2016-17 NEC First Look: Mount St. Mary’s

The Mount under fifth-year head coach Jamion Christian have never finished below a fifth-seed in the NEC standings under his guidance. Could they make it five years straight? (Photo: mountathletics.com)

The Mount under fifth-year head coach Jamion Christian have never finished below a fifth-seed in the NEC standings under his guidance. Could they make it five years straight? (Photo: mountathletics.com)

2015-16 results: 14-19, 10-8 (NEC), Fifth place in NEC.

Impact Losses:

BK Ashe (G) – 13.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, team’s leading scorer last season – transferred to Longwood
Gregory Graves (F) – 9.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG – graduated
Taylor Danaher (C) – 6.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 51.1% FG – graduated

Who’s In:

Randy Miller Jr. (G)
Miles Wilson (G)
Jonah Antonio (G)
Jack Vukelich (F)
Ryan Gomes (F)

What Went Right:

After a tremendously tough non-conference schedule in which they went 3-10 (winning all their non-conference home games), the Mount started off on fire in NEC play going 7-2 through the first half of conference play.

Mount St. Mary’s led the NEC in turnover margin by forcing over five more turnovers than they made per game which was twice as many as the next best team.

Starting point guard Junior Robinson made second straight All-NEC team finishing on the All-NEC second team last season after being named on the All-NEC rookie team after his freshman season. They also had former Mountaineer BK Ashe named on to the All-NEC third team after averaging 13.9 points per game.

What Went Wrong:

The Mount lost every road non-conference game last season although the likes of Maryland, Ohio State, Washington, Gonzaga on the road to start their season.

After their blistering 7-2 start the first half of the NEC season, the Mount who have been traditionally a strong second half under head Jamion Christian, went just 3-6 down the stretch heading into the NEC tournament.

Mount finished last in both rebounding offense and rebounding defense in the NEC thus finishing with -8.4 rebound margin. Mount also shot just 40.1 percent from the field last season finishing just barely ahead of CCSU (.400) and St. Francis Brooklyn (.397).

Potential 2016-17 Starting Five:

The small yet powerful point guard of the Mount, Junior Robinson, could have to shoulder a little more of the load this upcoming season. (Photo: mountathletics.com)

Junior Robinson (G) – Leading returning scorer at 12.5 PPG. All-NEC Second Team selection last season.

Elijah Long (G) – Made 22 starts in 30 appearances last season as a freshman. 5.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.2 APG averages.

Charles Glover (G) – Second leading returning scorer at 5.8 PPG. Played all 33 games last season.

Will Miller (F) – 5.5 PPG last season. Shot 36.8% from three in 154 three-point attempts.

Chris Wray (F) – Made 24 starts in 30 games played last season. Averaged 5.8 PPG and shot 55.9% from the floor.

2016-17 Non-Conference Schedule:

11/11 (Fri) @ West Virginia
11/14 (Mon) @ Iowa State
11/16 (Wed) @ Minnesota
11/18 (Fri) @ George Mason
11/21 (Tues) @ Southern Illinois
11/23 (Thu) @ Texas-Arlington
11/26 (Sat) @ Michigan
11/28 (Mon) @ Arkansas
12/3 (Sat) @ Loyola (Md.)
12/7 (Wed) UMBC
12/10 (Sat) Lehigh
12/19 (Mon) @ Bucknell
12/22 (Thu) Coppin State

Early Outlook:

The Mount will have quite a mix of youth and experience on their roster for this upcoming season. Jamion Christian has brought in five true freshman and has another redshirt freshman to his disposal. This team has just two seniors in Will Miller and Khalid Nwandu and lost BK Ashe who transferred out after last season but still return All-NEC point guard Junior Robinson who will likely be the undoubtedly leader of this mostly young Mountaineer squad.

Mount Mayhem relies on depth to operate their high-tempo style of play on both ends and Mount should have no shortage of players to utilize once again in 2016-17 with guys like Chris Wray, Charles Glover, Elijah Long, plus the sizable freshman class who will likely get several opportunities to contribute this season. Look for new names like Greg Alexander, Mawdo Sallah, Miles Wilson and Randy Miller Jr. to emerge. As you would expect the Mount will have plenty of athleticism, will look to wear out their opponents and rebound from a season in their eyes was likely not up to their standards.

Once again, Jamion Christian will put his team through the gauntlet of a non-conference schedule with their first NINE games on the road, playing the likes of West Virginia, Iowa State, Minnesota, Arkansas and Michigan. Christian never likes to shy his guys away from a challenge and that non-conference schedule is certainty going to be an enormous challenge for them. Their first home game isn’t until December 7th, almost a full month into the season.

The Mount are always capable of finishing inside the top four in the NEC and this season will likely be no different. Someone will need to emerge to help out Junior Robinson and pick up the slack lost in BK Ashe’s transfer. That likely will be the key to find during non-conference play, much more than wins and loses before heading into conference play.

Missed any of the previous 2016-17 NEC First Looks, find them here:
Central Connecticut
Bryant

Comments

  1. Dan From Staten Island says:

    Mayhem works well against teams that have little or no depth in the backcourt, as that constant defensive pressure wears opposing guards down during the course of a game. They will have trouble with opponents that counter with multiple point guards/ball handlers and going over the top whenever there’s an opportunity. Think that Graves and Danaher have been more than adequate deterrents to that longer pass and may be missed this year more than folks anticipate, unless the newcomers upfront manage to learn that role quickly. An integral part of that “force the turnover” Mayhem is tough, physical play and, for whatever reason, MSM seems to avoid serious foul trouble, despite all the open court bumping going on. But it seems to work for them. The loss of Ashe will definitely hurt.

  2. The Mount was the worst rebounding team in the by far NEC and lost their top 3 rebounders. After loosing BK Ashe this team has the possibility of being bad if they dont have big impact no names step up

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