Catching Up With Curry College Men’s Basketball Coach Joe Busacca

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Joe Busacca was recently named the new men’s basketball coach at Curry College. (PHOTO CREDIT: Curry College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Last month, Curry College announced Joe Busacca will be taking over the Colonels men’s basketball program.

Busacca, who played college basketball at Misericordia, arrives to the Milton, Massachusetts campus following a two-year stint with the Manhattanville men’s basketball team.

At Manhattanville, Busacca was instrumental in helping Knights first-year Sean Smith become this past winter’s MAC Freedom Rookie of the Year.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with the new coach of the Colonels to discuss his excitement for the upcoming 2018-19 season, which begins on Saturday, Nov. 10 when Curry hosts Rivier with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m.

What interested you in becoming the next head coach of the Curry men’s basketball team? 

The biggest draw for me was the culture and the atmosphere that surround the school and the athletic department. I fell in love with the people and the facilities when I initially stepped on campus. The facilities here are at Curry, in my eyes, are one of the best in D3 athletics. It’s an exciting time to be a part of Curry College and I am extremely fortunate to be attached to this community

What do you know about Curry or the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)? 

I have become pretty familiar with the CCC, specifically the competitive nature of the conference. I have had the pleasure of seeing Nichols, Roger Williams and Western New England play during my two years at Manhattanville College. Having a nationally ranked team like Nichols in our conference is incredible. There is nothing like conference play and I’m excited to go up against some great coaches and teams in this conference.

It may sound cliche, but what got you into coaching? Also, who has helped shape/mold you into the coach you are currently?

I would say it was two things: playing basketball at Misericordia and being around my former head coach Trevor Woodruff. I did not know how much time and effort went into the daily grind, but I absolutely love it. From in-depth scouting reports to practice plans to skill and development session to watching film helped me realize how much I wanted to stay involved with the game of basketball.

Coach Woodruff demanded perfection from all of us, but he was extremely approachable when it came to dealing with any issue, both on or off the court. Coach Woodruff is still someone that I stay connected with and my hope is if I can become half of the coach he is, then I know I am doing something right.

Being from New York, what do you know about New England basketball?

New England basketball has some extremely smart the players. Their IQ is on another level and it is something that I absolutely fell in love with while recruiting prospective players to Manhattanville. I am really looking forward to centering my recruiting classes around the six New England states.

What is the biggest priority for a new basketball coach with taking over a program?

Developing relationships. It is so important to develop relationships with the athletic department, the college’s administration and alumni, along with high school and AAU coaches, too. Additionally, I look forward to building relationships with parents and prospective student-athletes, as well. And by building these relationships, it will help elevate our program to new heights.

What is one of the biggest goals for both you/the team between now and mid-October, so you can get off and running?

I hate to sound redundant, but my biggest goal is to develop relationships with each members of our program.  It’s so important for me to gain these guys’ trust and show them I care for them outside of the gym. Without built-in trust, the season can become long, as well as be seen as more of a job than something that should be fun. If we have that built-in trust by mid-October then we will be in for a very special year.

Being from New York, how do you feel about being in Boston sports territory? Will you eventually become a Boston/New England sports fan?

I think the correct answer to this question is yes, of course I will embrace the teams out here in Boston. But being a life-long New York KnicksNew York Jets and St. John’s fan, I am not sure if I am ready to switch allegiances. Perhaps I can be persuaded to become a fan of the Boston Bruins or Boston Red Sox, though.

All-time favorite basketball movie is …?

Through the Fire. Being from New York, I was enamored with Sebastian Telfair; he was one of the best high school basketball players ever to play in my home state. His story from high school to the NBA was incredible.

Finally, who is your all-time favorite basketball player and why?

LeBron James. I know this answer may not be popular in the New England or Boston, but the way he goes about the game is incredible. The way he is able to take over a game in more than one way is a truly special gift. In a world where athletes’ mistakes are blasted all over the news, you never seem to hear any bad publicity attached to his name. I love the fact that he married his high school girlfriend, goes to his sons’ travel basketball games, and sends kids to colleges through his foundation.


