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2014-15 Ivy League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 16, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The old phrase “What a difference a year makes” normally has positive connotations. For the Ivy League following the 2014-15 season, however, the opposite would be true. At a time when the league appeared to be in a big up cycle, the rise didn’t quite continue this season.

There was very good basketball in the Ivy League, to be sure. Harvard and Yale set the pace with good non-league showings, with the Bulldogs pulling out the league’s signature victory at UConn in December. The middle of the pack was pretty good – perhaps better than one might have expected given the adversity some teams faced. But there’s no two ways about it: the league went from five postseason teams in 2013-14 to just two this time around. And while postseason bids is a very imperfect way to measure a league, it’s certainly one way to do it.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, February 28, 2015

by - Published February 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The Ivy League race is even better now, and on a pretty good night for several players, too. At least one player posted a double-double in all but one game on the evening, but that’s not the biggest news coming out of Friday night.

The New York schools are playing spoiler. Less than a week after Columbia went into New Haven and beat Yale to knock the Bulldogs a game back of first place, Cornell hosted Harvard and snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Crimson. Neither team put on a clinic at the offensive end in Ithaca, but Harvard finished just over 25 percent in a 57-49 loss. Cornell was led by Shonn Miller, who missed all of last season due to injury and is reminding people how good he was two seasons ago, as he had 24 points and 15 rebounds to get the better of Wesley Saunders, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Harvard.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 16, 2014

by - Published November 16, 2014 in The Morning Dish

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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2013-14 Ivy League Post-Mortem

by - Published May 5, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

As good as the 2013-14 season was in the Ivy League, it might be just the beginning of a great stretch for the league. The results were great, and there is a lot to be optimistic about going forward.

Harvard won the league as expected, then beat Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament. For the first time since Princeton in 1983-84, an Ivy League team has won an NCAA Tournament game in consecutive years. The Crimson were basically prohibitive favorites, and while Yale was able to hang around late, the Crimson were never behind in the standings.

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Penn is not greater than the sum of their parts

by - Published February 2, 2014 in Columns

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Jerome Allen didn’t have to look far to see what he would probably like this team to become on Saturday night. The unfortunate thing is that it was the team wearing the other jerseys that fit the description.

“They’re a pretty solid team, Harvard,” Allen said after the Crimson thrashed his Quakers by a score of 80-50. “They play probably the best brand of selfless basketball in our league.”

Harvard has the best combination of talent, experience and intangibles in the Ivy League. Still, a big reason for the Crimson’s success is that they are bigger than the sum of their parts. Penn, on the other hand, is decidedly not, and that’s the problem.

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Penn Quakers 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes

Penn Quakers (9-22 overall, 6-8 league)




Projected starting five:

Sr. G Miles Jackson-Cartwright
So. G Tony Hicks
Sr. G Steve Rennard
Sr. F Fran Dougherty
Jr. F Henry Brooks

Important departures:



100 percent of scoring and 100 percent of rebounding


Fr. G Tony Bagtas
Fr. G Matt Howard
Fr. F Dylan Jones
Fr. G Preston Troutt
Fr. C David Winfield, Jr.

Schedule Highlights:

The Quakers have a very challenging non-league slate with seven home games, including Big 5 matchups against Temple, La Salle and Saint Joseph’s, and they also have a visit from Penn State. They will also challenge themselves at Iowa, Villanova, MAAC contender Rider and George Mason. Ivy League play starts with a test of where this team is, as the first three games will be against Princeton and at Dartmouth and Harvard.

Projected finish and outlook:

If Penn can get through their non-league slate in a good place, they could make a leap in the standings. This is a team with good talent and lineup flexibility, allowing them to play several ways. They bring back everyone from last season and add good newcomers led by Bagtas, who could see a lot of minutes right away, and having a healthy Dougherty again will be a welcome sight. The backcourt is solid and won’t garner many headlines, but gives Jerome Allen a lot of options for combinations and ways to play, while Brooks and sophomore Darien Nelson-Henry are solid role players alongside Dougherty. The Quakers got better as the season went along last year, and the first way they can keep that up will be in the possession battle from taking better care of the ball as the Quakers led the league in turnovers last season and rebounding better as they had the worst margin in the league as well.

Next: Princeton Tigers

Back to Ivy League Preview

Allen tries to guide Penn through a lot of growing pains

by - Published February 16, 2013 in Columns

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Ivy League has two standard-bearing programs that have dominated the league for much of its existence. Penn and Princeton have combined to win 51 of the league’s 65 titles to date in men’s basketball, with Penn claiming 25 of them. The Quakers have often been right there with Princeton in the years the Tigers were champions as well, and they have done it with veteran and young teams alike. They seemed immune to having to rebuild like so many programs must.

So it would surely surprise someone to look up at the Ivy League standings and see Penn with a 5-18 overall record, not to mention 2-4 in the Ivy League. That’s where they stand after Friday night’s 73-54 loss at Harvard. The records have an explanation, but they would surely still surprise many.

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Rosen carries Penn to a big road win

by - Published February 26, 2012 in Columns

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The band stayed around after the game, and why not? They had traveled all the way up from Philadelphia and just saw their team win a big game on the road with first place, and really, the season, on the line. When Zack Rosen walked out and down the stairs from the locker room, he got a hero’s welcome from them, more so than head coach Jerome Allen and other players.

And who can blame them? Rosen had just willed Penn to a 55-54 win at Harvard that kept the Crimson from clinching a tie for the Ivy League title and kept Penn in control of their own destiny.

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Harvard’s path to the elusive NCAA Tournament bid just got tougher

by - Published February 26, 2012 in Columns, Full Court Sprints

Harvard is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious institution of higher learning. Many of the brightest young people grow up dreaming of attending the school, unless you’re like me and dreamed of going to MIT (or Cal Tech) because of engineering. The university has produced a number of high achievers in just about every field imaginable.

On the hardwood, it’s been a different story. Harvard has had seasons of 20 or more wins, and they’ve been to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament and NIT the past two seasons. But they have yet to get to the holy grail of college basketball, the NCAA Tournament. That has eluded them, including last year when they went to a one-game playoff against Princeton and lost on a buzzer-beating jumper in New Haven. And after Saturday night, they might be on a path to such a game once more, as Penn came to Lavietes Pavilion and stunned Harvard 55-54 on Senior Night.

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Early Ivy League showdown looms

by - Published February 9, 2012 in Columns

The stage is now set for a showdown in Philadelphia, at one of the most storied arenas in college basketball. On Friday, Harvard and Penn will battle with first place in the Ivy League on the line, set up in part by Penn bouncing back last Saturday night with a convincing 65-48 win at Brown.

Harvard will enter the weekend alone at the top with a 6-0 mark. Yale will be right behind at 5-1, while Penn is now 4-1. Princeton, thought to be the top contender behind Harvard before the season, is now 2-3 after losing at Yale on Saturday night and needs help. While one can expect the Palestra to be a great place to be on Friday night, the Quakers aren’t looking at it as anything more than the next game on the schedule.

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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.