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2016-17 Big Sky Post-Mortem

by - Published July 19, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

Experience is typically a good thing for a college basketball team. Rarely does it result in the type of leap, though, that North Dakota took in the Big Sky Conference this year.

The Fighting Hawks/formerly Fighting Sioux returned all five starters in 2016-17, though it came on a team that finished one game over .500 (17-16) the year before, tying for fifth in the Big Sky. While Hoopville had UND targeted as a team to watch coming into the season, it was still a lot to ask it to overcome traditional league powers like Weber State and Montana that led the way the year before, as well as stubborn Eastern Washington and Idaho programs regularly near the top of late.

North Dakota showed all the growth one could’ve asked for, though, winning 22 games plus Big Sky regular season and tournament titles. The latter added up to the first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament berth for the former Division II power that only became a full-fledged D-I member five years ago. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 6, 2016

by - Published December 6, 2016 in The Morning Dish

There was nothing like a return to comfortable surroundings against a comfortably familiar rival to get Connecticut a win that maybe can get the Huskies’ season back on track.

Desperately needing a spark in a season that early on has been defined by injuries, stunning losses and near-losses, the Huskies rallied past Syracuse for a 52-50 win Monday night. The game was played at Madison Square Garden, home to so many clashes between these two in the Big East Tournament in the past, and was the first of several big college games at the venerable arena this week.

It wasn’t Big Monday, and it was far from a work of art, but the night still reminded us just what the sport is missing when these two are not in the same conference anymore. With their games there in the past, both can make a figurative claim to MSG being their home away from home, and the atmosphere for this game made for typically great television between these two. … Continue Reading

2015-16 Big Sky Post-Mortem

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

The Big Sky puts out a good basketball product, at least from a competitive standpoint. Of all the mid-majors, this one might be hidden the most in terms of having so much working against it. The footprint is in the two western-most time zones and largely overshadowed not only by the Pac-12, but also the Mountain West and West Coast Conference. It has produced a few splashes over the years and little more, but within its own little world is a good product.

As tends to happen, some familiar faces were among those at the top. Weber State and Montana continue to be mainstays, as they are the two programs with the all-time best records both overall and in conference play among current members. In fact, they are the only current members whose Big Sky records are over .500 all-time. Save for 2014-15, when Weber State finished a surprising sixth, both teams have finished in the top three in the conference every year since 2008-09. The two have also combined for 19 conference titles, with no one else having more than four.

… Continue Reading

Talking Hoops with Ted Sarandis – February 13, 2016

by - Published February 13, 2016 in Columns, Podcasts

Welcome to another college basketball conversation with veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis. In our third installment, we talk about the game around the country during a wild season of college basketball.

Among the topics here is the great balance we see around the country, evident in the many wins by unranked teams over ranked teams that continued this week. From there, we look at what this means for the NCAA Tournament, including the potential for a few mid-majors to get into the field as at-large teams. Later, we look at a big game from a Big Sky team, developments in the Atlantic Sun, and whether or not college basketball should change to six personal fouls like the Big East did at one time. Also, a controversial call in another game well west of here becomes a subject of conversation as well.

… Continue Reading

PlayPlay

The Morning Dish – Friday, February 12, 2016

by - Published February 12, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Temple has been one of the more schizophrenic teams in the country this year that of late has been giving us a taste of just how good it can be when right. Thus, it was only fitting that the Owls’ game against Connecticut on Thursday was a microcosm of their season.

Temple looked beat, trailing by 12 points with six minutes left in the game but finished on a 21-4 run the rest of the way, coming all the way back for a 63-58 win. The win served multiple purposes, putting the Owls in first in the American Athletic Conference, finishing a season sweep of the Huskies, and also giving them a trump card in any possible future comparisons with their league foe when NCAA selections take place next month.
… Continue Reading

Impressions from first week of college hoops season

by - Published November 24, 2015 in Columns

A number of stories in the college basketball preseason talked about teams and their goal to “play faster” this year. They wanted to pick up the pace. Run run run.

San Diego State was one of those teams, and while we hear teams talk of this every year, at first it looked promising that in this case it was real. The Aztecs scored 86 in an exhibition. They got up and down the court against Illinois State, scoring 71 against a good defensive team. They scored 76 in a fast-paced game that wound up a loss at Utah.

