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2016-17 Big Sky Post-Mortem

by - Published July 19, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

Experience is typically a good thing for a college basketball team. Rarely does it result in the type of leap, though, that North Dakota took in the Big Sky Conference this year.

The Fighting Hawks/formerly Fighting Sioux returned all five starters in 2016-17, though it came on a team that finished one game over .500 (17-16) the year before, tying for fifth in the Big Sky. While Hoopville had UND targeted as a team to watch coming into the season, it was still a lot to ask it to overcome traditional league powers like Weber State and Montana that led the way the year before, as well as stubborn Eastern Washington and Idaho programs regularly near the top of late.

North Dakota showed all the growth one could’ve asked for, though, winning 22 games plus Big Sky regular season and tournament titles. The latter added up to the first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament berth for the former Division II power that only became a full-fledged D-I member five years ago. … Continue Reading

2015-16 Big Sky Post-Mortem

by - Published August 22, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Big Sky puts out a good basketball product, at least from a competitive standpoint. Of all the mid-majors, this one might be hidden the most in terms of having so much working against it. The footprint is in the two western-most time zones and largely overshadowed not only by the Pac-12, but also the Mountain West and West Coast Conference. It has produced a few splashes over the years and little more, but within its own little world is a good product.

As tends to happen, some familiar faces were among those at the top. Weber State and Montana continue to be mainstays, as they are the two programs with the all-time best records both overall and in conference play among current members. In fact, they are the only current members whose Big Sky records are over .500 all-time. Save for 2014-15, when Weber State finished a surprising sixth, both teams have finished in the top three in the conference every year since 2008-09. The two have also combined for 19 conference titles, with no one else having more than four.

… Continue Reading

Impressions from first week of college hoops season

by - Published November 24, 2015 in Columns

A number of stories in the college basketball preseason talked about teams and their goal to “play faster” this year. They wanted to pick up the pace. Run run run.

San Diego State was one of those teams, and while we hear teams talk of this every year, at first it looked promising that in this case it was real. The Aztecs scored 86 in an exhibition. They got up and down the court against Illinois State, scoring 71 against a good defensive team. They scored 76 in a fast-paced game that wound up a loss at Utah.

Then, SDSU scored 71 in a closer-than-expected win over San Diego Christian, an NAIA school that lost to Pepperdine 91-46 two nights earlier.

Three days later, the Aztecs lost to Arkansas-Little Rock 49-43.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, January 9, 2015

by - Published January 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Iowa and LSU continue to be two of the bigger teases in the country.

That much remained certain after last night, when-just when you’re ready to believe in them-both suffered losses that can only be categorized as disappointing. Iowa was outstanding for a half, but lost an 11-point lead and eventually the game going away, Michigan State putting the Hawkeyes well in their mirror for a 75-61 win. LSU, meanwhile, played what should’ve been a manageable road game, but surrendered an eight-point lead in the second half and never could shake Missouri, eventually losing 74-67 in overtime.

First off, before noting the schizophrenic nature of the losing teams, credit goes to the winners. Michigan State winning at Iowa wasn’t much of a surprise-the Spartans are a talented bunch-but rallying after a poor first half with a terrific three-point shooting performance (8 of 9 in second half). Missouri, meanwhile, has been a nuisance for many teams of late and will only become even more of a tough out as the season continues, and that’s a credit to new coach Kim Anderson.
… Continue Reading

2013-14 Big Sky Post-Mortem

by - Published July 1, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

The 2013-14 season saw one of the Big Sky’s signature programs, and the one that has given it arguably the biggest NCAA Tournament wins in recent memory, return to the Big Dance. It wasn’t that Weber State wasn’t good; they have been a consistent postseason team. They just couldn’t knock off one particular team in the conference tournament that had their number.

Since reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2007, Weber State lost three times – all to Montana – in the Big Sky championship game. This time around, the Wildcats didn’t have to go through the Grizzlies, who were bounced in the quarterfinals, and handily beat North Dakota in the championship game. It finished what was pretty much a dominating season for them, as they also won the regular season title and dominated the postseason awards.

