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2016-17 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published June 12, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The 2016-17 season continued a run of a bumpy couple of years for the Horizon League, with more than its share of changes and challenges.

The Horizon was already due for something of a transition season after a recent rash of coaching changes. Four league schools changed coaches after the 2015-16 season, coming on the heels of three more doing so the year before. Add in two more (Cleveland State and Youngstown State) with new coaches after this most recent silly season, and the chaos has been so ridiculous that Illinois-Chicago’s Steve McClain is the second-longest tenured coach in the league. McClain just completed his second season with the Flames.

Still, the news in 2016-17 wasn’t all bad. Four Horizon teams won at least 20 games, three of them 24 or more. Two made it to the NIT, including an at-large bid for Valparaiso, and Oakland went to Clemson and knocked off the ACC Tigers. Northern Kentucky was a great story, rising from an afterthought to one of the league’s best teams. Wright State was better than expected in Scott Nagy’s first year, and the Horizon even made a modest improvement of one spot in the conference RPI (to 17th, per CBSSports.com). … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, December 16, 2016

by - Published December 16, 2016 in The Morning Dish

With so many colleges in the midst of final exams and rightly keeping their schedules short, the highlights were limited in the sport Thursday night. Most of the action took place in the Atlantic and South regions of the country.

A few of the happenings from a light night:

George Washington handled Central Florida 74-59 for its third straight win. Following a dud against Florida State, the Colonials have rebounded nicely with wins over Temple, Howard and now the Knights. Jordan Roland was the star, going for a career-high 27 points, more than 21 points over his season average and more than he scored in his first six games of the season combined before heating up of late with four double-figure scoring totals in his last seven games. … Continue Reading

2015-16 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published June 7, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

For a year at least, the Horizon League harkened back to some glory years, and we’re not talking about 2010 and 2011.

Butler’s back-to-back NCAA title game appearances those years are remembered most recently, and because of their relatively current nature are what most will instantaneously cite as the high water mark of the Horizon. This past season didn’t have that-or even an NCAA Tournament win for that matter-but it was reminiscent of a time when the league was one of the more consistently entertaining ones in the country, as well as capable of more than occasional national noise. … Continue Reading

UW-Green Bay cranking up pressure on both ends under new coach

by - Published February 29, 2016 in Columns

There was an obvious irony to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay hosting a Throwback Night on Friday. For if one is familiar with the program’s history, this year’s Phoenix team is anything but a throwback-unless maybe one is throwing it back to 1971.

Dave Buss-the program’s very successful first coach-once led a team that averaged over 90 points per game in 1970-71, but his teams soon came to be known for a slower pace and zone defense. The iconic Dick Bennett’s defensive philosophies at Green Bay-as the school likes its athletic programs to go by now-are among the most influential in the sport today. Even recent coach Brian Wardle’s teams were hard to score on, with an underappreciated athleticism and length not many would expect at the Horizon League level. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 17, 2016

by - Published February 17, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Conversation about the “bubble” will dominate college basketball for the next 3 1/2 weeks. Though at times it will encroach on becoming overkill, it’s pretty hard to ignore at the moment, and unfortunately for a number of teams that’s not a good thing.

Last week we saw losses seemingly by clusters among a number of potential at-large candidates from otherwise expected one-bid leagues (see: Arkansas-Little Rock, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Valparaiso). Turning the page to this week has shown us, though, that the fence is an equal opportunity locale, an uncomfortable place for bigger brand names as well.
… Continue Reading

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

by - Published December 22, 2015 in Columns

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.

… Continue Reading

2014-15 Horizon League Post-Mortem

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

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.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 22, 2015

by - Published March 22, 2015 in The Morning Dish

When it comes to the very best teams in March, the current list starts with names like Arizona. Duke. Kentucky. Michigan State.

It’s high time another school was added to that elite hierarchy in the sport.

Xavier is back in the Sweet 16-again. This time, it’s after a 75-67 win over Georgia State on Saturday, as the Musketeers shot an incredible 67.6% for the game, including 81.3% (13 of 16) in the second half. It took that kind of effort to knock out the Panthers and R.J. Hunter-who almost certainly made himself some serious money with his performance this week-but X is on to the regional semifinals and now will face Arizona.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, March 11, 2015

by - Published March 11, 2015 in The Morning Dish

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.

… Continue Reading

Scanning the Nation Notebook – February 13, 2015

by - Published February 13, 2015 in Columns

Some brief college basketball thoughts from around the country, high and low in Division I, in the middle of February:

  • Everyone has shared their Dean Smith recollections and stories this week, and they are all enjoyable and speak well of a legend of college basketball. Never had the pleasure to meet Dean Smith, but do remember watching his teams play for a number of years. One game from this memory sums up what we saw of UNC basketball under Dean Smith.

… Continue Reading

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College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

November 10, 2017 by

The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.