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2015-16 Atlantic 10 Post-Mortem

by - Published June 21, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

The Atlantic 10 celebrated 40 years in 2015-16, and it has seen a little bit of everything in the last year. In all, though, the conference looks to be in a very good place when it comes to the hardwood.

For starters, we saw Dayton and VCU remain among the conference’s elite. They were part of a three-way tie for the regular season title and were the top two seeds in the conference tournament. VCU had some growing pains in Will Wade’s first season at the helm, but they grew into a solid team that won an NCAA Tournament game.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, March 19, 2016

by - Published March 19, 2016 in The Morning Dish

The first two full days of the 2016 NCAA Tournament weren’t like last year, when you couldn’t possibly have two more contrasting days in terms of results. But they did have a clear pattern develop, especially on Friday: for the most part, seeding doesn’t mean so much this year. The day also ended in dramatic fashion.

And with the way the regular season went, this shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s been that kind of year.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 6, 2016

by - Published March 6, 2016 in Columns

Two NCAA Tournament bids went out on Saturday night, one expected and one not necessarily expected at the beginning of the day. And for different reasons, you can’t blame either coach if they got a little emotional.

We start with the Ohio Valley Championship game, the one certainty when the day began. UT-Martin, who has never been to the NCAA Tournament, took on Austin Peay, the school that’s been there six times and has been among the signature programs in the conference for a long time. Head coach Dave Loos, who for a long time was also the athletic directory, turned 69 on Saturday and has been doing this for a long time. He is the winningest coach in Ohio Valley Conference history, having been at Austin Peay for 26 years; the conference’s other coaches have combined to be at their schools for 33 years. He’s seen a lot, and won a lot, but this one was clearly different for him.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 25, 2016

by - Published February 25, 2016 in The Morning Dish

There is no way around saying it anymore: Greg Gard should be the next head coach at Wisconsin.

Even acknowledging that it took some time for the Badgers to find their way under him (remember, the team was 2-4 in his first six games), what Gard has done righting a previously middling team deserves serious notice, to the point where it’s hard to imagine many others could’ve done it better this year. Considering that, plus his understanding of the program and the natural transition he provides from the very highly successful Bo Ryan, from the outside view he is the best candidate to be the full-time coach of this program.

Wisconsin won again Wednesday night for the ninth time in 10 games, defeating Iowa 67-59 on the road for another big win, and one that pretty much put the team in the NCAA Tournament barring a collapse the rest of the way. The Badgers held the Hawkeyes to 14 points in the game’s final 15 minutes and limited them a highly ranked team to 32.7% shooting in its own gym, a sensational defensive performance that backs up everything UW has accomplished in the last month.
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The Morning Dish – Friday, February 12, 2016

by - Published February 12, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Temple has been one of the more schizophrenic teams in the country this year that of late has been giving us a taste of just how good it can be when right. Thus, it was only fitting that the Owls’ game against Connecticut on Thursday was a microcosm of their season.

Temple looked beat, trailing by 12 points with six minutes left in the game but finished on a 21-4 run the rest of the way, coming all the way back for a 63-58 win. The win served multiple purposes, putting the Owls in first in the American Athletic Conference, finishing a season sweep of the Huskies, and also giving them a trump card in any possible future comparisons with their league foe when NCAA selections take place next month.
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Scanning the Nation Notebook: Atlantic 10, Wisconsin, Siena, Notre Dame & more

by - Published February 11, 2016 in Columns

The Atlantic 10 is a more-than solid conference this year, comfortably in seventh in the conference RPI and with at least four NCAA Tournament-quality teams-and maybe five, depending on if St. Bonaventure can finish strong. That said, we fear the league is cannibalizing its own too much, and it’s conceivable that the A-10 could finish with as few as two or (gasp) one NCAA bid, should Dayton win the conference tournament.

George Washington, Saint Joseph’s, VCU and St. Bonaventure all are far from sure things for bids, and it’s certainly possible the selection committee will regard results such as GW winning at VCU and then losing at home (by 18 points) to Saint Joseph’s as signs of mediocrity more than strength. Should the numbers hold at or near their currents, we sure hope the committee seriously considers VCU’s improvement since late December (12 straight wins before the loss to the Colonials), St. Joe’s road record (9-0) and the Bonnies’ lack of bad losses (the worst are at RPI No. 106 Duquesne and 107 Siena, hardly a complete embarrassment), but we’re not optimistic. The committee likes to talk about road wins-and these four are a combined 26-8 away from home-yet regularly (and wrongly, from this view) ignores consistent road winners in favor of those who make one or two splashes away from home out of conference…
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 4, 2016

by - Published February 4, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Among all the oddities of this college basketball season, when all is said and done there will be few harder to explain than this: a game between Illinois and Rutgers likely will go down as one of the best and most entertaining games of the entire year.

The chances of a winning Powerball ticket a few weeks ago may have seemed more likely, but indeed, two teams not even in the top 10 of the Big Ten and separated by nearly half a country put on one of the best shows anyone will see this season. The Fighting Illini finally won 110-101 in three overtimes, eventually completing the comeback after trailing much of regulation.
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The Morning Dish – Saturday, January 30, 2016

by - Published January 30, 2016 in The Morning Dish

What Shaka Smart did at VCU changed the idea of what the program should be. He wasn’t just one more coach who came in, won big as the program did for years as one of the CAA’s signature programs, then moved on to greener pastures. Yes, he won big, highlighted by their run to the Final Four in 2011, but they were consistent winners. He brought them into the Atlantic 10 and made them winners there, including a conference title last season, before leaving for Texas.

Now Will Wade inherits a stronger tradition, but higher expectations. And while the Rams had a relatively non-descript non-conference showing, they now look like a team that grew from it. About halfway through Atlantic 10 play, the Rams have yet to lose, the latest being Friday night’s 79-69 win at Davidson.

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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 25, 2016

by - Published January 25, 2016 in The Morning Dish

When he was at Penn, Fran Dunphy always played a tough non-conference schedule. He wasn’t alone among Ivy League coaches, and he did it for the reason you would expect, but it was always a staple of what he did. He’s continued that at Temple, aided by the fact that the Owls did the same thing under John Chaney and would play certain teams just about every year.

Coaches talk about a non-conference schedule preparing a team for conference play all the time. This year, it has really worked for Temple, even as the Owls had growing pains during non-conference play. The most recent highlight came on Sunday, when they handed SMU their first loss of the season 89-80 in Philadelphia.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 21, 2016

by - Published January 21, 2016 in The Morning Dish

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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Your Phil of Hoops

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.

A year later, Cal has a different team and something to prove

October 7, 2016 by


With some big-time additions, much was expected of Cal a year ago, and the season did not end well. This time around, expectations may be reduced, but the Golden Bears have a chance to end the season better.

Gbinije’s long journey may still have the ending many expected at one time

May 31, 2016 by


Michael Gbinije seemingly fulfilled the potential many thought he had, though he traveled a circuitous route to get there. Will it end up in the NBA Draft, or will he have to fight harder to make a roster?

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.

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.