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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 6, 2016

by - Published December 6, 2016 in The Morning Dish

There was nothing like a return to comfortable surroundings against a comfortably familiar rival to get Connecticut a win that maybe can get the Huskies’ season back on track.

Desperately needing a spark in a season that early on has been defined by injuries, stunning losses and near-losses, the Huskies rallied past Syracuse for a 52-50 win Monday night. The game was played at Madison Square Garden, home to so many clashes between these two in the Big East Tournament in the past, and was the first of several big college games at the venerable arena this week.

It wasn’t Big Monday, and it was far from a work of art, but the night still reminded us just what the sport is missing when these two are not in the same conference anymore. With their games there in the past, both can make a figurative claim to MSG being their home away from home, and the atmosphere for this game made for typically great television between these two. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 16, 2016

by - Published November 16, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Tuesday was one of the busier days of the college basketball season, but certainly its longest one with games filling literally almost every minute of the 24 hours.

ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon was a big part of that, and for all of the frustrations with its coverage of college basketball (such as the network’s website including a piece questioning how Duke and Kentucky became the sport’s two most prominent programs without acknowledging its role in putting them there?), the marathon is a fun idea that at least gives a national look at the sport and an event to rally around. It was not alone on Tuesday, though, as other games and events were part of the story. … Continue Reading

Twenty teams to keep an eye on in 2016-17

by - Published November 7, 2016 in Columns

Different people enjoy college basketball for different reasons. It’s part of what makes the sport so enjoyable for some of us.

At the risk of being self-indulgent, one of the attractions of college basketball for me, from the time first watching the NCAA Tournament in 1987 at nine years old, but even earlier in that hoop season, has always been that you just never know where the next story will come from in this sport. The unpredictability, the joy of a team coming out of nowhere or finding out something about a team you knew next to nothing about-or even a team you thought you knew-is a big part of what makes the sport unique from so many others.

… Continue Reading

2015-16 MAAC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 20, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

Of all the anticipated major storylines as the 2015-16 college basketball season approached, it’s safe to say not a single one of them included a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference school from West Long Branch, N.J., that lost 15 games the year before.

It has been some time since a school as small as Monmouth so thoroughly captured the nation’s attention, but the Hawks were not just the story of the MAAC but one of the biggest anywhere. It was a Gonzaga-like rise for a program that finished fourth in its conference a year earlier, but was perhaps as talked about as almost any team not named Duke or Kentucky in 2015-16.

Monmouth took on a brutal non-conference schedule and had the audacity to not just play competitively against it but win more than its share of games. Led by pocket-sized guard Justin Robinson and more talented than most anyone not around the team expected, the Hawks ran around and shot over foes, defeating a who’s who of major college athletics names: UCLA, Notre Dame, USC, Georgetown. … Continue Reading

MAAC semifinal box score breakdown

by - Published March 7, 2016 in Columns

On Sunday, Monmouth and Iona punched their respective tickets to the MACC championship game on Monday evening in Albany. Sunday’s doubleheader set up a much anticipated meeting among two teams that each won on the other’s home court in regular season.

Monmouth 76, Fairfield 63
In a 73-possession game, Monmouth imposed a defensive will in holding the Stags to 88 offensive efficiency. Fairfield coughed the ball up at a 21 percent turnover rate. It wasn’t just forcing errors, as King Rice’s club held Fairfield to a 42 percent eFG percentage. Monmouth did use some of those forced turnovers to generate offense with a 21-9 edge in points off turnovers.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 23, 2016

by - Published February 23, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Before Iowa State was placed in so many preseason top 10s and labeled by some as a Final Four favorite and a short-list contender for the national title, it might’ve been instructive to watch the Cyclones’ final game from the 2014-15 season.

In a stunning first-round loss to No. 14 seed UAB in the NCAA Tournament, third-seeded ISU was outrebounded 51-34. This came against a team that was just +1.5 on the season on the glass while competing in Conference USA (and, indeed, the Blazers were outrebounded 41-26 in their next game by fairly middling UCLA).
… Continue Reading

Scanning the Nation Notebook: Atlantic 10, Wisconsin, Siena, Notre Dame & more

by - Published February 11, 2016 in Columns

The Atlantic 10 is a more-than solid conference this year, comfortably in seventh in the conference RPI and with at least four NCAA Tournament-quality teams-and maybe five, depending on if St. Bonaventure can finish strong. That said, we fear the league is cannibalizing its own too much, and it’s conceivable that the A-10 could finish with as few as two or (gasp) one NCAA bid, should Dayton win the conference tournament.

George Washington, Saint Joseph’s, VCU and St. Bonaventure all are far from sure things for bids, and it’s certainly possible the selection committee will regard results such as GW winning at VCU and then losing at home (by 18 points) to Saint Joseph’s as signs of mediocrity more than strength. Should the numbers hold at or near their currents, we sure hope the committee seriously considers VCU’s improvement since late December (12 straight wins before the loss to the Colonials), St. Joe’s road record (9-0) and the Bonnies’ lack of bad losses (the worst are at RPI No. 106 Duquesne and 107 Siena, hardly a complete embarrassment), but we’re not optimistic. The committee likes to talk about road wins-and these four are a combined 26-8 away from home-yet regularly (and wrongly, from this view) ignores consistent road winners in favor of those who make one or two splashes away from home out of conference…
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 2, 2016

by - Published February 2, 2016 in The Morning Dish

This season, there are no surprises when a top-5 team goes down. Frankly, it’s also almost never a surprise when Louisville is the group defeating such a highly ranked squads.

Still, the Cardinals’ 71-65 win over No. 2-ranked North Carolina on Monday was bigger than some and maybe most this year, as it was Louisville’s first win over a sure NCAA Tournament team. There were previously losses to Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan State plus a loss to Clemson, while the best wins-Pittsburgh, Florida State plus several other mid-to-bottom pack ACC teams-were only moderately impressive.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 5, 2016

by - Published January 5, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Polls do matter. A case could be made that the All-America first team is almost wrapped up right now. And it’s not at all hard to envision Oklahoma and Kansas playing two or three more times this year, including perhaps again in April.

Nights like Monday make it hard to fathom the idea that college basketball’s regular season is meaningless. Exactly how much more can fans ask for than an evening featuring incredible individual performances by two of the nation’s very best players, an upset of a top 10 team, plus a 1 vs. 1 matchup between two Final Four contenders who couldn’t decide their game after 40 minutes and provided some bonus hoops. And then some more. And then some more.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, February 3, 2015

by - Published February 3, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The Monday after the Super Bowl was a quiet night for college basketball, which one can only hope gave our nation of expert armchair quarterbacks enough time to get the whining about a play call out of its collective system. (Why can’t we take a little more notice of the story of a humble rookie reserve from a Division II school making the play of his life, one of the greatest defensive plays in Super Bowl history?)

Beyond the NFL Patriots, though, the calm on the hoops front gives us a chance to look at the Patriot League, home to what is top to bottom the most competitive conference race in NCAA Division I, bar none. For those who think the college basketball regular season is meaningless…it’s a weak generalization anyways, but there’s no way it can be applied to this league.
… Continue Reading

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Your Phil of Hoops

Saturday Notes – December 3, 2016

December 4, 2016 by

The first big Saturday of the college basketball season gave us all we could hope for, and it started right away. We have notes from a number of the day’s games right here.

Thanks to a big backcourt boost, Gonzaga should be even better this season

November 7, 2016 by

Gonzaga might have needed the West Coast Conference title they won in Las Vegas last year in order to be in the NCAA Tournament. With better guards, there should be no doubt about that this time around.

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.

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.