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The Morning Dish – Friday, February 10, 2017

by - Published February 10, 2017 in The Morning Dish

There was a huge conference game played in North Carolina Thursday night, one hyped by big names beforehand. The game was part of a series that has regularly provided drama of late, and once again delivered with spades.

Of course we’re talking about the big one played Thursday between UNC Asheville and Winthrop, a series that has become the premier one in the Big South and, frankly, one of the best anywhere this season. And while ESPN provided all the saturation coverage one could ever ask of that other game last night between Tobacco Road rivals Duke and North Carolina, the game in the Blue Ridge Mountains pairing two unheralded NCAA Division I programs took a backseat to no one for suspense. … 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 – Thursday, April 2, 2015

by - Published April 2, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Even at the lower levels of NCAA Division I, there are programs that are sleeping giants. Liberty is one such place, a school where the resources have often outpaced the results on the court. The Flames often have been far more asleep than a giant since joining D-I almost 30 years ago, but the school’s coaching history has been…interesting? Quirky? Bizarre? Take your pick.

Liberty has its new coach to replace Dale Layer, and it’s one of the school’s former coaches. Ritchie McKay coached the Flames for two years from 2007-09 before leaving to take an assistant position at Virginia. In his second year at Liberty, McKay led the team to a 23-12 record, tying the school’s NCAA Division I record for wins.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 6, 2015

by - Published March 6, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The nickname will live on, but as far as the team that earned the label for Florida Gulf Coast, it turns out the first we saw of “Dunk City” in the NCAA tournament in 2013 was also the last.

FGCU was knocked out of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament on Thursday by South Carolina Upstate. In a game that lived up to expectations, the Spartans won 63-62 only after the Eagles’ Bernard Thompson missed the final of three free throws after being fouled attempting a three-pointer with less than two seconds left.

The smooth-shooting Thompson and entertaining point guard Brett Comer were the last links to that FGCU team that shot up from a 15 seed in the 2013 tourney, running and dunking freely past heavily favored Georgetown and San Diego State to make the Sweet 16. As much as the Dunk City tag has endured since then, that team will always be the genuine article, the first and the best.
… Continue Reading

2013-14 Big South Post-Mortem

by - Published June 4, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

The 2013-14 season was a historic one for the Big South, and that included when it counts most. Once the postseason came, a good deal of history was made in the conference. While that didn’t mean an NCAA Tournament victory, as champion Coastal Carolina fell to Virginia after leading by five at halftime, it still meant some good history for the conference.

Coastal was part of some history, though, with their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 21 years. Head coach Cliff Ellis is now the 10th head coach in Division I history to take four different programs to the NCAA Tournament. In other tournament action, Radford picked up the first CBI win by a Big South program, then VMI reached the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. In doing so, the Keydets became the first Big South program to win multiple games in a postseason tournament.

… Continue Reading

2010 Big South Post-Mortem

by - Published May 27, 2010 in Conference Notes

After winning the conference championship in 2009, Radford appeared stacked entering this season. And for a while, the Highlanders looked like they were on pace to repeat as champions. Player of the Year Artsiom Parakhouski was unstoppable night in and night out, helping Radford finish second to surprisingly dominant Coastal Carolina in the regular season. However, the Highlanders fell victim to Winthrop’s suffocating defense in the Big South Tournament’s semifinals.

Winthrop proved why the Eagles are a perennial conference contender by playing excellent defense throughout the season. The Eagles reaped the dividends of their efforts on defense by storming through the Big South Tournament for another championship. The Eagles captured the conference’s automatic bid, which ended up being an invitation to the play-in game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. In that game, Winthrop’s poor shooting spoiled another solid defensive effort, as the Eagles bowed out without playing a game in the field of 64.

But at least Winthrop reached the NCAA Tournament, a place Coastal Carolina had in its sights after winning the regular-season title. However, the Chanticleers couldn’t continue their success in the conference championship game. Coastal Carolina dropped the final bout at home as Winthrop’s defense knocked the Chanticleers out of rhythm throughout the game.

Final Standings

Team Overall Big South
Coastal Carolina 28-7 15-3
Radford 19-12 13-5
Winthrop 19-14 12-6
UNC-Asheville 15-16 11-7
High Point 15-15 10-8
Liberty 15-16 10-8
Charleston Southern 13-17 7-11
VMI 10-19 5-13
Gardner-Webb 8-21 5-13
Presbyterian 5-26 2-16

Big South Conference Tournament

For the ninth time in 12 years, Winthrop won the Big South championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles upset No. 2 Radford and No. 1 Coastal Carolina en route to the conference championship. In the championship game, Winthrop won its second game of the season against the Chanticleers, taking out the hosts 64-53.

