Home » Indiana » Recent Articles:

2013-14 Big Ten Post-Mortem

by - Published July 8, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

College basketball seasons always bring us teams that perform superbly in the non-conference season but fall into mediocrity in conference. Many times those teams are the product of cushy non-conference schedules, as well as being exposed by tougher conference competition.

There are exceptions to this every season, though, and the Big Ten had its share of them this year. Those teams’ later downward spirals were about the only difference between the league again being the best in the country, and the consensus that it settled in a notch lower.
… Continue Reading

Young Indiana shows potential for growth in tough loss

by - Published November 23, 2013 in Columns

NEW YORK – Growing up isn’t easy for most. It’s true whether we’re talking about individuals, families, companies, teams or any other entity involving humans. There are hits and misses along the way, some question marks with success and bright spots with failure. Indiana is seeing all of that right now after a tough 59-58 loss in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Indiana is a young team and a very new team. The Hoosiers lost two high lottery picks from last season’s team in Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, both of whom departed early. Had they returned, this season might be a little easier, but instead, the Hoosiers have plenty of talent, and young talent at that as they have eight freshmen and six sophomores. They end up having to relay on a sophomore for a lot, and Yogi Ferrell almost carried them to a big win on Friday night.

… Continue Reading

Legends wrapup: Indiana takes the title and a box score analysis

by - Published November 22, 2012 in Columns

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – It’s time for a closer look at the Progressive Legends Classic final night at the Barclays Center.


UCLA 60, Georgia 56

… Continue Reading

Stepping back to look beyond basketball

by - Published December 13, 2011 in Full Court Sprints

This past weekend has reminded us that there are bigger things than basketball. Most teams are off for final exams for some/all of this week, and a major brawl on Saturday also brought out that sentiment. While we’ll have more on the brawl later, right now there’s something else to think about in keeping with the theme.

I’m sure others have said it, but I remember ESPN’s Buster Olney once remarking that when you’re in the media, you become a fan of the game instead of a particular team. It’s very true, and part of that is being a fan of the people involved in the game. This is a people business in every respect, and those who succeed the most in this industry, no matter what capacity they are in, know how to deal with people.

To that end, I give you Ken Dempsey, the associate head coach at New Hampshire. Tuesday is an important day for him.

Dempsey recently shared on the National Coaches’ Diary Series on College Chalktalk that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. On Tuesday, he goes for surgery to address it, and will take an undetermined leave of absence from the basketball team. He is not the first and won’t be the last college coach to have to deal with this dreaded disease, but fortunately the outlook is good and there’s some personal significance.

We all have people who have helped us get where we are. Dempsey has helped many people in that respect in 25 years of coaching at several Division I schools, but it isn’t just players who have benefited from knowing him. I have no better friend in basketball than Ken Dempsey.

When I was an undergraduate at Northeastern, Dempsey joined the basketball staff when Dave Leitao took over as the head coach my freshman year. Dempsey was the first coach I met, and after a badly failed attempt to walk on to the team, he didn’t forget me. I would see him around the gym (back then, Cabot Gym was not only where the team practiced, but also the student recreational facility), especially if I was playing basketball before the team came to practice. He sensed that I liked the game, and encouraged me to join them as a manager. I would stop by the office and have conversations with him and Darryl Hilliard, also an assistant there at the time, and the relationship grew from there.

The next year, I became a manager. My experience in doing that was tremendous for a lot of reasons, from being so close to the game that I love to traveling to places I had never been to understanding what goes into a team’s season. There is not enough space to share how much that helped me to get where I am today, and that’s before I mention some of the things external to my role as a manager. Dempsey gave me access to recruiting reports so I could see what they looked like and start having a feel for the next college stars, and introduced me to Bob Gibbons when he visited Northeastern one time. This was back when there weren’t nearly as many people covering recruiting as there are now, as the Internet was still in its infancy in terms of its effects on athletic media.

That was only the beginning. When Dempsey left Northeastern just before I graduated, we made sure to stay in touch, and have done that. After some time away from the northeast, he’s been back for several years now. Interestingly, I covered what proved to be his last game as an assistant coach at UMKC before coming to New Hampshire – a tough loss in the then-Mid-Continent Conference (now the Summit League) Tournament in Tulsa.

Dempsey is optimistic that his leave from the team will be on the order of weeks. He is well-connected and has been in contact with some people who have dealt with this to learn from their experiences, and has had great support from everyone in Durham. And as he goes in for surgery on Tuesday to start the battle against prostate cancer, I know I am one of many people who is praying for a positive result at the end of all of this.

We go coast to coast with other news from the college basketball nation

  • About that brawl: Cincinnati and Xavier each suspended four players for their roles in the well-chronicled brawl at the end of Saturday’s meeting between the two teams. Cincinnati suspended Yancy Gates, Cheikh Mbodj and Octavius Ellis for six games each and Ge’Lawn Guyn for one game, while Xavier suspended Dez Wells and Landen Amos for four games each, Mark Lyons for two and Tu Holloway for one.
  • Indiana scored a dramatic win over Kentucky with a buzzer-beater on Saturday. It’s the biggest win for the Hoosiers under Tom Crean.
  • Murray State knocked off Memphis on Sunday night, which improves the Racers to 10-0. But what has unfortunately received a little more buzz from that game than how good the Racers look is Memphis’ public address announcer announcing John Calipari as the Tigers’ head coach, which was greeted with a round of boos.
  • It’s a light week of game action, and Monday night was no exception as the most notable game was probably Oregon’s 79-70 win over Portland State.


Games to watch on Tuesday

  • Wisconsin at Milwaukee, 8 pm EST
  • Belmont at Middle Tennessee, 8 pm EST

Indiana Hoosiers 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 7, 2011 in Conference Notes

Indiana Hoosiers (12-20, 3-15)

After a disappointing year, Coach Tom Crean (28-66) needs to put a winning season together for the Hoosier faithful.




Projected starting five:

Jr. G Jordan Hulls
Sr. G Verdell Jones III
Jr. F Christian Watford
Sr. F Tom Pritchard
Fr. C Cody Zeller

Important departures:

None of note.


Fr. SF Remy Abell (Rivals.com three-star player)
Fr. SF Austin Etherington (Rivals.com three-star player)
Fr. C Cody Zeller (Rivals.com five-star player)


Indiana is coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons. The Hoosiers return four starters from last year, but that may not mean much based on last year’s record. A huge addition is freshman and top recruit Cody Zeller. If Crean hopes to stay the riotous Indiana crowd, he will need to get this team up to snuff quickly and establish Zeller as one of the dominant inside players in the NCAA.

Schedule highlights:

Indiana takes on preseason No. 2 Kentucky in early December on ESPN. A win could substantially inflate the Hoosiers’ sails. Following a 10-win season in 2009 and a 12-win season in 2010, it is hard to imagine that Indiana will be able to do much better with the majority of their difficult conference games coming near the end of their schedule. Without a tournament invitation this year, IU would likely be looking for a new head coach.

Prediction: Eighth

Next: Iowa Hawkeyes
Back to Big Ten preview

Hoosiers Get a Learning Experience on the Road

by - Published December 2, 2010 in Columns

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – This game was bound to be a learning experience, in more ways than one. Although the end result wasn’t what they hoped for, as Indiana dropped an 88-76 decision to Boston College, the Hoosiers certainly walked out of Conte Forum Wednesday night with something to learn from, something Tom Crean emphasized several times.

“We’ll learn from this,” the Indiana mentor said. “When do we learn? I don’t know. We may learn by the next game, it may take three weeks.” … Continue Reading

Giving Thanks to Hoops!

by - Published November 19, 2010 in Full Court Sprints




Go coast to coast with our roundup of the nation’s top stories.

  1. Gonzaga avoids disaster with super soph Elias Harris narrowly dodging a torn Achilles tendon, ESPN.com reports.
  2. It won’t be pretty, but Oregon State’s turquoise uniforms are part of the team’s participation in the Nike N7 Game against Texas Southern Nov. 21, according to NikeBlog.com. The game is part of the Native American Heritage Month, and Nike uses the N7 fund to support American Indian kids who want to pursue sports.
  3. Rough week for Tulsa’s Glenn Andrews — reinjures a knee and gets dismissed from the team, according to InsideTulsaSports.com
  4. Chuck will be part of TNT’s March Madness coverage team, according to the Associated Press. Think he’ll have an opinion about which teams didn’t deserve a bid?
  5. Former Kansas Jayhawk employees made $3 million to $5 million through a ticket scam that now has five people facing serious charges for conspiring to steal the tickets, according to a CBSSports.com news report.
  6. A.J. Moye, who helped guide the Hoosiers to the national championship game in 2002, is in a hospital in Germany for intensive examinations after Moye and a teammate collided in practice, ESPN.com reports.
  7. SI.com’s Luke Winn crunches numbers regarding freshmen and comes up with some interesting results. Bottom line: Don’t overhype your young guns.
Here is a roundup of some of the biggest and most surprising results of the past week.

Nov. 17

Mississippi 77, Murray State 61BYU 78, Utah State 72
Colorado College 60, Air Force 57 OT

Nov. 16

Kansas State 73, Virginia Tech 57

Ohio State 93, Florida 75

San Diego State 79, Gonzaga 76

VCU 90, Wake Forest 69

Nov. 15

Kennesaw St. 80, Georgia Tech 63

Oklahoma 71, NC Central 63 OT

Nov. 14

South Dakota St. 79, Iowa 69



Phil Kasiecki reports that the young Bulldogs at Yale nearly pulled off a huge upset against Providence.

Michael Protos writes that the ACC needs some big wins — and soon — to keep pace with conferences such as the Big Ten. Though as Phil Kasiecki points out, Maryland’s close call against the College of Charleston shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

And we have a few season previews for you:


Colonial Athletic Association

Missouri Valley Conference

Here are some of the best games coming up in the near future.

  • Friday: Wisconsin at UNLV
  • Sunday: LSU at Memphis
  • Monday:
    Gonzaga vs. Kansas State
  • Wednesday: VCU vs. Tennessee
  • Wednesday: UCLA vs. Villanova
  • Thursday: Temple vs. Cal
  • Thursday: Georgia vs. Notre Dame

Best possible match up in a holiday tournament:

Duke vs. Kansas State in CBE Classic final.

Yeah, he said it. Portland guard Jared Stohl boldly predicts a win against Kentucky tonight.


During the past week or so, I’ve heard several analysts bemoan college basketball’s lack of a massive blowout to start the season.

People take days off from work to attend opening day for Major League Baseball. The NFL has moved the first game of the season to an entirely different day to create a grand spectacle. There’s no reason college basketball can’t have a captivating celebration that generates a week’s worth of anticipation.

In one sense, Midnight Madness actually hurts the hype of college basketball. The expensive and expansive celebrations that coincide with the first official practice occur several weeks before any teams tip off. Fans attend in person or watch on TV, get geeked up for their team…and wait another month for any meaningful results.

In past years, pre-season tournaments attempted to inject early season enthusiasm with exciting match ups. But they occurred on neutral courts, away from packed gymnasiums.

ESPN probably has the right idea with its 24 hours of coverage on campuses from the Northeast to Hawaii. But that should occur on the first day of the season, and no games should occur before that day. In addition, the first official day should be a Thursday or Saturday — not Friday when most people other than myself have better things to do than watch basketball all day.

I’m pretty sure that an infusion of sponsorships to drive competition among the TV networks would be all it takes to inspire a massive blowout befitting the return of college hoops.

Big Ten Notebook: The Big Ten is Down? Not So Fast . . .

by - Published November 25, 2008 in Conference Notes

Who says the Big Ten is down? Through the first few weeks, the conference has one loss as a whole, and that loss was to Duke.

I admit, the competition isn’t of the highest level, and most of the games have been on Big Ten courts, but there aren’t the Division II losses or stunner upsets that have shown up this time of the season in years past. Does this mean the Big Ten will be represented heavily in the polls or send seven teams to the dance? Obviously not. But it may mean that the conference as a whole is rebounding from a couple of saggy years. The conference basement definitely won’t be as ugly this year, and early wins by the middle-tier teams are optimistic.

Some early season observations:

