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Scanning the Nation: Notes from opening weekend

by - Published November 14, 2016 in Columns

A lot happened on Friday night. Not so much on Saturday, and a little more on Sunday. The season is still very, very young, but here are some quick hit notes looking around the country on the first weekend of the college basketball:

  • We mused before the season about whether Saint Mary’s could get any better offensively after being so, so good there last year. It was only one game, but one player who certainly looks like he may have is Jock Landale, who scored 33 points in the Gaels’ convincing 81-63 win over Nevada. Landale is part of an underrated SMC frontcourt that has size and skill, if not heaping servings of athleticism, and if he, Evan Fitzner and Dane Pineau can find more consistency then the Gaels are just that much more dangerous. … Continue Reading

2015-16 SEC Post-Mortem

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

If you had any doubt that Kentucky is once more in control of the SEC, you needed to look no further than 2015-16.

This was supposed to be a season where the Wildcats would get clearly upended by some other teams. Sure, they had a shaky season a couple of years ago, and they haven’t always been the kings of the conference during the John Calipari era, but for the most part they have been there. This time, though, it wasn’t supposed to happen the way it did. There was a Vanderbilt team that was supposed to be good. There was Ben Simmons coming in to make LSU relevant and maybe more. There was Texas A&M, a team on the upswing and sure to be motivated after being left out of the NCAA Tournament a year earlier.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 11, 2016

by - Published March 11, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Coaches such as Jim Valvano, Rollie Massimino and Tom Izzo are among those to make the month of March their personal playground over the years, regularly leading teams on extended runs, regardless of the strength of their teams in the regular season.

Few would include Ray Harper on that list, but it has become time that they should. As the excellent ESPN and American Sports Network analyst Mark Adams prophetically pointed out Wednesday, you can’t bet against Harper’s teams in March, and boy, was that shown again yesterday. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 5, 2016

by - Published March 5, 2016 in The Morning Dish

It hasn’t taken long to be reminded of why March is the best month of basketball (or to me, the best month of the year). In another sense, we’ve been reminded why, as wonderful as the NCAA Tournament is, conference tournaments are college basketball at its finest.

And we’re still only just beginning. Not only that, but there was big news in games outside of conference tournaments as well, making it the biggest Friday night in a while.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, February 21, 2016

by - Published February 21, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Phil Kasiecki takes the lead on game action here at Hoopville on Saturdays with his notes from the day-the latest edition is here. As he covers all of the day’s biggest games, we’d like to drop in on two almost impossibly close conference races that are winding down as conference tournament time is just about here.

There is no substitute for double round-robin conference schedules where every team plays each other twice, home and away. (If looking for ways to make the college basketball regular season more meaningful, one can start by getting back to conferences being size they are supposed to be, where this is the norm.) For those of us who thoroughly enjoy and believe in the double round-robin format, the Atlantic Sun and Northeast Conference have been as good as it gets this year.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 3, 2016

by - Published February 3, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Tuesday afternoon on the tube, ESPN Classic featured a terrific game from 1987 between Indiana and Michigan. An All-American guard who eventually became a fairly prominent college coach named Steve Alford won the game with a coast-to-coast dash after a missed Wolverines free throw, giving the Hoosiers an 85-84 win in a season that ended with IU’s last national championship.

The game was an enjoyable trip back in time, before conference (over)expansion, diminished rivalries (the first often causing the second) and shoe companies issuing teams different (and usually uglier) uniforms for seemingly every game. It reminded us how these two used to be fierce rivals, and the games between Bob Knight and Bill Frieder’s teams at that time were always must-watch. (Though in fairness, almost everyone in the Big Ten targeted the Hoosiers in those days)
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 24, 2016

by - Published January 24, 2016 in The Morning Dish

We’ve written a few times this year about Texas-Arlington and Arkansas-Little Rock, two of the most surprising teams in the country and squads that could be legitimate NCAA tourney at-large contenders in March based on their stellar non-conference performances. Alas, their first meeting of the season on Saturday was muted, and it wasn’t because of a snowstorm.

Little Rock defeated UT-Arlington on the road 68-62, improving to 17-2 this year and taking control of the Sun Belt Conference with a 7-1 mark. The Trojans now have an incredible nine road wins already this year, but sadly that’s not the main storyline from this game, or more specifically these two teams right now.

The Mavericks learned on Friday that star forward Kevin Hervey has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the year after suffering the injury in warmups before the team’s 91-64 win over Arkansas State on Thursday. UTA will be without the sophomore the rest of the season, a major dent in the team’s hopes to continue its success this year.

… Continue Reading

Cincinnati captures the Barclays Classic

by - Published December 1, 2015 in Columns

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In a battle of unbeaten teams, Cincinnati pulled out a thrilling 61-56 victory over George Washington. The win gave the Bearcats possession of the Barclays Center Holiday Classic title.

Some notes from the title game start us off.

1. In the first half, George Washington hit 8 of their 11 field goals from beyond the arc. The Colonials shot a torrid 73 percent from that range. They looked to get out in transition, but if the three was available, they were more than willing to oblige.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Friday, March 27, 2015

by - Published March 27, 2015 in The Morning Dish

A West Region final rematch is what many have been looking forward to this year, even if they didn’t know it. And a West Region final rematch is what they are getting, and it’s one that will be a historical rarity.

It’s an isolated occurrence for teams to meet in the NCAA Tournament two years in a row at all, and it is flat-out scarce that they square off in the same regional in the same round two years straight. It hasn’t happened since UCLA and San Francisco played in the 1973 and 1974 West regional finals, when the tourney was just 25 teams and placing teams in their home region was a priority and also easy to accommodate with so few teams. It took 41 years, but it will finally happen again on Saturday in the West Region (again) as Wisconsin and Arizona will meet again with a trip to the Final Four on the line after the Badgers defeated North Carolina 79-72 and the Wildcats held off Xavier 68-60 on Thursday.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, March 5, 2015

by - Published March 5, 2015 in The Morning Dish

We’re just getting started on March, prime time for the college basketball season, but on Wednesday we couldn’t help but look back for a day.

Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Hank Gathers, a former All-American at Loyola Marymount who collapsed on the court and passed away hours later in a West Coast Conference semifinal game against Portland. There were a number of poignant articles about Gathers posted yesterday-longtime Philly hoops scribe Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News had an outstanding one here, while ESPN’s Myron Metcalf also had an excellent story here. For those who never saw Gathers and those LMU teams play over three years from 1987-88 to 1989-90, they missed a superlative player and some all-time entertaining teams from a special time in college basketball history.
… Continue Reading

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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.

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

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.