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The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 19, 2015

by - Published February 19, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Wednesday night featured the very best of what college basketball has to offer, in so very many ways.

Passionate rivalries. Contrasts in styles. Outstanding players. Coaches with the freedom to coach teams the way they want to, and taking advantage of that in different ways. And, yes, very relevant regular season games.

The evening included what are, for our money, the two very best rivalries in the sport. Of course, the evening was mainly marked by Duke and North Carolina meeting again, but the night started with Xavier and Cincinnati squaring off once more in a series that as a whole is its equal, or awfully close to it.
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What to make of the Atlantic 10 in the final month?

by - Published February 13, 2015 in Columns
atlantic10

The Atlantic 10 has taken quite a turn in just a couple of weeks. What once looked like it could go comfortably to one team has now become a must-watch race in the final month of the regular season. Additionally, the NCAA Tournament case for each team only gets more difficult to figure all the time.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that Dayton came to Amherst and lost to UMass, at that time a team that was a little tough to figure out. That gave VCU a two-game lead in the standings, and with the way the Rams had been playing, you could be forgiven for thinking that the regular season championship going to them was a foregone conclusion.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, February 9, 2015

by - Published February 9, 2015 in Columns
hoopguy-cyan

If you ever go to the Dean Smith Center at the University of North Carolina, a look up in the rafters will give you an idea of why the building is named after the man. It’s an amazing collection of college basketball history.

Smith passed away late Saturday night at age 83. It came late enough in the evening that word did not get out about it until yesterday morning. And so we begin to remember him, including that like so many legends, he was more than just a coach.

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Rhode Island continues to grow up

by - Published February 4, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
rhodeisland

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – Barely three weeks ago, Dan Hurley and E.C. Matthews sat in the interview room at the Ryan Center after a tough loss. Hurley and Matthews were low-key, but still upbeat despite dropping a game that they controlled, something that you know doesn’t come easily for the ultra-competitive Hurley. Among other things, Hurley talked about how the Rams would get better from that game, including when it comes to making big plays down the stretch as they go from being a young team to a veteran team.

On Saturday, you could see exactly that. Rhode Island had another test from within the conference, and the result was different. This time, they played like a team that did exactly what Hurley talked about after the loss to VCU. They played with confidence down the stretch, made plays and sealed the game.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 29, 2015

by - Published January 29, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

While Notre Dame and Duke were putting on a terrific game, one that should confirm both as deserving top 10 teams right now, Wednesday was not a good night for a couple Atlantic Coast Conference teams at home, and it could be one that comes back to haunt those teams on Selection Sunday in just under 6 1/2 weeks.

First: the good. Notre Dame rallied to defeat Duke 77-73 in South Bend, outscoring the Blue Devils 22-8 over the final 10:37. No 54-50 slugfest here; this was what a high-level game should look like (and note to NCAA rule makers: it didn’t need a 30-second shot clock to achieve it). Jerian Grant scored 23 points, while Jahlil Okafor ensured the Player of the Year hype won’t die down anytime soon with 22 points and 17 rebounds.

Outside of that dandy, North Carolina State and Miami (Fla.) both looked like they had a chance for confidence-building wins against teams at the bottom of the conference. It didn’t work out that way. The Wolfpack fell way behind early and couldn’t catch up in a 68-57 loss to Clemson. In south Florida, Georgia Tech blew out Miami (Fla.) 70-50, adding another ugly loss to the Hurricanes’ Dow Jones-like resume.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 26, 2015

by - Published January 26, 2015 in Columns
hoopguy-orange

What can you say about Mike Krzyzewski that hasn’t already been said? Well, there can’t be much by now. Leading up to the possibility of a big milestone, there was a lot that we learned about him that we might not already know. As of Sunday, we can say one thing about him with certainty: he is the first Division I men’s basketball coach to win 1,000 career games.

This one didn’t come easily at all, and when you’ve won 1,000 games, surely a few have been very difficult. St. John’s led at halftime, aided by the officials allowing a three-pointer that appeared not to beat the shot clock just before the half, and then they led by as many as ten in the second half. It took an 18-2 run by the Blue Devils to pull this one out.

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Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

by - Published January 15, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
rhodeisland

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – You can’t blame Dan Hurley if he felt frustrated and maybe in a bad place. He’s hyper-competitive and his team just lost a game that they controlled, and one where correspondingly they led most of the way. It’s a game they should have had in many respects. On Tuesday night, however, the Rhode Island mentor kept perspective, and he didn’t have to look far for an example of what he’s striving for.

“That’s a top team, obviously the class of our conference,” said Hurley after URI dropped a tough one to VCU on Tuesday. “It felt like we deserved a better result.”

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Rhode Island has potential amidst some difficulty

by - Published December 12, 2014 in Columns
rhodeisland

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Non-conference play has been both a time of promise and a time of difficulty for Rhode Island. The promise has shown in the wins and at times in some of the losses, while the difficulty is certainly there in losses like Wednesday’s 68-60 loss at arch-rival Providence. In that game, as much as any, you can see the potential as well as the areas of concern for this team.

In running out to a 5-3 start, Rhode Island has certainly impressed at times and looked like a team that has put most of the growing pains of last season behind them. The Rams are more talented as a whole, and holdovers pressed into more immediate duty last season than the staff probably wanted have benefited from that. E.C. Matthews looks ready to blossom into one of the Atlantic 10’s best talents, while Hassan Martin looks stronger and more confident. Freshman Jared Terrell has made an instant impact and classmate Jarvis Garrett helps off the bench.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 23, 2014

by - Published November 23, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

The weekend has featured several instances of something we don’t see often: BCS conference (or Group of Five, or whatever term you want to use) teams taking to the road against good non-BCS teams.

In the past two days, four teams that went to the NCAA Tournament last year went on the road to face non-BCS teams. For those who have paid attention to this sort of thing over the years, the results of these games were not surprising.

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2013-14 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

by - Published May 22, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes
atlantic10

Admit it: you thought the Atlantic 10 was never going to match the success it had in 2012-13, especially with one of its signature programs (Xavier) and a newcomer that gave it a big boost in that historic year (Butler), plus another one on the rise (Charlotte), off to another conference.

Don’t worry. You were hardly alone. And now that the Atlantic 10 has outdone itself, you can give the conference credit and now look at it in a different light going forward.

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Saturday Notes – February 21, 2015

February 22, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

A busy Saturday saw a lot of results that shook up conference standings, including a three-way tie developing in one of them, and some at-large hopes took a hit as well.

William & Mary tries to manage through defensive struggles

February 19, 2015 by

williammary

William & Mary has had to overcome some things to be in contention in the CAA. The latest is some defensive struggles while adjusting to life without a key player for a stretch.

Saturday Notes – February 14, 2015

February 15, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

NBA All-Star Weekend is grabbing headlines, but there were key games on Saturday as several conference races remained tight and a few teams re-asserted themselves as favorites in their conference.

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Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

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.