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2014-15 Patriot League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 24, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Patriot League lived up to its billing as one of the most competitive conferences in the country this season. That was expected given that many teams returned a lot from last season. It was also a deep league, evidenced by the numbers and the eye test, all a sign that the league is in a good place right now.

For a lot of the season, the league race saw the ten teams separated by about three or four games. The seven games separating first from tenth at the end of the season is a bit deceiving. As the season went on, you got the feeling that Bucknell was separating themselves a bit from the rest of the pack, although Colgate took them down to the wire for the top spot. The rest of the league was up for grabs all over.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 19, 2015

by - Published March 19, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Calm in the face of daunting situations. Both Robert Morris and Dayton had it Wednesday night, and as a result, both are moving on in the NCAA Tournament.

Meanwhile, Boise State was unable to come up with another spirited road win. One more gutsy road win than the Broncos ever should’ve had to earn.

Much like Hampton and Mississippi on the first day of the NCAA Tournament, the two teams advancing from Wednesday night’s First Four games did not panic in tough spots. Both Robert Morris and Dayton rallied from deficits late, with the Colonials getting by North Florida 81-77 and the Flyers nipping Boise State 56-55.
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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 7, 2015

by - Published March 7, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The Big South Conference doesn’t get a lot of attention, but if you have been following it, you have received a treat. It has been arguably the most competitive conference in the country, and that’s saying something considering the CAA had a four-way tie for first and how bunched up the Patriot League standings were. And on Friday, the Big South reinforced this in stunning fashion in the quarterfinal round of its tournament in Conway, SC.

We start with the opener, where Longwood met the top seed, Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers gained the top seed by knocking off High Point in the regular season finale, and they won the tie-breaker. But it was the Lancers who first grabbed a 29-20 lead at halftime, then responded after Charleston Southern scored the first 12 points of the second half to take the lead with a 13-0 run of their own en route to a 68-60 win. Shaquille Johnson had a big game with 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead the way. The Buccaneers will be in the NIT.

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Holy Cross perseveres and tries to make a late run

by - Published February 15, 2015 in Columns

WORCESTER, Mass. – Milan Brown was fired up. He was as fired up as he’s ever been, really. As the Holy Cross mentor headed to his post-game radio interview, there was more than just a pep in his step. It’s because in beating Lehigh 58-52 on Sunday, his team showed him something he knew they had in them, but haven’t always shown.

“When adversity hits, it starts to show a little bit of your character,” said Brown. “This is who I thought we were, but we’re starting to understand and know who’s in the foxhole with us.”

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, December 4, 2014

by - Published December 4, 2014 in The Morning Dish

This introduction was going to be about one of the most anticipated games of the year so far, as Duke and Wisconsin squared off in a battle between top 5 teams, Final Four contenders and legendary coaches. That changed after midnight here in the Central time zone after watching Wichita State face Utah in what was maybe the second-most anticipated game-of at least the night, anyway.

The Utes picked up a signature non-conference win, edging the Shockers 69-68 in overtime. It’s a huge win for Utah, but if someone happened to turn this off late in the second half, they should know the win came far tougher for Utah than it may have looked late in regulation.
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Season opener a big boost for Holy Cross as they keep growing

by - Published November 17, 2014 in Columns

BOSTON – The Holy Cross players have believed in what Milan Brown and his staff are trying to do. The buy-in has been there and the team has grown in part by believing in the process and the game plan every time out. The gains have been incremental, with some good wins along the way, but there’s nothing like a big win to really drive it home and make them believe in it that much more.

The Crusaders got that with a 58-57 win over Harvard on Sunday, and in a game that showed how much they have grown up.

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The Morning Dish – Monday November 17, 2014

by - Published November 17, 2014 in The Morning Dish

There will be plenty of chatter about Kentucky this season; in fact, there already has been. That will always be the case, as Kentucky will be relevant whether they win a national championship or have a losing record. Ever since several players decided to pass on early entry to the NBA Draft last spring, the hyperbole surrounding this team has been non-stop given the talent they have. And on Sunday, that was demonstrated even more.

Buffalo led Kentucky at halftime 38-33. The Bulls didn’t succumb to an early run, either, as Kentucky scored the first nine points of the second half only to see Buffalo rally to regain the lead. The Wildcats eventually won going away, but that’s not the big headline to take out of this game.

A lot of people are talking about how John Calipari didn’t go with a platoon in the second half. The talk is that he’s already abandoned it. The reality, of course, is a bit more complicated.

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Holy Cross is trying to take the next step

by - Published November 8, 2014 in Columns

WORCESTER, Mass. – Milan Brown says the mantra for Holy Cross is “Take the next step.” Since he arrived on campus, the program has taken many steps to get to where they are now, entering the season as Patriot League contenders once again.

It’s been a long road back to this point.

When Brown took over in 2010 following a one-year stint for Sean Kearney, the program was a far cry from what it was at the beginning of the century. At that time, Holy Cross and Bucknell ruled the Patriot League, with the Crusaders going on a roll first. But as Ralph Willard’s tenure came to a conclusion, the rest of the league was getting better and made up a lot of ground.

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2013-14 Patriot League Post-Mortem

by - Published May 15, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

Times are good in the Patriot League right now. The league just completed its first season with ten schools, and not only was it a success overall but there is plenty of reason to like what is ahead. The early verdict on the league’s expansion is that it is definitely a net plus.

Three teams saw postseason play, and all three had at least 20 wins. That marked the third time in league history that happened, with the previous instance being two years earlier. This season didn’t top that one overall, as that year two teams topped Boston University’s 24-win mark this season and both of those teams won a game in their postseason tournament, but there is reason to believe that the best is yet to come.

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For Holy Cross, the mentality makes a big difference

by - Published January 22, 2014 in Columns

WORCESTER, Mass. – It’s all about the mentality at Holy Cross of late. The last week has seen two good wins and the team play good basketball to get there, and with it a commensurate confidence boost. While there’s still a hill to climb, the Crusaders look to be in a good place in terms of how they are going about everything.

Holy Cross has had to deal with injuries, and while they haven’t had to as much as some teams have, they have had to adjust a good deal along the way. They had to go without Cullen Hamilton early on due to a knee injury, and just when he appeared to be coming into his own he then came back and aggravated it. They had to shut him down for a stretch so he can heal enough to play the rest of the season.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

September 24, 2015 by


Army was on a nice rise with its core up until Patriot League play last season, when they came back to earth. Now with a core of seniors, can this team be the one that finally takes home a Patriot League title?

Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

August 27, 2015 by


There has been some notable downward momentum at Washington recently, but there is more hope all the time that it could be reversed, and soon.

What Kentucky gave us will be forgotten, and that’s too bad

April 5, 2015 by


Most people are going to remember Kentucky in 2014-15 more for the one loss than the 38 wins and the journey that came with it. That’s the most unfortunate thing of all.

Hoopville Archives

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

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.