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2013-14 OVC Post-Mortem

by - Published May 21, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
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Even though the conference is split by divisions, the Ohio Valley Conference was a distinct three-team race last year. And though just one of those three made the NCAA Tournament, it can be said that all three ended their seasons on a high note.

Eastern Kentucky won the OVC Tournament and the league’s automatic NCAA bid, as the Colonels’ veteran team knocked off the top two seeds. The season was a success for EKU, a perimeter-oriented team that was expected to be around the top of the OVC, maximized its talent and gave Kansas a serious run in the NCAAs.

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How the conferences shake out as 2014 approaches

by - Published December 31, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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Non-conference play is just about over at this point. Conference games are ready to take over the rest of the slate, with a few having an “opening day” of sorts, including the Big East with its well-publicized day of five games on Tuesday. A few have already had early conference games, with the West Coast Conference having its opening day on Saturday.

How are the conferences shaping up? Which ones look like we thought and which ones look nothing like what we thought before the season? Here is a look at all 32 conferences as conference play beckons.

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Quick hitters from the past weekend of tournaments

by - Published November 27, 2013 in Columns
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The past weekend was quite a stretch with some early-season tournaments, and now we’re into another week full of them. It’s a fun time of the year as we form some early impressions of many teams and some pick up wins that can have shelf life later in the season.

Here are some quick hitters coming out of the weekend:

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How the conferences shake out as 2013 approaches

by - Published December 28, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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Non-conference play is almost over, and it has been quite a stretch. We’ve learned a good deal about a lot of teams, while some are still a mystery for various reasons – injuries, suspensions, ineligibility and a light schedule are all possible reasons. In addition, a few conferences have already seen a game or two mixed in with the non-conference schedule.

Conference play is right around the corner, and while a non-conference resume doesn’t tell the whole story, it does shed some light on teams and conferences. In conference play, there is more familiarity since teams play each other every year, although the changing landscape is starting to diminish that factor a bit. That’s one reason why we see some teams put forth a very good non-conference showing, including some good wins, then go on to have a mediocre showing in conference play.

With that in mind, here’s a look at how every conference in America shapes up.

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Experienced Murray State shows they can overcome adversity

by - Published November 17, 2012 in Columns
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CHARLESTON, S.C. – You can choose to look at Murray State’s 72-67 semifinal win over St. John’s as an instance of youth being served, experience winning out, or some other cliché. While those things apply to a degree, the big story should probably be something Murray State head coach Steve Prohm talked about after the game: resilience.

Murray State has been nothing if not resilient thus far this season. Before the games even started, they had to suspend projected starting guard Zay Jackson for the season after he was arrested and charged with striking two people with his car in a store parking lot following an altercation. That was sure to leave even more on the shoulders of Isaiah Canaan, the All-American guard who bypassed the NBA Draft for another season of college. But it also meant that other players needed to improve to take advantage of the attention opponents will give to Canaan, and thus far that seems to be happening.

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Monson’s 49ers reap the rewards of a tough schedule

by - Published January 24, 2012 in Full Court Sprints
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If any team could claim to be battle-tested heading into conference play, it had to be Long Beach State.

The 49ers loaded up their nonconference slate with the likes of Kansas, North Carolina, San Diego State, Louisville and Xavier. The team struggled through many of those games, ending up with a 7-6 record heading into Big West play.

But don’t be fooled. The 49ers were more than competitive against the big boys, with single-digit losses on the road at San Diego State, Kansas and North Carolina. Plus, the 49ers beat Pittsburgh, Xavier and Auburn. None of those are particularly outstanding — the Xavier win came during the Musketeers’ tailspin following the brawl against Cincinnati. But in short, Dan Monson’s team learned how to win and how to believe in itself.

This team has taken that lesson and applied it well through the first seven games of Big West play. Long Beach State sits atop the conference standings with a 7-0 record, and only Cal Poly stayed within 10 points of the 49ers.

If Long Beach State can continue to plow through the Big West and claim an automatic to the NCAA Tournament, the 49ers should be a popular first-round upset pick. Their lack of hefty wins will prevent the team from earning a seed much higher than a No. 12 or 13 spot. But that just makes this team a sound pick to upset any No. 4 or 5 seed from a major conference on a neutral court.

