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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

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

The Morning Dish – Sunday, February 14, 2016

by - Published February 14, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Remember when all the talk was about how that Kansas streak of 11 consecutive Big 12 titles was in serious jeopardy? What was that…two weeks ago? (Not even-see here and here, among others).

Right now, it feels like two decades ago. It made a cute headline for a couple days, but it only took a few big Jayhawk wins, a couple fortuitous results and-poof!-KU is right back where it always is, in the driver’s seat for another conference crown.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, April 1, 2015

by - Published April 1, 2015 in The Morning Dish

We’re all biding our time until the Final Four games on Saturday, but all news is not just coaching changes and players coming and going (mostly going) as college basketball’s other tournaments are also wrapping up this week.

The 77th annual NIT semifinals were played at Madison Square Garden last night and saw Miami (Fla.) and Stanford emerge with hard-fought victories to move to the championship game on Thursday. Neither game was pretty, but it goes without saying that style points are meaningless at this time of year.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 28, 2015

by - Published March 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish

It’s been a long time coming for Gonzaga. The question now is if they have one more in them to go even further.

Since the late 1990s, Gonzaga has been the clear best team in the West Coast Conference and then some. They made a big splash by running to the Elite Eight in 1999, but weren’t just a flash in the pan. They became more than just the alma mater of John Stockton, as they started beating good teams in non-conference every year as well. They would be a lock to reach the NCAA Tournament, helping the WCC become a two-bid league in many recent years as other programs had to get better to compete with them.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 14, 2015

by - Published March 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish

March is always a magical month, where so many things happen that seemingly defy logical explanation. The way games end falls into that category as much as anything else, and Friday showed that again.

We start in Brooklyn at the Atlantic 10 Tournament, where Davidson trailed for most of the game, but rallied. Still down by one, they had a play in the final seconds to win it, and Tyler Kalinoski put it up near the basket and got it to drop as time expired. Ray Floriani has more on this.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 17, 2014

by - Published December 17, 2014 in The Morning Dish

Tuesday night was ready to be pronounced as quite the dud, one of the more disappointing nights of the young season so far when it comes to anticipated games not being competitive.

Admittedly, the night’s schedule was already on the weaker side, but we still thought Belmont would give VCU a challenge, that Oral Roberts or Middle Tennessee State could at least make Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (respectively) sweat, or that one of the three of North Carolina, Texas or Arizona would have a case of the mid-December blahs and get a tussle from an overmatched opponent.
… 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

The coaching carousel continues for the Big Sky

by - Published December 19, 2011 in Columns

Merry Christmas, and thanks for playing. Word came out today that Idaho State coach Joe O’Brien resigned from Idaho State this afternoon on the heels of a 2-8 record. O’Brien was head coach of the Bengals since 2006 and in his first three years, led the Bengals to the Big Sky Tournament and a fourth place finish in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. For his career at Idaho State he finished with a 56-105 record and 33-46 in Big Sky play.

This one doesn’t seem like a “resign-or-get fired” ultimatum deal at face value. In a sense, seems like O’Brien saw the writing on the wall. His best ISU team finished fourth in the Big Sky in 2008-09, going 9-7 in conference but 13-19 overall. O’Brien never won more than 13 games total in five full seasons, doing it twice, but fell down the last two. He had two starters returning in Chase Grabau and Abner Moreira.

… Continue Reading

Has Northern Arizona found its spark?

by - Published December 18, 2011 in Columns

People scoffed and laughed when 70-year-old Dave Brown was hired to replace Mike Adras, (who’s own story on the resignation is taking strange turns)who suddenly resigned after a 2-7 start. (Full disclosure: so did I.) Um, a few less people are laughing today after the Lumberjacks beat Arizona State on Saturday night.

… 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 – 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.