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Led by seniors, VCU shows the toughness of a champion

by - Published January 15, 2015 in Columns
vcu

SOUTH KINGSTON, R.I. – If VCU wins the Atlantic 10, as most prognosticators felt they would before the season, one game they will surely be able to look back on is Tuesday night’s 65-60 win at Rhode Island. It’s still early – just four games in – but given the winning Shaka Smart has done at the school, including with the core of this team, he has some perspective on it.

“This was not our best game overall, as a team, but I think it was our best resolve that we’ve shown,” Smart said after VCU rallied to beat Rhode Island on Tuesday. “These are the type of games you need to win on the road if you want to compete for a championship in your league, and that’s a goal of ours. It’s really, really early in the year, but this is a game hopefully we’ll look back at and say, that’s one we needed to get, and we found a way to get it.”

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Scanning the Nation Notebook – January 14, 2015

by - Published January 14, 2015 in Columns
glatczak

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 – Wednesday, January 14, 2015

by - Published January 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

What a difference a couple days makes.

A week ago, we had three undefeated Division I teams, and there was a fair amount of debate of if Duke might be as good or better than Kentucky, the team that had been almost universally acclaimed as the top squad for the prior month-plus.

The Wildcats were coming off a narrow escape at home against Mississippi, hardly their first close shave this season. Meanwhile, Duke was 13-0, Coach K was on his way to 1,000 wins and the Blue Devils were cruising, having defeated everyone they’d played by at least 10 points on the way to a 13-0 record.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 8, 2015

by - Published January 8, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

At only a slight risk of hyperbole, the 9 p.m. EST block of games Wednesday night-many of them on TV-might go down as one of the ugliest two-hour stretches of offensive basketball in NCAA Division I college basketball history.

Some halftime scores from those games:
Baylor 22, Kansas 18.
Utah 31, Colorado 21.
Kansas State 22, TCU 19.
Maryland 28, Illinois 26.
Clemson 22, Louisville 18.
Duke 32, Wake Forest 27.
Wyoming 31, Colorado State 26.
Tennessee 26, Mississippi State 23.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, December 30, 2014

by - Published December 30, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

In a long-running rivalry that has been lopsided of late, San Francisco and St. Mary’s provided a little bit of a stir at the finish of their game Monday night.

The Gaels used a big second half to defeat the Dons 69-56 for their 18th win in the last 19 games between the two Bay Area rivals. The end of the contest saw some words exchanged after the buzzer between a couple USF and St. Mary’s coaches, as well as a few unpleasantries between players from both teams. At issue was St. Mary’s reserve Jock Landale attempting a dunk while getting fouled by Tim Derksen on a hard (SMC might argue it was reckless, though that is debatable) challenge on an attempted shot block at the buzzer. That came after the Gaels rebounded a late San Francisco missed shot and then under pressure made an outlet to Landale, who attempted to beat the buzzer with his rim run.
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The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 14, 2014

by - Published December 14, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

We’re down to nine unbeaten teams after Saturday, though the 10th undefeated left this season did not go quietly.

Northern Iowa made the trip to VCU for the second time in four seasons, and the game between the Panthers and Rams was the best of the day Saturday. Virginia Commonwealth got a cold-blooded three-pointer from Treveon Graham in the second overtime and went on to a 93-87 win for a much-needed bounce back after the Rams’ loss at home to Virginia a week ago.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, December 3, 2014

by - Published December 3, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-yellow

Ah, it’s started already.

We’re still a couple weeks away from final exams for most schools, a time when especially it seems like highly favored schools need to pay a little extra attention in games that they should win easily. But we saw several teams have more trouble than expected in games Tuesday night that all expected to be blowouts.
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A look back: VCU’s third place at the Legends was significant

by - Published December 2, 2014 in Columns
vcu

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Last Tuesday evening, before Thanksgiving dinner even hit the oven, VCU did something of team building importance. It was more than just claiming third place in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center. While the record books dutifully recorded a 77-63 victory over Oregon, the Rams did more than win a consolation game. This was the type of victory that proved significant on several accounts. First, to set the stage.

In Monday’s semifinal, VCU faced highly-regarded and nationally ranked Villanova. Following a close first half, VCU took the lead early in the second half. The Wildcats regrouped, going on a game changing 16-0 run and never looking back.

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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 26, 2014

by - Published November 26, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

The Big East is getting by just fine.

Here is how good the Big East has been so far this year: nine of its 10 teams are thus far undefeated. Villanova is 5-0. So are Providence and Creighton. Xavier and Seton Hall are 4-0. Georgetown, St. John’s and Butler are 3-0. Shoot, even DePaul is 2-0. And while some of those wins are filler (which makes the conference no different than any other top 10 league), there also are quality wins already over the likes of Michigan, VCU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Long Beach State and Stephen F. Austin.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, November 25, 2014

by - Published November 25, 2014 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

By its extremely lofty standards, this year’s Maui Invitational is rather light fare, though still one of the kings of the in-season tournaments.

Maui is always a highlight of November and Thanksgiving week, dating back to its emergence in the late 1980s, and the tourney opened yesterday with quarterfinals. The best game of the four was the last one, as old WAC and Mountain West rivals San Diego State and BYU went at it good deep into the night for us on the mainland.
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Saturday Notes – January 24, 2015

January 25, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

This Saturday didn’t have quite the marquee matchups as a week earlier, but there were some important ones, especially with teams in the middle of a few conferences trying to separate themselves from the pack.

Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

High school games may have grabbed a lot of attention, but there were plenty of college games as well. Most results weren’t surprising, but were well worth looking at some notes on, and we do that here.

Rhode Island keeping perspective after tough loss

January 15, 2015 by

rhodeisland

Rhode Island controlled Tuesday night’s game against VCU, but couldn’t finish it and took a tough loss. Their improvement is evident, though, and they are keeping perspective on that in trying to keep improving.

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2015 Boston Winter Invitational: What to expect

January 23, 2015 by

hoopguy-divisionII

The Boston Winter Invitational is coming up on Sunday at UMass-Boston. Here is a look at some of what to expect in the four prep school games that are on the schedule.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Monday notes

January 21, 2015 by

hoophall

Monday was the big day despite having just five games, as all were big matchups and most were nationally televised. There was plenty of talent in these games, and some big names played well.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Sunday notes

January 19, 2015 by

hoophall

It was a bad weather day outside, but fortunately we play the games indoors. Prep schools took center stage on a busy Sunday with some good talent and good games all the way to the end.

2015 Spalding Hoophall Classic – Saturday notes

January 18, 2015 by

hoophall

The Spalding Hoophall Classic picked up on Saturday, with a few good games, a couple of blowouts, then the best game of the day at the end. There was also plenty of good talent in each game.

2015 Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic – Sunday notes

January 14, 2015 by

author_kasiecki

Sunday was the day for a trip a little down the road from Saturday’s destination to check out some prep school action. We take a look at some notes from the day’s games in the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Classic.

2014 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: Putnam Science Academy
Sept 10: Commonwealth Academy
Sept. 11: St. Andrew's
Sept. 12: Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 16: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 17: Brooks School
Sept. 21: Holderness School
Sept. 23: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 24: South Kent School and Kent School
Sept. 25: Williston Northampton
Sept. 28: Wilbraham and Monson Academy and Suffield Academy
Sept. 30: New Hampton
Oct. 5: Worcester Academy
Oct. 7: Brimmer and May
Oct. 8: Cushing Academy
Oct. 9: Tilton
Oct. 12: Tabor Academy and Rivers School
Oct. 14: The Master's School
Oct. 16: Vermont Academy

You can also find them all right here.