Then, SDSU scored 71 in a closer-than-expected win over San Diego Christian, an NAIA school that lost to Pepperdine 91-46 two nights earlier.

Three days later, the Aztecs lost to Arkansas-Little Rock 49-43.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Monday, November 23, 2015

by - Published November 23, 2015 in The Morning Dish

For the second straight year, one of the hottest teams to start the season is Miami (Fla.). The goal this year for the Hurricanes is to write a new ending to the same beginning script.

No team has been more impressive in the first week of this season than Jim Larranaga’s bunch, which won an eight-team in-season tournament for the second straight season. A year after rolling to the Charleston Classic title, Miami rolled to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off championship with an 85-75 victory over Butler Sunday afternoon.

The Hurricanes added on after a convincing win over Utah in the semifinals, jumping to a big early lead and holding on over the Bulldogs to finish with two top 20 wins in Puerto Rico. Add in early victories over Louisiana-Lafayette and Mississippi State, and few teams have accomplished more through 10 days of the season.
… Continue Reading

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

by - Published July 1, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

The 2013-14 season saw one of the Big Sky’s signature programs, and the one that has given it arguably the biggest NCAA Tournament wins in recent memory, return to the Big Dance. It wasn’t that Weber State wasn’t good; they have been a consistent postseason team. They just couldn’t knock off one particular team in the conference tournament that had their number.

Since reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2007, Weber State lost three times – all to Montana – in the Big Sky championship game. This time around, the Wildcats didn’t have to go through the Grizzlies, who were bounced in the quarterfinals, and handily beat North Dakota in the championship game. It finished what was pretty much a dominating season for them, as they also won the regular season title and dominated the postseason awards.

… Continue Reading

A closer look into the Big Sky’s Monday twinbill

by - Published November 29, 2011 in Columns

We’ll start with what people are calling “the appetizer”: Montana State at San Jose State.

It was a game between a pair of 2-3 teams in which the Bobcats felt favored: MSU’s losses were to higher quality opponents, as it were, and their lone Division I victory was over Utah, a low Pac-12/former top Mountain West team. SJSU’s lone D-I win was over UC-Irvine by a pint and secure only when a last-second basket was overturned.

MSU took control early with hot outside shooting, hitting 5 of its first 10 3-pointers. … Continue Reading

Montana State Bobcats 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Montana State Bobcats (13-18, 7-9)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Rod Singleton
Jr. G avier Johnson-Blount
Jr. G Jamie Stewart
Sr. F Jordain Allou
Jr. C Mohammed Fall

Important departures:

Erik Rush: 15.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.4 steals per game, 38 3-pointers made per game
Bobby Howard: 14.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.9 steals per game, 47 3-pointers made per game
Danny Piepoli: 7.5 ppg, 45 3-pointers made per game
Cody Anderson: 4.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Top returnees:

Singleton: 7.9 ppg, 3.5 apg, 1.1 steals per game

Additions:

Johnson-Blount: transfer from Cochise College (21.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.4 steals per game)
Fall: transfer from Cloud County Community College (55 percent field goal percentage, 73 percent free throw percentage, 8.9 rpg, 2.5 blocks per game)
Christian Moon: transfer from Henry Ford Community College (13.9 ppg, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 apg, 1.8 steals per game)
Stewart: transfer from Henry Ford Community College (15.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.9 steals per game)

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Utah or at New Mexico.

Hardest conference stretch: at Weber State and at Northern Arizona or a road contest at Montana then home against Northern Arizona to end the regular season.

Outlook:

The Bobcats, on paper, have a lot of retooling to do after losing four starters — three to graduation, one to retirement — especially since the starters accounted for 63 percent of their points, 50 percent of the rebounds, 55 percent of 3-pointers made and 61 percent of the field goals made.

Montana State also will miss its top offseason signing, Juco transfer Antonio Biglow (Mount San Antonio College) for the first semester as his transfer was hung up by paperwork or academics. Four other Juco transfers are coming in, with at least two or three poised to start, which is Huse’s biggest advantage and the slight advantage over Northern Arizona and Northern Colorado.

Prediction: Fifth, 8-8 Big Sky record

Next: Northern Arizona Lumberjacks

Back to Big Sky preview

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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 – 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.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.