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2015-16 CAA Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

In a conference that has seen lots of changes recently, the CAA got news of one more big one this past off-season. Tom Yeager, the only commissioner the conference has known, will retire at the end of the academic year. There is a time and place for reflection on what he has built, along with his place as a well-respected influencer in college basketball, and that will come. A more pressing question is: what kind of conference will he leave behind?

An unfortunate part of his legacy will be that the CAA was hit hard by conference realignment more than once, and that can’t be pinned on him. The first time, just after the new century, put the conference in danger, but it survived and subsequently thrived after adding strong members from another conference. More recently, however, the conference was among the hardest hit, watching signature programs George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU leave along with Georgia State, who had just turned a corner after an otherwise uninspiring tenure in the conference. Two of those four left to play Division I-A football.

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Northeastern Huskies 2015-16 Preview

by - Published November 15, 2015 in Conference Notes

Northeastern Huskies (23-12 overall, 12-6 conference)




Projected starting five:

Jr. G T.J. Williams
Sr. G David Walker
Sr. G-F Zach Stahl
Sr. F Quincy Ford
Fr. F-C Anthony Green

Important departures:

F Scott Eatherton is the only starter from last season who has departed, although the Huskies will also miss F Reggie Spencer, who also graduated.


70.6 percent of scoring and 72.2 percent of rebounding


Fr. F Sajon Ford
Fr. F-C Anthony Green
Fr. G Donnell Gresham Jr.
Fr. G Brandom Kamga
Fr. F-C Jeremy Miller

Schedule Highlights:

The Huskies’ non-conference schedule is once again a challenge, and features five home games. While they have one against Division III neighbor Wentworth, the other four are all tough ones: Harvard, Stony Brook, Michigan State and Vermont, the last three right in a row before Christmas. They open at arch-rival Boston University, play three at Miami (Ohio) in the Men Against Breast Cancer Classic, and head south to play ACC foes Miami and NC State. CAA play starts off with a tough stretch: three of four on the road, and they play more of the teams picked near the top early than late. From late January into mid-February, they play six of eight at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

Though the Huskies lose a key player in Eatherton, Bill Coen’s team welcomes back just about everyone else and has a strong recruiting class that will keep them right in contention. Quincy Ford looked more like the player many thought he would be late last season, especially in the CAA Tournament, and he should be primed for a big year. Walker became more aggressive last year while remaining fundamentally the same intelligent, tough player, while Williams had a nice year and Stahl is a unique player that fits this team so well. The freshmen up front will get a chance to play, especially if redshirt junior Kwesi Abakah isn’t ready to jump into a bigger role, and all are capable of helping this team. Devon Begley and Caleb Donnelly will help off the bench, with the former at times making a nice impact as a freshman last year while the latter can be a designated shooter. The biggest knock on last season’s team was that they led the CAA in turnovers, something they won’t want to repeat this year. They led the conference in field goal percentage to make up for it.

Next: Towson Tigers

Back to CAA Preview

The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 14, 2015

by - Published November 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish

It’s here at last. The college basketball season began on Friday. Amidst the excitement, however, we were reminded that as much as we love the game, there are many other things of paramount concern. A series of terrorist attacks in Paris captured everyone’s attention, with well over 100 people killed. As we take a look at college basketball on the day, we extend our thoughts and prayers to those who lost loved ones.

As usual, there were plenty of mismatches, along with some very good matchups, and with the latter came surprises. There was also an unfortunate early end to one of two games played outside the country.

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

by - Published November 11, 2015 in Columns

We continue our look at our favorite games for every day of the season, 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. We started on Monday with November, continued with December on Tuesday, and today we move into January:

Jan. 1: UCLA at Washington. The Pac-12 stakes its claim to New Year’s Day with several intriguing matchups. Freshmen will be playing a lot for the Huskies, making this an even trickier opener for the Bruins. Honorable mention: Utah at Stanford

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2014-15 CAA Post-Mortem

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

In a year full of competitive conference races, the Colonial Athletic Association fit right in while still being under the radar. It didn’t have a seven-way tie at the top at one point, like the Big South did or three games separating first from tenth like the Patriot League did for a lot of the season, but it did produce its own great result: a four-way tie for the regular season title.

The conference wasn’t top-heavy, either. Another team was two games back of the top four and two more teams another game back. The six losses by the top four teams were tied for the most by a regular season champion in CAA history and marked the first time in 18 years that the regular season champion had more than four losses. Drexel was 9-9 in CAA play and had to play on opening night of the conference tournament. The other 9-9 team, Delaware, knocked off three of the four teams that tied for first during the season.

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The long road to Northeastern’s first CAA championship

by - Published March 10, 2015 in Columns

BALTIMORE – When Northeastern finished its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association, there were plenty of doubters. That might seem surprising when you consider they had the Player of the Year (Jose Juan Barea) and Defensive Player of the Year (Shawn James) and reached the semifinals of the conference tournament. They finished fifth, so they had to win two games to get there. But some were not impressed despite the challenges involved in switching conferences.

The thought from some was that if they had two award winners and finished fifth, how in the world would they ever win in the CAA? That first year, by the way, was the year George Mason made its legendary Final Four run. It was the CAA’s best year until a couple of years ago; the Patriots didn’t even win the conference tournament, losing to Hofstra in a semifinal game best remembered for a player who earned a one-game suspension.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 10, 2015

by - Published March 10, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Championship Week leading up to the NCAA Tournament provides us all sorts of memorable moments, but almost every year we are reminded that sometimes it is at a cost.

While the upsets are undoubtedly a lot of fun and a big part of what makes March special, the fact of the matter is they also sometimes result in leagues not sending their best representatives to the NCAA Tournament. We have already seen at least two glaring instances of that this year with Murray State falling in the last seconds of the Ohio Valley Conference title game and now Iona losing to Manhattan 79-69 last night in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference final.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 9, 2015

by - Published March 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish

March is the best month of the year for a reason. College basketball has the conference tournaments and the grand-daddy of them all, the NCAA Tournament. The NIT, CBI and CIT add to it. While the last four are the big ones, especially the NCAA, the conference tournaments provide plenty of lasting memories as well. There, teams play with everything on the line, especially in conferences that will only send their champion to the NCAA Tournament.

Enter this weekend. We had the Ohio Valley Conference giving us another memorable championship game on Saturday night. Then on Sunday, a day where three automatic bids were handed out, it was a semifinal game in Baltimore that provided us with an instant classic.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, February 13, 2015

by - Published February 13, 2015 in The Morning Dish

If anyone needs more ammo for declaring that college basketball too frequently is not an easy sport on the eyes, they received all they needed last night.

The subject is coaches micromanaging the ends of halves of college basketball games. It is leaving us frustrated, begging for change, ready to organize a celebrity panel of athletes, sportscasters and mascots to write and sing a song about it, the way “Fans Against Traveling” once pleaded “Don’t Walk” to the NBA in a memorable “This is SportsCenter” commercial years ago.

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A big win for Northeastern for a not-so-obvious reason

by - Published January 16, 2015 in Columns

BOSTON – It goes without saying that Northeastern’s 91-83 win over Hofstra was a big one just from the fact that with it the Huskies knocked off a fellow contender, as well as the last team in the CAA that had not lost a conference game. But this was bigger than just that, and from it you can see this as the Huskies re-asserting themselves as conference favorites.

The game was your classic contrast of styles, so one could certainly figure that controlling tempo is paramount. The Huskies didn’t exactly do that, but they won anyway. How they did it tells you something about how this team can play, because it’s already a given that they can win grind-it-out games.

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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.

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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.