2016-17 NEC First Look: Saint Francis U.

A torn ACL shorten Isaiah Blackmon season in 2015-16. Will he be the man for SFU in 2016-17? (Photo: sfuathletics.com)

A torn ACL shorten Isaiah Blackmon’s season in 2015-16. Will he be the man for SFU in 2016-17? (Photo: sfuathletics.com)

2015-16 results: 13-17, 9-9 (NEC), tied for sixth place.

Impact Losses:

Ronnie Drinnon (F) –  13.3 PPG, 11.0 RPG – team’s leading scorer and rebounder last season, led the NEC in rebounding – graduated
Greg Brown (G) -12.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.3 APG – top assist man, second leading scorer last season – graduated
Ben Millaud-Meunier (G) – 12.5 PPG, led the NEC in three-pointers made last season (80) – graduated

Who’s In:

Randall Gaskins Jr. (G)
Keith Braxton (F)
Deivydas Kuzavas (F)

What Went Right:

The Red Flash started off NEC play 9-4 including at one point winning 6 of 7 games and were in the hunt for a top four seed in the NEC Tournament.

SFU finished second in the NEC in three-point shooting percentage (35.9%) and were first in the conference in three-point field goal defense (31.8%).

Senior forward Ronnie Drinnon was named to the All-NEC first team after finished with a double-double average.

SFU seems to uncover a pair of future building blocks with the emergence of freshmen Isaiah Blackmon (whose season was shorten due to a torn ACL) and Josh Nebo whose 56 blocks were second in the NEC.

What Went Wrong:

After their 9-4 start to conference play, SFU lost their last six games including their last five regular season games to fall to the sixth place in the NEC standings and lose in the first round of the NEC tournament to FDU.

Impact freshman guard Isaiah Blackmon who averaging nearly ten points a game, tore his ACL vs Bryant on February 4th and SFU proceeded to go to 2-6 after his injury.

Potential 2016-17 Starting Five:

Senior point guard Malik Harmon will be counted heavily as he leads a mostly young SFU squad. (Photo: sfuathletics.com)

Senior point guard Malik Harmon will be counted heavily as he leads a mostly young SFU squad. (Photo: sfuathletics.com)

Malik Hamon (G) – Leading returning assist man – 8.0 PPG, 3.0 APG

Isaiah Blackmon (G) – Played 19 games as freshman, averaged 9.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG

Randall Gaskins, Jr. (G) – Freshman shooting guard

Basil Thompson (F) – 7.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG as a freshman last season

Josh Nebo (F) – Finished second in blocks (1.9 BPG) last season, preseason frontrunner for NEC Defensive Player of the Year

2016-17 Non-Conference Schedule:

11/12 (Sat) @ St. Bonaventure
11/16 (Wed) @ Duquesne
11/19 (Sat) Chatham (D3)
11/23 (Wed) Longwood
11/26 (Sat) @ American
11/30 (Wed) @ NJIT
12/3 (Sat) Binghamton
12/12 @ Lehigh
12/17 Stony Brook
12/19 @ Marquette
12/21 (Wed) @ Texas A&M

Early Outlook:

The early feeling from some folks is that after three consecutive seasons of making the NEC Tournament, SFU is trending down once again and could be endanger of not making it four straight years of conference tournament play.

If the Red Flash are keep their heads above water in NEC play this season, they are likely going to need a big time season from senior point guard Malik Harmon who could be asked to take on more of the scoring load especially early on if Isaiah Blackmon is still not ready coming back from his ACL injury from February.

While it is going to be nearly impossible to replace a player like Ronnie Drinnon was pretty much a guaranteed double-double every time he stepped on the court, SFU head coach Rob Krimmel does have a pair of young big men in Basil Thompson and Josh Nebo that he can utilize in the front court and build off of good seasons last year.

If Blackmon can return to form by the start of NEC play, SFU could have enough firepower to win some games in 2016-17 and keep themselves in the hunt to be involved in postseason play come March.

Missed any of the previous 2016-17 NEC First Looks, find them here:
Central Connecticut
Mount St. Mary’s
Robert Morris


  1. Maurice Brownrigg says:

    Thanks for your work here Nelson. I have been reading all your previews and anxiously awaiting this one. I have a few thoughts:
    Harmon and Blackman are both bouncing back from surgery but they are ready to go. Angelou is likely to fill the Millard-Meunier role (though we hope Gaskins is ready to play a role.) Thompson will be leaned on for scoring this year and they hope he’s a poor man’s Earl Brown. Nebo is expected to fill the rebounding void. (He is a dark horse favorite for NEC DPOY.) They will be solid on defense but struggle on the offensive end. If Malik Harmon steps up they will be in god shape. I have them tied for 4th in the conference.

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