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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 – Thursday, February 26, 2015

by - Published February 26, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Coming off one of its best seasons ever, the Atlantic 10 has flown under the radar this year. The league won’t be getting six teams in the NCAA Tournament again, and it’s fair to say it: 2014-15 has not been as good for the conference as 2013-14 was.

It was always going to be hard to top last year anyway, though, so what the league is doing this year is no slouch. Hitting the stretch run, no conference is more intriguing at the top than the A-10, and that was proven in spades Wednesday night.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 25, 2015

by - Published February 25, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

In the wake of Monday night’s Kansas-Kansas State game, fans rushing the court after games continued to be a big topic of discussion on Tuesday.

Nicole Auerbach of the USA Today took a thoughtful look at the topic and questioned if this was the one that crossed the line. CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish was adamant in declaring the practice needs to be stopped. Kansas State released a statement apologizing to Kansas and admitting the school’s fault in not securing the scene properly. Naturally, schools such as Richmond met on Tuesday to discuss security measures before their big rivalry game Wednesday against VCU, while the security presence was notable at the end of Maryland’s 59-53 win over Wisconsin.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 23, 2015

by - Published February 23, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Dana Altman should be the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, perhaps in a runaway now. Barring a collapse, his Oregon team will be in the NCAA Tournament, and that’s no small feat when you consider where this program has been since the end of last season.

On Sunday, Oregon got the signature win they had lacked to go with a host of other good/okay wins, knocking off Utah 69-58 in Eugene. Dillon Brooks scored 11 straight Oregon points, starting with a personal 7-0 run, to lift the Ducks, who tied for the second-highest point total allowed by the Utes on the season.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 16, 2015

by - Published February 16, 2015 in Columns
hoopguy-orange

The Pac-12 looks more and more like it will come down to a game at the end of the month. And it looks like that game will be well worth watching, with Sunday not changing any of this.

Arizona and Utah have set the pace in the Pac-12 this season, and appear to be on a collision course for when they meet on February 28 in Salt Lake City. Both are tied atop the conference, with Arizona taking round one between these two in Tucson, and both won convincingly on Sunday to keep it that way. No one else will challenge them at this point.

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Scanning the Nation Notebook – February 13, 2015

by - Published February 13, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

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.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 9, 2015

by - Published February 9, 2015 in Columns
hoopguy-cyan

If you ever go to the Dean Smith Center at the University of North Carolina, a look up in the rafters will give you an idea of why the building is named after the man. It’s an amazing collection of college basketball history.

Smith passed away late Saturday night at age 83. It came late enough in the evening that word did not get out about it until yesterday morning. And so we begin to remember him, including that like so many legends, he was more than just a coach.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, February 6, 2015

by - Published February 6, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

A young UCLA team continues to grow up, and the Bruins may be hitting a growth spurt at just the right time.

Nearly written off just a couple weeks ago, UCLA has responded with three straight wins to jump back into the national conversation. First it was home victories over nationally ranked Utah and Colorado, but now the Bruins also have a significant road win after taking down Stanford 69-67 Thursday night.

Norman Powell had 20 points and Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford both added 18 in a game in which UCLA raced out to a 22-point lead and then had to hang on at the end. The Cardinal made a furious rally late and actually had a three-point attempt for the win at the buzzer, but Chasson Randle’s shot at the buzzer went off the glass and rim.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 25, 2015

by - Published January 25, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

As one of college basketball’s blueblood programs, Kansas gets all the benefits of membership in an elite club, as well as a few relative drawbacks.

This shouldn’t be mistaken as sorrow or a story of sympathy, but Kansas is sometimes held to a higher standard than others and is a program that many love to put under a microscope and pick apart. There’s some good reason for that, of course-even with its history aside, KU almost always has some of the best talent in the country. And in the case of this season, sometimes that talent has fallen in spectacular fashion-see blowout losses to Kentucky and Temple.

There also are times, though, when the Jayhawks can almost be underrated because of the level of expectation from them. That was already the feel about this year’s team before yesterday, and it’s even more so now after it went on the road and took care of Texas 75-62, ensuring once and for all that the road to the Big 12 title goes through Lawrence. Again.

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Scanning the Nation Notebook – January 21, 2015

by - Published January 21, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

Some college basketball thoughts as we slide into the dregs of the season for many teams, where conference play has become routine but we’re still a couple weeks from getting serious about bubble talk and being able to see the finish line of the postseason:

We’re either nearing or past the quarter pole in almost all conference races now. As such, it’s a good time to take note of some of the surprises from the first part of the conference season. (Note: if a league is not mentioned, then there aren’t any notable surprises…yet):

 

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Your Phil of Hoops

Tough loss doesn’t take away Sacred Heart’s improvement

March 6, 2015 by

sacredheart

Sacred Heart nearly had a big win in the Northeast Conference Tournament quarterfinals. That they instead dropped a tough one doesn’t change the strides they made, or the new challenge ahead.

NC State is not making it easy on themselves

March 1, 2015 by

ncstate

North Carolina State appears to have put themselves in a good position for the NCAA Tournament, but they aren’t making this easy on themselves.

Saturday Notes – February 28, 2015

March 1, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at a very busy Saturday, one that was full of big games that included some conferences closing out their regular season with plenty of drama.

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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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.