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The Morning Dish – Saturday, November 14, 2015

by - Published November 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish

It’s here at last. The college basketball season began on Friday. Amidst the excitement, however, we were reminded that as much as we love the game, there are many other things of paramount concern. A series of terrorist attacks in Paris captured everyone’s attention, with well over 100 people killed. As we take a look at college basketball on the day, we extend our thoughts and prayers to those who lost loved ones.

As usual, there were plenty of mismatches, along with some very good matchups, and with the latter came surprises. There was also an unfortunate early end to one of two games played outside the country.

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A game a day for the 2015-16 season: January

by - Published November 11, 2015 in Columns

We continue our look at our favorite games for every day of the season, our ultimate dream road trip through an entire college basketball season.

To refresh: in some cases they’re the biggest matchup of the day, in others they may be what we think will be the best game. We started on Monday with November, continued with December on Tuesday, and today we move into January:

Jan. 1: UCLA at Washington. The Pac-12 stakes its claim to New Year’s Day with several intriguing matchups. Freshmen will be playing a lot for the Huskies, making this an even trickier opener for the Bruins. Honorable mention: Utah at Stanford

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Romar, Washington may successfully reboot once again

by - Published August 27, 2015 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

Perhaps Lorenzo Romar has a second act in store at Washington.

Perhaps the Huskies have some hope of rebounding yet, and relatively soon.

You can be forgiven for having wondered if Romar had peaked during his tenure in Seattle. In a Pac-12 that has seen Arizona once again become the signature program, while Utah has risen and Oregon has become a steady contender, Washington has gone from being a contender to almost a forgotten team. The 2014-15 season was perhaps a microcosm of this stretch in that it started out with a lot of promise, but crashed and burned.

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2014-15 Pac-12 Post-Mortem

by - Published July 16, 2015 in Columns

Who in the Pac-12 can challenge Arizona for consistent supremacy? It’s a question we asked before the season and now must ponder again with the 2014-15 season in the books.

And ironically enough, the Wildcats could just as easily fall out of the top spot by default, at least for next season.

Sean Miller has brought Arizona back to being the signature program of the Pac-12. In the final years of Lute Olson’s tenure, there was a noticeable slide from the place of being a national power. That’s a thing of the past, though, as Miller is showing that he can coach, and he and his staff are getting big-time talent to Tucson for him to coach. That has its trade-offs, though, as the Wildcats have a mass exodus of talent this season, with three players entering the NBA Draft early and T.J. McConnell graduating. Even so, they bring in another terrific recruiting class and will remain the conference favorite for much of the foreseeable future.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, April 10, 2015

by - Published April 10, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Well, that didn’t take long.

Just a day after we were wondering just how many Kentucky Wildcats would declare for the NBA Draft, the answer is seven. At least.

It was reported Wednesday that twin brothers Aaron and Andrew Harrison were expected to enter the draft on Thursday. Indeed, Kentucky held a press conference Thursday, but the Harrisons were joined at the press date by Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Trey Lyles and Karl-Anthony Towns. Coach John Calipari was there too, and introduced all seven as going pro.
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Scanning the Nation Notebook – February 13, 2015

by - Published February 13, 2015 in Columns

Some brief college basketball thoughts from around the country, high and low in Division I, in the middle of February:

  • Everyone has shared their Dean Smith recollections and stories this week, and they are all enjoyable and speak well of a legend of college basketball. Never had the pleasure to meet Dean Smith, but do remember watching his teams play for a number of years. One game from this memory sums up what we saw of UNC basketball under Dean Smith.

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The Morning Dish – Thursday, January 29, 2015

by - Published January 29, 2015 in The Morning Dish

While Notre Dame and Duke were putting on a terrific game, one that should confirm both as deserving top 10 teams right now, Wednesday was not a good night for a couple Atlantic Coast Conference teams at home, and it could be one that comes back to haunt those teams on Selection Sunday in just under 6 1/2 weeks.

