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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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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 21, 2015

by - Published January 21, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Some will call it a masterpiece; others may still think of the game more as an eye sore. Either way, what Wisconsin did Tuesday night is something extraordinary, even by its own lofty standards.

The Badgers pounded Iowa 82-50 Tuesday night in as ruthlessly efficient an offensive performance as you’ll ever see. Wisconsin committed one turnover. Uno. Un. It shot 48.3% (29 of 60), including 9 of 23 from three-point range, grabbed 11 offensive rebounds off its misses, and made 15 of 19 free throws.

It was typical Badgers: methodical, fundamental, patient, statistically good-but-not-great, yet all executed by an exceptionally skilled offensive team. Some will still call them boring to watch. Whether their style looks slow or not, though, the fact is Wisconsin scored 82 points against what many think is a pretty darn good team. If that’s slow, many teams should be falling over themselves to find the details of how they can play “slow” like the Badgers.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 14, 2015

by - Published January 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

What a difference a couple days makes.

A week ago, we had three undefeated Division I teams, and there was a fair amount of debate of if Duke might be as good or better than Kentucky, the team that had been almost universally acclaimed as the top squad for the prior month-plus.

The Wildcats were coming off a narrow escape at home against Mississippi, hardly their first close shave this season. Meanwhile, Duke was 13-0, Coach K was on his way to 1,000 wins and the Blue Devils were cruising, having defeated everyone they’d played by at least 10 points on the way to a 13-0 record.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 9, 2015

by - Published January 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Iowa and LSU continue to be two of the bigger teases in the country.

That much remained certain after last night, when-just when you’re ready to believe in them-both suffered losses that can only be categorized as disappointing. Iowa was outstanding for a half, but lost an 11-point lead and eventually the game going away, Michigan State putting the Hawkeyes well in their mirror for a 75-61 win. LSU, meanwhile, played what should’ve been a manageable road game, but surrendered an eight-point lead in the second half and never could shake Missouri, eventually losing 74-67 in overtime.

First off, before noting the schizophrenic nature of the losing teams, credit goes to the winners. Michigan State winning at Iowa wasn’t much of a surprise-the Spartans are a talented bunch-but rallying after a poor first half with a terrific three-point shooting performance (8 of 9 in second half). Missouri, meanwhile, has been a nuisance for many teams of late and will only become even more of a tough out as the season continues, and that’s a credit to new coach Kim Anderson.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 6, 2015

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

While they are fun to follow-and yes, they do matter to some extent, even if not necessarily for NCAA Tournament selection-normally we won’t make much note of the release of the weekly top 25 polls on Monday, but this week is an exception.

Old Dominion jumped into the Associated Press Top 25 yesterday for the first time in school history. This was notable for one because it was surprising that ODU has never been in the AP poll before given some of its excellent teams in the past, dating all the way back to some very good years in the then-powerful Sun Belt in the 1980s.

More pertinent to today, it is worth noticing because of what a job Jeff Jones has done in just two years with the program. The Monarchs were a disaster in 2012-13, finishing 5-25 with the departure of head coach Blaine Taylor during the season. The program wasn’t as bad as that overall-Old Dominion lost at the buzzer to eventual national runner-up Butler in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament-but it still wasn’t good.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 31, 2014

by - Published December 31, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

One of the great things about conference play is watching just how teams and players react to playing quality competition and/or on the road after having not been challenged much in the season’s first six weeks.

The Big Ten began its conference schedule on Tuesday with several notable games of that ilk. No game displayed the switch to the rigors of conference play like Iowa’s 71-65 win at Ohio State.

The Hawkeyes did an excellent job of moving the ball and finding the sweet spots in the Buckeyes’ 2-3 zone defense that was frankly way too soft. Iowa also hit shots, something it hasn’t always done this year (the Hawks’ 46% shooting was the team’s best mark in over a month), and controlled the boards for a big win to start off the conference schedule, one that should have lasting impact for quite a while.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, December 4, 2014

by - Published December 4, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

This introduction was going to be about one of the most anticipated games of the year so far, as Duke and Wisconsin squared off in a battle between top 5 teams, Final Four contenders and legendary coaches. That changed after midnight here in the Central time zone after watching Wichita State face Utah in what was maybe the second-most anticipated game-of at least the night, anyway.

The Utes picked up a signature non-conference win, edging the Shockers 69-68 in overtime. It’s a huge win for Utah, but if someone happened to turn this off late in the second half, they should know the win came far tougher for Utah than it may have looked late in regulation.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 27, 2014

by - Published November 27, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Happy Thanksgiving to all. We hope you’re spending the day with family and friends, and not at the mall.

One of college basketball’s true Thanksgiving traditions got underway once again last night. Try as some may want to bury it, the Great Alaska Shootout keeps plugging away. The 37th annual shootout opened Wednesday, and, no, the field is not of the quality they once were. But it is still better than some think.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 25, 2014

by - Published November 25, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

By its extremely lofty standards, this year’s Maui Invitational is rather light fare, though still one of the kings of the in-season tournaments.

Maui is always a highlight of November and Thanksgiving week, dating back to its emergence in the late 1980s, and the tourney opened yesterday with quarterfinals. The best game of the four was the last one, as old WAC and Mountain West rivals San Diego State and BYU went at it good deep into the night for us on the mainland.
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Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

January 25, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

This Saturday didn’t have quite the marquee matchups as a week earlier, but there were some important ones, especially with teams in the middle of a few conferences trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

January 15, 2015 by

rhodeisland

Rhode Island controlled Tuesday night’s game against VCU, but couldn’t finish it and took a tough loss. Their improvement is evident, though, and they are keeping perspective on that in trying to keep improving.

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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.

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.