to Seton Hall. It was probably for good reason as the game Thursday at the Prudential Center marked two straight New York area losses for Georgetown. They were thoroughly handled by St. John’s a few nights earlier at Madison Square Garden.

The numbers of note on the evening:

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Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

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Recruiting Coverage

Holderness has a new coach and some young players with upside

September 22, 2014 by

holdernessschool

The Holderness School has a new head coach, and while the team isn’t loaded with talent, there are some players with clear upside that give this team a chance to compete in time.

2014 Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase Evaluations

September 22, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

Over 200 players competed at the Hoop Mountain Fall Classic Showcase, and we take a look at a few who stood out on the evening.

Brooks School hopes to continue the rise with one more step

September 18, 2014 by

brooksschool

With a less experienced team, the Brooks School got to the NEPSAC Class B finals and won a school-record 21 games last year. Now they hope to take one more step forward.

Phillips Exeter has a team with some upside

September 17, 2014 by

phillipsexeter

Known for academics, Phillips Exeter has won two straight Class A titles. Their quest for a third will involve a team that has some clear upside right now.

Plenty of talent, including a good mix, at Brewster Academy

September 17, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

As one can expect, Brewster Academy is loaded this year. There’s also a good mix of talent, especially on the perimeter, as they try to win a third straight NEPSAC Class AAA title.