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The Morning Dish – Friday, June 26, 2015

by - Published June 26, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Today we bring you a special NBA Draft edition of The Morning Dish:

While a number of recent college stars received their first assignments in their careers as professionals, last night’s NBA Draft also was good for taking us back a couple months and reminding us just what we had in college basketball this past season.

It wasn’t necessarily a prevailing storyline during the Final Four-and there’s nothing wrong with that, by the way-but this year’s Final Four was loaded with future NBA talent. Loaded. And it wasn’t all just at Kentucky, or even Duke, as this year’s NCAA semifinals included eight first round draft picks and a total of 11 draftees just this year, nearly 20% of the entire draft.
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2014-15 Sun Belt Post-Mortem

by - Published June 10, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes
sunbelt

Seemingly in a perpetual search for an identity due to so many membership changes, the Sun Belt Conference found one in 2014-15 as a conference that provided a little of it all.

The Sun Belt was both as predicted and unpredictable. It played games in the 90s and 100s…or the 30s and 40s. It even had some star power amidst rosters that would mostly generate a shrug on the national level. It was a unique mix, but in the end it worked out well for a now-venerable league that has faced numerous changes over the years but is nearing its 40th anniversary.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 16, 2015

by - Published March 16, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Selection Sunday has come and gone, and as usual, there is much to talk about. As much as ever, though, bubble teams are the center of the conversation, and understandably so.

By 7 p.m. Eastern time every year on this day, there are programs that are excited and ones that are sad, upset, even angry. Nowadays, where the bubble always seems more even and perhaps weaker than in the past, you get the feeling that there are more teams in the latter category. And one thing that is true more than ever is that any team that doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large certainly had their chances to play their way in, and not just by winning their conference tournament.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 14, 2015

by - Published March 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

March is always a magical month, where so many things happen that seemingly defy logical explanation. The way games end falls into that category as much as anything else, and Friday showed that again.

We start in Brooklyn at the Atlantic 10 Tournament, where Davidson trailed for most of the game, but rallied. Still down by one, they had a play in the final seconds to win it, and Tyler Kalinoski put it up near the basket and got it to drop as time expired. Ray Floriani has more on this.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, March 13, 2015

by - Published March 13, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Texas was so close. So, so close.

A chance to make a convincing argument for the Longhorns’ inclusion in the NCAA Tournament was right there. They had Iowa State down for almost literally the entire game. They led by 16 points in the first half and by 10 points for almost the entire second half. They still led by 10 with 3:35 left.

Somehow, Texas still lost. The team that has looked the part but lost to good teams time and again did it once more, falling to the second-seeded Cyclones 69-67 in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals as Iowa State scored the final 12 points of the game, capped by Monte Morris hitting a jumper at the buzzer.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, March 6, 2015

by - Published March 6, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

The nickname will live on, but as far as the team that earned the label for Florida Gulf Coast, it turns out the first we saw of “Dunk City” in the NCAA tournament in 2013 was also the last.

FGCU was knocked out of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament on Thursday by South Carolina Upstate. In a game that lived up to expectations, the Spartans won 63-62 only after the Eagles’ Bernard Thompson missed the final of three free throws after being fouled attempting a three-pointer with less than two seconds left.

The smooth-shooting Thompson and entertaining point guard Brett Comer were the last links to that FGCU team that shot up from a 15 seed in the 2013 tourney, running and dunking freely past heavily favored Georgetown and San Diego State to make the Sweet 16. As much as the Dunk City tag has endured since then, that team will always be the genuine article, the first and the best.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, February 27, 2015

by - Published February 27, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Normally, the Big South is not leading news items in college basketball, especially at the end of February, when never-ending talk of bubbles and No. 1 seeds dominate the discussion.

There are no teams from the Big South on the bubble-it’s automatic bid only to the NCAA’s. And the only race for a No. 1 seed is that for the league tournament in a conference that would be happy if its champion receives a 14 seed in the Big Dance.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 20, 2015

by - Published January 20, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

The issues of scoring and pace of play in college basketball continue to get a considerable amount of press, and that’s a very good thing.

ESPN this past weekend on College Gameday had a thoughtful, quality discussion of the state of the sport, and a good share of the conversation was about those very topics. Jay Bilas has rightly continued to be outspoken about the ridiculous levels of contact allowed in college hoops, which has no doubt affected offense for years. Basketball Times magazine has been a frontrunner in reporting on this topic for several years now (if you don’t get it, you’re missing out; what Blue Ribbon is to preseason annuals, BT is to reporting on the sport). And yesterday, USA Today looked into the issue again in depth, with comments from a number of people including Belmont coach Rick Byrd, who is the chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee.

Things do need to change, and we could write 10,000 words about this topic (in fact, we sort of have in the past already). From this view, it’s that important. But the one hope we have is that any changes in the near future do not come about from overreactions.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 9, 2015

by - Published January 9, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

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.
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Scanning the Nation – January 7, 2015

by - Published January 7, 2015 in Columns
glatczak
  • Some college basketball thoughts from the first week of the new year:
    Seton Hall
    ’s resurgence has been one of the best stories of the first half of the season, and its win at Villanova was an example of a team finding a way when best-laid plans fall apart. Whatever game plan coach Kevin Willard came in with fell apart when the Pirates got in heavy foul trouble in the first half, forcing him to go deep into the bench as the Wildcats repeatedly pounded the ball inside. Haralds Karlis, Chier Ajou and Ismael Sanogo played a combined 85 seconds in SHU’s prior game against St. John’s, but all three came in during the first half and helped hold the fort. Karlis hit a three-pointer and the trio combined for four rebounds as the Pirates got to halftime with a 31-27 lead despite having seven players with two fouls each.
    While guard Sterling Gibbs is rightly getting noticed for stepping up his play in the absence of Isaiah Whitehead, freshman Khadeen Carrington also has picked it up several notches in recent weeks. Carrington had 11 against St. John’s and a career-high 17 in the win over Villanova. The 6-foot-3 lefty is fearless and constantly on the attack-a combined 18 free throws in the Pirates’ two wins last week-which makes him a whole lot of fun to watch.

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