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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

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 – Wednesday, December 23, 2015

by - Published December 23, 2015 in The Morning Dish

With teams looking to squeeze in games before Christmas and the holidays, the full schedule of games on Tuesday had the feeling of a Saturday. And boy, did the day deliver.

Tuesday’s slate of 109 games involving NCAA Division I teams included 11 games decided in overtime-more than 10% of all games played. A whopping 27 games were decided by five points or less or in overtime. The Associated Press No. 1, 5 and 6 teams nearly lost, while No. 20 was blown out by a team already with six losses.

If your pleasure is single OT games, there were eight of them, from top-ranked Michigan State’s 99-93 escape from Oakland to Drexel and Penn’s 53-52 game (tied at 44 after regulation) eventually won by the Dragons. If you like two overtimes, there were two of those (Houston 94-89 over Wyoming and Marist edging Brown 84-83).

… 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

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 1, 2015

by - Published December 1, 2015 in The Morning Dish

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.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 11, 2015

by - Published November 11, 2015 in The Morning Dish

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.
… Continue Reading

2014-15 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

by - Published June 10, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Seemingly in a perpetual search for an identity due to so many membership changes, the Sun Belt Conference found one in 2014-15 as a conference that provided a little of it all.

The Sun Belt was both as predicted and unpredictable. It played games in the 90s and 100s…or the 30s and 40s. It even had some star power amidst rosters that would mostly generate a shrug on the national level. It was a unique mix, but in the end it worked out well for a now-venerable league that has faced numerous changes over the years but is nearing its 40th anniversary.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 31, 2015

by - Published March 31, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The thinking seems to be that the main motivation for St. John’s to be ready to hire Chris Mullin is that the school wants to follow the Fred Hoiberg Model of hiring an alumnus who was a former NBA front office before making a splash as a college coach.

That may be true for St. John’s, but it also oversimplifies all of what the school will get when it hires Mullin, an announcement that is expected to happen Wednesday.

In hiring Mullin, St. John’s will be bringing back one of its greatest players, a three-time All-American and, perhaps even more impressive, three-time Big East Player of the Year, in an era when guys such as Patrick Ewing and Pearl Washington were in the league. It also will be bringing in a local product in New York City, which even in what is considered a state of decline is still a fertile recruiting area.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 26, 2015

by - Published March 26, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The norm in March is that our spectacular finishes traditionally come in the NCAA Tournament. Maybe even conference tournaments. March Madness knows no boundaries, though, and while the National Invitation Tournament isn’t normally thought of as the home for of the amazing, on Wednesday it furnished what should go down as one of the signature moments of the 2015 tournament season.

Old Dominion’s Trey Freeman banked in a running 30-footer at the buzzer for a 72-69 win over Murray State in the quarterfinals that sends the Monarchs to Madison Square Garden next week. The shot capped a wild final 3 1/2 minutes, in which the Racers had rallied from a 10-point deficit and just tied the game on a three-pointer by Jeffery Moss.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 20, 2015

by - Published January 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The issues of scoring and pace of play in college basketball continue to get a considerable amount of press, and that’s a very good thing.

ESPN this past weekend on College Gameday had a thoughtful, quality discussion of the state of the sport, and a good share of the conversation was about those very topics. Jay Bilas has rightly continued to be outspoken about the ridiculous levels of contact allowed in college hoops, which has no doubt affected offense for years. Basketball Times magazine has been a frontrunner in reporting on this topic for several years now (if you don’t get it, you’re missing out; what Blue Ribbon is to preseason annuals, BT is to reporting on the sport). And yesterday, USA Today looked into the issue again in depth, with comments from a number of people including Belmont coach Rick Byrd, who is the chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee.

Things do need to change, and we could write 10,000 words about this topic (in fact, we sort of have in the past already). From this view, it’s that important. But the one hope we have is that any changes in the near future do not come about from overreactions.
… Continue Reading

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Hoopville Archives

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 – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

November 10, 2017 by

The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

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.

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.