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So many positives, so little consolation for William & Mary

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns
williamandmary

BALTIMORE – You have to feel for those in the William & Mary program. Losing once in a championship game, especially in heart-breaking fashion, is hard enough. Losing twice in a row is that much harder.

Much of the country watched on Sunday as the Tribe won an instant classic in the semifinals of the CAA Tournament in double overtime. They were going to get another chance – their fourth try in eight years – to break through and get to the NCAA Tournament. That’s a string of chances few probably thought they would ever get once upon a time, before Tony Shaver took over.

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The long road to Northeastern’s first CAA championship

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns
northeastern

BALTIMORE – When Northeastern finished its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association, there were plenty of doubters. That might seem surprising when you consider they had the Player of the Year (Jose Juan Barea) and Defensive Player of the Year (Shawn James) and reached the semifinals of the conference tournament. They finished fifth, so they had to win two games to get there. But some were not impressed despite the challenges involved in switching conferences.

The thought from some was that if they had two award winners and finished fifth, how in the world would they ever win in the CAA? That first year, by the way, was the year George Mason made its legendary Final Four run. It was the CAA’s best year until a couple of years ago; the Patriots didn’t even win the conference tournament, losing to Hofstra in a semifinal game best remembered for a player who earned a one-game suspension.

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What happens next for Delaware?

by - Published March 9, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
delaware

BALTIMORE – What now?

That’s probably the simplest, but also the most wide-ranging, question. There are lots of questions, actually, and no answers at the moment. There is lots of speculation, some of it even of the well-reasoned variety, but no clarity for now.

What happens to Monte Ross? What will Delaware look like next year and beyond, not only on the bench, but on the court? Why has it come to this? When will we know?

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 9, 2015

by - Published March 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

March is the best month of the year for a reason. College basketball has the conference tournaments and the grand-daddy of them all, the NCAA Tournament. The NIT, CBI and CIT add to it. While the last four are the big ones, especially the NCAA, the conference tournaments provide plenty of lasting memories as well. There, teams play with everything on the line, especially in conferences that will only send their champion to the NCAA Tournament.

Enter this weekend. We had the Ohio Valley Conference giving us another memorable championship game on Saturday night. Then on Sunday, a day where three automatic bids were handed out, it was a semifinal game in Baltimore that provided us with an instant classic.

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Family helped Elon get off the mat and win late games

by - Published March 8, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
elon

BALTIMORE – With Elon this weekend, you saw a mix of why they had to play on the first night of the CAA Tournament and some hope. It all went together, but didn’t translate into a big upset on Saturday to move on, as William & Mary took over the game early and scored a convincing 72-59 quarterfinal win.

The issues were clear. The Phoenix were not good defensively, and this was a bad time for that to be the case as they were up against a very good and disciplined offensive team. They had offensive issues, too, but it started on defense, particularly with the way William & Mary took the lead for good – primarily on three-pointers as they hit three in an 11-0 run to take the lead for good.

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2015 CAA postseason awards – how one man voted

by - Published March 4, 2015 in Columns
colonial

On Thursday night, the CAA will hand out its postseason awards just before the conference tournament. It’s been quite a year in the conference, as was to be expected. With no clear favorite aside from perhaps Northeastern, if you go by returning talent and experience, this figured to be an interesting and highly competitive year, and it was just that. For the first time in the conference’s history, four teams finished tied for first, as evidence of it, and all four were 12-6.

As I am one of the voters for the conference’s postseason awards, I feel it is worth sharing how I voted and some of what went into each selection. It also gives some insight into how the conference looks overall as we head into the conference tournament in Baltimore this weekend.

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Saturday Notes – February 28, 2015

by - Published March 1, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Amazingly, the calendar now turns over into March on Sunday. This is the last weekend before conference tournaments get going – time flies when you’re having fun. Saturday was one of the busiest days of the year with 150 Division I games on the slate, and a wild one in a couple of conferences whose regular season ended. Then later in the evening, a big showdown lived up to its billing.

The CAA finished with a four-way tie at the top, as William & Mary and UNCW – who entered the day tied for first – both lost, while James Madison and Northeastern – who entered the day a game out of first – both won. It figures to be quite a weekend in Baltimore coming up.

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William & Mary tries to manage through defensive struggles

by - Published February 19, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
williammary

BOSTON – In the stretch run and vying for the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title, William & Mary has an area of concern. It’s been a very good year for the team, one that is younger than you might think, and they’re right in the thick of things. But the concern showed up again on Wednesday night in Boston.

“It’s exciting to be in this position at this time of year, but it is a little bit of uncharted waters,” said head coach Tony Shaver. “We’ve got to continue to battle, and we will. This team will be battling in the end.”

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Delaware’s growth portends a bright future

by - Published February 11, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
delaware

BOSTON – Monte Ross can surely see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel with his young team. That light may not have been visible early on, but it can’t be missed now. His team is growing too much and doing too much for that not to be the case, all of it evident as they came to Boston and knocked off Northeastern on Saturday.

Delaware has had to bounce back from a lot this year. First it was ten straight losses to open the season, some close, some not so close. It didn’t help that Kyle Anderson, their best returning player, missed the first seven games due to a right hand injury. Later, it’s been some tough losses in CAA play. They have also had to deal with speculation about Ross’ job status given that it’s not exactly a state secret that his contract is up after this season and there has not been an extension despite last year’s conference championship. Through it all, they have grown into a better team, perhaps more than a lot of teams with their experience level might.

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Defense helps Towson as they gain experience

by - Published February 7, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
towson

BOSTON – Pat Skerry’s reaction told it all.

After Northeastern forward Scott Eatherton backed down a Towson defender for a basket and made it look easy, Skerry’s reaction was as if no defensive effort was made. The Tigers are normally a good defensive team, but they struggled there in a loss at Northeastern on Wednesday night, and that put too much pressure on an offense that still has a lot of room to grow right now.

All night long, Northeastern basically got what they wanted at the offensive end against the Tigers. They shot 60 percent from the field, including a 6-8 mark on three-pointers. That also included shooting at a 72.2 percent clip in the first half, when the Tigers dug themselves a hole that left a late rally as being too little, too late.

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Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

It didn’t take Larry Brown long to change SMU

March 15, 2015 by

smu

Larry Brown won’t be the head coach at SMU forever. As such, it’s a good thing he has already turned the program into one that can get better players and possibly win championships.

History shows the challenge ahead of East Carolina

March 14, 2015 by

eastcarolina

East Carolina’s first season in the American Athletic Conference is complete. With that, the challenge they face as shown by their history looks clear, and they may have just the right coach to navigate it.

Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

Be sure to listen 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.

The show will air on WNYM AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on Selection Sunday, then from 5-7 p.m. each Sunday up to the Final Four. Check here every Sunday evening starting with Selection Sunday, March 15, for a link to the live stream.

Coming up soon: archives of this year's shows.

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.

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Recruiting Coverage

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.