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2013-14 ACC Post-Mortem

by - Published May 27, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
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With Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse entering, much was expected of the ACC this year. The end result? Well, the ACC was still pretty good, but it wasn’t exactly the super conference some expected it to be. In fact, even before the NCAA Tournament came and went with just one team making the Sweet 16 and going no further, it seemed clear that the conference underachieved relative to expectations this season.

The truth, as is often the case, is a bit more complicated than that. That’s especially true when you realize that ACC teams won five in-season tournaments in non-conference play. It was also a nice year for the conference in terms of individual talents.

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Jabari Parker gets better as he nears a place in Duke history

by - Published February 10, 2014 in Columns
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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – By now Jabari Parker’s reputation has been well-established. He’s been the top player in his class in high school, has fallen off from that and overshadowed by others, and has reminded people at times just how good he is as a college freshman.

Even so, his performance in Duke’s 89-66 win at Boston College might be his best one to date. He looked like a man among boys in more ways than one, and while it was a 6-17 Eagles team that he did it against, he was one of the youngest players on the floor all night. When the season is over, he might be in a class by himself in his program’s history.

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Saturday Notes – February 1, 2014

by - Published February 2, 2014 in Columns
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The second-busiest day of college basketball this season was Saturday, with 150 games scheduled. One, Kennesaw State at East Tennessee State, was postponed. The rest were played and included a bunch of dandies, as well as some with important results. Included was the eagerly-awaited Duke-Syracuse matchup in the Carrier Dome, and let’s just say that many will be talking about that one for a while.

As if that wasn’t enough, the number one team in the country went down later in the night.

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Saturday notes – January 11, 2014

by - Published January 12, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Conference play is in full swing across the country now, and there have been some early surprises as usual. Saturday brought more of them in a busy slate.

A big note of the day comes in the form of a question: who thought North Carolina would be the only winless team in the ACC three games in? For good measure, though, Duke is now 1-2 for the first time in seven years.

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Duke-Temple: Points of emphasis

by - Published December 10, 2012 in Columns
author_floriani

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – College basketball was back in the Izod Center, but the feature matchup turned out one-sided. Duke defeated Temple 90-67.

1. If you are a Duke hater, this probably won’t be your year. No one-and-done looms for these Blue Devils. They are 9-0 with wins over Kentucky, Minnesota, VCU, Louisville, Ohio State and now Temple. In this game the Blue Devils did a fine job dismantling a good Temple team and have a nice inside/outside mix. They also have strong ball-sure defense as usual.

2.  There are multiple weapons. Mike Krzyzewski has a post presence in Mason Plumlee, an inside/out big in Ryan Kelly, and the steady lead guard in Quinn Cook. We can’t forget Seth Curry and Rasheed Sulamon, who can step outside and hit shots. Duke runs their well-patented motion offense but is comfortable putting the pedal to the floor in transition.

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Not the best time to be around college basketball

by - Published September 14, 2012 in Columns
author_kasiecki

I often tell people that September is the second-best month of the year, and basketball has a lot to do with it. A lot gets done with some fall showcases, prep school visits and fall leagues in effect, in addition to college basketball being right around the corner. Right now, though, is not a good time for college basketball.

College basketball has been beset with bad news lately. There are always players declared academically ineligible around this time of the year, which is never good news, but there’s more than that going on and that’s why this has been a difficult stretch.

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2011-12 ACC Post-Mortem

by - Published May 19, 2012 in Conference Notes
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Kendall Marshall, Leslie McDonald, Dexter Strickland.

Those three Tar Heels were supposed to anchor the North Carolina backcourt entering the 2011-12 season. With Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston, the Tar Heels figured to have one of the deepest set of guards in the country to pair with a great front line led by Tyler Zeller and John Henson. And that’s before accounting for Harrison Barnes, projected to be one of the best wing players in the country.

But injuries decimated North Carolina’s backcourt, forcing coach Roy Williams to run with little-used freshman Stilman White and jack-of-all-trades Justin Watts in the team’s most important game of the season, an Elite Eight clash with Williams’ old squad, the Kansas Jawhawks, in St. Louis. … Continue Reading

Duke just finds ways to win

by - Published February 20, 2012 in Columns
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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Looking at Duke’s numbers, one would think this is another powerhouse Blue Devil team. They are 23-4 overall, 10-2 in ACC play, and are very much in the thick of things in a tie atop the ACC after coasting to a 75-50 win at Boston College on Sunday night. They are also in the conversation for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if it were to begin today. But this is far from their powerhouse teams of the past, as their bottom line is more reflective of a team that scores high in intangibles.

This isn’t a team full of athletes that forces numerous turnovers per game to dominate opponents. It’s also not a team that blows everyone out, although Duke has knocked off some teams by healthy margins. But a win is a win, and this team is proving to be pretty good at getting those.

