News and Notes Around the NEC: May 20

Welcome to the summer of 2013 debut of News and Notes Around the NEC. We are now 131 days until Friday, September 27 which is the new earlier date for NCAA Division I teams can begin practicing for the 2013-14 men’s basketball season. In the 40-plus days since a national champion was crowned, there has been plenty of news, transactions, transfers, announcements, etc. that has come forth in the world of NEC men’s basketball. Time to get a bit up to speed on some of the information you might have missed since the NEC hoops season wrapped up.

1. Transfers galore: Yup, another offseason and another year of 400+ transfers in NCAA Division I men’s basketball alone. If you follow CBS Sports Jeff Goodman’s transfer list, the number of transfers has already surpassed 415 players. The NEC is obviously not immune to the transfer frenzy. Here is the list of transfers who has left NEC school since the end of the 2012-13 season.

Wagner: Eric Fanning
Mount St. Mary’s: Josh Castellanos, Christian Crockett, Xavier Owens, Kelvin Parker
St. Francis (PA): Umar Shannon
Central Connecticut: Kyle Vinales, Adonis Burbage, Erik Raleigh
Robert Morris: Coron Williams
Bryant: Patrick Matthews
Sacred Heart: De’Aires Tate

The biggest impact transfers from this list are 3-point sharpshooter Coron Williams who left RMU to head to the ACC and Wake Forest, junior point guard Umar Shannon who left a young and rebuilding SFU squad and the biggest of all, scoring machine Kyle Vinales who left CCSU as a NEC first-teamer and former NEC Rookie of the Year to find a team more capable of making the NCAA tournament. Vinales had briefly committed oddly enough to Toledo of the MAC conference (Toledo last appeared in the NCAA tournament in 1980) a couple of weeks ago for about 12 hours or so before taking it back and reopening his recruitment. A player who has been on and off this list is Wagner’s Naofall Folahan. He had decided to transfer but last week decided he would return to Wagner for his senior season according to Alex Kline of TheRecruitScoop.com.

A few of the spots left by these transfers have already been replaced by what else, other transfers. Here is the list of known transfers coming into the NEC in the next season or two and where they are coming from and where they are heading within the NEC:

Wagner: David Andoh – San Jose State
Mount St. Mary’s: Chris Martin – Marshall
Bryant: Zach Chionuma – Boston University

2. Fairleigh Dickinson took a long time to come to a decision (53 days between official announcements) but on April 26, they finally hired a new head men’s basketball coach in former men’s head coach at Division II UMass-Lowell Greg Herenda. Herenda will have a lot of work to do in rebuilding this once great basketball program. FDU is coming off a 7-24 campaign and went 2-16 in the NEC and finish at the bottom of the NEC standings. FDU hasn’t won more than three NEC games in the last three seasons and coming off back-to-back two-win NEC seasons. The hiring of Greg Herenda filled the only NEC men’s basketball head coaching vacancy this offseason. Last season, there was four new NEC head coaches.

3. It is still early in the ’13-’14 scheduling game but it seems like a couple of teams a little more further ahead in completing their schedules then some others. While teams like Sacred Heart have either completed or are near completion of their non-conference schedules, other teams are still working the e-mails and the phones. The ones having the most difficulty are the ones we might all expect, the teams who finished at the top half of the NEC standings last season and are expecting to be there once again this upcoming season. Teams that have most recently reached out looking for games to complete their non-conference schedule are Robert Morris, Bryant, LIU Brooklyn, and Wagner.

Some early notable non-conference games that are already known include Bryant at Gonzaga, Bryant at Ohio State, Bryant at Notre Dame, Temple at LIU Brooklyn at the Barclays Center and Robert Morris at Kentucky in the rematch of the NIT first-round game which RMU won at home over UK. More games will be added to list as soon as information becomes available.

4. Sacred Heart has hired a new Athletics Director and its former New York Mets and Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. He will begin his duties officially on July 1st. In the past few weeks, I have personally got to introduce myself to Mr. Valentine and found him to be quite an interesting and delightful guy. Speaking of Sacred Heart, it seems like the rumors of SHU men’s head basketball coach Dave Bike retiring this offseason might have been a little premature considering no announcement has yet been made. It seems like there is an agreement in place for assistant coach Anthony Latina to take over the program once Bike officially retires but that was before Valentine was made AD at Sacred Heart. It is unknown now if Latina will become “the man” if and when Bike does finally decide to ride into the sunset. Meanwhile, Bike last week was named into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

UPDATE: 5/20 4pm

Of course just hours after posting this, according to reports this afternoon from the Connecticut Post and the Hartford Courant, Dave Bike will be indeed retiring after 35 years as Sacred Heart head coach and assistant coach Anthony Latina will officially become the next men’s head basketball coach at a press conference next week as what had been widely speculated.

5. Let’s wrap it up with some NEC news. We learned last week that NEC Front Row broadcasts will be moving towards high-definition this upcoming season. Ralph Ventre, Director of Communications and Social Media for the Northeast Conference, told us all in a tweet last week this:

It is welcome news for those of us who loved watching games and matches on NEC Front Row during its debut season. The one critique some of people had of the great service the NEC brought to the masses last season who the lack of quality streaming video for the schools who didn’t have HD equipment. This will only help elevate the excellent product that the NEC Front Row has already become for us NEC fans.

Also, the NEC is conducting their annual Spring meeting at the Jersey Shore this week. Hopefully, one of the major basketball topics that are brought to the table will be the possibility of returning to a balanced 18-game conference schedule in 2014-15 unless expansion happens (which is always a possibility) which throws a monkey wrench to that idea.

Comments

  1. mike jasper says:

    Thanks Nelly miss the hoops season badly already lol

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