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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 30, 2016

by - Published January 30, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

What Shaka Smart did at VCU changed the idea of what the program should be. He wasn’t just one more coach who came in, won big as the program did for years as one of the CAA’s signature programs, then moved on to greener pastures. Yes, he won big, highlighted by their run to the Final Four in 2011, but they were consistent winners. He brought them into the Atlantic 10 and made them winners there, including a conference title last season, before leaving for Texas.

Now Will Wade inherits a stronger tradition, but higher expectations. And while the Rams had a relatively non-descript non-conference showing, they now look like a team that grew from it. About halfway through Atlantic 10 play, the Rams have yet to lose, the latest being Friday night’s 79-69 win at Davidson.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 9, 2016

by - Published January 9, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

We all love a late-season matchup of two top teams, meaning so much is on the line. It adds to the drama that’s already present and in theory adds to the game’s draw as far as fans are concerned. Oftentimes, schedules are done with this in mind, especially since by that point, there are probably many meaningless games on tap as far as the postseason is concerned since many have been eliminated depending on the conference.

That all makes sense. But how about early matchups of such teams? We already saw how that works this past week, with Oklahoma first beating Iowa State and then traveling to Kansas, where they lost but were part of an instant classic. Many people were glued to their television late Monday night checking out the latter, with some on Twitter openly routing for more overtime periods (even before the third one came).

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 5, 2016

by - Published January 5, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Polls do matter. A case could be made that the All-America first team is almost wrapped up right now. And it’s not at all hard to envision Oklahoma and Kansas playing two or three more times this year, including perhaps again in April.

Nights like Monday make it hard to fathom the idea that college basketball’s regular season is meaningless. Exactly how much more can fans ask for than an evening featuring incredible individual performances by two of the nation’s very best players, an upset of a top 10 team, plus a 1 vs. 1 matchup between two Final Four contenders who couldn’t decide their game after 40 minutes and provided some bonus hoops. And then some more. And then some more.

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How the conferences shape up as 2016 approaches

by - Published December 29, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
author_kasiecki

Not only are we in the midst of the holidays, but conference play beckons if it hasn’t already started. Non-conference play is almost complete, and teams form impressions during this time of how they will be in conference play. Even so, as is always the case this is imperfect. Conference play is a different animal, as teams are more familiar with each other from having played each other every year. That’s why we see some teams even in mid-majors get nice wins in non-conference play, but then lose games in conference play that strike the untrained eye as head-scratchers.

It is with that in mind that we take a look at how all 31 conferences shape up based on non-conference play thus far.

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Trojans, Mavericks reminiscent of 1997-98 runs by UIC, Detroit

by - Published December 22, 2015 in Columns
sunbelt

It’s been a long time since a conference out of the spotlight furnished two teams coming from seemingly nowhere to challenge for NCAA Tournament berths the way the Sun Belt Conference has this year with Arkansas-Little Rock and Texas-Arlington.

It’s also not unprecedented, and that’s said not to take away from the fun of their stories one bit. For if one wants an illustration of how long it has been, the conference that last pulled off such a feat has since changed its name, lost three members and added four more in the time since.

To put it another way: Wimp Sanderson was the head coach at Arkansas-Little Rock back then, still sporting his famous plaid sport coats.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 11, 2015

by - Published November 11, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

We’re now just two days from opening day, and  Hoopville continues our preseason look at all 32 NCAA Division I conferences.

Only two single-bid leagues won an NCAA Tournament game last year in the round of 64, and Conference USA was one of them. UAB stunned Iowa State as a 14 seed, and that game could be a precursor to big things for the Blazers this year. UAB is the favorite and is led by guard Robert Brown and sophomore forward William Lee, who should get better and better. Old Dominion has C-USA’s best player, though, in Trey Freeman, and the Monarchs could be right on the NCAA doorstep again if they can find some interior scoring. Also watch Middle Tennessee State if it can improve on its 41.4% shooting last year.
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2014-15 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 31, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
horizon

Given his status as an all-time NCAA Tournament hero at Valparaiso, one would think Bryce Drew could not do much of anything quietly at his alma mater.

So cozy are the surroundings at a small school like Valpo, though, that a former NBA first round draft pick who hit one of the great shots in NCAA history and followed his father as the program’s head coach can build a formidable program and few would know about it.

Almost silently, Valparaiso had a terrific 2014-15 season, posting a 28-6 record and winning the Horizon League regular season and tournament championships. The Crusaders also just missed posting a huge upset in the NCAAs, losing to Maryland by three points.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, March 11, 2015

by - Published March 11, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Robert Morris is the type of small eastern private school that fits in so perfectly in the college basketball landscape, one that every so often comes out of nowhere and makes some noise, adding a little bit of spice and a lot of charm to the sport.

Two years ago, the school made considerable noise in the NIT when it defeated Kentucky in a first round game. Tuesday night, though, the Colonials may as well have been Kentucky, for the role of villain they took on in the Northeast Conference championship game.

Robert Morris defeated sentimental favorite St. Francis (N.Y.) 66-63 in the NEC final, yet again depriving the Terriers of their first-ever NCAA Tournament bid. By now the story has been well worn: St. Francis is one of five original Division I members to never make the tourney since that level was born in 1939. And it might feel like there is a glass ceiling on those teams after the last two days, as William & Mary also lost in the CAA final Monday night for the second straight year.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, March 4, 2015

by - Published March 4, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

On the scale of chic topics in basketball in general, free throws is near the bottom. Unlike “length”, “skill set” or “dribble drive,” it’s not a term that pundits love seemingly just because of how the words sound coming out of their mouths. Much like special teams in football, they are often underrated or even ignored, despite their ability to absolutely play a role in a game’s outcome.

Also like special teams in the NFL playoffs, though (anyone who saw the Seattle-Green Bay NFC playoff game can vouch for it), you better believe free throws will be important this month. We got another taste of that Tuesday night, as poor free throw shooting doomed a couple teams chasing what would’ve been massive wins.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 3, 2015

by - Published March 3, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

While hustle is always appreciated and encouraged in basketball, increasingly there are times it gets out of control and safety becomes an issue.

Monday night’s Baylor-Texas game saw an ugly incident with just under two minutes left in overtime that saw a total of seven players ejected for leaving the bench. The players were reacting to a fight for a loose ball between Texas’s Isaiah Taylor and Baylor’s Royce O’Neale, in which O’Neale ended up on Taylor and the Longhorn guard reacted angrily and pushed him off.
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Saturday Notes – February 6, 2016

February 7, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

It was a full day of action, one that included two top teams going down in a rarity. Also, a number of other teams suffered a loss that could be a critical blow to their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes.

Saturday Notes – January 30, 2016

January 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

In the midst of conference season, a non-conference set of games took center stage. They were far from alone in the important games of the day, though, and we take a look at notes from many of those games.

Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A number of games were pushed to another day by a storm on the east coast, but we had plenty of noteworthy games all the same on Saturday.

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Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

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

hoopguy-divisionII

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

hoopguy-yellow

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

hoopguy-cyan

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

author_kasiecki

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.

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