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The Morning Dish – Friday, November 28, 2014

by - Published November 28, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Here’s hoping all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Football games get all the attention, and understandably so given tradition, but on this day the college basketball action was far better than the football games. With that, we jump right into the day’s action:

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 27, 2014

by - Published November 27, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Happy Thanksgiving to all. We hope you’re spending the day with family and friends, and not at the mall.

One of college basketball’s true Thanksgiving traditions got underway once again last night. Try as some may want to bury it, the Great Alaska Shootout keeps plugging away. The 37th annual shootout opened Wednesday, and, no, the field is not of the quality they once were. But it is still better than some think.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 20, 2014

by - Published November 20, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Doug McDermott and many of his friends have departed, but we know now that it was way too soon to write off a Creighton program that was plenty successful even before the glorious McDermott era.

The Bluejays roared back from an 18-point deficit in the second half on Wednesday to defeat #18 ranked Oklahoma 65-63 in the game of the night and one of the most stunning games of the early season. The Sooners led 42-24 early in the second half and looked to be in complete, total control, but Creighton rallied behind a raucous home crowd and is now 3-0 on the young season.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 16, 2014

by - Published November 16, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

The second day of the college basketball season was generally a quiet one. Before getting to Saturday’s games, though, a quick look back at a one that went very late and under the radar from Friday that may well end up being the longest game all season:

Deep into the night in the Rainbow Classic hosted by Hawaii, High Point defeated Cal State-Bakersfield 100-99 in FOUR overtimes. Two nearly anonymous teams playing far, far from home, but what a game.

The teams were tied for five straight periods-including halftime-and neither led by more than six points all night. High Point played without star forward John Brown, who did not play because of a “coach’s decision,” according to HPU. Devante Wallace picked up the slack with a career-high 32 points including seven three-pointers, while Aly Ahmed (26 points, 10 rebounds) and Kevin Mays (13 pts, 17 reb.) both had emphatic double-doubles for Bakersfield.

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Best players no one knows about – 2014-15 edition

by - Published November 12, 2014 in Columns
author_kasiecki

Last season, UL Lafayette won a terrific Sun Belt championship game in overtime against Georgia State. It was the conclusion of a great season, and at the nerve center of it all was Shawn Long, doing what he did quite often.

In that championship game, the junior had 11 points and 14 rebounds – not quite career numbers, but another day at the office. He was the only player in the conference to average a double-double last season. For good measure, he’s one of just two players in the entire country to average a double-double each of the past two seasons. He could go 4-for-4 in that regard.

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2013-14 Big 12 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 30, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
big12

Top to bottom, the Big 12 was the best college basketball conference in the country this year. Let’s get that out of the way right now.

In fact, when it comes to overall depth, the Big 12 this season may have been one of the strongest leagues in a long time. The conference sent seven of its 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament, the first time in 21 years and just the fifth time ever that a league sent 70% or more of its teams to the tourney. And as good as those seven teams were, the league’s eighth and ninth teams may have spoken most to the Big 12’s depth.
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Quick hitters from the past weekend of tournaments

by - Published November 27, 2013 in Columns
author_kasiecki

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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Seton Hall-Oklahoma by the numbers

by - Published November 24, 2013 in Columns
author_floriani

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Give Seton Hall credit. Following a heart breaker of an 86-85  loss to Oklahoma on Friday they defeated Virginia Tech, a night later. The Pirates captured third in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclay’s Center.

Some numbers of note:

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Several teams get much-needed resume wins on Saturday

by - Published January 15, 2012 in Full Court Sprints
hoopguy-orange

Saturday saw a few teams get a victory they needed to jump-start their NCAA Tournament resume. A few others suffered bad losses in games they needed, or missed opportunities, but we’re going to stick with the positive and focus on the teams that got big wins. It’s too early to declare a number of these teams locks after what they did on Saturday, but they are in a better place than they were to start the day.

Let’s start with Florida State, which annihilated North Carolina 90-57 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles had a so-so non-conference run, as they came into Saturday lacking a win against the top 50 in three tries. Beating the Tar Heels is a remedy for that, although they need to make it relevant come March by playing well the rest of ACC play.

Next, we go to Northwestern, a team for whom heartbreak has become a regular occurrence. The Wildcats have had chances to play their way into the NCAA Tournament for the first time in recent years, but haven’t been able to pull out the games they needed to. It looked like this year might be another case of that, too, although they did win the Charleston Classic over Seton Hall, a win that is looking better all the time. They won at mediocre Georgia Tech and lost to Baylor, which is hardly a bad loss. But then they lost at Creighton, got hammered at Ohio State and lost tough ones to Illinois and Michigan by a combined three points. And on Saturday, they knocked off Michigan State in Evanston for their best win of the season. Add that to the Seton Hall win and the Wildcats, who don’t have a bad loss and an RPI of 33 at the start of the week, are in a good place for the moment.

Then there is Oklahoma, a team thought to be rebuilding. But the Sooners knocked off Kansas State 82-73 for their second win against a top 50 team. The Sooners are now 1-3 in Big 12 play, so they have a good deal of work to do. But if they get to .500 in conference and win a game or two in the conference tournament, they may have done enough work by then to be in the discussion for an NCAA Tournament team.  It helps that they don’t have a bad loss.

Lastly, San Diego State knocked off UNLV in a thriller, 69-67. The Aztecs were actually in a reasonably good place before Saturday, but perhaps now they can be called an NCAA Tournament lock if they win the games they should the rest of the way. The Mountain West figured to be rebuilding this season, but that hasn’t been the case thus far as both of these teams look like they will be in the field of 68.


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

Pittsburgh lost at Marquette, 62-57, and is now 0-5 in the Big East for the second time in program history and first in 12 years. They have never started 0-6, but they play at Syracuse on Monday.

Connecticut freshman Ryan Boatright was suspended by the NCAA and did not play in the Huskies’ 67-53 win at Notre Dame. The NCAA is investigating more eligibility matters with the freshman guard.

Iowa handily took out Michigan 75-59, and continues to be something of a Jekyll and Hyde team.

Jarnell Stokes gave Tennessee a boost in his debut, but Kentucky prevailed in Knoxville 65-62. The thinking is that although it was a loss, Saturday’s game bodes well for the Volunteers.

The Ivy League has started the season a little differently this time around, and Penn has started off 2-0 with wins at Columbia and Cornell. Normally teams play their travel partners over two weeks, save for Penn and Princeton, before the Friday-Saturday weekends start.

No America East team will go undefeated in conference play this season, as Stony Brook had its six-game winning streak end at Boston University, who has won three in a row after losing six straight.

Oklahoma has the best Big 12 player you don’t know

by - Published December 12, 2011 in Conference Notes
oklahoma

The most improved player in the Big 12 has to be a member of one of the conference’s undefeated teams, Missouri or Baylor, right?

We’re talking about two top 10 teams there, with NBA-caliber talent on the roster. The Bears’ Perry Jones III has been a beast since becoming eligible, and the Tigers’ Marcus Denmon, Phil Pressey and Ricardo Ratliffe are playing out of their minds.

That’s all true, but we’re going in a different direction: Oklahoma’s Steven Pledger.

Really?

The stats don’t lie for Lon Kruger’s top player, who has helped the Sooners get out to a 7-1 start. That includes some decent wins against Arkansas and Washington State. I love Missouri and think the Tigers are a Final Four-caliber squad, but they need to prove it against teams better than Navy, Binghamton and Niagara. Yes, they have respectable wins against Villanova and California, but overall, the strength of schedule is abysmal. Plus a team filled with talent can cause all sorts of match up problems, which benefits everyone on the roster. Oklahoma has far fewer options, yet Pledger remains ridiculously productive. Let’s take a closer look.

Based on Hoopville’s Total Impact Quotient player rating system, Pledger had a mediocre TIQ of 18.1 points per 40 minutes last season. The junior guard has nearly doubled that to 34.7 points per 40 minutes this season despite playing nearly an identical number of minutes per game.

For Pledger, it starts behind the arc, where he’s shooting a phenomenal 17-of-36, or 47.2 percent. That’s in comparison to a pedestrian 35.0 percent last season. But Pledger didn’t stop his improvement there. He’s shooting an amazing 57.7 percent from the field overall, 66.7 percent inside the arc. For a guy that shot worse than 40 percent from the field in his first two seasons, that improvement is utterly astounding.

We’ll see if Pledger can maintain this shooting streak, especially when the Sooners open the Big 12 schedule with back-to-back games against Missouri and Kansas. But he’s doing more than just scoring for Kruger. Pledger also averages 3.0 rpg and 2.1 apg. His defense is also significantly better, with 11 steals on the season. He only got 11 steals in his entire freshman season.

Several other Big 12 players have made significant strides since last season.

  • Baylor’s Perry Jones III: 35.9 TIQ this season; 24.4 TIQ last season (+11.5)
  • Missouri’s Marcus Denmon: 37.1 TIQ this season; 27.8 TIQ last season (+9.3)
  • Oklahoma’s Cameron Clark: 26.2 TIQ this season; 17.1 TIQ last season (+9.1)
  • Texas A&M’s Ray Turner: 30.1 TIQ this season; 21.1 TIQ last season (+9.0)
  • Oklahoma’s C.J. Washington: 27.3 TIQ this season; 18.4 TIQ last season (+8.9)
  • Missouri’s Ricardo Ratliffe: 35.1 TIQ this season; 26.8 TIQ last season (+8.3)
  • Iowa State’s Bubu Palo: 25.1 TIQ this season; 17.1 TIQ last season (+8.0)
  • Texas’ J’Covan Brown: 35.7 TIQ this season; 27.8 TIQ last season (+7.7)

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Your Phil of Hoops

Despite a hit on the bottom line, Stony Brook’s transition continues

December 16, 2014 by

stonybrook

Stony Brook was able to hang with Providence until the roof caved in several minutes into the second half. It’s part of a growing process this team in transition needs, and it continues despite dropping a few games along the way.

Amidst Maine’s rebuilding challenge, there is hope

December 12, 2014 by

maine

Maine has a long road ahead as they rebuild under new head coach Bob Walsh. Amidst the early struggles, the Black Bears have shown some reason for hope going forward.

Saturday Notes – December 6, 2014

December 7, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at quite a day of basketball, highlighted by early upsets and then some good matchups, plus a few sneaky-good wins for some teams on a busy day.

Hoopville Archives

Reader Poll

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 2014-12-12 12:00:00
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Ten teams are still undefeated as of December 12. Which team will be the last one to lose their first game of the season?

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Recruiting Coverage

2014 Scholar Roundball Classic recap and notes

December 16, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

We look at some notes and evaluations from Sunday’s action at the Scholar Roundball Classic, where the blowouts included some noteworthy performances.

2014 Hoop Mountain Prep Classic – Sunday notes

December 9, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

We look back at Sunday’s action in the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic, which included an overtime thriller and a couple of lopsided contests, and some prospects who helped themselves out with their play.

Some notes from the National Prep Showcase

November 28, 2014 by

author_kasiecki

The busy weekend that just passed also included a few games at the National Prep Showcase. Here are a few notes from some of the action early on Friday and Saturday.

New England Prep Schools 2014-15: looking back and looking ahead

November 3, 2014 by

nepsac

With a series of prep school open gym visits in the book and the season not far away, here’s a look back at open gyms and a look forward to the season in the New England prep school ranks.

Marianapolis Prep will battle in Class AA

October 20, 2014 by

marianapolis

Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.

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
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.