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ basketball coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_Hoops

Catching Up With Tyler Hundley of Worcester State Men’s Basketball

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Tyler Hundley was recently named the new men’s basketball coach at Worcester State last week. (PHOTO/GRAPHIC Credit: Worcester State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

It was announced just last week that Tyler Hundley would be taking over the Worcester State men’s basketball program for this upcoming season.

Hundely, who is no stranger to the New England D3 basketball world, arrives in Worcester after spending three seasons with the Keene State Owls. Keene State concluded its recent campaign 19-9 overall – the Owls advanced to the Little East Conference (LEC) Championship in February, but fell to Eastern Connecticut State, a program Hundley competed for as a student-athlete.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Hundley to discuss his first-ever head coaching position with the Lancers, as well as his outlook for team’s upcoming 2018-19 campaign.

What interested you in becoming the Worcester State men’s basketball coach? 

Worcester State interested me for a number of different reasons. The first being that I know that the Worcester community has a rich and storied basketball history, but also being able to join a community like this one felt like an honor in itself. The investment Worcester State made in its athletic facilities was extremely appealing to me as well and will benefit our program in numerous ways.

 

Who have been some of your coaching icons over the years that have helped you, both as a player and assistant/associate coach over the years? Do you plan on consulting with them throughout the upcoming season? 

I consider myself lucky to have worked with such a variety of coaches with unique coaching styles, dating back to my high school days. Ron Johnson, who is a local high school coaching legend in North Carolina, really sparked my interest in basketball. His attention to detail in coaching and teaching the game was extremely important in my development as a student-athlete, as well as a young coach.

Kevin Kehoe at Cheshire Academy was instrumental with providing me some college exposure, while finding the right college program for me, as well.

Bill Geitner, who I played for at Eastern Connecticut, is one of the best basketball minds I’ve ever worked with in my opinion. I learned so much from him and his sustained success proves how intelligent he is.

Sean Foster gave me my first coaching opportunity at Salve Regina – both he and Matt Adams set the tone that first year, which allowed me to realize that I wanted to pursue coaching as a career.

Aaron Galletta, who is the men’s basketball coach at Lasell College, is a great offensive coach that really helped me look at the game from a different perspective. He also allowed me to speak and have a platform to coach on the fly.

Lastly, Ryan Cain, who is the men’s basketball coach at Keene State – he certainly made a mark on my young coaching career. We both came to Keene State at the same time – it was his first-ever head coaching gig. We hit it off immediately and he really taught me how to recruit, which has become one of my biggest strengths. He truly empowered me, while allowing me to have a lot of responsibility and influence on the Owls’ program. We had a ton of success, especially during the postseasons, which was a testament to the level that we were able to play at, but also the work that we put in, too.

I plan to consult with all of my coaches during the upcoming season, but I see myself consulting Ryan quite frequently, especially in year number one.

What is the most important thing you need to concentrate on heading into your first season with the Lancers? 

The most important thing for this season is to build a culture and camaraderie, both on and off the court, while creating a sense of pride for Worcester State basketball.

Do you have a certain basketball philosophy you plan to implement with the team/program? If so, what is it?  

I am inheriting a team that gave up over 85 points per game last winter. I have been a part of, as well as learned from some of the best defensive coaches in our region, so our biggest goal (heading into the upcoming season) will be to significantly improve our defense.

What do the next few months look like from a new coaching perspective? How will you get both yourself and the team/program ready to go come mid-October? 

I have already begun building relationships with returners and incoming recruits. They need to feel comfortable and confident in me – vise-versa. We will have numerous team activities and fundraisers planned in the fall before October 15th (our first practice day as a team) comes around. I plan to maintain constant communication with our strength and conditioning team to ensure that our team is physically ready to go, so that way we can spend more time on basketball and less on getting their bodies ready for a season. (Also), I will make sure (to use this time currently) to make sure I am well-prepared for my initial season as a head coach.

