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A big win for Northeastern for a not-so-obvious reason

by - Published January 16, 2015 in Columns
northeastern

BOSTON – It goes without saying that Northeastern’s 91-83 win over Hofstra was a big one just from the fact that with it the Huskies knocked off a fellow contender, as well as the last team in the CAA that had not lost a conference game. But this was bigger than just that, and from it you can see this as the Huskies re-asserting themselves as conference favorites.

The game was your classic contrast of styles, so one could certainly figure that controlling tempo is paramount. The Huskies didn’t exactly do that, but they won anyway. How they did it tells you something about how this team can play, because it’s already a given that they can win grind-it-out games.

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Hofstra’s outlook still very good after missed opportunity

by - Published January 15, 2015 in Columns
hofstra

BOSTON – You can’t blame Joe Mihalich for feeling a little less than fully satisfied. There are no moral victories, especially for his team with what they have done thus far, and it’s not like this one wasn’t there for the taking. This was a game they could have won. And it’s a game which, had they won, would really set them up in a great place.

That’s not all lost, but this will go down as a missed opportunity.

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Keatts tries to get UNCW to play to their strength

by - Published January 8, 2015 in Columns
uncwilmington

BOSTON – Talent and depth are great things to have at any time. No coach will say otherwise, and certainly not Kevin Keatts, considering the talent he has had at his disposal at times in his career. No matter how much of each you have, however, it helps to know what you are good at. For Keatts and UNCW, that can make a big difference.

“I felt like we just had to play to our strength,” said the first-year head coach after the Seahawks beat Northeastern 75-68 on Monday night. “I just thought tonight, our guys were able to get into the paint and finish.”

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How the conferences shape up as we hit 2015

by - Published January 1, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
author_kasiecki

Non-conference play is basically done at this point. A handful of games remain for many teams, and we’ll see a non-conference game or two sprinkled in between conference games over the next couple of months, but conference play beckons. Several have already started, with the West Coast Conference getting jump on the rest of the country this past Saturday and Monday. For two months, we’ve had a look at teams to get an idea of who they are. They have shown us something thus far.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at how the conference races shape up based on what we’ve seen in non-conference play.

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Northeastern’s maturity wins out in their opener

by - Published November 17, 2014 in Columns
northeastern

BOSTON – You could see it coming for a lot of the second half. There were interruptions, as the upstarts always had an answer and at times the veteran team shot themselves in the foot. Still, the momentum was unmistakably with the veterans, and eventually they broke through and later took control.

Yes, it was a rivalry game, but in time the mature Northeastern team played like a veteran team and rode the performance of those steady veterans to a season-opening 71-65 victory over Boston University.

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2014-15 CAA Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
colonial

Times continue to change in the CAA, and while there is still good basketball, it’s definitely a new era. Last season saw just two CAA teams reach postseason play. In prior years, the conference had sent more. Plenty of teams have challenging non-conference slates this year, so opportunities for quality wins will be there – but whether or not they come is another story. Another membership change comes this season as Elon joins to bring the conference to ten teams. For now, it seems stable, but conference realignment never seems to really take a break, so enjoy it while it lasts.

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College of Charleston Cougars 2014-15 Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Conference Notes
charleston

College of Charleston Cougars (14-18 overall, 6-10 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Anthony Stitt
So. G Joe Chealey
So. G Canyon Barry
Sr. F Adjehi Baru
Fr. F Donovan Gilmore

Important departures:

G Nori Johnson, F Willis Hall and F Anthony Thomas have all departed.

Returning:

55.1 percent of scoring and 43.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Evan Bailey
Fr. F Donovan Gilmore
Fr. F-C Nick Harris
Fr. G Cameron Johnson

Schedule Highlights:

The Cougars have five home games in a challenging non-conference slate. Notable opponents at home include Gardner-Webb and former Southern Conference rival Davidson. They will play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off against defending national champion Connecticut, then either Texas A&M or Dayton in the second game with one more to follow. Additional road games are at West Virginia, Charlotte, LSU and Miami. Early in CAA play, they have a three-game homestand, followed by a stretch with five of six on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Cougars had a more eventful off-season than anyone imagined, as the saga of now former head coach Doug Wojcik dominated the headlines. The plus is that this team has really come together, which makes part of new head coach Earl Grant’s job easier. There is talent here, and some reason to believe this team can finish higher than many might project. Stitt is a talented, seasoned veteran, while Chealey and Barry both had the kinds of ups and downs freshmen usually go through but appear ready to harness some of their potential. Baru will anchor the frontcourt, a solid rebounder who they will look to for more offense. If the guards make a good jump from freshman to sophomore year, that will go a long way towards this team contending.

Next: Delaware Blue Hens

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Delaware Blue Hens 2014-15 Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Conference Notes
delaware

Delaware Blue Hens (25-10 overall, 14-2 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Kory Holden
Sr. G Kyle Anderson
Fr. G-F Chivarsky Corbett
Jr. F Marvin King-Davis
So. F Devonne Pinkard

Important departures:

Gone from last season’s championship team are G Devon Saddler, G Jarvis Threatt (dismissed from team), F Davon User and C Carl Baptiste.

Returning:

25 percent of scoring and 29.6 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Eric Carter
Fr. G Chivarsky Corbett
Fr. G Kory Holden
Fr. F Skye Johnson
Fr. G Anthony Mosley

Schedule Highlights:

The Blue Hens played some very tough non-conference slates the last couple of years, but this one is a bit lighter while still having some tough contests. They open with five straight on the road, including a west coast swing with games at Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield and Stanford before coming back east to play at Villanova and later going to Northeast contender Robert Morris. They have two good home games with Temple and St. Bonaventure to highlight their four home non-conference games. CAA play has a tough start, as they host Northeastern before going on the road for three straight. Fortunately, they come home for three in a row right after that.

