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Impressions from first week of college hoops season

by - Published November 24, 2015 in Columns

A number of stories in the college basketball preseason talked about teams and their goal to “play faster” this year. They wanted to pick up the pace. Run run run.

San Diego State was one of those teams, and while we hear teams talk of this every year, at first it looked promising that in this case it was real. The Aztecs scored 86 in an exhibition. They got up and down the court against Illinois State, scoring 71 against a good defensive team. They scored 76 in a fast-paced game that wound up a loss at Utah.

Then, SDSU scored 71 in a closer-than-expected win over San Diego Christian, an NAIA school that lost to Pepperdine 91-46 two nights earlier.

Three days later, the Aztecs lost to Arkansas-Little Rock 49-43.
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Big East first round: Efficiency is the key

by - Published March 12, 2015 in Columns

NEW YORK – Slower pace and efficient offense was the key in first round Big East Tournament action on Wednesday. In the opener at Madison Square Garden, Marquette defeated Seton Hall 78-56. Using a strong second half, Creighton defeated DePaul in the night cap, 78-63.

Marquette earned their second consecutive victory following a six-game losing streak. Coach Steve Wojciechowski feels injuries set his team back and a return to health has them playing better of late. “Tonight we might have played as well as we can,” he said.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 25, 2015

by - Published January 25, 2015 in The Morning Dish

As one of college basketball’s blueblood programs, Kansas gets all the benefits of membership in an elite club, as well as a few relative drawbacks.

This shouldn’t be mistaken as sorrow or a story of sympathy, but Kansas is sometimes held to a higher standard than others and is a program that many love to put under a microscope and pick apart. There’s some good reason for that, of course-even with its history aside, KU almost always has some of the best talent in the country. And in the case of this season, sometimes that talent has fallen in spectacular fashion-see blowout losses to Kentucky and Temple.

There also are times, though, when the Jayhawks can almost be underrated because of the level of expectation from them. That was already the feel about this year’s team before yesterday, and it’s even more so now after it went on the road and took care of Texas 75-62, ensuring once and for all that the road to the Big 12 title goes through Lawrence. Again.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 17, 2014

by - Published December 17, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Tuesday night was ready to be pronounced as quite the dud, one of the more disappointing nights of the young season so far when it comes to anticipated games not being competitive.

Admittedly, the night’s schedule was already on the weaker side, but we still thought Belmont would give VCU a challenge, that Oral Roberts or Middle Tennessee State could at least make Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (respectively) sweat, or that one of the three of North Carolina, Texas or Arizona would have a case of the mid-December blahs and get a tussle from an overmatched opponent.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 11, 2014

by - Published December 10, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Doubleheaders at Madison Square Garden are as much a part of the fabric of college basketball as the ball itself or Bill Raftery. There is nothing better, and only a few things that even compare.

If the Jimmy V Classic isn’t going to take place at North Carolina State, then MSG is a terrific place for it (especially since one Jimmy V’s signature wins of his college coaching career came when his Iona team routed eventual national champion Louisville at the Garden in Feb. 1980).
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 9, 2014

by - Published December 9, 2014 in The Morning Dish

A prevailing theme over the last week or so of college basketball games has been resilience.

Just when some may have thought they were down and maybe even wanted to count them out on various levels, a number of teams have made some real statements in the past week in their next games following poor performances. We saw it again Monday night as Florida played easily its best game of the year to rout Yale 85-47.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 20, 2014

by - Published November 20, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Doug McDermott and many of his friends have departed, but we know now that it was way too soon to write off a Creighton program that was plenty successful even before the glorious McDermott era.

The Bluejays roared back from an 18-point deficit in the second half on Wednesday to defeat #18 ranked Oklahoma 65-63 in the game of the night and one of the most stunning games of the early season. The Sooners led 42-24 early in the second half and looked to be in complete, total control, but Creighton rallied behind a raucous home crowd and is now 3-0 on the young season.

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2013-14 Big East Post-Mortem

by - Published May 6, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

A new era in the Big East began in 2013-14, and it was not hard to tell this was not your father’s Big East. The name was there, some familiar teams were as well, and the conference tournament was once again at Madison Square Garden. For that matter, the campaigning by coaches on behalf of the conference was the same.

But no matter how much it might look like the Big East we all knew, this was different.

For starters, three new teams joined the seven that split from the old Big East. Butler, Creighton and Xavier all left other conferences, and Creighton was a contender right away with a veteran team led by Doug McDermott. Xavier had its ups and downs but managed to reach the NCAA Tournament, while Butler had a depleted roster for new head coach Brandon Miller, in part from an injury to key guard Roosevelt Jones that cost him the season, and struggled.

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Creighton and the cover story

by - Published March 21, 2014 in Columns

NEW YORK – On first thought, it was Photoshopped. Had to be. Looking over the Creighton White and Blue Review site led a link to a Big East “Holy Land” site that showed a Sports Illustrated cover of Creighton’s Doug McDermott with two dance team members and the headline “college basketball’s best kept secret.” On closer inspection the cover was accurate, not a replica.

In 1978 SI produced a similar cover with Larry Bird and two Indiana State cheerleaders and the same headline. The background and photo are remarkable similar.

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Creighton in the finals

by - Published March 15, 2014 in Columns

NEW YORK – They led by as much as 19. In the second half they saw it reduced to a one-possession game with just under two minutes left. Creighton showed their poise and determination by closing out a 86-78 victory at Madison Square Garden. The semifinal victory puts Creighton in the final against Providence.

A look at some of the numbers on the evening:

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Your Phil of Hoops

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.