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2016-17 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

by - Published June 8, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Sun Belt Conference often lurks quietly down in the South, in the shadows of not just the SEC but even fellow major college football-playing Conference USA, to say nothing of overlapping leagues like the Big 12, ACC, and nation-spanning AAC.

The league’s basketball results in recent years have done little to change that, but in the 2016-17 college hoops season, the Sun Belt just might’ve been the best-kept secret in the country. Home of a proud basketball history-it once was the home of programs like UAB, UNC Charlotte, Old Dominion and VCU, and was among the nation’s best leagues in the 1980s-the league saw something of a resurgence just one year after celebrating its 40th anniversary. … Continue Reading

Scanning the Nation: Notes from the first weekend of Jan. league play

by - Published January 9, 2017 in Columns

It was a rather docile first full weekend of January, early in the conference portion of the college basketball season. Here are some quick hit notes from around the country, from A (Arizona) to…well, at least W (Western Illinois):

  • Sometimes the effect of a single player being out of the lineup is overdone, but early on it sure looks like Sindarius Thornwell’s return for South Carolina is a game-changer. Thornwell totaled 19 points, 11 rebounds and six steals in his first game back and then posted 16, seven and five in those categories Saturday in a 79-68 win against Texas A&M. We’re thinking the Gamecocks look good to emerge as the second- or third-best team in the SEC; in fact, mark down Jan. 18 and Feb. 21. That’s when Frank Martin’s team plays Florida.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 8, 2017

by - Published January 8, 2017 in Columns

The first Saturday of the new year brought us a rarity in college basketball during conference play: a day with few meaningful upsets of any kind.

Nineteen nationally ranked teams played on Saturday. Eighteen of them won. The only one that didn’t (Virginia Tech) was playing on the road against a higher ranked team (Florida State). Of course, it certainly helped that 12 of the 19 ranked teams were playing at home, but the road wins were mostly no slouches (Creighton won at Providence, Louisville was victorious at Georgia Tech, Butler beat a desperate Georgetown team, Cincinnati topped Houston and even Saint Mary’s had to overcome rival San Francisco).

January madness? Not on this day. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 3, 2017

by - Published January 3, 2017 in The Morning Dish

On the second day of 2017, a medium-weight college basketball schedule included quite a few games, though few of the high profile variety.

Regardless of the stories developing early in some conferences (the Metro Atlantic and Southland being turned upside down, for example), it can’t be ignored that the biggest news of the day came off the court. Duke announced on Monday that head coach Mike Krzyzewski will undergo lower back surgery this Friday, and is expected to be out for up to four weeks. This will be the second time Coach K has missed significant time during a season for back surgery, and the first time since 1994-95. … Continue Reading

2015-16 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

by - Published August 22, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

Almost every college basketball season, there is one program that comes completely out of nowhere to join the national scene with a program-defining banner year, taking its fans and even the country on one fun ride.

Naturally, part of the cool factor of such seasons is one can rarely peg where those teams are coming from. So it was with Arkansas-Little Rock of the Sun Belt Conference in 2015-16, as the Trojans rose from mediocrity or something less to a legitimate national player-and behind a new coach, no less. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 24, 2016

by - Published March 24, 2016 in The Morning Dish

George Washington’s experienced core of seniors Patricio Garino, Kevin Larsen and Joe McDonald has accomplished a lot in four years together, so adding another milestone to their careers and to the school’s history books is a fitting ending for the three.

From 13-17 as freshmen to the NCAA Tournament the next year to a small step backwards to the NIT second round a year ago, the trio now has led the Colonials to the NIT Final Four for the first time in school history. GW defeated stubborn Florida 82-77 on Wednesday, holding on to win in a game that featured 14 ties and 19 lead changes. … Continue Reading

Scanning the Nation Notebook: Atlantic 10, Wisconsin, Siena, Notre Dame & more

by - Published February 11, 2016 in Columns

The Atlantic 10 is a more-than solid conference this year, comfortably in seventh in the conference RPI and with at least four NCAA Tournament-quality teams-and maybe five, depending on if St. Bonaventure can finish strong. That said, we fear the league is cannibalizing its own too much, and it’s conceivable that the A-10 could finish with as few as two or (gasp) one NCAA bid, should Dayton win the conference tournament.

George Washington, Saint Joseph’s, VCU and St. Bonaventure all are far from sure things for bids, and it’s certainly possible the selection committee will regard results such as GW winning at VCU and then losing at home (by 18 points) to Saint Joseph’s as signs of mediocrity more than strength. Should the numbers hold at or near their currents, we sure hope the committee seriously considers VCU’s improvement since late December (12 straight wins before the loss to the Colonials), St. Joe’s road record (9-0) and the Bonnies’ lack of bad losses (the worst are at RPI No. 106 Duquesne and 107 Siena, hardly a complete embarrassment), but we’re not optimistic. The committee likes to talk about road wins-and these four are a combined 26-8 away from home-yet regularly (and wrongly, from this view) ignores consistent road winners in favor of those who make one or two splashes away from home out of conference…
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 16, 2015

by - Published December 16, 2015 in The Morning Dish

UCLA. Notre Dame. USC. Georgetown.

Monmouth.

If you’re looking for a Final Four of all-time college sports royalty, you could do a lot worse than those first four. All four are national brand names. UCLA and Georgetown are two of the signature programs in college basketball over the last 50 years. Notre Dame is by far the biggest name in college football, and USC is easily in the top 10 in that sport.

The term “power” gets thrown around way too freely in college sports in relation to conferences that, frankly, in most cases are carried by a couple athletic programs. Make no mistake, though: all four of these are true “power” programs-UCLA, Notre Dame and USC in all sports, and Georgetown in basketball as a leader in the Big East, the gold standard for NCAA Division I basketball-first leagues.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, December 4, 2015

by - Published December 4, 2015 in The Morning Dish

What a difference one game can make in a season.

Just over a week ago, UCLA was losing to Wake Forest in the Maui Invitational for its second loss in two days. Just under three weeks ago, the Bruins lost at home to Monmouth in their season opener in what will go down as one of the upsets of the season given its unknown-slaying-blueblood storyline, even as we’ve come to see the Hawks are a pretty darn good team themselves.

After last night, though, UCLA now holds one of the true trump cards for NCAA Tournament resumes that any team will hold all season. The Bruins upended No. 1-ranked Kentucky 87-77, leading almost the entire way and snapping the Wildcats’ 38-game regular season winning streak.
… Continue Reading

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

by - Published November 10, 2015 in Columns

Continuing our look at our favorite games for every day of the season, our ultimate dream road trip, if you will.

We started on Monday with November, and today we continue with December:

Dec. 1: Maryland at North Carolina. We’re not one to get into the hypefest aspect of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but this is a pretty easy pick. No. 1 and No. 3 in the AP preseason poll, former ACC rivals, etc. One of the best games of the year. This should be fun, and will only reinforce how much we think the Terrapins really should still be an ACC school. Honorable mention: Villanova at St. Joseph’s

… Continue Reading

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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

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.