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Miles Plumlee beasts his way, Duke past the Terrapins

by - Published February 12, 2012 in Columns
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Duke needed every ounce of energy Wednesday night in Chapel Hill to eke out a thrilling victory over North Carolina that might propel the Blue Devils to an ACC regular-season title. But would they have enough left in the tank to beat back upset-minded Maryland?

Miles Plumlee had that covered.

Against the undersized Terrapins, Miles Plumlee had his way in the post, finishing with a career-high 22 rebounds to go with 13 points. … Continue Reading

Round 233: UNC vs. Duke tips off with more than pride at stake

by - Published February 8, 2012 in Full Court Sprints
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The first of two regular-season meetings between two of the most hate-filled rivals in American sports goes down tonight when Duke makes the short trip to the Dean Dome to visit North Carolina.

As is usually the case in recent years, this game has significant importance in the standings, with both teams jockeying with Florida State for the top spot in the ACC. North Carolina enters the game at 7-1 in conference action, while Duke slipped to 6-2 after losing to Miami. Duke can ill-afford another loss, especially because the Seminoles and Tar Heels will not meet again this regular season.

Besides the usual hostility generated by one of the most intense rivalries in the game, the 233rd match up between these teams — UNC leads the all-time series 131-101 — is critical for both teams. Duke is facing more than its fair share of critics after a lackluster performance against the Hurricanes. Meanwhile, North Carolina needs to prove it can beat an elite team, sometime the Heels haven’t done in a few months.

For the Blue Devils, coach Mike Krzyzewski will be looking for renewed passion from his team after calling them out for lacking the energy to compete with the Hurricanes in the overtime loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Expect his team to rally around his battle cry, especially on the road surrounded by the Enemy in Powder Blue. To win, Duke will need to play smart defense, something the Blue Devils haven’t done consistently this season.

On the other hand, North Carolina seems to be on the rise, especially after a gutsy win in College Park last weekend in which Maryland tried to beat up the Tar Heels. Unlike the game in Tallahassee in which Florida State annihilated UNC, the Tar Heels responded after getting hit in the mouth and clamped down in the second half to erase a nine-point deficit to win by nine. However, the Tar Heels haven’t beaten a team guaranteed to be in the NCAA Tournament since they knocked off Wisconsin in Chapel Hill Nov. 30. North Carolina needs a win at home against the team’s arch rival to validate the argument that this team should be in the conversation for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

That adds a lot of pressure to both teams, and that might favor North Carolina. The Tar Heels have a roster full of players who have been through this rivalry at least three times after last season. Duke has struggled with leadership on the court, and the Blue Devils must get someone to step up or else things could ugly for Duke pretty quickly.

Let the battle begin.

We take you coast to coast with news from around the college basketball nation.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino got his wish with Memphis, as the Tigers will be joining the Big East starting in 2013-14, according an ESPN.com news services report. Pitino had lobbied for the Conference USA’s Tigers to join the Big East to help replace the power that will be departing with West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh in coming years.

Florida coach Billy Donovan tried to preach that Kentucky faced all the pressure entering the Gators/Wildcats clash Tuesday night, with the home team trying to extend a 15-game winning streak and 48-game undefeated streak at Rupp Arena, according to the Associated Press. That psyche-out didn’t seem to work as the Wildcats clobbered Florida 78-58.

If Connecticut can rally around the toughness of coach Jim Calhoun, the Huskies won’t be out of the picture despite a bleak couple of weeks, including a horrid loss Monday night at Louisville. Calhoun told ESPN’s Andy Katz that he doesn’t plan to let spinal stenosis to force him into retirement, and the coach could return to the sidelines sometime this season if the pain in his legs and back subsides.

There’s also health concerns for another coach: College of Charleston’s Bobby Cremins. The 64-year-old Cougar coach took a leave of absence Jan. 27, and he told people that he’s just taking a break to recuperate from a lack of energy, according to a CBS Sports.com wire report.

Alabama’s tournament chances could be in some jeopardy after the team indefinitely suspended junior Tony Mitchell for misconduct, writes TideNation’s Alex Scarborough. The junior forward averages 13.1 ppg and 7.0 rpg in more than 30 minutes per game for the Crimson Tide.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

Hoopville Archives

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.

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

New Vermont Academy coach has put together a contender

October 17, 2014 by

vermontacademy

Vermont Academy has a new coach for the second year in a row, but they shouldn’t skip a beat. They have enough talent to win a lot of games and make a deep run in NEPSAC Class AA.

The Master’s School has good students and talent

October 15, 2014 by

mastersschool

The Master’s School has a number of good students, and they will continue to head to college later. This time around, they also have some talent on the hardwood and should win a few more games.

Rivers will try to build on a breakthrough season

October 13, 2014 by

riversschool

The Rivers School had a breakthrough season last year, winning the Independent School League. They will try to build on that with a team that loses a lot but also returns a lot from last season’s team.

Tabor Academy looks to have more depth this time around

October 13, 2014 by

taboracademy

Tabor Academy will once again be headlined by a frontcourt player. This time around, though, the Seawolves appear to have a deeper support cast than in recent years.