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2016-17 WAC Post-Mortem

by - Published July 5, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

If ever there’s a league that deserves to gloat a little bit, it’s the Western Athletic Conference.

It’s not an overstatement to say the WAC was left for dead by many a few years back, as one football member after another fled, leaving the league struggling to stay in business. To New Mexico State-the one holdover still playing Division I-A (FBS) football, it added schools like Missouri-Kansas City, Utah Valley, plus an NCAA Division I wannabe in Grand Canyon, a former NAIA power that had fallen on hard times, went to a for-profit model to regain its bearings and was an NCAA Division II member at the time it was invited.

Those additions were out of what even WAC leaders probably would privately acknowledge as desperation. And yet, they’ve worked out better than about anyone could have expected. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 21, 2017

by - Published March 21, 2017 in The Morning Dish

You can collect the votes right now, and probably don’t even need to count them, the choice is so obvious. In a stunning upset, the winner for the breakout performance by a conference (non-NCAA Tournament edition) goes to…the Western Athletic Conference?

You bet.

The good ol’ WAC, 55 years old and thought to be on its last breaths at various times in recent years, has been the story of the tourneys outside the NCAA’s biggie, pulling off one surprising win after another. It continued Monday night in the NIT, where Cal State Bakersfield continued its run as an 8 seed by blowing out Colorado State 81-63 on the road to move to the quarterfinals. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 11, 2017

by - Published March 11, 2017 in The Morning Dish

Like the NCAA Tournament, conference tournaments have a lot of drama and stories. Friday was no different, a seemingly decisive day in many respects all over the country.

The drama actually starts with one of the last games of the day, and one that was probably off of everyone’s radars. The WAC Tournament looked like it could be heading towards a rematch of last year’s thrilling championship game, but Utah Valley had ideas of getting in the way as they took on defending champion CSU Bakersfield. It was a pretty low-scoring game throughout, as neither team shot better than 32 percent in a defensive struggle. Utah Valley led by eight with 2:40 left in regulation, and it looked like the Roadrunners were on the ropes. In a low-scoring game like this, a lead like that might be insurmountable.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, November 27, 2016

by - Published November 27, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Fairly hidden from the national conscious in the Mountain Time Zone, Utah is hardly the first place most think of as a hotbed for college basketball. Tobacco Road it is not-in so many ways-but when it comes to consistent quality among its NCAA Division I programs, few can match The Beehive State’s record over the last two decades.

Brigham Young, Utah, Utah State and Weber State are all respected programs that annually win 20-plus games and regularly compete for trips to the NCAA Tournament. For a state that has just six Division I members, it’s a very deep group, and doubly so considering Utah has few benefits of major media markets or sizable populations that many other areas that come to mind might have (see: New York, North Carolina, and even Indiana’s population is more than double that of Utah). … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Thursday, November 24, 2016

by - Published November 24, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Wishing a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving to all today…

A pair of top 10 ACC teams faced similar opponents on Wednesday, with dramatically different-but ultimately successful-results.

North Carolina matched up with Wisconsin in a highly anticipated Maui Invitational final, considered even a possible Final Four preview by some. About a half hour later, Louisville tipped off with Old Dominion in a Battle 4 Atlantis quarterfinal in a game considerably less anticipated, but on that, as it went on, took the distinct feeling of a 4-vs.-13 game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, with the lower seed a significant thorn in the higher seed’s side. … Continue Reading

2015-16 WAC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 1, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

For as much as the Western Athletic Conference got kicked while it was down, one might’ve expected the league to be dead by now.

As the WAC teetered on the brink of extinction after watching its football members run for cover in other leagues, a floodgate of stories of its demise was opened. Some took almost a morbid glee in its struggles, apparently because watching and discussing endless conference realignment brings them more joy than even the games themselves. The conference survived, though, and while it’s still a long climb back to stability in the NCAA Division I college sports landscape, the good ol’ WAC also continues to show that there is hope of better days ahead. Not a guarantee, mind you, but at least reason for optimism. … Continue Reading

2014-15 WAC Post-Mortem

by - Published June 3, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

There’s really no way around it; there is a perceived gap between New Mexico State and everyone else in the Western Athletic Conference, and that gap was quite real in the 2014-15 season.

The lone link between the WAC’s former days as a solid top 15 basketball conference and its current location near the bottom of NCAA Division I, the Aggies dominated the league, winning the regular season title by five games and eventually nabbing their fourth consecutive WAC tourney title and NCAA Tournament bid. NMSU lost just once in WAC play and outscored league opponents by an average of 14.2 points, winning 13 straight games entering the NCAA Tournament.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 31, 2015

by - Published March 31, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The thinking seems to be that the main motivation for St. John’s to be ready to hire Chris Mullin is that the school wants to follow the Fred Hoiberg Model of hiring an alumnus who was a former NBA front office before making a splash as a college coach.

That may be true for St. John’s, but it also oversimplifies all of what the school will get when it hires Mullin, an announcement that is expected to happen Wednesday.

In hiring Mullin, St. John’s will be bringing back one of its greatest players, a three-time All-American and, perhaps even more impressive, three-time Big East Player of the Year, in an era when guys such as Patrick Ewing and Pearl Washington were in the league. It also will be bringing in a local product in New York City, which even in what is considered a state of decline is still a fertile recruiting area.
… Continue Reading

2013-14 WAC Post-Mortem

by - Published May 28, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Western Athletic Conference still has a pulse. It faces a long, long rehabilitation period to stability, but at least a few positive signs were visible in 2013-14.

As expected, the WAC struggled overall, with just two schools finishing with winning records. New Mexico State, the lone heavyweight left from prior days of prosperity, scored the league’s three biggest wins (at New Mexico, plus a sweep of UTEP) and, in fact, the WAC’s only three top 100 RPI wins. And, sure enough, the Aggies also won the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, just as expected before the season.

… Continue Reading

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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 – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

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.