After Winthrop gave up 72 points to No. 6 Liberty in the quarterfinals, the Eagles turned up the defensive pressure, holding Radford to 46 points and Coastal Carolina to 53. Senior forward and Defensive Player of the Year Mantoris Robinson paced Winthrop to the championship with 14 points against Coastal Carolina, including a solid 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

The most thrilling game of the tournament was Radford’s 64-61 overtime victory against No. 7 Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern rallied from eight points down in the final minutes of regulation but ran out of steam in overtime. The Highlanders built a six-point cushion to start overtime and held on for the win.

Big South Awards

Player of the Year: Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Coach of the Year: Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year: Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Defensive Player of the Year: Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

First-Team All-Conference:

Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Joseph Harris, Coastal Carolina

Nick Barbour, High Point

Chad Gray, Coastal Carolina

Jamarco Warren, Charleston Southern

Second-Team All-Conference:

Joey Lynch-Flohr, Radford

Austin Kenon, VMI

Kyle Ohman, Liberty

Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

John Williams, UNC-Asheville

All-Freshman Team:

Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Stan Okoye, VMI

Evan Gordon, Liberty

Kierre Greenwood, Coastal Carolina

Blake Smith, Radford

Season Highlights

4 Things We Saw Coming

1. Radford’s Artsiom Parakhouski dominated the conference on his way to Player of the Year honors.

2. Radford’s size propelled the Highlanders near the top of the conference.

3. VMI once again led the nation with the fastest pace. The Keydets also finished dead last in defensive efficiency, contributing to the team’s 19 losses.

4. New High Point coach Scott Cherry has the Panthers playing a faster pace and moving up the standings, finishing in the middle of the Big South pack.

4 Things We Thought We’d See

1. After shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from three-point range in 2008-09, Winthrop was supposed to be better, not worse, on offense this season. That didn’t happen as the Eagles regressed to 38.0 percent from the field and 24.8 percent from long range.

2. Gardner-Webb was supposed to be better after putting up 13 wins in 2008-09 and returning four starters. But the Bulldogs struggled, winning only eight games. Inconsistent guard play led to more than 18 turnovers per game and derailed the season.

3. With Liberty losing Seth Curry and other key contributors, the Flames were supposed to struggle big time this season. But coach Dale Layer found a way to keep Liberty in the top six.

4. To start the season, UNC-Asheville’s backcourt appeared to be the team’s strength. But the Bulldogs ended up averaging about 17 turnovers per game, worse than last season.

4 Things We Didn’t See Coming

1. With Winthrop’s shooting woes, the Eagles didn’t appear to be able to take out Radford in the conference semifinals. But Winthrop found a way to win and got past regular-season champ Coastal Carolina for the conference championship.

2. Coastal Carolina’s ascension to the top of the Big South standings was surprising, especially considering that the team relied mostly on freshmen and sophomores.

3. Coastal Carolina’s Chad Gray, a transfer from South Carolina, did more than just contribute some productive minutes for the Chanticleers. He led the team to the regular-season title with 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. For his efforts, he received first-team all-conference honors.

4. Charleston Southern’s Jeremy Sexton stormed through the Big South in his freshman campaign, earning the Rookie of the Year award. He averaged 12.7 points and 2.3 assists per game and shot better than 38 percent from three-point range.

Teams on the Rise:

Charleston Southern

The Buccaneers finished near the bottom of the pack this season. But they will return nearly their entire lineup, including freshman of the year, Jeremy Sexton. If Charleston Southern can continue to cut down on the turnovers, the Buccaneers could move up as a couple of other teams rebuild.

High Point

Under new coach Scott Cherry, the Panthers played better than expected this past season. If Cherry can keep this team on an upward trajectory, the Panthers should approach the top of the conference next season. The Panthers return six out of their top eight players, including leading scorer Nick Barbour, who averaged 18.9 points per game and will be a candidate for player of the year in 2010-11.

Team on the Decline:

Winthrop

The Eagles won the conference championship with an outburst of just-good-enough shooting and excellent defense. But Winthrop will lose the defensive player of the year, Mantoris Robinson, from a team that relies almost entirely on defense. The Eagles actually shot worse this season than they did last season. There’s no reason to expect this team to turn into excellent shooters all of a sudden, and if the team’s defense falters, the Eagles will plummet in the Big South standings.

Radford

The Highlanders will have to learn to succeed without Artsion Parakhouski, which promises to be a tall order next season. The player of the year averaged 21.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game for Radford this season. In addition, Radford will lose two others starters who averaged at least 32 minutes per game. Radford’s lineup figures to undergo major changes by opening night next season, and it could be a difficult season.

Next Season

This season and next season promise to look totally different in the Big South.

With the player of the year and defensive player of the year graduating, several top teams figure to move down the standings. Radford is in danger of making the biggest drop after Artsiom Parakhouski graduates. The player of the year was spectacular, but the Highlanders will have to find a way to win without him. Most likely, that’s not going to happen very often.

Winthrop will likely join Radford among the teams falling in the standings, unless the Eagles figure out how to shoot better. Winthrop won the conference championship with a great defense and mediocre offense. With the graduation of Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop loses the defensive player of the year. That has to hurt the team’s defensive prowess, which will likewise hurt the team’s win total.

In their place, several young teams, like Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, Liberty and High Point will be ready to move up the standings. Coastal Carolina already earned a regular-season title, and the Chanticleers figure to remain competitive for the league title. Charleston Southern, High Point and Liberty want to build on some success from this past season by moving into the top half of the conference next season.

After winning the conference championship in 2009, Radford appeared stacked entering this season. And for a while, the Highlanders looked like they were on pace to repeat as champions. Player of the Year Artsiom Parakhouski was unstoppable night in and night out, helping Radford finish second to surprisingly dominant Coastal Carolina in the regular season. However, the Highlanders fell victim to Winthrop’s suffocating defense in the Big South Tournament’s semifinals.

Winthrop proved why the Eagles are a perennial conference contender by playing excellent defense throughout the season. The Eagles reaped the dividends of their efforts on defense by storming through the Big South Tournament for another championship. The Eagles captured the conference’s automatic bid, which ended up being an invitation to the play-in game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. In that game, Winthrop’s poor shooting spoiled another solid defensive effort, as the Eagles bowed out without playing a game in the field of 64.

But at least Winthrop reached the NCAA Tournament, a place Coastal Carolina had in its sights after winning the regular-season title. However, the Chanticleers couldn’t continue their success in the conference championship game. Coastal Carolina dropped the final bout at home as Winthrop’s defense knocked the Chanticleers out of rhythm throughout the game.

Final Standings

Team Overall Big South
Coastal Carolina 28-7 15-3
Radford 19-12 13-5
Winthrop 19-14 12-6
UNC-Asheville 15-16 11-7
High Point 15-15 10-8
Liberty 15-16 10-8
Charleston Southern 13-17 7-11
VMI 10-19 5-13
Gardner-Webb 8-21 5-13
Presbyterian 5-26 2-16

Big South Conference Tournament

For the ninth time in 12 years, Winthrop won the Big South championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles upset No. 2 Radford and No. 1 Coastal Carolina en route to the conference championship. In the championship game, Winthrop won its second game of the season against the Chanticleers, taking out the hosts 64-53.

After Winthrop gave up 72 points to No. 6 Liberty in the quarterfinals, the Eagles turned up the defensive pressure, holding Radford to 46 points and Coastal Carolina to 53. Senior forward and Defensive Player of the Year Mantoris Robinson paced Winthrop to the championship with 14 points against Coastal Carolina, including a solid 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

The most thrilling game of the tournament was Radford’s 64-61 overtime victory against No. 7 Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern rallied from eight points down in the final minutes of regulation but ran out of steam in overtime. The Highlanders built a six-point cushion to start overtime and held on for the win.

Big South Awards

Player of the Year: Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Coach of the Year: Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year: Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Defensive Player of the Year: Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

First-Team All-Conference:

Artsiom Parakhouski, Radford

Joseph Harris, Coastal Carolina

Nick Barbour, High Point

Chad Gray, Coastal Carolina

Jamarco Warren, Charleston Southern

Second-Team All-Conference:

Joey Lynch-Flohr, Radford

Austin Kenon, VMI

Kyle Ohman, Liberty

Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop

John Williams, UNC-Asheville

All-Freshman Team:

Jeremy Sexton, Charleston Southern

Stan Okoye, VMI

Evan Gordon, Liberty

Kierre Greenwood, Coastal Carolina

Blake Smith, Radford

Season Highlights

4 Things We Saw Coming

1. Radford’s Artsiom Parakhouski dominated the conference on his way to Player of the Year honors.

2. Radford’s size propelled the Highlanders near the top of the conference.

3. VMI once again led the nation with the fastest pace. The Keydets also finished dead last in defensive efficiency, contributing to the team’s 19 losses.