A few fun questions, beginning with your all-time favorite basketball player: who is it and why? 

I was a big Kevin Garnett fan growing up. He was a tremendous teammate and played with passion that seemed to forced his teammates to play at his level.

How much of the NBA Finals have you been watching and who are you cheering for to win this year’s crown? 

I’m not a fan of either team that played in this year’s NBA Finals. I really just like to see a good, competitive series. LeBron James is the best player of this generation and is fascinating to watch. On the other hand, the Warriors have the three of the most unique players on the planet in Steph CurryKevin Durrant and Draymond Green, who are just as entertaining to watch.

What is your all-time favorite basketball movie? 

I’m not a big movie guy, but I really like a lot of the ESPN’s 30 for 30’s, along with their basketball documentaries, too. I see them as learning opportunities.

Finally, what was the greatest advice you were given as a young basketball player that has helped you become a successful student-athlete and coach? 

I grew up Davidson, North Carolina and went to multiple sessions at Bob McKillop‘s Davidson Basketball Camp. He was very prominent at his camps and at times would talk to each camper individually. He always seemed to explain things very clearly and helped me improve my basketball IQ.

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ basketball Twitter: @Noontime_Hoops 

Noonan: The Celtics Exceeded Expectations, But Are On The Path To Contend For ‘Banner No. 18’

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Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics are close to becoming title contenders for the next few seasons. (PHOTO CREDIT: CSNNE.com)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

As we all know, the Boston Celtics overachieved this season, taking that ‘so-called’ next-step with an impressive Game 7 win earlier this week against the Washington Wizards to secure a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Players like Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Avery Bradley and yes, Kelly Olynyk, have made impressive contributions for the Green and White over the past few weeks.

However, we all know this crew is not ready to contend with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Instead, we, the Celtics fans, have witnessed another brick being added to the foundation. Danny Ainge’s process is slowly coming to fruition, which means the Green and White are inching closer to their ultimate goal of ‘banner number 18.’

It will come, I promise, but it won’t be this season. Maybe it will be next season or the year after, but the Celtics, who certainly exceeded expectations this spring, have proven they deserve a spot at the ‘big boys’ table with Cleveland, Golden State and San Antonio.

And while the outcome of this current series certainly favors the Cavaliers – yes, Cleveland dominated the opening game last night, downing the Celtics, 117-104 – Boston must at-least show some fight to keep the excitement on Causeway Street going into next season.

What the Celtics do following the Cleveland series is an unknown. Yes, there have been speculation, thoughts, tweets and opinions about the Green and White dealing their number one pick or perhaps luring Paul George or Gordon Hayward to Boston, but nothing is official.

If I were Danny Ainge, I would consider trading the top pick or perhaps selecting Markelle Fultz (Washington) or Lonzo Ball (UCLA). I would also be open to welcoming drafting Josh Johnson (Kansas) or Jayson Tatum (Duke) to Boston, too.

For now, just like many of you, I am going to enjoy this current run by the C’s. Yes, it maybe painful at time – who doesn’t want to see Thomas and his teammates defeat ‘The King’ and last year’s champions, but in the back of my mind – like many – I know this is just the beginning of what should be an exciting few years of Celtics basketball.

The future is promising, Green and White fans, so enjoy the remainder of the series and get set for what should be an exciting offseason.

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, May 2nd

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Washington’s Kevin Shattenkirk netted the game-winning goal in overtime last night to provide the Capitals with their first Eastern Conference semifinal victory against Pittsburgh. (PHOTO CREDIT: Sports Illustrated)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It’s Tuesday … what rhymes with Tuesday?

There really isn’t much to say about a Tuesday other than it’s not Monday, right?

Well, while we try to find good words to rhyme with Tuesday, let’s dish out today’s Daily Noontime for Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017.

Have a great day, everyone!

So, you probably know by now that the Cleveland Cavaliers dominated game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Toronto. However, did you know LeBron James picked-up a beer during the third quarter?

Don’t worry, James didn’t drink it, but he admitted after the game that he prefers wine, not beer. Pretty funny stuff, LBJ! 

Continuing with our lead-off story, here are a few tweets of James picking-up a beer during last night’s contest against Toronto (BELOW!): 

If you’re a Netflix fan (or subscriber like we are), then we suggest you check-out this New York Times article on what new shows and movies one should watch over the next few days and weeks – we spy a new season of ‘House of Cards!’

In case you’re not officially over this past weekend’s N.F.L. Draft, then we suggest you take a peak (and even read the entire article, too) on the draft’s biggest winners and losers, via the Washington Post

Speaking of the N.F.L. Draft, does anyone know how the Cleveland Browns did? Michael Silver, who is the NFL.com Media Columnist, has a few thoughts (and ideas!). 

Finally, can the Utah Jazz beat the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals? We think they can and so does Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report

Trivia Tuesday: In the movie ‘The Wizards of Oz,’ what did the scarecrow want from the wizard? (Tweet us your answer at @NoontimeSports). 

Video of the Day: It’s a LONG video – just giving you a heads-up now, so don’t watch this when your boss is around – but enjoy highlights via NHL’s YouTube channel from last night’s epic third game of the Eastern Conference semifinals between Pittsburgh and Washington – what a game, wow! 

Thanks for checking-in and have a great day, everyone! Remember to become a fan on Facebook and LinkedIn, while following us on Twitter, too. And we’re on YouTube, by the way, so become a fan of our page today! 

Sunday Column: It Is Time To Pump The Breaks On Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown was the third overall pick in this year's NBA Draft. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)
Jaylen Brown was the third overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)

By Matt Noonan 

I think it is time to pump the breaks on Jaylen Brown.

Seriously, let’s stop antagonizing this individual and see what happens when he competes for the Boston Celtics this season.

Since being selected third overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Green and White, Brown has been insulted by die-hard Green Teamers that are desperate for Banner 18.

I am a Celtics fan. I was born and raised in Boston – well, technically born in Boston, but grew up outside the city – and understand the immediate need for championships. And since the New England Patriots began winning Super Bowls, the need for additional hardware and celebrations on Boylston Street have increased.

As of today – Sunday, June 26 – we don’t know what Brown can do for the Celtics or what the Celtics can do for Brown – no play on UPS there, I promise! – but until he steps on the court and sprints up and down the parquet, there is no need to barrage this young man.

Following an introductory press conference last week, Brown exhibited his frustration by telling members of the media he is ready to ‘rip someone’s head off.’

Will he rip someone’s head off? Doubt it, but make sure you wear Celtics gear when walking around or near the Boston Garden.

According to NBADraft.net, Brown’s play should be identical to Jimmy Butler, which should excite Celtics fans – how many times have we heard Butler’s name when it comes to trade talks? We won’t know if this comparison is true until we see him compete for the Green and White.

In addition to the comparison of Butler, Brown has been touted as a strong, physical down-low player, as well as someone that can go toe-to-toe with ‘the best players.’

Maybe Brad Stevens will tell him to guard LeBron James or Steph Curry next season?

We can go round and round about the selection of Brown or what he will or won’t do for this organization. Yet, until he competes – or plays one or two series – there is no need to antagonize the former Cal Bear forward.

Brown could become a cornerstone of this organization – maybe he’ll join the Celtics Mount Rushmore of Paul Pierce, Bill Russell and Larry Bird – but again, until we see him compete, let’s slow down the criticism and focus our attention on perhaps luring Kevin Durant to Boston.

Could you imagine the tandem of Durant and Brown? Could become the greatest tandem in the league’s history.