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Atlantic 10 to Big East: On the conference road (and rails)

by - Published March 17, 2015 in Columns
author_floriani

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In actuality, the day begins in New York at Penn Station. The first stop is the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the Barclays Center. The evening finishes at MSG for the Big East. A basketball odyssey of one day, two venues, two conferences, two boroughs, eight teams. Countless enjoyment for a basketball connoisseur.

10:45 a.m. – On the 2 train Brooklyn-bound out of Penn Station. No one in La Salle or Davidson gear spotted. Train is filled with later morning commuters and those entrenched in their 9 to 5 routine.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, March 15, 2015

by - Published March 15, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Unwatchable? In a state of crisis? We challenge anyone who watched even a little bit of the college basketball action on Saturday to come to those conclusions about this sport.

While college basketball certainly has areas with room for improvement-and indeed, sometimes is not pretty-the fact is the product still provides consistent drama-and we haven’t even started the NCAA Tournament. Contrary to some of what you hear, the sport is not dying. College basketball still delivers, over and over.
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The Morning Dish – Thursday, February 26, 2015

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

Coming off one of its best seasons ever, the Atlantic 10 has flown under the radar this year. The league won’t be getting six teams in the NCAA Tournament again, and it’s fair to say it: 2014-15 has not been as good for the conference as 2013-14 was.

It was always going to be hard to top last year anyway, though, so what the league is doing this year is no slouch. Hitting the stretch run, no conference is more intriguing at the top than the A-10, and that was proven in spades Wednesday night.
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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, February 18, 2015

by - Published February 18, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-cyan

If there’s one thing that the new configuration of the Big East has taught us, it’s that memories of the old Big East are always going to be around the corner, even at times when we’re thoroughly enjoying the league in the present.

The old school Big East is cool, and will always be cool. Tuesday night featured a game that is as old school cool as any rivalry in the current Big East, as St. John’s went to Georgetown. For those looking for drama, though, they had to look elsewhere, as the Hoyas easily dumped SJU 79-57 for their 17th victory of the season.
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What to make of the Atlantic 10 in the final month?

by - Published February 13, 2015 in Columns
atlantic10

The Atlantic 10 has taken quite a turn in just a couple of weeks. What once looked like it could go comfortably to one team has now become a must-watch race in the final month of the regular season. Additionally, the NCAA Tournament case for each team only gets more difficult to figure all the time.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that Dayton came to Amherst and lost to UMass, at that time a team that was a little tough to figure out. That gave VCU a two-game lead in the standings, and with the way the Rams had been playing, you could be forgiven for thinking that the regular season championship going to them was a foregone conclusion.

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, February 8, 2015

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

With the college basketball season building up to its crescendo next month, we should be focusing on the teams and players and how well they’re playing and performing. And indeed, there has been plenty of that, but sadly, we’ve also been distracted by a run of injuries and illness of late, and it continued on Saturday.

A thoroughly intriguing and busy February Saturday was marked by some of the following developments and happenings, which ranged from coast to coast:

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The Morning Dish – Sunday, February 1, 2015

by - Published February 1, 2015 in The Morning Dish
hoopguy-orange

Today is February 1st, which is unofficially the start of the stretch run for the college basketball season. Jockeying for NCAA Tournament bids heats up, and we’re just on the doorstep of the most exciting month in sports.

Rather than a time of anticipation, though, Feb. 1 this year is marked by disappointment. One can’t help but be sad for Virginia Commonwealth senior guard Briante Weber, whose college career is over after he tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus Saturday in the Rams’ surprising 64-55 loss to city rival Richmond.

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Saturday Notes – January 31, 2015

by - Published February 1, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
author_kasiecki

Saturday was one of the busiest game days of the season, as over 150 games were on tap with Division I teams. With the many great games on the slate, many of which were at least as good as advertised, it should be a happy day. But there’s a good deal of sadness hanging over the day in light of news that came after 10 p.m. Eastern: VCU point guard Briante Weber is done for the season with a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in his knee. His college career is over.

Suddenly, all the great games on the day seemed so insignificant. Weber was the epitome of HAVOC and was on the verge of breaking the NCAA’s record for career steals. He had six of those on the afternoon before this happened. He’s a key vocal leader for a team that’s winning big this season, though they lost on Saturday (and were already trailing when he got hurt). He’s got a great motor and is a great kid. Put another way, he represents everything that’s right with college basketball.

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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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Your Phil of Hoops

Fran Dunphy deals with bubble uncertainty for the first time

March 15, 2015 by

temple

Temple is firmly on the bubble after losing in the American Athletic Conference Tournament to SMU. It’s the first time in head coach Fran Dunphy’s storied career that his team has been in this situation.

It didn’t take Larry Brown long to change SMU

March 15, 2015 by

smu

Larry Brown won’t be the head coach at SMU forever. As such, it’s a good thing he has already turned the program into one that can get better players and possibly win championships.

History shows the challenge ahead of East Carolina

March 14, 2015 by

eastcarolina

East Carolina’s first season in the American Athletic Conference is complete. With that, the challenge they face as shown by their history looks clear, and they may have just the right coach to navigate it.

Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

Be sure to listen 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.

The show will air on WNYM AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on Selection Sunday, then from 5-7 p.m. each Sunday up to the Final Four. Check here every Sunday evening starting with Selection Sunday, March 15, for a link to the live stream.

Coming up soon: archives of this year's shows.

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.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.