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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 29, 2016

by - Published January 29, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

It was just another Thursday night in the college basketball season. And so much more.

North and south, east and west, there were high-level games and fantastic finishes last night. We’ve still got more than a month yet until we get to March-including a Leap Year day-but it felt like a snapshot from the greatest basketball month of the year.

Among the many cliffhangers and dandies:

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 21, 2016

by - Published January 21, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Michigan State lost at home to Nebraska Wednesday night 72-71 for its third loss in a row. So it’s time to worry about the Spartans, right?

No way. Not a chance. We’ve seen this flick more than a few times before with Tom Izzo teams. In fact, we’d go as far as saying if there was ever a three-game losing streak that would cause less concern than this one, it’ll be hard to find.

Though Darnell Valentine is back, it’s crystal clear he is still working back to his previous level, and the Spartans have hit a speed bump. Most notably, Bryn Forbes is 3 of 15 from three-point range in the last three games, and Lourawls Nairn has battled a foot injury all year and missed his second straight game Wednesday night. The bench also has provided little at times, a concern especially if Forbes is having one of his occasional off nights shooting.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 8, 2016

by - Published January 8, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

Sometimes in college basketball, comebacks happen so fast and so suddenly that it’s literally as if a storm blew through. In what are a few minutes but may feel like just seconds, a game seemingly in hand has slipped away.

SMU was the victim in such a scenario in its NCAA Tournament loss to UCLA in March; last night, the Mustangs returned the favor. Trailing by seven in the final minutes, the Mustangs finished the game on an 11-2 run to defeat Cincinnati 59-57 and improve to 14-0.

With less than four minutes to go, it looked like we would soon be down to one undefeated team and that Cincy would continue the recent mastery of its American Athletic Conference foe. The Bearcats-who beat SMU twice last year-had controlled much of the second half and held a 55-48 lead at the under-four TV timeout.
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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 4, 2016

by - Published January 4, 2016 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

With Sunday’s slate featuring plenty of Pac-12 games, we almost have to revisit it after taking a look a couple of days ago. And what we come away with is a conference that will be a lot of fun to watch all the way through.

The conference has some good strength, noted by five teams in the RPI top 30, eight in the top 50 and ten in the top 60. What it doesn’t have is a clear favorite, or a team whose play thus far puts them head and shoulders above everyone else. So while at first glance it may not appear that the conference has a national title contender, it has a lot of other things going for it right now.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 2, 2016

by - Published January 2, 2016 in Columns
hoopguy-cyan

As conference play starts to get into full swing, the Pac-12 got a good jump on things on Friday night before most of the others pick up the pace. Four games were on tap, all after a big day for one of them in the Rose Bowl earlier in the day.

We start with the school whose football team won the Rose Bowl, and in convincing fashion. Stanford was never really challenged in that game, scoring on the first play from scrimmage to set the tone. On the hardwood against Utah at Maples Pavilion, it was a little different story. In fact, the Cardinal by rights should have lost this game, as it was mainly a poor finish by Utah that led to the Utes blowing a late four-point lead and sending the game into overtime.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 16, 2015

by - Published December 16, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

UCLA. Notre Dame. USC. Georgetown.

Monmouth.

If you’re looking for a Final Four of all-time college sports royalty, you could do a lot worse than those first four. All four are national brand names. UCLA and Georgetown are two of the signature programs in college basketball over the last 50 years. Notre Dame is by far the biggest name in college football, and USC is easily in the top 10 in that sport.

The term “power” gets thrown around way too freely in college sports in relation to conferences that, frankly, in most cases are carried by a couple athletic programs. Make no mistake, though: all four of these are true “power” programs-UCLA, Notre Dame and USC in all sports, and Georgetown in basketball as a leader in the Big East, the gold standard for NCAA Division I basketball-first leagues.
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UCLA shows it has a high ceiling

by - Published December 5, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
ucla

It’s easy to look at UCLA’s win over Kentucky as a big win that will boost the team. When you factor in the slow start the Bruins have, that’s an even more tempting angle to take. There’s no question this win can be just that. The biggest determinant of that, however, will be what UCLA does from here, because success will make this win worth something. What is clear, however, is that this win shows that UCLA has quite a high ceiling.

