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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 20, 2015

by - Published November 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Though still a week from Thanksgiving Day, the holiday tournament season really began yesterday, and the results from the first two events were a good sampling of the first week of the 2015-16 season as a whole.

The Puerto Rico Tip-Off and Charleston Classic both got underway on Thursday, and the games featured some high scores, some low ones, a lot of free throws and another sprinkling of surprising results. We saw Butler red-hot-again. Mississippi State showed again that a turnaround under Ben Howland with Malik Newman isn’t going to be instant. Long Beach State may be inexperienced-but also already a better team than last year. And Virginia is Virginia, and still in a class among the nation’s best.

Among the tourney results:
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 17, 2015

by - Published November 17, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Knowing the climate of fandom and the avoidance theory advocated by many for the schools with the biggest budgets, there undoubtedly are some today questioning Virginia coach Tony Bennett for his scheduling a road game against George Washington, wondering why he would play such a “no-win” game.

On every account, they are wrong.

In the best game of Monday night, the Colonials knocked off the 6th-ranked Cavaliers 73-68 at a rocking Charles E. Smith Center on the GW campus. Patricio Garino scored 18 and Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh provided a key 18 points, offsetting 28 points by Malcolm Brogdon. George Washington led most of the night, but it was close the entire way with no lead greater than nine points.

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A game a day for the 2015-16 season: February

by - Published November 12, 2015 in Columns

We conclude our look at our favorite games for every day of the season from November through February, our ultimate dream road trip through an entire college basketball season.

To refresh: in some cases they’re the biggest matchup of the day, in others they may be what we think will be the best game to watch. Some days the picks are obvious, others they are no doubt up for debate, but we limited it to one pick and one special mention each day. We started this on Monday with November, continued with December on Tuesday, January and Wednesday, and today we finish with February:

Feb. 1: North Carolina at Louisville. Besides the obvious skill of these teams, it’s always a sweet pairing of the Tar Heels’ running and the Cardinals’ pressure defense. Honorable mention: SMU at Houston

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2014-15 Big West Post-Mortem

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

The Big West entered 2014-15 poised for a very good year, and it eventually got there, albeit in a very roundabout way.

A number of the storylines for the league coming into the season never quite materialized, for a myriad of reasons. Among them:

-Preseason favorite UC Irvine was hammered by injuries for much of the season. Mammoth (7-foot-6) game-changer Mamadou Ndiaye played in less than half the team’s games, and four other regulars missed substantial time. After a 3-2 start that included a scare of Arizona and a tough loss at St. Mary’s, the Anteaters really were never whole again the rest of the year.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 9, 2015

by - Published January 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish

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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Scanning the Nation Notebook – Dec. 10

by - Published December 10, 2014 in Columns

Some weekly thoughts, from watching and reading and generally spending too much time following college basketball:

  • CBS’s Jon Rothstein beat us to mentioning him today in his Observations column, but we’ll add on: Dylan Ennis has been a real difference-maker for Villanova. The junior averaged just 5.1 points per game last year but this year has stepped up his scoring, averaging nearly 13 points per game, including 18 Tuesday night in the Wildcats’ win over Illinois in the Jimmy V Classic. As if Nova’s offense needed another perimeter threat, it now has one as Ennis is shooting 46% from three (20 of 43) and has almost already matched his entire season total of 25 triples made last year. He helped keep the Wildcats going early this season in tougher-than-expected wins over Lehigh and Bucknell when the rest of the team was struggling from deep, and Ennis is now the leading scorer as Villanova has seven players averaging between 7.4 and 12.9 points per game.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, December 6, 2014

by - Published December 6, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Earlier this week, the ACC/Big Ten Challenge was the center of attention. For the past couple of nights it’s the SEC/Big 12 Challenge that has taken over. And just like one game in particular in the former got everyone’s attention, and was about as good as billed, there was one matchup in the latter that many were eagerly awaiting. It wasn’t quite as good as billed in the second half, but it was a competitive game, for the most part.

Texas had about as good a month of November as Kentucky, as previously detailed in this space. The Longhorns also have a lot of length, so they figured to be able to match up with Kentucky. Texas led several times in the first half and had a big edge on the glass, and the teams were tied at 26 at the break. It figured to be quite a second half.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 28, 2014

by - Published November 28, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Here’s hoping all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Football games get all the attention, and understandably so given tradition, but on this day the college basketball action was far better than the football games. With that, we jump right into the day’s action:

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 23, 2014

by - Published November 23, 2014 in The Morning Dish

The weekend has featured several instances of something we don’t see often: BCS conference (or Group of Five, or whatever term you want to use) teams taking to the road against good non-BCS teams.

In the past two days, four teams that went to the NCAA Tournament last year went on the road to face non-BCS teams. For those who have paid attention to this sort of thing over the years, the results of these games were not surprising.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 22, 2014

by - Published November 22, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Early season tournaments continue to lead the way, and will for much of the next week. Friday featured plenty of such action leading into the weekend, setting the stage for what’s to come. In one of them, a champion was crowned.

At Madison Square Garden, Texas won the 2K Classic 71-55 over California, frustrating the Golden Bears with their defense all night long, especially the 10 shots they blocked. In the consolation game, Syracuse held off Iowa 66-63 behind a career-high 20 points and nine rebounds from freshman Chris McCullough, who also got the game-sealing steal in the final seconds. More coverage on this is coming soon, so stay tuned.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

Hoopville Archives

Reader Poll

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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.

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

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


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


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


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


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.