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A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

by - Published October 7, 2016 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Twelve months ago, the anticipation was building. There was plenty of buzz. Plenty of people wondered if the Pac-12 was going to have a new team at the top and carrying the flag. The questions that followed were only natural.

Could California upend teams like Arizona, Utah and Oregon that had been carrying the flag for the conference of late and even be a team to make a deep run in March? Were the Golden Bears at the beginning of something early in Cuonzo Martin’s tenure after getting two McDonald’s All-Americans to come there, including one whom virtually no one thought they had a shot at landing?

… Continue Reading

2015-16 Pac-12 Post-Mortem

by - Published May 31, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Pac-12 had quite a season in 2015-16, during which the conference celebrated 100 years of existence. It provided tremendous basketball, even if a fair amount of the country didn’t get to see much of it because of the time difference. And it happened with what appears to be a changing landscape all the way around.

For starters, the Pac-12 was a major presence in the RPI. Only the Big 12 was better in terms of conference RPI, but the Pac-12 placed six teams in the RPI top 50 and 10 in the top 100. Since the NCAA adjusted the formula to account for game location in 2004-05, only 12 conferences have produced a better RPI than the Pac-12 did this season.

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2016 NCAA Tournament Final Review: Final finish what this year’s event needed

by - Published April 7, 2016 in Columns

The 2016 NCAA Tournament needed its signature game, and it got one in no better place-in its final game.

Villanova’s 77-74 win over North Carolina is not just one of the great championship games of all-time, it’s one of the great NCAA tourney games ever in any round. It was played at a high level from start to finish, and while it didn’t have the back-and-forth down the stretch of Duke-Kentucky in 1992 or, say, Kansas State-Xavier in 2010, the star power of Georgetown-North Carolina in 1982 or Houston-N.C. State the next year, and may not carry the transformational significance of Michigan State-Indiana State in 1979, it had a finish that will lead to discussions from now until the end of time about its place as possibly the greatest ending to a title game ever. … Continue Reading

2016 NCAA Tournament first week review: ups and downs-in every way

by - Published March 22, 2016 in Columns

What to make of the first weekend of the 2016 NCAA Tournament?

If there is one thing we from those four days (six including the play-in games) that can come close to being a fair generalization, it is that this year’s tourney has no one-size-fits-all quality to it. Maybe the only conclusion one can come to is there is no conclusion.

Indeed, there were big game-winning shots. (Providence’s Rodney Bullock, Northern Iowa’s Paul Jesperson, Saint Joseph’s Deandre Bembry, Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig) There were terrific team performances. (Indiana on Thursday, almost every winning team on Saturday) Friday was a whole lot of fun. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 12, 2016

by - Published March 12, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Championship Week has given us so many great stories. There are plenty more still to be written today alone, as Championship Saturday is the biggest one of them all. Friday night paved the way for it beautifully.

There was the Big East Tournament, where Seton Hall advanced to continue a great story for them. A year ago, the Pirates’ season ended in discord; they were in a bad place, and there was plenty of talk about who might not return this season, from underclassmen who might leave to the coach. Kevin Willard had a fairly prohibitive contract for the school, but the talk was there all the same. A year later, the Pirates once again started out with promise, but this time they have persisted through the ups and downs that come with a season. They will take on Villanova, who beat Providence earlier in the evening. This is a more mature team, and one that we’ll see playing later in the month.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, March 11, 2016

by - Published March 11, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Coaches such as Jim Valvano, Rollie Massimino and Tom Izzo are among those to make the month of March their personal playground over the years, regularly leading teams on extended runs, regardless of the strength of their teams in the regular season.

Few would include Ray Harper on that list, but it has become time that they should. As the excellent ESPN and American Sports Network analyst Mark Adams prophetically pointed out Wednesday, you can’t bet against Harper’s teams in March, and boy, was that shown again yesterday. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Monday, February 29, 2016

by - Published February 29, 2016 in The Morning Dish

The 2015-16 season will go down as one where you didn’t want to be a highly-ranked team. Sunday was no different, capping a week in which only two teams in the AP top 10 did not lose. On the season, teams ranked in the AP top 10 have now lost a record 73 games in those positions in the poll. There is still one week to go, so that record will probably only grow.

Besides that, ESPN Stats and Info put out another great note later on Sunday, which is that every major conference team has at least four losses on the season. That means we will see just the third time since seeding began that all four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament have four or more losses, with 1990 and 2009 being the others.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 22, 2016

by - Published February 22, 2016 in The Morning Dish

This weekend was just what California needed. Although Sunday was not the bigger game of the two for the Golden Bears, it was still important all the same, and their already strong NCAA Tournament candidacy got a big boost this weekend.

Washington State was within striking distance of the Golden Bears at the half, down just 40-31, but Cal blew open the game as the second half went on and routed the host Cougars 80-62. It capped off a sweep of the Washington schools on the road, and for a Cal team that had struggled on the road, this was just what they needed to take care of any remaining knocks on their resume.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, February 13, 2016

by - Published February 13, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Before Archie Miller got to Dayton, the Flyers had their share of success. It was arguably a program on the rise, although they had not become a perennial NCAA Tournament team during their rise. Instead, they had gotten closer and broken through more times after flirting with it for some time. Still, they were more like a perennial NIT than NCAA Tournament team at that point. They had not yet arrived or peaked.

Now, the Flyers are one of the best in the Atlantic 10, and on Friday night, they kept it that way by doing what top teams do: they pulled one out on the road that could have easily gone the other way. They emerged from Rhode Island with a 68-66 victory over the Rams, who have remained tough despite losing their best player for the season way back on opening night, and in so doing, remain firmly on top of the conference with an 11-1 mark.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Monday, February 1, 2016

by - Published February 1, 2016 in Columns

In the last year and a half, Dana Altman has reminded the college basketball world that he’s a very good basketball coach. Just in case we all forgot that.

Maybe we did. It happens sometimes. We sometimes miss things happening away from the limelight, and Altman had that for a while in an unlikely fashion – at a mid-major, albeit a consistently very good one – before going to relative obscurity.

… Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

For the Big 12, coming out on top again will be a challenge in 2016-17

October 21, 2016 by


The Big 12 has been on a great run to be the top conference in recent years, including last year. This year will be a challenge due to a big loss of experience throughout the conference.

A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

October 7, 2016 by


With some big-time additions, much was expected of Cal a year ago, and the season did not end well. This time around, expectations may be reduced, but the Golden Bears have a chance to end the season better.

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by


Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

Hoopville Archives

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.

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.

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

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by


We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by


Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

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.