Ten days now until teams can begin practicing in preparation for the 2014-15 college basketball season. Things are starting to ramp up a bit more and more every week now. Almost all the schedules are out and preseason planning is taking shape. Folks, the wait is almost over.
Here is this week’s NEC News Wire:
– On Monday, the NEC announced that they will be holding their third annual NEC Basketball Social Media Day back at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Tuesday, October 21st. As usual, the event will be streamed live on NEC Front Row starting at 11am. Also for the first time, the event will also air live on ESPN3.
The format will be the same as last year where all ten NEC men’s and women’s head basketball coaches will be in attendance as well as one player from each team. Fans can send in questions and tweets via Twitter and the NEC will once again give out prizes to the day’s best tweeters.
It is also a great event. I’ve been fortunate to attend the first two and I’m greatly looking forward to attending once again this season. It is always fun to catch up with the players and coaches prior to the season.
– Congratulations are in order to Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball head coach Jamion Christian who received a contract extension that will have him under contract until the 2018-19 season. Christian has been the head coach at the Mount for the last two seasons in which he has compiled a 34-31 (.523) record. This extension comes on the heels of Christian taking the Mount to their first NEC championship and NCAA tournament appearance since the 2007-08 season.
Christian and his Mount St. Mary’s squad begins defense of their NEC championship on Friday, November 14th at Arizona.
– A third 2014-15 college basketball preview magazine has hit newsstands as Athlon Sports has released their preview magazine. Here is how they see the 2014-15 NEC men’s basketball season shaping out:
1. St. Francis Brooklyn
2. Robert Morris
3. Central Connecticut
5. Mount St. Mary’s
6. Saint Francis PA
8. LIU Brooklyn
9. Fairleigh Dickinson
10. Sacred Heart
NEC Player of the Year: Jalen Cannon – St. Francis Brooklyn
All-NEC First Team:
Jalen Cannon – St. Francis Brooklyn
Earl Brown – Saint Francis PA
Lucky Jones – Robert Morris
Dyami Starks – Bryant
Kyle Vinales – CCSU
Through three magazine previews here is how they all together see the NEC finishing up (Sporting News/Lindy’s/Athlon):
1. Central Connecticut 2/1/3
2. St. Francis Brooklyn 1/5/1
3. Robert Morris 3/4/2
4. Bryant 6/2/4
5. Saint Francis PA 5/3/6
6. Mount St. Mary’s 4/7/5
7. Wagner 7/6/7
8. LIU Brooklyn 8/8/8
9. Fairleigh Dickinson 9/9/9
10. Sacred Heart 10/10/10
Although two of the mags picked St. Francis Brooklyn to win the NEC, due to Lindy’s giving them a 5th-place finish, it actually gives CCSU a magazine consensus first-place finish with St. Francis Brooklyn finishing second. In my opinion, I believe the mags going with CCSU to have a top-three finish is a bit of a reach and I don’t think anyone who follows the NEC day-in and day-out are going to pick CCSU to win the NEC this season but we shall see as more predictions begin filtering out over the next few weeks.
– There is even more NEC prediction news as Big Apple Buckets’ Ryan Peters on Twitter revealed his picks he submitted to ESPN for their annual conference previews. Here is how Peters sees the NEC going this season, at least for right now.
Last season, Peters picked Wagner (as did I) to win the NEC. Wagner finished second with Robert Morris finishing in first.
– LIU Brooklyn became the ninth NEC team to release their men’s basketball schedule on Monday. Only Saint Francis U. remains as the last hold out to not yet release their 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule. It should be coming out in the very near future.