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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 8, 2016

by - Published February 8, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Now in its third year of existence, the American Athletic Conference seems to be in an unenviable position. It’s too early to cast any long-term conclusion on the conference, but already the conference’s best year was its first one, and it almost appears to be on a downward trend. There’s one factor that’s not helping them this season, either.

In the conference’s first season, UConn won the national championship and Louisville had a very good team. Cincinnati and Memphis also made the NCAA Tournament. Then last season, SMU and Cincinnati made it, while Tulsa’s bubble burst and Uconn needed to win the conference tournament – held at the XL Center, where they play a few games each year – in order to make it, but lost in the final after a near-storybook run. Last year, the conference really struggled to get quality wins out of conference.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 29, 2016

by - Published January 29, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

It was just another Thursday night in the college basketball season. And so much more.

North and south, east and west, there were high-level games and fantastic finishes last night. We’ve still got more than a month yet until we get to March-including a Leap Year day-but it felt like a snapshot from the greatest basketball month of the year.

Among the many cliffhangers and dandies:

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 1, 2015

by - Published December 1, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

The easy thing to do after the College of Charleston’s resounding win over LSU Monday night would be to talk about all that’s wrong with the Tigers. With that in mind, we’ll focus first on just what the Cougars are doing right.

The story of Monday night’s hoops slate was Charleston, which spanked LSU 70-58. Not upset-the Cougars controlled this game from the start, and were clearly the better team on this night. It’s a big, big win for second-year head coach Earl Grant, who is already showing signs of returning a proud program back to power.

Canyon Barry is the son of former NBA star Rick Barry, and he starred in this one with 19 points. Charleston won the rebounding battle and frustrated the Tigers with a 2-3 zone defense and at 4-2 is now almost halfway to its win from all of last year, when a 9-24 record was the worst in school history.
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2015-16 CAA Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
colonial

In a conference that has seen lots of changes recently, the CAA got news of one more big one this past off-season. Tom Yeager, the only commissioner the conference has known, will retire at the end of the academic year. There is a time and place for reflection on what he has built, along with his place as a well-respected influencer in college basketball, and that will come. A more pressing question is: what kind of conference will he leave behind?

An unfortunate part of his legacy will be that the CAA was hit hard by conference realignment more than once, and that can’t be pinned on him. The first time, just after the new century, put the conference in danger, but it survived and subsequently thrived after adding strong members from another conference. More recently, however, the conference was among the hardest hit, watching signature programs George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU leave along with Georgia State, who had just turned a corner after an otherwise uninspiring tenure in the conference. Two of those four left to play Division I-A football.

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James Madison Dukes 2015-16 Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Conference Notes
jamesmadison

James Madison Dukes (19-14 overall, 12-6 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Ron Curry
Sr. G Winston Grays
Jr. G Jackson Kent
Jr. F Yohanny Dalembert
Jr. F Tom Vodanovich

Important departures:

No starters are gone from last season’s team, and the only player of any consequence who doesn’t return is F Hari Hall.

Returning:

89.9 percent of scoring and 92.3 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Jr. F Shakir Brown
Fr. G Kevin Kangni
Jr. G Devontae Morgan (transfer from Butler)

Schedule Highlights:

An impressive nine home games highlight the non-conference schedule, including five straight to close out non-conference play. They host the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic, with four games, then later host the likes of Western Michigan, Marshall, East Carolina and Northeast contender Mount St. Mary’s. They open the season at Richmond, play West Virginia in Charleston, WV, and also travel to Marshall. CAA play starts with a chance for some early momentum: three of the first four are at home, and all of the home games are against teams that will be picked in the bottom half of the conference. Right after that is a big weekend: a road trip to Northeastern and Hofstra.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Dukes appeared to be a year away last season, but were part of a four-way tie for first and now return almost everyone. No team in the conference returns as much statistically, with the inside-outside tandem of Curry and Dalembert leading the way. The latter’s development was a key, as it wasn’t a given he would make the big steps forward he did as a sophomore. Grays and Kent complement Curry well, while Vodanovich leads a front line with some depth and lineup options that include juniors Dimitrije Cabarkapa and Paulius Satkus. Curry and Kent were second and third, respectively, in three-point field goal percentage last season, so that figures to be a strong point for this team. The Dukes were not great or terrible in any one area last season, but they did have more turnovers than assists. Improvement there wouldn’t hurt their attempt to get a little further this season.

Next: Northeastern Huskies

Back to CAA Preview

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 11, 2015

by - Published November 11, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

We’re now just two days from opening day, and  Hoopville continues our preseason look at all 32 NCAA Division I conferences.