Projected finish and outlook:

Everything came together last year for Delaware as they won the conference championship. Now it’s a whole new team, especially since they had to dismiss Jarvis Threatt after too many off-court problems. They don’t lack talent, but they are a very green team, especially on the perimeter aside from Anderson, who is a good starting point. Anderson was slowed in the preseason by an injury, and then he needed surgery that will cost him about a month. They’ll hang their hat on him when he returns, but his absence early on likely means serious growing pains. Holden looks to be the likely starter at the point, but that’s never easy for a freshman. Mosley will get minutes backing him up, and Corbett may be the most ready to join Anderson on the wing. Early on, sophomore Cazmon Hayes will have a golden opportunity to earn a significant role. King-Davis and Pinkard are the most likely players to lead the way up front, though Monte Ross says that entire unit is, like the team, a work in progress. Barnett Harris also returns, and he can be an energy guy. The Blue Hens keep things simple, so the learning curve should be manageable for the young players, but this will be a very different group than the one Ross had and greatly trusted last year. The challenging non-conference slate will prepare them well for conference play, but with the youth on this team, managing confidence may come into play as it’s possible that the losses could add up.

Next: Drexel Dragons

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Drexel Dragons 2014-15 Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Conference Notes
drexel

Drexel Dragons (16-14 overall, 8-8 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G Rashann London
Jr. G Damion Lee
Jr. F Tavon Allen
So. F Rodney Williams
So. F-C Mohamed Bah

Important departures:

Three key starters have graduated: G Frantz Massenat, G Chris Fouch, F-C Dartaye Ruffin.

Returning:

34.7 percent of scoring and 45.8 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G Rashann London
Fr. G Sam Mojica
Fr. F Tyshawn Myles
Fr. F Austin Williams

Schedule Highlights:

The Dragons will play a tough non-conference schedule with five home games, highlighted by visits from Saint Joseph’s, Southern Miss, La Salle and MAAC contender Iona. They open at Colorado, play Miami and USC or Akron in the first two games at the Charleston Classic, and later travel to Penn State. After opening CAA play with two straight at home, the Dragons go on the road for four of the next five games.

Projected finish and outlook:

Injuries have struck again for the Dragons, as they have already lost two likely starters for the season. Add that to the prduction they already lost with three starters having departed, and normally it would look like a major rebuilding season. But there’s still something to work with, and the Dragons are the only team to finish with a .500 or better record in CAA play each of the past six seasons, so you can’t dismiss this team at all. Lee is one of the best players in the conference, and so far so good in his return. Allen has to go from being a complement to one of the conference’s better players, which he’s certainly capable of doing, and his former travel teammate Freddie Wilson should contribute more in his second season at the school. Williams showed potential as a freshman last year, and he has the physical gifts to turn into a star. With Canady out for the year, London seems the most likely candidate at the point. There is sure to be a learning curve there, so the Dragons are likely to take some lumps during the tough non-conference schedule. Bah should step in where Abif would have, and there will still be some growing pains with sophomores up front. The Dragons will guard you all day and make you grind games out, which means they’ll never be out of games and can break through and win. If London and the other freshmen grow up fast, the Dragons could be in contention in a wide open conference.

Next: Elon Phoenix

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Elon Phoenix 2014-15 Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Conference Notes
elon

Elon Phoenix (18-14 overall, 11-5 Southern Conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Austin Hamilton
Jr. G Tanner Samson
Fr. G Elijah Bryant
Sr. F Ryan Winters
So. F Christian Harrison

Important departures:

Three key starters – G Sebastian Koch, F Lucas Troutman and F Ryley Beaumont – have all graduated.

Returning:

39.1 percent of scoring and 45.9 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Jack Anton
Fr. G Elijah Bryant
Fr. F-C Jack George
Fr. F Collin Luther
Fr. G Dmitri Thompson

Schedule Highlights:

The Phoenix have four home games in a tough non-conference slate, highlighted by a visit from Charlotte. After traveling to play at Northwestern, they play in the Cancun Challenge against Morgan State and either North Florida or Liberty, then later hit the road to play at Missouri, Duke and UNCG. After opening their CAA history at Drexel and Towson, they come home for five of the next six.

Projected finish and outlook:

Elon is in a whole new world this season, as they enter a new conference with a lot of experience having walked out the door after last season. Gone are their top three scorers and rebounders, as well as their top assist man in Koch. But Hamilton and Samson are a solid backcourt to regroup with, as the former had a better than 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio last season. Bryant is a nice addition to the backcourt, and he should impact them right away, though they also return Kevin Blake. Thompson could also help right away, so they’ll be plenty deep on the perimeter. Winters is a solid holdover up front who must give them more, and Harrison and Sabato will likely be pressed into bigger roles as well, though all three freshmen will have a shot at minutes right away.

Next: Hofstra Pride

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Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

January 25, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

This Saturday didn’t have quite the marquee matchups as a week earlier, but there were some important ones, especially with teams in the middle of a few conferences trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

January 15, 2015 by

rhodeisland

Rhode Island controlled Tuesday night’s game against VCU, but couldn’t finish it and took a tough loss. Their improvement is evident, though, and they are keeping perspective on that in trying to keep improving.

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2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

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.