BHJ’s Top 30 Players in the Northeast Conference for 2012-13: #30-#21

The Northeast Conference doesn’t get the national attention as some of the other Division I conferences but that doesn’t mean that the conference is lacking in quality basketball players. There is a case that the level of talent within the NEC may be at its highest going into this upcoming 2012-13 season. Today we begin our look into the 2012-13 Northeast Conference men’s basketball season by listing the Top 30 players in the NEC. These are all players that people who already follow the NEC regularly know very well and for those who don’t the NEC as much, watch out for these guys because you might hear about them during the season at one time or another. With that, let’s start looking at players number 30 through 21. (Editor’s Note: This list was completed and written several days before the suspensions of the four currently suspended LIU Brooklyn players. This complete list is going by the assumption that the suspended LIU players will return from suspension to play in the upcoming season.)

(30) Ed Waite – Forward – Senior – Monmouth – (’11-12 totals: 32 GP, 27 starts, 7.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG) At 6’3″, Waite is probably the most undersized forward in the NEC. Yet the lack of size hasn’t stopped him from doing a great job on the boards. He finished 14th in the NEC in rebounds per game. He averaged only 23 minutes per game so you should see his number increase this season with increased playing time. He could finish in the NEC Top 10 in rebounds this season.

(29) Russell Johnson – Forward – RS-Senior – Robert Morris – (’11-’12 totals: 31 GP, 28 starts, 8.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG) Johnson finished 2nd on RMU and 13th in the NEC in rebounding. Was also 2nd on the team in blocks. Although, not physically imposing at 180 lbs. at his 6’6″ frame, he is a hard worker and isn’t intimidated going against bigger size guys on the low blocks.

(28) Dwaun Anderson – Guard – Freshman – Wagner – Back in August, Anderson was given a waiver by the NCAA to play immediately at the start of this upcoming campaign after transferring from Michigan State without playing a single game there last season. Was named 2011 Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan. Will most likely replace departed Tyler Murray in the Wagner starting lineup. Already is a front-runner for NEC Rookie of the Year. Averaged 20 ppg/10 rpg in his senior year of high school. Will be an impact player in the NEC for years to come.

(27) Kelvin Parker – Forward – Soph. – Mount St. Mary’s – (’11-’12 totals: 29 GP, 26 starts, 9.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG) At 6’3″, Parker is another undersized forward who gets after it on the boards. Finished 2nd on MSM and 20th in NEC  in rebounding and was 3rd on MSM in scoring. Could see a big time improvement in his numbers in new MSM head coach Jamion Christian’s new high-tempo attack.

(26) Ben Mockford – Guard – Junior – St. Francis (NY) – (’11-’12 totals: 30 GP, 30 starts, 11.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG) Mockford will now be the go-to shooter for the Terriers with the departure of Stefan Perunicic. He lead SFC in scoring last season and most likely will be their leading scorer again for them this season. Will need to improve his shooting to move up the ladder on this list. Shot under 35% from both the field and from 3-PT range.

(25) Umar Shannon – Guard – RS-Junior – St. Francis (PA) – (’10-’11 totals: 30 GP, 22 starts, 15.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG) Shannon suffered a season-ending knee injury near the end of the team’s first game last season. Has a good possibility of making an All-NEC team this season as SFU will look to him to carry this team. He may have to do it all to keep SFU competitive so look for a big season from Shannon.

(24) Dave Johnson – Guard – Senior – Quinnipiac – (’11-’12 totals: 31 GP, 31 starts, 8.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.7 APG) – Johnson will likely take over full control of the point guard duties for Quinnipiac this season with the departure of James Johnson. Johnson is quick and athletic and is always around the ball as his rebounds number will attest for a 5’10” PG. Look for Johnson to lead a talented returning group of Bobcats this season.

(23) Raven Barber – Forward – Senior – Mount St. Mary’s – (’11-’12 totals: 27 GP, 6 starts, 9.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG) – Barber makes the Top 30 due to what he was capable of doing mostly coming off the bench last season. Barber will most than likely move up to full-time starter this season. Plus, with the extra possessions MSM will be having with the new offense, these numbers could skyrocket.

(22) Frankie Dobbs – Guard – Senior – Bryant – (’11-’12 totals: 30 GP, 30 starts, 13.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.6 APG) – Dobbs is probably the most under-the-radar point guard in the NEC. The lack of attention comes from the lack of wins Bryant had last season as well as Bryant’s inability to play in the NEC Tournament until this season. Dobbs finished first in the NEC in minutes played and 2nd in the NEC in assists. Needs to pick up his shooting percentage to get himself into the Top 20. Shot just 35% from the field and 33% from 3-pt range.

(21) Melquan Bolding – Guard – Senior – Fairleigh Dickinson – (’11-’12 totals: 25 GP, 21 starts, 15.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG) – Bolding had to be Mr. Everything after FDU lose Lonnie Hayes to injury 11 games into their season. He was FDU’s leading scorer last season. Now, with Hayes back this season it will be interesting to see if his scoring output levels off or continues in an upward direction in his senior year.

Tomorrow, #20-#11 will be revealed.

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