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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 – Tuesday, March 28, 2017

by - Published March 28, 2017 in The Morning Dish

With all teams done with their seasons but a select few, plus the annual hoops celebration/job fair that is the Final Four coming this weekend, the pace for coaching vacancies to get filled will pick up this week. It certainly did just that Monday.

Four more schools named and/or introduced new coaches on Monday, which in turn has left two more NCAA Division I jobs now open. Three of those hires were at schools that have been perennially tough jobs at the D-I level. And while, much like grading professional team drafts, it’s easy to give everybody an above average grade for their hires, all four schools’ fan bases have legitimate reasons to be happy with their choices. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 15, 2017

by - Published January 15, 2017 in The Morning Dish

Super mega ultra conferences can collect members like teenage boys once accumulated baseball cards. They can even brag about having 10, 11, 12 NCAA Tournament contenders.

That will never change this fact: there is no substitute for a double round-robin conference race in college basketball.

The Missouri Valley Conference is annually one of the best conferences to watch in the regular season for that very reason. The Valley’s 18-game schedule is a grind, and winning an undisputed title is a big deal. … Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Wednesday, November 16, 2016

by - Published November 16, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Tuesday was one of the busier days of the college basketball season, but certainly its longest one with games filling literally almost every minute of the 24 hours.

ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon was a big part of that, and for all of the frustrations with its coverage of college basketball (such as the network’s website including a piece questioning how Duke and Kentucky became the sport’s two most prominent programs without acknowledging its role in putting them there?), the marathon is a fun idea that at least gives a national look at the sport and an event to rally around. It was not alone on Tuesday, though, as other games and events were part of the story. … 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, February 17, 2016

by - Published February 17, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Conversation about the “bubble” will dominate college basketball for the next 3 1/2 weeks. Though at times it will encroach on becoming overkill, it’s pretty hard to ignore at the moment, and unfortunately for a number of teams that’s not a good thing.

Last week we saw losses seemingly by clusters among a number of potential at-large candidates from otherwise expected one-bid leagues (see: Arkansas-Little Rock, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Valparaiso). Turning the page to this week has shown us, though, that the fence is an equal opportunity locale, an uncomfortable place for bigger brand names as well.
… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 10, 2016

by - Published January 10, 2016 in The Morning Dish

In truth, USC probably should’ve been being taken seriously even before its 103-101 four-overtime thriller over Arizona yesterday, but you can be sure the Trojans are now.

Even before earning what is a signature win over the Wildcats-at least for the time being; who knows how long that stands in this year’s ultra-competitive Pac-12, where even a flagbearer program like Arizona could win 15 games or eight-USC already had some quality notches on its belt during non-conference play. The Trojans’ resume already was good, and now it certainly looks even better.

… Continue Reading

The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 5, 2016

by - Published January 5, 2016 in The Morning Dish

Polls do matter. A case could be made that the All-America first team is almost wrapped up right now. And it’s not at all hard to envision Oklahoma and Kansas playing two or three more times this year, including perhaps again in April.

Nights like Monday make it hard to fathom the idea that college basketball’s regular season is meaningless. Exactly how much more can fans ask for than an evening featuring incredible individual performances by two of the nation’s very best players, an upset of a top 10 team, plus a 1 vs. 1 matchup between two Final Four contenders who couldn’t decide their game after 40 minutes and provided some bonus hoops. And then some more. And then some more.

… 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

2013-14 Horizon League Post-Mortem

by - Published May 12, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

Wisconsin-Green Bay has waited a long time to get back to the level of its NCAA Division I glory years of the 1990’s, but the Phoenix did so in a big way in 2013-14.

UW-Green Bay dominated the Horizon League for its first conference title since 1996, when it was on a run of four NCAA tourney bids in six years and back when the Horizon was still known as the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. The Phoenix put together a sparkling 24-5 regular season record and was the class of the conference with a 14-2 league mark.
… 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 – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 9, 2017

November 10, 2017 by

The season is almost here, and we take a look at some of what to expect this coming season. We have preseason polls, conference changes, a look at some conferences and some matchups to start the season.

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.

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.