The benefits of such a tough schedule might not show up in the win-loss columns immediately. But if Long Beach State goes 1-1 or 2-0 during the first weekend of March, that tournament success will be partially due to the team’s preparation early in the season.

We take you coast to coast with news from around the college basketball nation.

Murray State will get back leading rebounder Ivan Aska, who grabs 6.0 rpg and scores 12.6 ppg, for the team’s game against Eastern Illinois Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

Michigan could have big Jon Horford back for the Wolverines’ game against Purdue Tuesday, coach John Beilein told Wolverine Nation’s Chantel Jennings for ESPN.com. Horford has been out with a stress fracture since early December.

Arguably the most intense and spite-filled rivalry in the ACC, Maryland and Duke will clash for the first time this season Wednesday night in College Park. And the Terrapins will likely have freshman 7-footer Alex Len, even though he twisted his ankle during the Terps’ loss at Temple last weekend, according to the Washington Post’s Liz Clarke.

Of course, that’s no disrespect to the North Carolina vs. Duke rivalry. And this year, coach Roy Williams won’t have his best defender, Dexter Strickland, who tore his ACL in the team’s win against Virginia Tech Thursday, according ESPN.com’s Robbi Pickeral.

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson is considering adding a hometown hero to the Razorbacks squad, according to the Associated Press. Former Oklahoma State guard Fred Gulley has enrolled at Arkansas and plans to play for Anderson as a walk-on or scholarship player. He was a star high school basketball player in Arkansas before leaving the state to play for the Cowboys.

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan railed against the rule that allows graduated players to transfer and play immediately during a news conference Monday, writes Benjamin Worgull for Badger Nation.com.

Undefeated teams remain focused on the task at hand

by - Published January 20, 2012 in Full Court Sprints
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As we approach the end of January, we still have two undefeated teams out there: Syracuse and Murray State.

The Orange and Racers will take their undefeated records on the road this weekend as Syracuse visits Notre Dame and Murray State faces SIU-Edwardsville. In both games, the undefeated squads should win. But that word “should” is a funny thing.

In conference play, you just never know when a rival will step up and pull off a major upset. Look at Florida State, which got amped for the team’s home game against North Carolina last weekend. Given the Seminoles’ defensive prowess, it wouldn’t have been a shock if they kept the game close or even eked out a slim victory. But a 30-point trouncing of a top five team? That’s ridiculous.

So as Syracuse and Murray State continue to plow through their schedules, plenty of onlookers will speculate about whether these teams can finish the regular season with a perfect record. Murray State will get a bunch of speculation because the Racers are head and shoulders above the rest of their Ohio Valley Conference competition. In the Big East, the general consensus is at least one team will knock off the Orange. But in a rebuilding year for many teams in the conference, it’s not unreasonable to think that Syracuse will be a favorite in every game the team plays.

But there we go again with the speculation. I can almost guarantee you that coaches Jim Boeheim and Steve Prohm aren’t looking further than Saturday’s game. And nor should they lest the Fighting Irish or Cougars come up with a big game to protect their home court like the Seminoles did against North Carolina last weekend.

Here are some of the big games on tap for this weekend.

Saturday:

  • Missouri at Baylor
  • Purdue at Michigan State
  • Florida State at Duke
  • Syracuse at Notre Dame
  • Cincinnati at West Virginia
  • Alabama at Kentucky
  • Mississippi State at Vanderbilt
  • Xavier at Dayton
  • Marshall at Southern Miss
  • Kansas at Texas
  • New Mexico at UNLV
  • Murray State at SIU-Edwardsville
  • Rutgers at Georgetown
  • Maryland at Temple
  • Kansas State at Oklahoma State
  • Stanford at Washington
  • Arizona at Colorado
  • Old Dominion at VCU
  • Long Beach State at UC Santa Barbara

Sunday:

  • Virginia Tech at Virginia
  • NC State at Miami
  • Wisconsin at Illinois
  • Milwaukee at Cleveland State
  • Boston U. at Hartford

Jacksonville State Gets a Building Block Win

by - Published November 25, 2008 in Columns

AMHERST, Mass. – You can’t read too much into one game, especially early in the season. But the final score on Monday night can’t be the only good thing Jacksonville State takes home.

