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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

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 23, 2016

by - Published February 23, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Before Iowa State was placed in so many preseason top 10s and labeled by some as a Final Four favorite and a short-list contender for the national title, it might’ve been instructive to watch the Cyclones’ final game from the 2014-15 season.

In a stunning first-round loss to No. 14 seed UAB in the NCAA Tournament, third-seeded ISU was outrebounded 51-34. This came against a team that was just +1.5 on the season on the glass while competing in Conference USA (and, indeed, the Blazers were outrebounded 41-26 in their next game by fairly middling UCLA).
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, February 13, 2016

by - Published February 13, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Before Archie Miller got to Dayton, the Flyers had their share of success. It was arguably a program on the rise, although they had not become a perennial NCAA Tournament team during their rise. Instead, they had gotten closer and broken through more times after flirting with it for some time. Still, they were more like a perennial NIT than NCAA Tournament team at that point. They had not yet arrived or peaked.

Now, the Flyers are one of the best in the Atlantic 10, and on Friday night, they kept it that way by doing what top teams do: they pulled one out on the road that could have easily gone the other way. They emerged from Rhode Island with a 68-66 victory over the Rams, who have remained tough despite losing their best player for the season way back on opening night, and in so doing, remain firmly on top of the conference with an 11-1 mark.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, February 6, 2016

by - Published February 6, 2016 in The Morning Dish

As always at this time of the year, the Ivy League had a full slate on Friday night, and already another big matchup was on the books. And as also often happens, round one went to the home team, with a couple of frontcourt players leading the charge.

Yale brought an eight-game winning streak into a home date with Columbia, who had won six straight of their own. Both entered the night 4-0 in early Ivy League play, and this was expected before the season as most figured they would be two of the favorites. It was a matchup with strength against strength, with Lions guards Maodo Lo (21 points, six rebounds, seven steals) and Grant Mullins (13 points) having the best nights for them and the Bulldogs being led by Justin Sears (27 points, seven rebounds) and Brandon Sherrod (25 points, eight rebounds). More on the latter two in a moment.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 3, 2016

by - Published February 3, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Tuesday afternoon on the tube, ESPN Classic featured a terrific game from 1987 between Indiana and Michigan. An All-American guard who eventually became a fairly prominent college coach named Steve Alford won the game with a coast-to-coast dash after a missed Wolverines free throw, giving the Hoosiers an 85-84 win in a season that ended with IU’s last national championship.

The game was an enjoyable trip back in time, before conference (over)expansion, diminished rivalries (the first often causing the second) and shoe companies issuing teams different (and usually uglier) uniforms for seemingly every game. It reminded us how these two used to be fierce rivals, and the games between Bob Knight and Bill Frieder’s teams at that time were always must-watch. (Though in fairness, almost everyone in the Big Ten targeted the Hoosiers in those days)
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 19, 2016

by - Published January 19, 2016 in The Morning Dish

On Monday, Oklahoma ascended to the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the first time in 26 years. The Sooners’ stay there will almost certainly be a short one.

The greatest season for the Sooners since Billy Tubbs was coach-or at least the greatest regular season since then (we won’t forget the 2002 Final Four appearance under Kelvin Sampson) hit a temporary speed bump Monday night with an 82-77 loss at Iowa State in another terrific Big 12 Big Monday game on ESPN.

The result was hardly a surprise. Road play in the Big 12 should explain it sufficiently, but add in the Hilton Coliseum factor, plus a Cyclones team that needed this one badly, and Oklahoma frankly has nothing to apologize for here.

… Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

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.

A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

October 7, 2016 by


With some big-time additions, much was expected of Cal a year ago, and the season did not end well. This time around, expectations may be reduced, but the Golden Bears have a chance to end the season better.

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by


Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

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.

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.