The jury has been out on the Bruins even before they opened the season with an 84-81 overtime loss to Monmouth. While we have found out since then that Monmouth is perhaps a little better than many thought, it was still a home game. They went 1-2 in Maui, and while there’s no shame in losing to Kansas, they lost to Wake Forest and barely knocked off UNLV. So we don’t know just how good this team is or can be, even allowing for teams to be finding themselves a bit early in the season.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, December 4, 2015

by - Published December 4, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

What a difference one game can make in a season.

Just over a week ago, UCLA was losing to Wake Forest in the Maui Invitational for its second loss in two days. Just under three weeks ago, the Bruins lost at home to Monmouth in their season opener in what will go down as one of the upsets of the season given its unknown-slaying-blueblood storyline, even as we’ve come to see the Hawks are a pretty darn good team themselves.

After last night, though, UCLA now holds one of the true trump cards for NCAA Tournament resumes that any team will hold all season. The Bruins upended No. 1-ranked Kentucky 87-77, leading almost the entire way and snapping the Wildcats’ 38-game regular season winning streak.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 26, 2015

by - Published November 26, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

The news could not have been much better for Kansas on Wednesday-on the court and off.

Call it two wins in one day. On the court, the Jayhawks overcame Vanderbilt for a 70-63 victory in the Maui Invitational final. KU shot 62.5% in the second half and won the battle of two excellent frontlines. Wayne Selden scored 25 points to carry Kansas, which overcame an early deficit to win its second Maui title.

Off the court, and earlier in the day before the tourney final, KU finally found out Cheick Diallo’s fate. The freshman was ruled by the NCAA to be suspended for the first five games of this season, meaning he missed last night’s Maui final yet but can return for the Jayhawks’ next game Dec. 1 against Loyola (Md.). His return will obviously add another tool to a team that already was a national title contender even with him out, and Kansas now may be on the short list of favorites.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 24, 2015

by - Published November 24, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

With the Maui Invitational, Kris Dunn, Ben Simmons and a renewal of an old Big 8 rivalry, Monday night saw a number of heavy hitters in action. Incredibly, though, a school that has never been a household name just keeps forcing itself into the national conversation, too.

Texas-Arlington followed up its win this weekend at Ohio State with another road shocker, defeating Memphis 68-64. A bizarre game all around saw the Mavericks make just 26 of 78 shots from the field (33.3%) and commit 33 fouls, but UTA built a 10-point halftime lead and then rallied after falling behind by six midway through the second half.

The Mavericks finished with 20 offensive rebounds, had the best player on the floor in Kevin Hervey (22 points, 11 boards) and withstood serious foul trouble, with five players finishing with four fouls or more. All this from a team that went 16-15 last year, lost three starters-including one through college basketball’s version of free agency in guard Johnny Hill, who is now starting for Purdue-and was picked to tie for 8th of 11 teams in the Sun Belt Conference this year.

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Saturday Notes – February 6, 2016

February 7, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

It was a full day of action, one that included two top teams going down in a rarity. Also, a number of other teams suffered a loss that could be a critical blow to their NCAA Tournament at-large hopes.

Saturday Notes – January 30, 2016

January 31, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

In the midst of conference season, a non-conference set of games took center stage. They were far from alone in the important games of the day, though, and we take a look at notes from many of those games.

Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 by

author_kasiecki

A number of games were pushed to another day by a storm on the east coast, but we had plenty of noteworthy games all the same on Saturday.

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Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

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.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-yellow

The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by

hoopguy-cyan

Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.

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 listening to COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT, a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, joined by former St. John's and George Washington head coach Mike Jarvis, former Fairfield head coach Terry O'Connor and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour