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2016-17 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published June 12, 2017 in Columns, Conference Notes

The 2016-17 season continued a run of a bumpy couple of years for the Horizon League, with more than its share of changes and challenges.

The Horizon was already due for something of a transition season after a recent rash of coaching changes. Four league schools changed coaches after the 2015-16 season, coming on the heels of three more doing so the year before. Add in two more (Cleveland State and Youngstown State) with new coaches after this most recent silly season, and the chaos has been so ridiculous that Illinois-Chicago’s Steve McClain is the second-longest tenured coach in the league. McClain just completed his second season with the Flames.

Still, the news in 2016-17 wasn’t all bad. Four Horizon teams won at least 20 games, three of them 24 or more. Two made it to the NIT, including an at-large bid for Valparaiso, and Oakland went to Clemson and knocked off the ACC Tigers. Northern Kentucky was a great story, rising from an afterthought to one of the league’s best teams. Wright State was better than expected in Scott Nagy’s first year, and the Horizon even made a modest improvement of one spot in the conference RPI (to 17th, per CBSSports.com). … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, January 11, 2017

by - Published January 11, 2017 in The Morning Dish

On Monday, Baylor began its first week in school history as a No. 1-ranked team in NCAA men’s basketball. Unfortunately for the Bears, if there’s going to be a second week at the top spot, they’re probably going to have to wait a while.

It just so worked out that the schedule set up Baylor with a road trip to West Virginia in its first game at No. 1. Considering that the Bears-deserving of the top spot as they were for their body of work this season-had barely gotten by Iowa State and Oklahoma State at home in their previous two games, the result Tuesday was almost predictable. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, December 18, 2016

by - Published December 18, 2016 in The Morning Dish

It may have been only December 17th, but believe it or not, yesterday was the final full Saturday of the season before conference play begins for many Division I leagues.

The last Saturday of games before Christmas (Christmas Eve is typically a blank slate for college basketball) was marked by a number of neutral and semi-neutral court ‘classics.’ There was the CBS Sports Classic, the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, the Crossroads Classic and the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic. Lest one think ‘classic’ is a requirement for the title of such events, there also was the Lone Star Shootout and the State Farm Chicago Legends as well. … Continue Reading

2015-16 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published June 7, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

For a year at least, the Horizon League harkened back to some glory years, and we’re not talking about 2010 and 2011.

Butler’s back-to-back NCAA title game appearances those years are remembered most recently, and because of their relatively current nature are what most will instantaneously cite as the high water mark of the Horizon. This past season didn’t have that-or even an NCAA Tournament win for that matter-but it was reminiscent of a time when the league was one of the more consistently entertaining ones in the country, as well as capable of more than occasional national noise. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, March 8, 2016

by - Published March 9, 2016 in The Morning Dish

It’s been a combined 30 years since Wisconsin-Green Bay and Fairleigh Dickinson have made the NCAA Tournament. For that reason and many others, both will be very welcome additions to this year’s NCAA tourney field.

Fourth-seeded Green Bay topped 3 seed Wright State 78-69 to win the Horizon League tourney in Detroit, completing a run of four wins in four days. Meanwhile, No. 2 seed FDU won at top seed Wagner 87-79 to clinch the Northeast Conference title and complete a rags-to-riches season in which the Knights were picked ninth of 10 teams in the NEC preseason poll.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 8, 2016

by - Published March 8, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Tthe unabashed chaos of the conference tournaments this year may have reached a climax Monday night, with a pair of teams losing-and maybe even three-who will now be talked about at length for the next week. Then again, the night was pretty much par for the course for this season, so we shouldn’t be surprised in the least if/when it continues.

Monmouth and Valparaiso both lost in their conference tourneys Monday night, and both now for the next six days are going to be subject of cheerleading for their causes and condescension from major school apologists who still do think they would’ve finished 12th in the Big Ten. The Hawks lost to red-hot Iona 79-76 in the Metro Atlantic final, while Valpo took a 99-92 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay in the Horizon League semis.
… Continue Reading

UW-Green Bay cranking up pressure on both ends under new coach

by - Published February 29, 2016 in Columns

There was an obvious irony to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay hosting a Throwback Night on Friday. For if one is familiar with the program’s history, this year’s Phoenix team is anything but a throwback-unless maybe one is throwing it back to 1971.

Dave Buss-the program’s very successful first coach-once led a team that averaged over 90 points per game in 1970-71, but his teams soon came to be known for a slower pace and zone defense. The iconic Dick Bennett’s defensive philosophies at Green Bay-as the school likes its athletic programs to go by now-are among the most influential in the sport today. Even recent coach Brian Wardle’s teams were hard to score on, with an underappreciated athleticism and length not many would expect at the Horizon League level. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, February 21, 2016

by - Published February 21, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Phil Kasiecki takes the lead on game action here at Hoopville on Saturdays with his notes from the day-the latest edition is here. As he covers all of the day’s biggest games, we’d like to drop in on two almost impossibly close conference races that are winding down as conference tournament time is just about here.

There is no substitute for double round-robin conference schedules where every team plays each other twice, home and away. (If looking for ways to make the college basketball regular season more meaningful, one can start by getting back to conferences being size they are supposed to be, where this is the norm.) For those of us who thoroughly enjoy and believe in the double round-robin format, the Atlantic Sun and Northeast Conference have been as good as it gets this year.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 26, 2016

by - Published January 26, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Miami (Fla.) certainly appears to be well past its Dow Jones season of a year ago.

A year ago, the Hurricanes were one of the most tantalizing-but-inconsistent teams in America, and as a result finished just shy of an NCAA Tournament berth. This year, though, the Hurricanes have established themselves as a legitimate top 25 team, and quite likely will continue to be even more than that if they can continue results like their 80-69 win over Duke Monday night.
… Continue Reading

2014-15 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 31, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

Given his status as an all-time NCAA Tournament hero at Valparaiso, one would think Bryce Drew could not do much of anything quietly at his alma mater.

So cozy are the surroundings at a small school like Valpo, though, that a former NBA first round draft pick who hit one of the great shots in NCAA history and followed his father as the program’s head coach can build a formidable program and few would know about it.

Almost silently, Valparaiso had a terrific 2014-15 season, posting a 28-6 record and winning the Horizon League regular season and tournament championships. The Crusaders also just missed posting a huge upset in the NCAAs, losing to Maryland by three points.

… 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 – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

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.

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.