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2014 NCAA Tournament: Early thoughts

by - Published March 17, 2014 in Columns
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The NCAA Tournament selection committee has spoken. The 68 teams are set to begin the tournament on Tuesday with two of the First Four games. With that, the fun is about to begin.

Before that, here are some random thoughts on the selection, seeding and potential matchups, as well as reaction to some early chatter about the field.

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Providence ends all bubble talk in New York

by - Published March 16, 2014 in Columns
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NEW YORK – There will be plenty of good stories with teams that are in the NCAA Tournament, as usual. Few will be as good as that of Providence, who won the Big East Tournament on Saturday night by knocking off Creighton 65-58 in the championship game.

There’s the well-documented story of how Providence has had to make do with very little. Injuries and suspensions have gutted this team’s roster to the point where the Friars basically play six players, with the only thing resembling a backup guard being walk-on Ted Bancroft. They won Saturday’s game with six players getting on the court. It’s something they have had to do seemingly since Ed Cooley took over the program, as they have been snakebit with injuries often.

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Providence 80, Seton Hall 74: Box score breakdown

by - Published March 15, 2014 in Columns
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NEW YORK – Providence is headed to the Big East title game for the first time since 1994. Back then, the Friars captured the championship under the tutelage of Rick Barnes. The Friars held off Seton Hall in the semifinal opener at Madison Square Garden on Friday evening.

A look at the numbers for some insights:

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Providence misses a big opportunity

by - Published February 19, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – When Ryan Arcidiacono made the driving layup with a second left in the second overtime, you could almost hear a pin drop in the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. It was the same Dunkin’ Donuts Center that had been rocking for a lot of the previous two and a half hours.

And when a last-second three-pointer by LaDontae Henton missed harmlessly, a heart-breaking loss was complete and a muted exit from the building had begun. The question now is if it’s also the beginning of an exit from something larger.

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Cotton is the best player on the floor as Providence beats Creighton

by - Published January 20, 2014 in Columns
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – One of the country’s best players came to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday night. The best player on the court, however, was a different player, and on some nights that will happen. Bryce Cotton took home the honors in leading Providence to an 81-68 win over Creighton, and it’s a win that says as much about the winners and their leader as it does who they beat.

Providence plays plenty of games on national television, but it’s not every night one of those games involves a player like Doug McDermott. This game may have gotten a few more viewers than some of Providence’s other games for just that reason, and Cotton embraced that stage like he has every other game in his career.

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Providence does what they know and continue to fight through adversity

by - Published January 9, 2014 in Columns
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Ed Cooley wasn’t kidding when he said Wednesday night’s 70-52 win over Georgetown was a character win. The Providence head coach knows it in more ways than one.

Simply put, Providence has had to hang in there and keep fighting with the deck seemingly stacked against them. This team is battle-hardened on and off the court, and while it’s been tough at times, this team is showing its toughness and benefiting from it more than ever. There has been adversity left and right for this team.

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Providence and Rhode Island show what we can expect from each

by - Published December 6, 2013 in Columns
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SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Thursday night was everything you could want in a rivalry game. The atmosphere was what you would expect with a packed Ryan Center. The game was close throughout, with some swings for both teams although one had the lead more often than the other. It was a slug fest, and at one point things got heated, including between the coaches. It came right down to the buzzer.

And in some ways, Providence’s 50-49 win over Rhode Island, their fourth straight in this rivalry, will define the two teams going forward as well.

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Kris Dunn’s return a very welcome sight

by - Published November 19, 2013 in Columns
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – After the first media timeout of Monday night’s game, Providence fans got what was undoubtedly a very welcome sight.  They looked on the court and saw a white jersey with the number 3 on the floor.  That would be Kris Dunn, the sophomore point guard who might be the team’s most important player.

As if that wasn’t enough, Dunn didn’t just get in the game.  He played well, in fact, handing out eight assists with three turnovers in 21 minutes, and going 1-2 from the field.  He also had three steals.  His minutes were understandably limited since it was his first game back, and one had to figure a big reason to play on Monday was so that he would make his debut before the Paradise Jam, which is next for the Friars after their 70-49 win over Vermont.

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Blowout win may be just what Providence needed

by - Published November 17, 2013 in Columns
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Saturday was a little different for Providence. The final score against Marist – a 93-48 romp – would jump out at anyone all by itself, and while understandable it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Providence won their first two games by four points each. They pulled one out in overtime against Boston College in the opener, then survived against cross-town rival Brown, who beat them across town last year, a few nights later. They won the games despite shooting below 41 percent from the field and allowing opponents to shoot over 45 percent. The big stat is that they out-rebounded their two opponents by 14 per game.

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Providence opens with a win they can be happy about

by - Published November 9, 2013 in Columns
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – You can’t blame Providence if they’re feeling especially good after Friday night’s 82-78 overtime win over Boston College. It came at the end of what has not been a good stretch and with a lot of in-game adversity, and then they had to start with an opponent much like themselves in having something to prove in the opener.

To begin with, you wouldn’t have been crazy to think Boston College was the favorite despite being on the road. Providence entered the game fresh off the suspension of freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock being announced a couple of days earlier, and was already without injured point guard Kris Dunn, who might be the team’s most important player. Bryce Cotton was also limited coming into the game due to a sore knee, having not practiced for over a week. While BC wasn’t at full strength, either, as Lonnie Jackson and Dennis Clifford sat due to injury, Providence was clearly at a deficit personnel-wise.

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College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

2013 Prep School Tour

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

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Travel team profile: Blackstone Valley Chaos

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

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Cesar Fulcar commits to Wentworth

The senior guard led Watertown to the state semifinal this past season

Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

Bay State Magic doesn’t have much size on their junior team this season, so they’ll have to win with execution and intangibles

Travel team profile: Mass Elite

Mass Elite is one of the largest travel teams in the state despite being relatively new

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is already 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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter