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Mountain West 2016-17 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 29, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Mountain West was a fun conference to watch in 2016-17, in large part because very little went as expected, at least in the race for the conference title. Take the preseason predictions and throw them out the window, because the only pick the coaches got right was picking Fresno State to finish fourth, and only two teams finished one spot away from where they were picked.

The surprises start right at the top. San Diego State was thought to be a fairly comfortable favorite, though that might have been underselling Nevada a bit. The Wolfpack were going to need a couple of newcomers to become key players, and that’s never a sure thing, but there was no shortage of talent on the defending CBI champions. With Marcus Marshall and Jordan Caroline making instant impacts alongside holdovers like Cameron Oliver, the Wolfpack were basically the best team in the conference all season long, and they finished the job by winning the conference tournament. San Diego State, meanwhile, was good in non-conference but got out of the gates slowly in conference play and finished sixth with a .500 mark.

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2015-16 Mountain West Post-Mortem

by - Published July 7, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Mountain West Conference had been so good for so long. Every year, it seemed to get better, deeper, and look like it might compete with the Pac-12 some years. Getting several teams into the NCAA Tournament looked like the norm; as it is, the conference went 15 straight years with at least two teams in the field.

Then came 2015-16. The conference was having such a good run, you almost wonder if it was due for a season like this, a correction of sorts. And that’s what happened.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 17, 2016

by - Published January 17, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Prosperity is not easy to handle or sustain at every level of sports. Even in professional leagues, one regularly sees teams that win a big game or several games in a row then come crashing down to earth at the times many don’t expect it.

The college basketball season-and conference schedule in particular-is a grind, and it’s not a given that teams will always defeat opponents that they have already proven they can consistently beat. It’s not just the big games a team wins; it’s how they play in the games immediately after, as well as in games throughout the season that they aren’t expected to lose. In that regard, Saturday was not a good day for a few teams who have had some big moments this year:
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 12, 2015

by - Published November 12, 2015 in The Morning Dish

We’re on the doorstep now-just one more day before the 2015-16 college basketball season officially commences. We continue our preseason peek at all 32 NCAA Division I conferences with six more today.

There is room for upward mobility right now in the Mountain West. San Diego State and Boise State are the two most expected to be at the top of the heap, but even they have flaws-the Aztecs famously struggled to score at times last year, while Boise will miss Derrick Marks and also plays a brutal early schedule in November with road trips to Arizona and a sneaky one at Montana, plus a loaded field in the Wooden Legacy. Colorado State is reloading while Wyoming is in an almost complete rebuild, so the time is now for Utah State and UNLV to make a move and challenge for an NCAA bid. Fresno State is also a popular darkhorse pick, though the Bulldogs need to rebound better to have a shot at a first division finish.

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Twenty teams to keep an eye on in 2015-16

by - Published November 5, 2015 in Columns

Top 25 lists. Sleeper lists. Hot “mid-major” lists. Cinderella lists. Hot seat lists. Coming into a college basketball season, there are any number of lists one can come up with.

We weren’t really looking to make a list under any of those set categories, but we were piqued by the idea of one that is something of a jumble of all of them (well, most of them). With that, we present 20 teams to keep an eye on in the 2015-16 season.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, March 30, 2015

by - Published March 30, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Two more teams advanced to the Final Four on Sunday. Their stories are a contrast, even as similar as the programs may be in recent times.

Most expected that Duke would be a Final Four team this season. Take a team that was good last year, though flawed, subtract good but not irreplaceable players, and add the likes of Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, and that was a natural expectation. Many years, that’s what they expect in Durham. When the Blue Devils ran out to a big start, the idea that they would be a Final Four team only grew, as did the talk that Okafor could be National Player of the Year.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 25, 2015

by - Published February 25, 2015 in The Morning Dish

In the wake of Monday night’s Kansas-Kansas State game, fans rushing the court after games continued to be a big topic of discussion on Tuesday.

Nicole Auerbach of the USA Today took a thoughtful look at the topic and questioned if this was the one that crossed the line. CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish was adamant in declaring the practice needs to be stopped. Kansas State released a statement apologizing to Kansas and admitting the school’s fault in not securing the scene properly. Naturally, schools such as Richmond met on Tuesday to discuss security measures before their big rivalry game Wednesday against VCU, while the security presence was notable at the end of Maryland’s 59-53 win over Wisconsin.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 28, 2015

by - Published January 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Surprisingly, we haven’t heard a whole lot about Texas A&M as an NCAA Tournament candidate yet.

That should be changing very soon, because the Aggies are leaving us all no choice. A&M is playing its way into serious NCAA tourney consideration and is now 14-5 after a 71-61 win over fellow upstart Auburn Tuesday night.

A couple weeks back, it felt like just another one of those disinterested performances by Kentucky after the Wildcats needed two overtimes to beat Texas A&M. Now with the perspective of more results, we’re seeing that game for UK was indeed much tougher than thought at the time. The win at Auburn makes it five straight wins (including an impressive three of those on the road) for the Aggies, who also are 5-2 in the Southeastern Conference and really don’t have a bad loss other than a 21-point defeat at Alabama.
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Scanning the Nation Notebook – January 14, 2015

by - Published January 14, 2015 in Columns

Some college basketball thoughts as we approach the middle of January, conference play is in full session and the chase for NCAA Tournament berths starts to pick up steam:

  • VCU is not a perfect team-it’s still not great in the half court offensively-so maybe this will matter in the NCAA Tournament or maybe it won’t, but there are few teams that are more battle-tested so far this year. The Rams’ most recent win at Rhode Island adds to a stable of quality conquests already. VCU had already won at Cincinnati and Illinois State and defeated Tennessee and Oregon at neutral sites. Eight of its 17 games have been at road/neutral sites, and sure enough, it’s next two are as well (tricky-but-winnable ones at Duquesne and Saint Louis). Few teams can also say they’ve played 10 of their 17 games so far against the RPI top 100. With George Washington struggling for offensive consistency and Dayton playing well but still low on depth, the Rams are still the clear favorites in the Atlantic 10.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 10, 2015

by - Published January 10, 2015 in The Morning Dish

On a Friday that had limited game action – just four games were on tap – there were a few possible stories to lead us off. We’ll take the one that should be the most positive, although the news itself was not, in a sense anyway. Utah State head coach Stew Morrill will retire at the end of the season, ending a terrific career, especially with his great run at the school. College basketball will be a bit poorer without him running a program.

There aren’t many coaches who have done a better job under the radar than Morrill did. He will be very tough to replace, and it helps that he’s been a great fit. There have been opportunities to take other jobs, but Morrill, a native Utahan, has stayed put.

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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

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

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.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2017

April 4, 2017 by

We look back at Monday’s national championship game, which was not a thing of beauty but had plenty of drama. Along the way we share some post-game quotes from both coaches.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

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

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

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.