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The Morning Dish – Friday, December 9, 2016

by - Published December 9, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Middle Tennessee State carved out a place in college basketball history in March when it posted one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history by knocking out Michigan State. This year’s Blue Raiders are not the same team as last year’s group, though.

They very well might be better.

For those wondering what MTSU has been up to since last season ended with a loss to Syracuse in the second round of the NCAAs, it’s time to take notice. Middle Tennessee is now 9-1 on this season after taking advantage of the chance to host an SEC school and posting a convincing 71-48 win over Vanderbilt. Giddy Potts scored 27 points and Reggie Upshaw and JaCorey Williams also were terrific, with the trio combining for 54 points to outscore the Commodores themselves. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 6, 2016

by - Published December 6, 2016 in The Morning Dish

There was nothing like a return to comfortable surroundings against a comfortably familiar rival to get Connecticut a win that maybe can get the Huskies’ season back on track.

Desperately needing a spark in a season that early on has been defined by injuries, stunning losses and near-losses, the Huskies rallied past Syracuse for a 52-50 win Monday night. The game was played at Madison Square Garden, home to so many clashes between these two in the Big East Tournament in the past, and was the first of several big college games at the venerable arena this week.

It wasn’t Big Monday, and it was far from a work of art, but the night still reminded us just what the sport is missing when these two are not in the same conference anymore. With their games there in the past, both can make a figurative claim to MSG being their home away from home, and the atmosphere for this game made for typically great television between these two. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, December 2, 2016

by - Published December 2, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Cincinnati won the battle against Iowa State Thursday night, and then the Bearcats went ahead and won the war too.

In a game that displayed just how captivating college basketball can be when teams with vastly different styles of play collide, the Bearcats earned a decisive decision in the category of controlling tempo, and eventually toughed out a 55-54 road win at ISU’s Hilton Coliseum, one of the toughest places to play in the country. While the former became obvious fairly quickly in the early going, the latter was hardly a given at any point. Cincy trailed by four late in regulation and by three with less than two minutes left in overtime, but got the stops it needed and received two free throws from Jacob Evans with 20 seconds left. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 26, 2016

by - Published November 26, 2016 in The Morning Dish

The novelty of each program wore off long ago, but Baylor and Butler remain remarkable stories in their own way. They reminded the college basketball world of that on Friday in distinctively different ways.

Both teams took home championships on Friday. The games were very different, but the end result was the main thing in common.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, November 25, 2016

by - Published November 25, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Hoping all had a very happy Thanksgiving yesterday.

If you’re a college basketball fan that grew up watching the sport in the 1980s or even the 1990s, when you thought of Thanksgiving in college hoops, most likely the very first thing you thought of was the Great Alaska Shootout.

The Shootout, hosted by NCAA Division II member Alaska-Anchorage, became a holiday tradition in the 80s and a lynchpin of the early season, as good a place as any in the non-conference season to find quality teams en masse. It regularly brought in top teams, top players and top coaches, and the number of memorable moments from it have been literally enough to write a book about. Before the Maui Invitational, before the ACC/Big Ten Challenge-before the ACC/Big East Challenge even-there was the Great Alaska Shootout.
… Continue Reading

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

by - Published October 21, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

In recent years, when the subject of the best basketball conferences has come up, how good the ACC and Big Ten are has often been at the center. Previously, it centered on the Big East before it broke up, including in 2011 when 11 of its 16 teams made the NCAA Tournament, while last year, the ACC set a record for NCAA Tournament wins by its members with 19. (And that was a year after the ACC came up one short of the previous record of 18 by the 1985 Big East.) The Pac-12 grabbed a bit of the conversation as well since it was very deep and intensely competitive. All the while, the Big 12 has been on quite a run, and has arguably been the best conference of late.

Continuing that run, however, will be a different challenge this season.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 Big 12 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 21, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Big 12 has been on one heck of a run over the last three years, but it is undeniable the league took its game up even another notch in 2015-16.

Three straight years now, the Big 12 has finished first in conference RPI (some RPI measures had it second in 2013-14), kept a steady presence in top 25 polls all year (it finished the season with an incredible streak of 38 consecutive weeks with at least five teams in the polls) and in all three years put 70% (seven) of its teams in the NCAA Tournament, a feat accomplished just seven times total by any conference and by none in 21 years before the Big 12 did in 2014. … Continue Reading

For Georges Niang, a path to the NBA may not include the draft

by - Published May 16, 2016 in Columns

In a season full of senior stars, Georges Niang is one who might have seemed an unlikely one once upon a time. His is a story of how intangibles supplement talent and physical gifts and bring someone a long way.

As a high schooler, Niang won – a lot. He played for the powerful BABC program, long the premier travel program in New England, and they rarely lost games while winning a Nike EYBL title and an AAU national championship during his time. It didn’t stop there, as his teams at the Tilton School won four straight NEPSAC Class AA titles and nearly won a fifth, and also won a National Prep Championship. He was no small part of all of those teams, scoring over 2,300 points at Tilton and being a constant presence for BABC, though more of a glue guy on the latter for a good deal of his career.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 20, 2016

by - Published March 20, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Defense wins championships and all that and yadda yadda, but Saturday at the NCAA Tournament was a showcase of offenses unquestionably ruling the day.

The start of the second round of this year’s tourney had some competitive games but very little in the way of down-to-the-wire finishes, which is to say it was rather ho-hum, almost a mild disappointment by the lofty standards set by an incredible Friday. What the winning teams had in common, though, was that their offensive execution ranged from very good to blindingly hot, and-no matter what they did on defense, even as a lot of it was good-it is the No. 1 reason all eight teams advanced. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 11, 2016

by - Published March 11, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Coaches such as Jim Valvano, Rollie Massimino and Tom Izzo are among those to make the month of March their personal playground over the years, regularly leading teams on extended runs, regardless of the strength of their teams in the regular season.

Few would include Ray Harper on that list, but it has become time that they should. As the excellent ESPN and American Sports Network analyst Mark Adams prophetically pointed out Wednesday, you can’t bet against Harper’s teams in March, and boy, was that shown again yesterday. … Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – December 3, 2016

December 4, 2016 by

The first big Saturday of the college basketball season gave us all we could hope for, and it started right away. We have notes from a number of the day’s games right here.

Thanks to a big backcourt boost, Gonzaga should be even better this season

November 7, 2016 by

Gonzaga might have needed the West Coast Conference title they won in Las Vegas last year in order to be in the NCAA Tournament. With better guards, there should be no doubt about that this time around.

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by

The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

Hoopville Archives

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.

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

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.