… Continue Reading

Big Sky news and notes

by - Published November 16, 2011 in Conference Notes

We’ll start with simplicity: Sacramento State’s Joe Eberhard has been selected as the first Big Sky Conference men’s basketball Player of the Week. And here’s the weekly news and notes that come out each Tuesday afternoon.

Of course, it doesn’t include Weber State’s 73-63 win over Utah State. Junior shooting guard Scott Bamforth scored a career-high 28 points on 7-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. His performance, and that of his team (12-of-23) brings the season total to 29-of-52 (.558), which is emblematic of an opening-week trend in the conference. The Wildcats (2-0) and Eastern Washington Eagles (1-1, 24-59, .407) have used the long-range bomb to score close to half their total baskets made (29-of-57, .508, Weber; 24-of-50 .480, EWU), and six teams have already sunk 10 or more 3-pointers just a couple games into the campaign. With five straight days of games opening today, it will be interesting to see how this early trend plays out.

There’s not much else to discuss aside from a handful of blowouts over cupcakes and “moral victories” as Montana State came back from a 12-point halftime deficit before falling by six at Arizona State; Oklahoma dispatched Idaho State but just by four points; and Eastern Washington held a 64-62 lead at Gonzaga before the West Coast Conference powerhouse turned it around for an eight-point win. It did produce one of the better quotes I’ve read in a while.

“I am pleased with our effort,” Idaho State coach Joe O’Brien told isubengals.com. “I would have loved to win the game, but when you have 21 turnovers on the road, you don’t win. You can stay close and some people can call it a moral victory, but I am too old for moral victories. I am greedy. I want to win.”

We’ll have a more complete weekend wrap on Sunday — though there will be games Sunday and Monday — and then get into a regular news & notes blog for Wednesday mornings.

Sacramento State Hornets 2011-12 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2011 in Conference Notes

Sacramento State Hornets (7-21, 4-12)

 

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G/F Walter Jackson
So. G Jackson Carbajal
Jr. F Anthony Cosentino
Jr. F John Dickson
Sr. C Josh McCarver

Important departures:

Sultan Toles-Bey: 12.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, 1.5 steals per game, 58 3-pointers per game
Duro Bejegovic: 9.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 38 3-pointers per game
Alpha N’Diaye: 6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1 block per game

Top returnees:

Dickson: 10.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Carbajal: 6.5 ppg, 29 3-pointers per game
Jackson: 6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.8 blocks per game

Additions:

Cosentino: transfer from Southwestern College (18.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.7 steals per game, 1.4 blocks per game)
Jordan Estrada: transfer from Diablo Valley College (13.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.6 steals per game)

Schedule highlights:

Toughest nonconference match up: at Washington State.

Hardest conference stretch: 10-day stretch at Montana State, at Montana, home to Weber State, home to Northern Colorado.

Outlook:

Brian Katz’s team went 3-9 in games that were decided by six points or less or that went into overtime. Making things even more grueling is the Hornets had late leads in five of those nine losses. The team’s four overtime losses were a single-season program record. In his three years, they’ve increased the conference win total from one to three to four. The Hornets also have four transfers and two redshirts within the program ready to come play this season and some size with three centers 6’8’’ or taller. Dickson, an all-conference honorable mention, will shoulder the scoring load and get help from a plethora of teammates, but the team will be fortunate to equal or surpass last year’s four-win total in conference play.

Prediction: Ninth, 2-14 Big Sky record

Next: Weber State Wildcats

Back to Big Sky preview

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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.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

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

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.

Hoopville Podcasts

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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

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Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

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In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017 by

In our first off-season edition, we look back on the season that just ended, including redemption for one team and a big development for a conference that has had more questions than success on the hardwood. We also look at players coming and going, as well as big coaching news on a day where there was a lot of it.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

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Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

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Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

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2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

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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.