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Scanning the Nation Notebook – February 20, 2015

by - Published February 20, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

Some brief college basketball thoughts as we near the end of February and now March and tournament time is just around the corner:

One of nation’s best-kept secrets continues to be just how much of a treat it is to watch Iona offensively. The Gaels are so unselfish, so good at finding the open player, and so free to play offensively, and it’s a joy to watch. Tim Cluess has done an outstanding job at the school, which is poised for its third NCAA bid in the last four years. Despite missing defensive stopper and hustle player Isaiah Williams for the past 10 games, Iona has taken the lead in the MAAC again and at this point is the clear favorite to represent the league in the NCAA Tournament. David Laury and A.J. English are combining for 40 points per game, and freshman Schadrac Casimir is also averaging 15.4 points and is absolutely fearless. Iona has developed into a program that is annually among the nation’s leaders in scoring, three-pointers and assists, which should make it incredibly attractive to recruits.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, December 5, 2014

by - Published December 5, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

What looked like it should’ve been the game of the night wasn’t much of a game at all.

Iowa State sometimes gets on those offensive runs at home when it looks like one of the top five teams in the country, and the Cyclones did it Thursday night in a 95-77 win over Arkansas. A game that looked to have a ton of promise coming in was never really close, and the Razorbacks were tagged with their first loss in seven games.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 30, 2014

by - Published November 30, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

As part of this weekend’s big kick off to the Christmas shopping season, yesterday was dubbed Small Business Saturday across the country. The basketball schedule for the day might have qualified under that designation, as few of the biggest names were in action, in part because the big holiday tourneys ended a few days ago. What the day may have lacked in big names, though, it did not lack for stories:

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2013-14 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

by - Published July 7, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
sunbelt

When the subject of conference realignment comes up, there are a few conferences that are at the forefront of it, for better or worse. A few seem to be in perpetual realignment, to the point of wondering if the conference administration doesn’t at some point have an identity crisis, especially if the conference’s geographic footprint expands greatly over time.

Enter the Sun Belt, where big changes have recently happened and will continue.

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Georgia State Panthers 2012-13 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2012 in Conference Notes
georgiastate

Georgia State Panthers (22-12 overall, 11-7 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Devonta White
So. G Cameron Solomon
Fr. G R.J. Hunter
Jr. F Manny Atkins
Sr. C James Vincent

Important departures:

Four starters from last season’s team have departed: G Jihad Ali (12.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.4 apg), C Eric Buckner (10.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.5 bpg), G James Fields (9.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.9 spg) and G Josh Micheaux (7.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.5 spg)

Returning:

31.8 percent of scoring and 24.7 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Jr. F Manny Atkins (transfer from Virginia Tech)
Jr. F Denny Burguillos (junior college transfer)
So. G Cameron Solomon (junior college transfer)
Fr. F Marcus Crider
Fr. G R.J. Hunter
Fr. F T.J. Shipes
Fr. F LaRon Smith
Fr. G David Travers

Schedule Highlights:

Georgia State opens the season with a bang as they head to Duke and Brigham Young, but it lightens up a bit after that. They have seven home games, including a visit from Southern Miss, and the toughest road game after the first two may be at Rhode Island just before Christmas. The Panthers will have a chance for a nice start in CAA play as four of the first five are at home before they play four of five on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Panthers enter their final season in the CAA in a similar situation to Old Dominion, and not just because they’re leaving. Like the Monarchs, they don’t have much returning and thus have a lot unknown. What they have going for them is some good young talent, a solid holdover point guard in White, and a coach who knows how to install an edge to his team and showed that last season. The younger Hunter should contribute right away, as should Crider, while Atkins will play right away and help and the junior college transfers should be in the mix right away. There aren’t many expectations for this team, as few are picking them this high, but after what Hunter did last year there is some reason to believe he can get the max out of this team and wind up better than many think.

Next: Hofstra Pride

Back to CAA preview

2012 CAA Media Day Notes

by - Published October 17, 2012 in Columns
colonial

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Colonial Athletic Association held its annual Media Day on Tuesday, and it was sure to be an interesting day. The conference is in some transition, and commissioner Tom Yeager admitted that they weren’t sure what to expect as far as turnout goes. But the turnout still looked to be up there with some prior years, and it was a busy morning with all of the activity.

Here are some notes from the day’s conversations.

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Ron Hunter a wonderful addition to the CAA coaching ranks

by - Published March 7, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
georgiastate

Ron Hunter is a terrific addition to the Colonial Athletic Association coaching ranks. That could have been said before the season given his track record and the positive energy he showed talking about his Georgia State team on Media Day in October, but after the CAA Tournament it bears repeating because it was so obvious.