The Gamecocks came to town on an evening that was big for the UMass faithful, although the crowd wasn’t very large. The paid attendance was over 4,800 (the Mullins Center seats nearly 9,500), but they were there for the home debut of new head coach Derek Kellogg, a hometown hero who was among the keys to UMass becoming a national power in the 1990s. The young Gamecocks at first glance would seem like an opponent the Minutemen could certainly beat to give Kellogg a win in his home debut.

But that’s not what happened. Despite trailing by five points with 29 seconds left, Jacksonville State walked out with a 75-74 win that had plenty of positives.

Jacksonville State was picked last in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll of the head coaches and sports information directors. At first glance, that seems like an understandable selection. The Gamecocks have just four upperclassmen among their top 11 players and a new head coach after a 7-22 showing last season. Four true freshmen are on the roster, and a fifth freshman, Geddes Robinson, was a non-qualifier last season.

Those freshmen are among the reasons for Gamecock fans to be hopeful. Only Stephen Hall, who has already been a steady contributor off the bench, was signed before James Green took over as head coach. Green then had to work with just one live weekend in April to evaluate players, but went out and recruited Brandon Crawford, who has been an instant impact player, then added John Barnes and junior college forward Jacques Leeds.

Crawford already has the look of a star player. He’s athletic and has a good body for his position, and in his first four games he has averaged 16 points and is 9-15 from behind the three-point line. On Monday, he came into the game with his team trailing 13-12 and wasted little time making his presence felt. He scored six straight points to cap a run of eight unanswered to give the Gamecocks the lead at 20-13.

“During practice, we felt he had a chance to be a really good player for us, but he’s actually scored the ball a lot better in the games than what he did in practice,” said Green. “He’s very athletic, he’s long, and he gives us a guy that really sometimes is a mismatch for other teams in the fact that he’s athletic enough to go down inside and do some things there, too.”

Green can see the effect Crawford has had on his teammates with his play. While he surely wasn’t the sole or even main reason for the poise they showed late in the game, he had a role in the end as well, as he converted a four-point play with 23 seconds left that pulled the Gamecocks within one, setting up the dramatics in the final seconds.

“I think when you see young guys play like that, it gives everybody confidence,” said Green.

While this was one game in a long season, you have to think this gives them a confidence boost. This is a road win for a young team early on that can only help them. It also came after events that might normally deflate a young team and perhaps even serve as knockout blows. After the Gamecocks blew a seven-point lead by allowing UMass to run off 13 unanswered points, the psychological impact of giving up the lead might be damaging enough all by itself, especially that late in the game.

Green talked about this game being something for his team to learn from, and he felt they gained something from their season opener at South Carolina. Those are signs that this team is buying into what the coaches are teaching, and that their talent won’t be all that they have going for them.

“As a coach, and being a part of about seven different programs, I can’t really remember having as many young players that have been as poised as we have in the two road games that we’ve had,” said Green, who had been the head coach at Mississippi Valley State before taking this job.

Some of the credit there has to go to the veterans, notably seniors Jonathan Toles (who scored the winning basket) and DeAndre Bray, one of the shortest players in college basketball at 5’6″. Toles led the team with 18 points and added five assists with just one turnover. In fact, the Gamecocks had 19 assists with just nine turnovers on the night.

It’s still early in the season, and Jacksonville State is sure to have some growing pains along the way. They could just as easily finish the season winning just three more games to go with the three wins they already have. But a win like the one they had on Monday night can go a long way towards helping a team grow better, especially if, as Green talked about, it is a game his team learns from.

Austin Peay Wins A Year Later

by - Published March 9, 2008 in Columns




A Championship a Year in the Making

by Phil Kasiecki

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – This is what Austin Peay has been shooting for over the last year. It didn’t begin with the start of practice – it began a year ago.

The Governors were the regular season champions in the Ohio Valley Conference last season with a 16-4 mark in OVC games. They won by three games in the standings and were a clear favorite to take the conference’s NCAA Tournament bid. But Eastern Kentucky spoiled that in the title game with a 63-62 win and left the Governors to the NIT, where Air Force blew them out in the first round.

