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UMass shows once more why they are ranked once again

by - Published December 8, 2013 in Columns

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – If you wanted to get a good idea of why UMass is undefeated and ranked in the polls for the first time in 15 years, Saturday’s 105-96 win over Brigham Young was perfect. It was very much a team win, even if one of the stars had a big day, and it showed that this team is dealing with prosperity just fine right now.

When Cady Lalanne went out with two fouls less than four minutes in and Brigham Young up 8-3, it didn’t look good for the Minutemen. Sure, there was a lot of basketball left to play, but with the Cougars’ size and UMass’ best post player sitting, it could have gotten bad early. Brigham Young out-scores opponents by about ten per game with points in the paint, and Lalanne is the rim protector and top rebounder on this team. But what happened is a big part of why UMass remains undefeated.

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UMass continues good start and shows some maturity

by - Published November 18, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

AMHERST, Mass. – With two good wins under their belt to start the season, UMass certainly didn’t need to nullify either of them with a bad loss. While they were never in real danger on Sunday, the Minutemen allowed Youngstown State to hang around long enough to make a few of the Mullins Center faithful sweat a little before pulling away 85-69.

By pulling away late, the story certainly changes from a slippage of momentum to how the team has shown some maturity in their first three games. Certainly, the Minutemen could be playing better, but the bottom line has Derek Kellogg happy while still looking for more out of this team.

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Kellogg hopes to get UMass playing his way after final exams

by - Published December 5, 2012 in Columns

BOSTON – Final exams may have arrived at just the right time for UMass. The Minutemen are off for 10 days before their next game, and there is plenty to work on in between finishing the semester if Tuesday night’s 72-66 win at Northeastern is any indication. Most of it falls under the umbrella of playing the way head coach Derek Kellogg wants this team to play, and Tuesday night’s game may be a microcosm of that.

In each of their first three wins, UMass needed a buzzer-beater or a late shot to win it. In other words, they had not comfortably beat an opponent yet, or even won a game by a few more points that they sealed with free throws until Tuesday. And on Tuesday, they needed a late run after the final media timeout to take the game over, highlighted by a play that Kellogg would like to see a little more of.

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How I voted for All-District 1 and All-America in 2012

by - Published March 8, 2012 in Columns

In addition to covering the CAA Tournament last weekend, I had to submit my ballot for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association postseason awards by midnight Sunday night. This consists of All-District and All-America teams, and Player of the Year and Coach of the Year for both and a National Freshman of the Year. Every member votes for ten players on the two teams, and let’s just say that this year was a little tougher. It was also tougher for a couple of the awards, although the national Coach of the Year tends to never be easy.

As I am based in metropolitan Boston, my district is District 1, which consists of the six New England states. With that established, here is a look at how I voted and what went into it, just like I did last week with the CAA postseason awards. The All-District teams and award winners were announced by the USBWA on Tuesday, and All-America will be announced next Monday. The national award winners will be honored at the Final Four.

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For UMass, having a point guard is making a difference

by - Published November 20, 2011 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

For much of his tenure at his alma mater, Derek Kellogg has lacked a true point guard. The UMass mentor has largely had to go with players who were natural shooting guards, such as David Gibbs, Ricky Harris and Gary Correia, and they did the best they could. And for the talent the team has had, one wonders if having a true point guard might have made a big difference during two seasons where they went 27-35. Right now, we are finding out that it just might, because at last the Minutemen have a true point guard.

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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

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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.