Hunter was already well-known for the winning he did at IUPUI, and perhaps even more for the organization he partners with and serves on the board of advisors for, Samaritan’s Feet. Hunter has coached a game barefoot every year for several years, has taken a team at IUPUI and will take a team from Georgia State overseas to see the difference receiving a pair of shoes can make in someone’s life, and he can run off the important numbers about it quite easily as it helps him keep a lot in perspective.

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2012 CAA Tournament – First Round Notes

by - Published March 3, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
colonial

RICHMOND, Va. – The first round of the CAA Tournament is in the books.  The seeds held to form save for the first game of the day, although Towson had a chance to change that before Delaware was able to hold them off.  William & Mary also made a charge at Northeastern, but to no avail, and the best team performance of the day came in the last game as Georgia State dominated Hofstra, playing like a team on a mission as head coach Ron Hunter described after the game.

Here are some quick hitters on what happened Friday:

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Ron Hunter is already changing the culture at Georgia State

by - Published January 19, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
georgiastate

BOSTON – Ron Hunter knew what he inherited when he took the head coaching job at Georgia State. He knew he had a culture to change, and he knew he was in a different place. But thus far, he’s loving every minute of it, and the early results don’t hurt. Now he has a different issue on his hands with his team, which stands 5-2 in CAA play after a 60-57 loss at Northeastern on Wednesday night.

Hunter, who loved that he was able to walk to Fenway Park during the team’s trip to Boston, is full of energy and positive vibes. He’s pleasant to talk to and all along has felt good about this team, as well as the job itself. It would be easy to dismiss it as coach-speak, but he felt like a few players were ready to be better and liked the experience on the team, although it wasn’t winning experience. You can tell his confidence in the team is not misplaced by a long shot.

… Continue Reading

Georgia State Panthers 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 9, 2011 in Conference Notes

Georgia State Panthers (12-19, 6-12)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

So. G Devonta White
Sr. G James Fields
Sr. G Jihad Ali
Sr. F Eric Buckner
Sr. F Brandon McGee

Important departures:

G Marques Johnson (5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg) is the only starter to depart, while Dante Curry (6.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg) and Javonte Maynor (5.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg) also graduated.

Returning:

69.6 percent of scoring and 81.7 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Ron Hunter takes over as the head coach, replacing Rod Barnes, who was fired just before the CAA Tournament last season.

Schedule highlights:

The Panthers open with their toughest game, as they play Washington in Seattle in the first of three in the Basketball Travelers Invitational. They also play Portland and Florida Atlantic out there, and later host Rhode Island in what is not the toughest nonconference slate. In CAA play, they take on Drexel, VCU and James Madison twice and have George Mason only on the road.

Projected finish and outlook:

Hunter might be known more for his work off the court as the proprietor of Samaritan’s Feet, but he’s a good coach and is full of energy. He is ready to make this team run, saying that the Panthers will play “a lot faster” this year. They will surely have some growing pains because the Panther guards didn’t take good care of the ball last season, although Hunter is very high on White and will likely hand him the ball to run the team. He feels Ali could be primed for a big year, and likes that he has a veteran team with a lot of seniors, which means this team could finish higher than people expect in a year where not many teams in the conference have as much experience as the Panthers.

There’s good talent with Buckner, McGee and Josh Micheaux, and Hunter also feels Rashaad Richardson could make a big leap this year as well. The Panthers aren’t lacking talent or experience, but as Hunter acknowledged, the experience they have isn’t that of winning, so success won’t come easily. They will need to take better care of the ball first and foremost, and if they do that, they have a chance to surprise some people. Hunter has had a lot of success in his prior stops, and there’s reason to believe he will have more here. The only question is if some of it will come this season.

Next: Hofstra Pride

Back to CAA preview

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Tough loss doesn’t take away Sacred Heart’s improvement

March 6, 2015 by

sacredheart

Sacred Heart nearly had a big win in the Northeast Conference Tournament quarterfinals. That they instead dropped a tough one doesn’t change the strides they made, or the new challenge ahead.

NC State is not making it easy on themselves

March 1, 2015 by

ncstate

North Carolina State appears to have put themselves in a good position for the NCAA Tournament, but they aren’t making this easy on themselves.

Saturday Notes – February 28, 2015

March 1, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at a very busy Saturday, one that was full of big games that included some conferences closing out their regular season with plenty of drama.

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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.