On Saturday, the feeling was different. Just over a year later, the Governors left no doubt in beating Tennessee State 82-64 to win the Ohio Valley Conference Championship after finishing with an identical 16-4 mark in the regular season.

While the Governors needed to stage a second-half rally to even have a chance in last year’s final, there was none necessary this time around. With 11:27 left in the first half, tournament MVP Todd Babington buried his fourth three-pointer of the half to give the Governors a 21-18 lead. They never relinquished it from there, getting it up to 15 at halftime and never leading by less than 11 for the entire second half.

“It’s like they weren’t going to be denied, they were so focused,” said head coach Dave Loos. “They really put the stamp on this thing today.”

The Governors were clearly a team on a mission after coming so close last season and after winning the regular season title. That was readily apparent to anyone who saw the game and how much they dominated Tennessee State.

“Austin Peay played like champions,” said Tennessee State head coach Cy Alexander. “They played like a team that had not had the opportunity to go last year to the NCAA Tournament. They came into this game on a mission, and they out-played us.”

Babington, who was also a standout quarterback on the gridiron in high school, led the charge with his three-point shooting. Challenged in Friday’s semifinal, he got going in the second half of that game for a spell, and on Saturday he was hot all along. When he got the ball, the defense may as well have just started heading back up the court.

While his shooting will be talked about the most, as he was 6-8 from long range, he did much more than that and more than his five rebounds. During the first half, he deflected an outlet pass to break up a fast break opportunity, then later tipped a rebound out to a teammate that led to a fast break. Later, he pump-faked a defender, stepped in and hit a leaner off the glass.

For all his efforts, he can be excused for a little comedy when asked if he had his dancing shoes for the NCAA Tournament. It turns out, he literally did have them – well, almost.

“I just haven’t put them on yet,” said Babington, noting that he got the red and white shoes from his brother and leading to laugher in the press room. “They’re brand new, pearly whites.”

But while Babington got the big honor on the strength of his play Saturday, the team’s floor leader was perhaps the biggest reason they got there. Derek Wright, a Los Angeles native who somehow got away from the California schools and came across much of the country, is closing out a fine career that has seen him become the school’s all-time leader in steals and place third in assists. He and Babington have played in an OVC record 130 career games. The three-year starter makes this team go and came up big in the conference tournament.

On Saturday, Wright had 13 points and four assists, but as is often the case with a point guard, the numbers don’t show his value. At the end of the first half, he helped bury Tennessee State with two back-breaking jumpers. The first was a three-pointer from near the top of the key with the shot clock running down and a defender in his face, then he did it again with a short jumper near the end of the half as they turned a 35-25 lead into a 15-point halftime advantage.

This came after he handed out seven assists with just one turnover as one of the unsung heroes in Friday night’s close win. It’s nothing he hasn’t done before.

“I hand him the ball, he knows the game plan, he knows how our coaching staff thinks, and I’ve gotten to where I absolutely trust him with our team,” said Loos. “He’s in charge, he is the guy.”

The Governors have reached this point with five double-figure scorers and several reserves who could probably do that if they played the kind of minutes starters do. This team returned all but two letterwinners from last season’s team, and the balance is a big reason they have been able to duplicate the success and take the next step. Three players made the all-tournament team. There’s also plenty of unselfishness that lends itself to the balance; all five starters average at least one assist per game.

A great example of this is junior Drake Reed, last season’s OVC Player of the Year. He didn’t put up the same numbers as last season, but led the balanced attack and plays so well within the team concept like everyone else. He’s second on the team in assists as a combo forward, which also shows his feel for the game.

With everyone back, the Governors didn’t just have the kind of team that could get back to this point and then win the title. They also had a team that was going to have a big target on their back from being picked to win. They were picked to win the conference by a wide margin by the conference’s coaches and sports information directors, as well as basically every prognosticator out there.

“I think that’s really significant. I don’t think a lot of people understand the pressure that’s involved there and the fact that you get everybody’s best shot night-in and night-out,” said Loos, who doubles as the school’s athletic director. “Being able to withstand and respond to all those punches is really something that you have to experience to understand. It’s a real tribute to these guys that they were able to deal with that almost from start to finish.”