4. New High Point coach Scott Cherry has the Panthers playing a faster pace and moving up the standings, finishing in the middle of the Big South pack.

4 Things We Thought We’d See

1. After shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from three-point range in 2008-09, Winthrop was supposed to be better, not worse, on offense this season. That didn’t happen as the Eagles regressed to 38.0 percent from the field and 24.8 percent from long range.

2. Gardner-Webb was supposed to be better after putting up 13 wins in 2008-09 and returning four starters. But the Bulldogs struggled, winning only eight games. Inconsistent guard play led to more than 18 turnovers per game and derailed the season.

3. With Liberty losing Seth Curry and other key contributors, the Flames were supposed to struggle big time this season. But coach Dale Layer found a way to keep Liberty in the top six.

4. To start the season, UNC-Asheville’s backcourt appeared to be the team’s strength. But the Bulldogs ended up averaging about 17 turnovers per game, worse than last season.

4 Things We Didn’t See Coming

1. With Winthrop’s shooting woes, the Eagles didn’t appear to be able to take out Radford in the conference semifinals. But Winthrop found a way to win and got past regular-season champ Coastal Carolina for the conference championship.

2. Coastal Carolina’s ascension to the top of the Big South standings was surprising, especially considering that the team relied mostly on freshmen and sophomores.

3. Coastal Carolina’s Chad Gray, a transfer from South Carolina, did more than just contribute some productive minutes for the Chanticleers. He led the team to the regular-season title with 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. For his efforts, he received first-team all-conference honors.

4. Charleston Southern’s Jeremy Sexton stormed through the Big South in his freshman campaign, earning the Rookie of the Year award. He averaged 12.7 points and 2.3 assists per game and shot better than 38 percent from three-point range.

Teams on the Rise:

Charleston Southern

The Buccaneers finished near the bottom of the pack this season. But they will return nearly their entire lineup, including freshman of the year, Jeremy Sexton. If Charleston Southern can continue to cut down on the turnovers, the Buccaneers could move up as a couple of other teams rebuild.

High Point

Under new coach Scott Cherry, the Panthers played better than expected this past season. If Cherry can keep this team on an upward trajectory, the Panthers should approach the top of the conference next season. The Panthers return six out of their top eight players, including leading scorer Nick Barbour, who averaged 18.9 points per game and will be a candidate for player of the year in 2010-11.

Team on the Decline:

Winthrop

The Eagles won the conference championship with an outburst of just-good-enough shooting and excellent defense. But Winthrop will lose the defensive player of the year, Mantoris Robinson, from a team that relies almost entirely on defense. The Eagles actually shot worse this season than they did last season. There’s no reason to expect this team to turn into excellent shooters all of a sudden, and if the team’s defense falters, the Eagles will plummet in the Big South standings.

Radford

The Highlanders will have to learn to succeed without Artsion Parakhouski, which promises to be a tall order next season. The player of the year averaged 21.4 points and 13.4 rebounds per game for Radford this season. In addition, Radford will lose two others starters who averaged at least 32 minutes per game. Radford’s lineup figures to undergo major changes by opening night next season, and it could be a difficult season.

Next Season

This season and next season promise to look totally different in the Big South.

With the player of the year and defensive player of the year graduating, several top teams figure to move down the standings. Radford is in danger of making the biggest drop after Artsiom Parakhouski graduates. The player of the year was spectacular, but the Highlanders will have to find a way to win without him. Most likely, that’s not going to happen very often.

Winthrop will likely join Radford among the teams falling in the standings, unless the Eagles figure out how to shoot better. Winthrop won the conference championship with a great defense and mediocre offense. With the graduation of Mantoris Robinson, Winthrop loses the defensive player of the year. That has to hurt the team’s defensive prowess, which will likewise hurt the team’s win total.

In their place, several young teams, like Coastal Carolina, Charleston Southern, Liberty and High Point will be ready to move up the standings. Coastal Carolina already earned a regular-season title, and the Chanticleers figure to remain competitive for the league title. Charleston Southern, High Point and Liberty want to build on some success from this past season by moving into the top half of the conference next season.

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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

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.

Hoopville Podcasts

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Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

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2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

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