First: the good. Notre Dame rallied to defeat Duke 77-73 in South Bend, outscoring the Blue Devils 22-8 over the final 10:37. No 54-50 slugfest here; this was what a high-level game should look like (and note to NCAA rule makers: it didn’t need a 30-second shot clock to achieve it). Jerian Grant scored 23 points, while Jahlil Okafor ensured the Player of the Year hype won’t die down anytime soon with 22 points and 17 rebounds.

Outside of that dandy, North Carolina State and Miami (Fla.) both looked like they had a chance for confidence-building wins against teams at the bottom of the conference. It didn’t work out that way. The Wolfpack fell way behind early and couldn’t catch up in a 68-57 loss to Clemson. In south Florida, Georgia Tech blew out Miami (Fla.) 70-50, adding another ugly loss to the Hurricanes’ Dow Jones-like resume.
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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 27, 2015

by - Published January 27, 2015 in The Morning Dish

ESPN’s new practice of not sending announcers to cover a few of its games and instead broadcasting those games from a studio has already resulted in some embarrassing moments this season, and last night brought the worst one yet.

ESPNU was to televise the Southwestern Athletic Conference game between Prairie View A&M and Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 8 p.m. Central time last night. For those looking to tune in, though, they instead found a reality show about Snoop Doggy Dogg and his son Cordell Broadus, a highly rated high school football player. A message ran on the bottom of the screen simply saying that the Prairie View/UAPB game “will not be shown at this time.”

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The Morning Dish – Monday, January 19, 2015

by - Published January 19, 2015 in The Morning Dish

If you have followed college basketball in recent years, it’s hard to believe that it was barely a generation ago that DePaul was a national power. The Blue Demons were once a team that were consistently in the national rankings and winning NCAA Tournament games. They produced All-Americans and NBA players.

Nowadays, DePaul is facing a constant uphill battle, especially since they joined the Big East. While the conference took off for several years when they were among a group of schools to join the conference, DePaul was not part of that. They instead mostly struggled, with a couple of high notes but mostly downers in recent times.

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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 16, 2015

by - Published January 16, 2015 in The Morning Dish

We are still barely past the halfway mark of this college basketball season, but there’s a question that probably should start getting pondered a little bit: Is Utah a Final Four contender?

The Runnin’ Utes have been a great story. From 6-25 three years ago, to just missing the NCAA Tournament last year, to the top 10 this year, Larry Krystkowiak has had tremendous success. (He’s a former Montana coach: that’s what former Montana coaches do.) More than just a great story, though, Utah of late is looking like not just a real national contender, but even a bully.

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Your Phil of Hoops

Big East looks the same in some ways and quite different in other ways

November 13, 2015 by


As year three of the new-look Big East tips off, the conference looks the same in a few ways. In other ways, though, it’s not the same, and much is to be determined.

Though a contender, Purdue will need to earn more relevance

October 15, 2015 by


Purdue has the makings of a contender in Big Ten play, but you wouldn’t know it from the conversations about the conference teams. The Boilermakers will have to earn their way to relevance despite their potential to contend.

New challenge ahead for Harvard

October 6, 2015 by


If Harvard’s great run through the Ivy League is to continue in 2015-16, the Crimson will have to get through quite a challenge this time around with a team that looks a little different.

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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 listening 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.

Here are links to the shows:

March 15, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 22, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

March 29, 2015 - First hour | Second hour

April 5, 2015 - First hour | Second hour | Third hour

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2015 Hoopville Spring Finale Notes

June 30, 2015 by


We look back at more from the 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale, where some of the championship games were worth the price of admission.

A big championship day for a local program at the Hoopville Spring Finale

June 23, 2015 by


The 2015 Hoopville Spring Finale saw a number of good championship games on Sunday to close it out, and we start our look back with a look at those games.

Player highlights from Mass Elite and Boston Warriors college showcase

June 4, 2015 by


Two big programs, Mass Elite and the Boston Warriors, got together once again on a college showcase for many of their high school players. We look at some who stood out on the evening.

2015 Massachusetts AAU Tournament notes

June 3, 2015 by


Massachusetts held its AAU championship rounds in a few age groups and its entire tournament for the oldest age group this weekend. We take a look at some of Sunday’s action in Foxboro.