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Chris Collins has Northwestern on the verge

by - Published November 18, 2014 in Columns
northwestern

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – At Northwestern, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future. In some respects, the Wildcats will be better this season than last, although they are young. Beyond this year, there’s a lot of reason to think the program will get its first taste of NCAA Tournament action sooner rather than later.

The Wildcats are off to a 2-0 start, including an impressive 69-56 win at Brown on Monday night. There, they showed both the potential and the room for growth this team has. They have as high a ceiling as they ever have, but also a long way to go to reach it. It’s a sign of how quickly Chris Collins and his staff have made an impact in their second season in Evanston.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 9, 2014

by - Published November 9, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

More conference quick looks as we near the start of the college basketball season…

The Big Sky has typically been the domain of Weber State and Montana in recent years, and it may be again-Weber State in particular looks capable of continuing its excellence. But watch for Eastern Washington and Sacramento State. The Eagles return four starters, including high-scoring Tyler Harvey, while Sac State looks to have its best team in more than 20 years in Division I.

Coastal Carolina is a relatively big favorite in the Big South, and with good reason-the Chanticleers feature a high-quality backcourt (Josh Cameron, Warren Gillis, Elijah Wilson) that gets even better with Mount St. Mary’s transfer Shivaughn Wiggins. The Chants also have some nice size up front, but this still should be a good conference race. Radford returns everyone, Winthrop has become a tough out under Pat Kelsey, and High Point is the conference’s defending champion and has its best player in John Brown.

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2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

by - Published July 8, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
bigten

College basketball seasons always bring us teams that perform superbly in the non-conference season but fall into mediocrity in conference. Many times those teams are the product of cushy non-conference schedules, as well as being exposed by tougher conference competition.

There are exceptions to this every season, though, and the Big Ten had its share of them this year. Those teams’ later downward spirals were about the only difference between the league again being the best in the country, and the consensus that it settled in a notch lower.
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2014 NIT Notebook

by - Published April 6, 2014 in Columns
nit

NEW YORK – A final word of notes, quotes, observations from the 2014 NIT.

The first is a simple one. The term “classic” often gets overused, but how else to describe the tournament, especially the championship, a game that saw 14 ties and 17 lead changes?

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Minnesota edges SMU for NIT Title

by - Published April 5, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

NEW YORK – In a championship game of thrills and all-out intensity, Minnesota defeated SMU 65-63 on Thursday night. The victory gave the Gophers the NIT championship and proved to be both a memorable game and a contest ever worthy of the Madison Square Garden location.

The three keys:

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2014 East Regional Final notebook

by - Published April 2, 2014 in Columns
author_floriani

NEW YORK – The 2014 Final Four is set. One of the last teams to advance was Connecticut, 60-54 winners over Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Some notes from what was a classic in every sense:

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Saturday Notes – February 8, 2014

by - Published February 9, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Saturday saw a number of good matchups among the nearly 140 Division I games. Unfortunately, it’s a day that will likely end up being remembered for a bad incident near the end of a great day of basketball. As Texas Tech finished off a big win over Oklahoma State, Cowboy guard Marcus Smart shoved a fan behind the basket after he ran back to make a play and his momentum took him into the crowd. It was a shocking thing to witness from a young man who has the reputation of being a different kid than many others.

But focusing on basketball, there weren’t many matchups with two contenders battling one another. Still, a number of games saw teams a little back from the top of their conference playing one another. The end result in many cases seems to be that the picture isn’t much clearer than it was at the beginning of the day, especially in the ACC, Big Ten and Big 12. The Big 12 also saw several of the day’s best individual efforts.

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How the conferences shake out as 2014 approaches

by - Published December 31, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Non-conference play is just about over at this point. Conference games are ready to take over the rest of the slate, with a few having an “opening day” of sorts, including the Big East with its well-publicized day of five games on Tuesday. A few have already had early conference games, with the West Coast Conference having its opening day on Saturday.

How are the conferences shaping up? Which ones look like we thought and which ones look nothing like what we thought before the season? Here is a look at all 32 conferences as conference play beckons.

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Michigan State finds multiple ways to win

by - Published November 24, 2013 in Columns
michiganstate

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – When you have the best team, you tend to find a way to win games.  That fits Michigan State in Brooklyn on Saturday, and it wasn’t one factor but rather multiple ones that were behind the Spartans taking home the championship of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic by knocking off pesky Oklahoma.

“We were a little bit slight of people, and even though it was disappointing and we played a little sporadic, it shows a little character that you can figure out a way to win a game,” said head coach Tom Izzo.

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Young Indiana shows potential for growth in tough loss

by - Published November 23, 2013 in Columns
indiana

NEW YORK – Growing up isn’t easy for most. It’s true whether we’re talking about individuals, families, companies, teams or any other entity involving humans. There are hits and misses along the way, some question marks with success and bright spots with failure. Indiana is seeing all of that right now after a tough 59-58 loss in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Indiana is a young team and a very new team. The Hoosiers lost two high lottery picks from last season’s team in Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, both of whom departed early. Had they returned, this season might be a little easier, but instead, the Hoosiers have plenty of talent, and young talent at that as they have eight freshmen and six sophomores. They end up having to relay on a sophomore for a lot, and Yogi Ferrell almost carried them to a big win on Friday night.

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Young UNLV team grows in Brooklyn

November 23, 2014 by

unlv

Teams often grow from early season tournaments, and that appears to be what UNLV did in Brooklyn. The young Runnin’ Rebels need the experience.

Simply put, Syracuse needs to improve offensively

November 22, 2014 by

syracuse

Jim Boeheim didn’t have many things to say about his team’s offense, but that said it all. It’s at that end of the floor that Syracuse’s fate this season will be determined.

Growing pains are here for talented Brown team

November 20, 2014 by

brown

Brown has good talent and should be a factor in the Ivy League, but with three sophomores starting on the perimeter, growing pains are in the foreseeable future

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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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

New England Prep Schools 2014-15: looking back and looking ahead

November 3, 2014 by

nepsac

With a series of prep school open gym visits in the book and the season not far away, here’s a look back at open gyms and a look forward to the season in the New England prep school ranks.

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by

vermontacademy

Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by

mastersschool

The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by

riversschool

The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.