The Governors certainly did that – in fact, they led the OVC wire-to-wire. They also accomplished something that only Murray State did about a decade ago, which is post two straight 16-win seasons in conference play. While last season might look impressive because the team was quite young, this season is just as impressive, if not more, because they had a big target on their back the entire time.

But the Governors also had a long time to get ready for this one. They started right away last year, because they remember the feeling when they lost the heart-breaker and didn’t want it to happen again.

“Ever since last year, ever since we lost on that heart-breaker, we’ve worked harder than we’ve ever worked this summer,” said Babington. “We kind of took it to heart. We knew the target was going to be on our back all year, and we played together all year.”

This was the goal all along, starting a year ago. Next Sunday, Austin Peay will enjoy the moment when their name is called – a much better feeling than they had a year ago when it was the NIT that called their name.

     

Ohio Valley Semifinals

by - Published March 8, 2008 in Columns




Ohio Valley Tournament Semifinal Notes

by Phil Kasiecki

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The semifinals of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament are in the books on a snowy night outside. The championship matchup is set, with the top seed set to take on a surprise contender with an NCAA Tournament bid on the line.

Austin Peay is back in the title game after a 78-77 win over UT-Martin. They will take on Tennessee State, which entered as the No. 6 seed, after the Tigers took out Murray State 83-75 in the nightcap. Both games had plenty of drama, and the outcome of each was in doubt until at least the final minute.

Semifinals Honor Roll

Wes Channels, Austin Peay: 16 points, 3 assists
Fernandez Lockett, Austin Peay: 15 points, 9 rebounds
Lester Hudson, UT-Martin: 31 points, 8 rebounds
Marquis Weddle, UT-Martin: 20 points
Bruce Price, Tennessee State: 20 points, 8 assists
Ray George, Murray State: 25 points on 8-13 shooting (5-7 on three-pointers), 3 assists
Danero Thomas, Murray State: 21 points on 7-9 shooting

Season Forward Ends With a Tough Loss

A season with a lot of firsts and broken records of futility for UT Martin ended on Friday night. Among the highlights:

  • The team won at least 10 OVC games for the first time since joining the conference in 1992.
  • This was the program’s first trip to the OVC Tournament semifinals.
  • Tuesday’s game was their first home game in the conference tournament
  • The Skyhawks’ No. 4 seed was the best in the school history.
  • Their 17 wins is the most in their Division I history.

Clearly, this season, fresh off one where the Skyhawks went 8-23, was a big step forward.

“I think it was a huge step forward for this program,” said head coach Bret Campbell. “I don’t think many people give Tennessee-Martin a lot of respect and I think we finally earned some respect by our players and our team this year that we could play with anybody.”

The Skyhawks have the conference’s best player in junior Lester Hudson, and also have the Rookie of the Year in promising freshman Marquis Weddle. Hudson, who earlier in the season recorded the NCAA’s first-ever quadruple-double, did everything he could to try to win this game by scoring 22 of his 31 points in the second half. Together, they helped lead a perfect month of February to have them playing well heading into the tournament.

With them at the core of a team that loses just one player, expectations next season are likely to be a little higher than this time around, when the Skyhawks were picked last in the conference in the preseason poll of the conference’s coaches and sports information directors.

“We’re only losing one player this year, we’ve got a great group coming back, and I’ll very much be expecting to be sitting here next year but only on Saturday night,” said Campbell.”

Defense Wins Championships, And Gets Teams There

At times, Austin Peay looked like they could be in danger against UT-Martin in the first semifinal game. The Governors were out-played in the first half, but UT-Martin missed a lot of good opportunities. That might be where the game was lost, but it was a ballgame all the way through.

Early in the second half, Todd Babington got going from long range and the Governors opened up a 60-53 lead at one point. They seemed to be on the verge of breaking it open, but they had to hold off Lester Hudson and the Skyhawks at the end.

While Babington responded to a halftime challenge to get involved, it was the defense that helped change the game for the Governors.

“Once we got a few stops, the body language of everybody just transformed,” said junior forward Drake Reed. “Everybody got a little swagger to them, and we got some big stops and caused some nice turnovers down the stretch.”

