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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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The Morning Dish – Friday, December 12, 2014

by - Published December 12, 2014 in The Morning Dish

It bears repeating over and over: college basketball teams are not static entities. They change and hopefully continue to grow and improve over the course of a season. What a team is in November is not what it will be in March.

It’s still early in the season, but already George Washington is a team that has shown noticeable growth since its opener. The Colonials struggled with offensive consistency in their first five games but now have won three straight, the most recent an impressive 81-68 win over DePaul Thursday night.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 7, 2014

by - Published December 7, 2014 in The Morning Dish

The independents are dead. Long live the independents.

Whereas once independents were far more than an exception in college basketball, the ranks have dwindled in recent years to near extinction, as well documented for some time.

The lone independent the last couple years has been New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Jersey Tech, NJIT. By any name, it has one of those perfectly obscure independent names, carrying on the tradition of indies of the past like Brooklyn College, Utica and U.S. International. As the lone independent left, though, it’s sometimes hard for the Highlanders to get so much as a mention in preseason annuals, much less a real chance at postseason glory.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 19, 2014

by - Published November 19, 2014 in The Morning Dish

College basketball’s first big day of the season was really almost all we could’ve asked for.

From early morning to into the night, the day offered a number of outstanding games that might already get some people thinking March. Exciting finishes, back-and-forth games, offense, defense, big schools, little schools, fantastic inbound plays-you name it, you could find it on Tuesday.

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Northeastern’s maturity wins out in their opener

by - Published November 17, 2014 in Columns

BOSTON – You could see it coming for a lot of the second half. There were interruptions, as the upstarts always had an answer and at times the veteran team shot themselves in the foot. Still, the momentum was unmistakably with the veterans, and eventually they broke through and later took control.

Yes, it was a rivalry game, but in time the mature Northeastern team played like a veteran team and rode the performance of those steady veterans to a season-opening 71-65 victory over Boston University.

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Your Phil of Hoops

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.

Can this be the Army team that finally wins a Patriot League title?

September 24, 2015 by


Army was on a nice rise with its core up until Patriot League play last season, when they came back to earth. Now with a core of seniors, can this team be the one that finally takes home a Patriot League title?

Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

August 27, 2015 by


There has been some notable downward momentum at Washington recently, but there is more hope all the time that it could be reversed, and soon.

Hoopville Archives

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

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.