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2015-16 American Athletic Conference Post-Mortem

by - Published August 24, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

After a good start in its first year of existence, the American Athletic Conference appears more and more to be a conference searching for an identity. On the hardwood, this became even more apparent as another year passed without a clear signature program, something that might surprise you at first.

You might look at the membership and think, The American has Cincinnati, Memphis and UConn, so they have their signature programs. They have SMU on the rise under Larry Brown, though we knew all along he wouldn’t be there for long given his age. But the bottom line tells a different story. Since UConn won the national championship in 2014, the Huskies have not been an elite program, missing the NCAA Tournament in 2015 and finishing in the middle of the pack in the conference this past season. Memphis has been trending downward, while Cincinnati has been a solid, consistent NCAA Tournament team but not one that has contended for a conference title. SMU has been on the rise, but they could not be a part of postseason play due to NCAA sanctions.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 26, 2016

by - Published March 26, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Friday night, like seemingly so much of the NCAA Tournament, belonged to the ACC. And it sets the stage for a Final Four that will include two teams from the conference. That follows from how the tournament has gone thus far, and the evening also followed another trend, which is the dominance of the No. 1 seeds.

The ACC went a perfect 4-0 on Friday night after the two teams in action the night before bowed out. That means Sunday’s matchups will involve nothing but ACC teams. And the No. 1 seeds are all alive and won their games convincingly.

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2016 NCAA Tournament first week review: ups and downs-in every way

by - Published March 22, 2016 in Columns

What to make of the first weekend of the 2016 NCAA Tournament?

If there is one thing we from those four days (six including the play-in games) that can come close to being a fair generalization, it is that this year’s tourney has no one-size-fits-all quality to it. Maybe the only conclusion one can come to is there is no conclusion.

Indeed, there were big game-winning shots. (Providence’s Rodney Bullock, Northern Iowa’s Paul Jesperson, Saint Joseph’s Deandre Bembry, Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig) There were terrific team performances. (Indiana on Thursday, almost every winning team on Saturday) Friday was a whole lot of fun. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 19, 2016

by - Published March 19, 2016 in The Morning Dish

The first two full days of the 2016 NCAA Tournament weren’t like last year, when you couldn’t possibly have two more contrasting days in terms of results. But they did have a clear pattern develop, especially on Friday: for the most part, seeding doesn’t mean so much this year. The day also ended in dramatic fashion.

And with the way the regular season went, this shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s been that kind of year.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 7, 2016

by - Published March 7, 2016 in Columns

Three more NCAA Tournament bids went out on Sunday, all to familiar faces. One had a familiar ending, while another nearly had a quirk in the end result.

It was six years ago that Ali Farokhmanesh was one of the newest names born in the month of March, hitting a big three-pointer to sink No. 1 seed Kansas and lift Northern Iowa into the Sweet 16. The Panthers have been a steady program over the years, especially under Ben Jacobson, as they have finished in the top half of the Missouri Valley Conference for 13 straight years. They are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in his tenure now, though it didn’t look like it would happen for much of the season.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, March 4, 2016

by - Published March 4, 2016 in The Morning Dish

With the way this season has played out from the first night of November, it’s no surprise whatsoever that it has taken just three days of conference tournaments to see complete destruction in some brackets.

Top seeds have played in four tournaments so far. Two of the four 1 seeds and two of the four 2 seeds already have been eliminated. So have two 3 seeds. If you want the best chance to still be playing in the America East, Atlantic Sun, Northeast Conference or Patriot League, you want to be a…4 seed?
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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 8, 2016

by - Published February 8, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Now in its third year of existence, the American Athletic Conference seems to be in an unenviable position. It’s too early to cast any long-term conclusion on the conference, but already the conference’s best year was its first one, and it almost appears to be on a downward trend. There’s one factor that’s not helping them this season, either.

In the conference’s first season, UConn won the national championship and Louisville had a very good team. Cincinnati and Memphis also made the NCAA Tournament. Then last season, SMU and Cincinnati made it, while Tulsa’s bubble burst and Uconn needed to win the conference tournament – held at the XL Center, where they play a few games each year – in order to make it, but lost in the final after a near-storybook run. Last year, the conference really struggled to get quality wins out of conference.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 29, 2016

by - Published January 29, 2016 in The Morning Dish

It was just another Thursday night in the college basketball season. And so much more.

North and south, east and west, there were high-level games and fantastic finishes last night. We’ve still got more than a month yet until we get to March-including a Leap Year day-but it felt like a snapshot from the greatest basketball month of the year.

Among the many cliffhangers and dandies:

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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 22, 2016

by - Published January 22, 2016 in The Morning Dish

As much as almost any teams in the country, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are programs both known for offense, but their latest meeting was one marked with defense.

It was defense-as well as clutch play from their oft-maligned backcourt-that put the Bulldogs in complete control of the game on the road at a hostile McKeon Pavilion for 32 minutes, building a lead as high as 15 points. And it was D that got the Gaels back into it late, forcing turnovers and getting stops that had eluded them most of the night and setting the stage for a comeback that will be remembered.

The result was one of the best games yet in one of the very best series on the west coast, as Saint Mary’s rallied all the way back for a stirring 70-67 win. The Gaels held serve at home, while the Bulldogs’ claim to continued dominance in the West Coast Conference was put on hold after a disappointing loss.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 14, 2016

by - Published January 14, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Clemson has a good coach in Brad Brownell, has had him for six years now, in fact. Brownell won big at previous jobs at UNC-Wilmington and Wright State and has won nearly 62% of games in his career. Still, the sad truth is many might consider Brownell lucky to still be the coach at Clemson.

Entering this season, Brownell has led the Tigers to “only” one NCAA Tournament berth, and that was in his first year when many of the players were recruited by predecessor Oliver Purnell. Even for a school that is so clearly football-first, there typically is little room for a coach to go four straight years without a trip to the Big Dance, especially with three of those years producing 16 wins or less.

In a thankful-if rare in today’s big college sports climate-show of restraint, Clemson has been patient with Brownell, and it is being richly rewarded. The Tigers are suddenly one of the hottest teams in the country, having won four straight in the ACC, including wins this week over Louisville and now Duke on Wednesday, 68-63.

… Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

October 7, 2016 by


With some big-time additions, much was expected of Cal a year ago, and the season did not end well. This time around, expectations may be reduced, but the Golden Bears have a chance to end the season better.

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by


Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

The wait is over for Stony Brook

March 12, 2016 by


Stony Brook is finally going to the NCAA Tournament, and the story of tragic endings – and all that goes with it – is a thing of the past.

Hoopville Archives

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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 COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by


We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by


We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by


We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by


Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

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.