Defense got Austin Peay to the title game for the second year in a row. On Saturday, we will see if it wins them a title this time around.

Big Man Gives Unexpectedly Big Boost

A quick look at Tennessee State’s statistics entering Friday’s game would tell you that James Craft wouldn’t seem likely to be a big contributor. His stats are those of a bit player: 7.2 minutes per game, 0.8 points, 1.5 rebounds per game.

But on Friday night, he came through in a big way. Craft scored a career-high 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in 19 minutes, which also tied a career high. A few of his points were also important ones, as he hit two jumpers in the latter part of the second half while Murray State was trying to charge back.

His play was a big reason that after the Tigers took a 58-56 lead with 8:22 left, they never relinquished it. And it wasn’t something that surprised his point guard.

“We could tell he was shooting the ball well in practice the last three days, so we knew to get him the ball,” said Bruce Price, who handed out eight assists to go with his team-high 20 points. “I had no doubt in my mind if I got him the ball, because he’s a great shooter for a seven-footer.”

His coach said the shoot-around earlier in the day gave him an idea that this could happen.

“You coach by gut feeling. I just watched Craft, he wasn’t missing in shoot-around this morning,” said head coach Cy Alexander. “My gut told me to go with him as the first big off the bench, and he still wasn’t missing tonight.”

Career Night Ends College Days for Racer Senior

Ray George has been through a lot in his life, including his high school and college days. He spent time at Mt. Zion in Durham, N.C. early in his high school days, back when the school was a national power. He bounced around on travel teams, later wound up at Coastal Christian in Virginia, and still didn’t get to Division I despite having talent.

George instead spent two years at Georgia Perimeter College, where he averaged 20 points, 8.6 assists and 4.8 steals per game. Never known as a shooter, he even shot 55.2 percent from long range. That got him an opportunity at Murray State, and while he wasn’t a star, he contributed to the team’s success.

After scoring a career-high 25 points, including going 5-7 from long range, George was clearly distraught after the game. He’s come a long way in life and on the basketball court, and with his career over, he now closes in on his degree.

“In the last month, we had a good meeting and I’m really thankful that he was able to play as well as he did because he’s worked real hard on his game, he’s worked hard on doing the things I want him to do,” said head coach Billy Kennedy.

In many ways, George paralleled Lester Hudson on this Friday night. Both have been through well-documented struggles and had to go the junior college route before playing Division I basketball. Hudson did all he could to bring his team back in the evening’s opening game, and George did all he could in the nightcap as he scored 17 of his points in the second stanza. Kennedy took a chance on George, and vice versa given that Kennedy had just taken over as the head coach, and while they had ups and downs, the program moved forward and so did George.

Young Talent on Display

Mid-majors are often known for winning with experience, but Friday night wasn’t quite that. Of the 20 starters in the two games, only six were seniors, while four were freshmen. Add in some young reserves, and it’s clear that there is some good young talent.

Besides Weddle, the Rookie of the Year, UT-Martin starts forward Benzor Simmons, while Tennessee State starts Gerald Robinson, Jr. and Darius Cox. Robinson is the next best of the bunch, as he made the conference All-Rookie team and has a lot of potential, as he’s skilled and plays with a lot of confidence. Cox is third on the Tigers in rebounding and should grow into a good player, while Simmons is a role player who came on late in the year to move into the starting lineup.

This leads to Saturday’s championship, which will feature an experienced group with three senior starters in Austin Peay going up against a Tennessee State team that starts one senior and two freshmen. It’s a little different than last year, when two teams that were relatively inexperienced met in the title game.

     

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Your Phil of Hoops

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Hoopville Archives

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
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Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
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Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors hold college showcase

Mass Elite and Boston Warriors, two of the largest programs in Massachusetts, teamed up for a college showcase on Wednesday night. Here are some evaluations from that event.

Massachusetts 11th grade AAU Tournament recap

Teams gathered at Mass Premier Courts to chase the state title in the oldest age group, and one champion was a familiar one.

Travel team profile: All For One

All For One has been one of the better travel programs in Massachusetts for players before they reach high school

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Size and options on the wing are not lacking for this year’s junior team

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The Master’s School has good students and talent

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