News and Notes Around the NEC: August 23

We are 11 days away from Labor Day. Summer is slowly coming to an end and soon the cool fall weather will be here. Students are starting to head back to school for the fall semester.  Competitions in some of the other NEC sports have already started and we are about 50 days to the start of practice for the new college basketball season. It has been a entertaining and exciting summer to say the least with all the hoop chatter on Twitter, reading all the blogs online, and seeing guys play in summer leagues all over the place. Sad to see the summer go but looking forward to get this NEC hoops season started!

– This week, St. Francis (NY) and Wagner were the latest NEC teams to release thier 2012-13 men’s hoops schedules. St. Francis (NY) will play three home games in non-conference play including a game against 2011 NCAA tourney team Stony Brook. They will also take on St. John’s at the Barclays Center. The Terriers will play 7 true road games including games at Illinois and at Boston College. Their first 3 of 4 NEC games are on the road including a game at Wagner. They will host the annual Battle of Brooklyn game against LIU Brooklyn on January 24 and will then play the Blackbirds at the Barclays Center on February 10. They end their NEC schedule with 3 of the last 4 games at home at the Pope Center. Wagner also has three home games in non-conference play including two games versus Ivy Leagues powers Princeton and Penn. The Seahawks return out west to Santa Clara to once again play in Santa Clara’s Cable Car Classic which they won last year on this miraculous shot by Kenneth Ortiz. They will face Larry Brown and his SMU Mustangs in the first game of the CCC. They may play as many as 7 true road games including games at Syracuse and at Temple. They have a chance for a quick start in NEC play with their first 3 of 4 at home sandwiched around a tough road at LIU Brooklyn. Wagner has to go to Robert Morris this season in their only meeting. Their final home game will be against LIU Brooklyn on February 23.

– Last week, the Northeast Conference finally unveiled their brand new online portal, NEC Front Row. I haven’t yet had an opportunity to watch a live game on the site but I have had a chance to watch a couple of the archived women’s soccer games which were the first two broadcast on the site and quality looks pretty good. The on-screen graphics are great, there is nothing lacking from a broadcast you would see on TV with the names of the teams, score and the clock. You also get play-by-play with the game which is sometimes not always the case when you are watching a streaming game online. I hope to check out a live broadcast soon especially once the LIU Brooklyn games start appearing. The first true test for the site may comes tomorrow when it will have six different events on including two at the same time at 7pm.

– Today I saw a list on Bleacher Report which listed the 12 best shooters for the 2012-13 season. There were no NEC players on this list which I believe is a mistake. There should have been one NEC player on that list and his name is Shane Gibson of Sacred Heart. Anyone who disagrees obviously has never seen this guy play a game. There is no NEC player you are probably more afraid to see take an open jump shot than Gibson. He is a career 47.5% FG shooter including 51% last season and shot a career-high 43.3% from three-point land in 2011-12. He is without a doubt the best pure shooter in the NEC and amongst one of the best shooters in college basketball. Here is a small example as this is a YouTube video of Gibson hitting a game-winning shot last season against Central Connecticut.

– Ryan Peters and John Templon of Big Apple Buckets wrapped up their summer-long NEC recruiting features with their rankings of the Top 10 recruits and their team recruit rankings. According to the guys, it looks like Wagner and Robert Morris were the big winners on the recruiting front. So it may happen that the rich may have gotten richer with more talent but only time will tell which these guys will fulfill their promise and turn themselves into impact players. My list of incoming guys you should watch out for are: Dwaun Anderson – Wagner, D.J. Griggs – LIU Brooklyn, Sekou Harris -FDU, Eric Fanning – Wagner, Karvel Anderson – RMU

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