  • Apologies to Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas, but Penn State has the fastest backcourt in the conference. Sophomore Talor Battle looks like a potential all-league pick, averaging over 20 points per game. He’s shooting close to 60 percent from the field, has made 13 threes, and has committed just four turnovers. Stanley Pringle has similar numbers and may be faster end-to-end. They have been able to outrun their opponents thus far, and if that translates to the Big Ten season, the Nittany Lions could flirt with a winning conference season.
  • Michigan beat UCLA not with a Beilein barrage, but with its pesky 1-3-1 zone defense. The Bruins were perplexed all night, and the Wolverines made enough plays on offense to win. Manny Harris is my favorite player in the league – in four contests, he’s gotten to the free throw line 39 times and made 34. His aggressiveness will give teammates wide open looks from deep, and Harris is averaging 4.5 assists as well. Beilein has been bringing DeShawn Sims, the Wolverines’ best interior player, off the bench. He can provide an instant spark with his intensity and inside-outside game. They are a team to watch.
  • It hasn’t been the prettiest start in Bloomington, but Tom Crean has opened with a pair of wins at Indiana. They were clearly juiced for an opening night win over Northwestern State, but really struggled with IUPUI a few nights later. The inconsistency was to be expected, but if the Hoosiers don’t take better control of the ball (37 turnovers vs. 34 assists in the two games), the winning won’t last long. They face Notre Dame, Wake Forest and Gonzaga in their next four contests.
  • Purdue has a stronger grip on the ball. They’ve dished out 73 dimes in their three wins as opposed to 39 turnovers. The box scores tell a story of complete balance: no one is playing more than 26 minutes per contest, but nine are getting in for 13 minutes or more. Six players are averaging 8 or more points per game. What does that equal? Three wins by an average winning margin of over 28 points.
  • I have serious hot and cold concerns with Michigan State. They opened by crushing Idaho by 38, but were not impressive in a win against IPFW. The Spartans should dominate the acronym teams. They say a win is a win, but for a team projected to win the conference and challenge for a Final Four berth, a close win against IPFW almost seems like a loss.
  • It’s hard to judge after one game, but freshmen sensations B.J. Mullens and William Buford didn’t start on opening night for Ohio State. Buford still managed 13 points and Mullens seven, so I’m not concerned. If Thad Matta has enough confidence in Dallas Lauderdale and Jon Diebler, who started in place of the freshmen, Ohio State might be better than we think.
  • Mullens and Buford aren’t the only contributing freshmen. Iowa is being carried by them, and Anthony Tucker is leading the way. The outside specialist is 16-37 from long distance in four wins and averages a team-leading 16 points per game. Freshman backcourt mate Matt Gatens is averaging double figures as well and playing over 30 minutes a contest. Freshman big man Aaron Fuller is also starting and contributing for Todd Lickliter. Disclaimer: I do not expect these numbers to continue throughout the conference slate.
  • Also unblemished to this point: Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Northwestern.

Early Honor Roll

Best Win:

  • Michigan 55, UCLA 52. The Wolverines, as previously mentioned, held UCLA to 42 percent shooting and created 17 turnovers. That sounds more like a UCLA line than a Michigan one.
  • First Runner-Up: Illinois 69, Vanderbilt 63. The conference’s best road win.
  • Second Runner-Up: Northwestern 81, Central Arkansas 39. Why mention this sleeper? Did you think Northwestern could beat anyone by 42? Me neither, and Central Arkansas even has a win over UNC-Greensboro.

Biggest Scare:

  • Wisconsin 60, Iona 58 (OT). Since there’s been only one loss, a close win is the scariest it gets. I imagine the Badgers will play better next time.
  • First Runner-Up: Indiana 60, IUPUI 57. Acronym teams can hang with this year’s Hoosier squad, apparently.
  • Second Runner-Up: Minnesota 72, Colorado State 71. Would the Gophers have won if CSU’s best player, Marcus Walker, wasn’t hit by a car the day before?

Player of the Week:

  • Manny Harris, Michigan. 24 ppg, 6 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.8 spg, 34-39 FTs
  • First Runner-Up: Talor Battle, Penn State. 20.5 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2 spg, 13-24 3s
  • Second Runner-Up: Raymar Morgan, Michigan State.

Line of the Week:

  • Craig Moore, Northwestern, 11/22 @ Brown.
    • 11-15 FG, 9-13 on 3s, 31 points. Broke his own school record with those nine treys.
  • First Runner-Up: Manny Harris, Michigan, 11/12 vs. Northeastern
    • 6-9 FG, 1-2 3s, 13-14 FTs, 26 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists. As efficient a game as one can play.
  • Second Runner-Up: Colton Iverson, Minnestoa, 11/15 vs. Bowling Green.
    • 6 points, 8 rebounds, 9 blocks. His blocks were more than half of the Gophers’ school record 17.
  • Third Runner-Up: Jermain Davis, Illinois, 11/17 vs. Texas-San Antonio.
    • 0-4 FG, 0-1 3s, 10-10 FT, 10 points. Encouraging that a guard gets to the line ten times and makes them all, even when the shots aren’t falling.


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.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by


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


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 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 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


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


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


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


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.