Only two single-bid leagues won an NCAA Tournament game last year in the round of 64, and Conference USA was one of them. UAB stunned Iowa State as a 14 seed, and that game could be a precursor to big things for the Blazers this year. UAB is the favorite and is led by guard Robert Brown and sophomore forward William Lee, who should get better and better. Old Dominion has C-USA’s best player, though, in Trey Freeman, and the Monarchs could be right on the NCAA doorstep again if they can find some interior scoring. Also watch Middle Tennessee State if it can improve on its 41.4% shooting last year.
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2014-15 CAA Post-Mortem

by - Published June 9, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
colonial

In a year full of competitive conference races, the Colonial Athletic Association fit right in while still being under the radar. It didn’t have a seven-way tie at the top at one point, like the Big South did or three games separating first from tenth like the Patriot League did for a lot of the season, but it did produce its own great result: a four-way tie for the regular season title.

The conference wasn’t top-heavy, either. Another team was two games back of the top four and two more teams another game back. The six losses by the top four teams were tied for the most by a regular season champion in CAA history and marked the first time in 18 years that the regular season champion had more than four losses. Drexel was 9-9 in CAA play and had to play on opening night of the conference tournament. The other 9-9 team, Delaware, knocked off three of the four teams that tied for first during the season.

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2014-15 CAA Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
colonial

Times continue to change in the CAA, and while there is still good basketball, it’s definitely a new era. Last season saw just two CAA teams reach postseason play. In prior years, the conference had sent more. Plenty of teams have challenging non-conference slates this year, so opportunities for quality wins will be there – but whether or not they come is another story. Another membership change comes this season as Elon joins to bring the conference to ten teams. For now, it seems stable, but conference realignment never seems to really take a break, so enjoy it while it lasts.

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James Madison Dukes 2014-15 Preview

by - Published November 14, 2014 in Conference Notes
jamesmadison

James Madison Dukes (11-20 overall, 6-10 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Andre Nation
Jr. G Ron Curry
So. G-F Jackson Kent
So. F Paulius Satkus
S0. F Yohanny Dalembert

Important departures:

The Dukes lost three starters, two of whom they didn’t initially expect to lose: F Taylor Bessick (transferred to Iona), F Andrey Semenov and G Charles Cooke (transferred to Dayton)

Returning:

52.2 percent of scoring and 48.9 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Jr. G Winston Grays (transfer from Cincinnati State)
Fr. F Hari Hall
Fr. G Joey McLean
Fr. G Matt Risse
Fr. G Dante Sterling
So. G Shawn Wilborne

Schedule Highlights:

A year after playing just two non-conference home games, the Dukes will play ten at home, including the first five of the season. They open with a visit from Virginia, then host Big South contender Radford and later host Richmond, MEAC contender Norfolk State and Valparaiso. Three of the home games are in the Buckeye Classic, an event where they will travel to Columbus to play Ohio State as well. About halfway through CAA play, the Dukes play three straight at home before going on the road for the next three games.

Projected finish and outlook:

At first glance, it doesn’t look promising for head coach Matt Brady. He’s in the second year of a two-year contract, and transfers and disciplinary matters are not helping from a personnel standpoint. The Dukes lost their exhibition game, which could be a sign of major growing pains ahead. Nation and Tom Vodanovich have each been suspended for early games, and Nation is on thin ice as this is not his first suspension. The Dukes have a lot of room for growth, and they don’t have much time, especially since the non-conference slate, while home-heavy, has some land mines. Curry has become one of the conference’s best guards, and when Nation is with him they are a solid combination, especially defensively. Kent showed promise, but now must turn that into some production, as must Dalembert. Satkus might be the most ready for a bigger role among the sophomores. The Dukes were a reasonably good defensive team last season, though they weren’t as good in the latter part of the season. They can’t afford a slip like that this time around.

Next: Northeastern Huskies

Back to CAA Preview

2013-14 CAA Post-Mortem

by - Published May 9, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
colonial

The new era in the Colonial Athletic Association has begun. While there was plenty of competitiveness, as expected, the conference is in a very different time now with arguably its three signature programs having left over the past two years.

Conference champion Delaware was a study in overcoming adversity all season long. The Blue Hens certainly had enough talent and experience to compete for the title, but suspensions of multiple players, including long ones to Devon Saddler and Jarvis Threatt, could have scuttled this magical season. They were challenged in the conference tournament, including in the title game, but as they did all year, they found a way to win.

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Saturday Notes – February 6, 2016

February 7, 2016 by

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It was a full day of action, one that included two top teams going down in a rarity. Also, a number of other teams suffered a loss that could be a critical blow to their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes.

Saturday Notes – January 30, 2016

January 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

In the midst of conference season, a non-conference set of games took center stage. They were far from alone in the important games of the day, though, and we take a look at notes from many of those games.

Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A number of games were pushed to another day by a storm on the east coast, but we had plenty of noteworthy games all the same on Saturday.

Hoopville Archives

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

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.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.

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 listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour