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New-look CAA trying to find its place in the changing landscape

by - Published October 23, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BALTIMORE – As the Colonial Athletic Association goes through more changes, it’s natural to wonder where its place is in college basketball now.  The conference has had major membership changes over the last year and a half, and locations for major events like Media Day and the conference tournament are also changing.  While there is certainly a feeling of newness, one wonders what lies ahead for a conference that had a great run from 2006 to 2012 before things changed drastically.

The CAA is just one conference that is changing in an ever-changing landscape.  In the short term, the conference can be labeled one of the losers in the conference maneuvering.  In the last 18 months, George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU – the conference’s signature programs historically – have all departed, along with a Georgia State program that wasn’t in the conference long but looks like it might be on the rise under Ron Hunter.  What remains starts with five former America East schools and then includes newcomer College of Charleston and three charter members in James Madison, UNCW and William & Mary.  Next year, Elon joins the conference.

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What is good for football is not necessarily good for basketball

by - Published December 17, 2012 in Columns

No one is surprised that the game of musical chairs in college sport is about money, or that the big money is in football. (In this writer’s now less frequent articles in this space, the NCAA has often been called the National Collegiate Allocation Association).  Those of us from New York and the northeast may not realize it, and the growth and ratings of the NCAA Tournament has closed the gap a bit, but the really big money is still in football.  There are many more men’s basketball games than football games, you might say, but the ratings are a fraction of football ratings.  College football – with SEC, Notre Dame and many other games on major networks – dominates fall Saturdays and BCS week, with probably 10-20 times as many watchers per telecast than college basketball.  Ok, fine.

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How much will BU’s departure hurt America East?

by - Published July 10, 2012 in Columns

Boston University’s departure from America East to the Patriot League is at the very least a glancing blow to the future of America East. The move came out of nowhere, at a time where it seemed that conference maneuvers for this year’s cycle were complete. But few moves may have the affect this one has.

America East survived a round of conference maneuvers over a decade ago, when three of its premier programs were among four who bolted to the Colonial Athletic Association. After that, Vermont became a powerhouse after steadily rising for several years, Boston University went on a big run and Northeastern became relevant again and then a postseason team before they, too, bolted for the CAA in 2005. But this one might be tougher to overcome.

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George Mason and VCU leaving the CAA would make no sense

by - Published March 27, 2012 in Columns

Earlier in March, there was rumor going around that the Atlantic 10 might look into luring big-time Colonial Athletic Association schools like George Mason and VCU, and another couple of schools were mentioned as well. No one felt it had any legs, but as we near the end of March, that has gained traction. With CBSSports.com reporting that George Mason, VCU and Butler of the Horizon League are indeed having conversations about it, CAA commissioner Tom Yeager had to address it, just as the CAA schools did.

The question one has to ask, though, is something else: why would George Mason and VCU leave the CAA for the Atlantic 10?

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Northeastern-BU reminds us what we miss and will miss more

by - Published November 12, 2011 in Columns

BOSTON – The gym was packed. Not only that, but it was a lively crowd, rocking from start to finish and on seemingly every play. It helped that the game went to overtime, although that didn’t always look like it would be the case as the visitors led by double digits for a stretch in the second half. It wasn’t just the home team whose fans made the atmosphere what it was, because the visiting team had its share of fans as well. In short, it was a great setting.


And sadly, it’s relevant to things to come in the larger picture of college basketball.

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Doing the Conference Shuffle

by - Published October 28, 2011 in Columns

Every day there are rumors and supposition regarding conference realignment and expansion.  “Super” conferences. The end of the Big East. The end of the Big XII. The expansion of same. Overtures made. Invitations sought. Repeat.

While the primary focus of these machinations is football (and the money that sport’s automatic bids and bowl structure bring), men’s basketball is seemingly overlooked, save for those awkward (and more common) “member-for-football-only” followed by “all-other-sports-will-be-in-Conference-B” announcements.

That being said, it is helpful to sort through the speculation and determine what changes are already in place.  Below are the conference membership changes for this 2011-2012 season: … Continue Reading

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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.

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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.