2016-17 NEC First Look: St. Francis Brooklyn

Yunus Hopkinson emerged last season as a star for St. Francis Brooklyn. Can he follow it up again in 2016-17? (Photo: St. Francis Brooklyn Athletics)

2015-16 results: 15-17, 11-7 (NEC), tied for second place.

Impact Losses:

Amdy Fall (F) –  5.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.3 BPG – Back-to-back NEC Defensive Player of the Year, led NEC in blocks – graduated
Chris Hooper (F) – 11.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG – 57.8% FG shooter last season – graduated
Tyreek Jewell (G) – Led SFBK in scoring at 12.3 PPG – graduated

Who’s In:

Rasheem Dunn (G)
Gianni Ford (G)
Robert Montgomery, Jr. (F)
Jahmel Bodrick (F)
Cori Johnson (C)

What Went Right:

Had a solid conference season going 11-7 and finishing out the regular season by winning six of their last seven games.

Point guard Yunus Hopkinson took full advantage of his opportunity when Glenn Sanabria went down for the season early on with a shoulder injury. He started in 24 of the next 25 games following Sanabria’s injury and went off to have career highs in nearly every category including scoring (12.2 PPG) and assists (2.9 APG).

Amdy Fall finished as the NEC Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row finishing with 2.3 BPG.

The Terriers had three players earn All-NEC Third team honors in Yunus Hopkinson, Chris Hooper, and Tyreek Jewell.

What Went Wrong:

Glenn Sanabria was lost for the season just five games in with a partially torn labrum. He started the season as the Terrier’s starting point guard after doing a tremendous job coming off the bench as a freshman.

The Terriers started their season 4-11 including dropping their first two conference games.

SFBK finished last in the NEC in field goal shooting percentage. They were the only NEC team to finish with a shooting percentage below 40 percent (.397).

Potential 2016-17 Starting Five:

Glenn Sanabria return from a shoulder injury that cost him most of last season should only help boast the Terrier offensive attack. (Photo: twitter.com)

Yunus Hopkinson (G) – Had a breakout junior season, finishing 2nd on team in scoring at 12.2 PPG

Glenn Sanabria (G) – Missed all but five games last season due to a shoulder injury

Gunnar Olafsson (G) – Started in 23 games last season

Darelle Porter (F) – JUCO transfer who averaged 11.5 PPG last season

Joshua Nurse (F) – 6’10” big man who saw very limited playing time his freshman season

2016-17 Non-Conference Schedule:

11/13 (Fri) @ North Carolina State
11/15 (Tue) @ Virginia (Emerald Classic)
11/21 (Mon) @ Providence (Emerald Classic)
11/25 (Fri) vs Savannah State – @ Destin, FL (Emerald Classic)
11/26 (Sat) vs Grambling/UT Rio Grande Valley – @ Destin, FL (Emerald Classic)
11/30 (Wed) @ Brown
12/3 (Sat) @ Army
12/5 (Mon) Lafayette
12/7 (Wed) Mount St. Vincent (D3)
12/10 (Sat) @ Canisius
12/17 (Sat) @ Albany
12/20 (Tue) Manhattan
12/23 (Fri) Saint Peter’s

Early Outlook:

One positive going into this upcoming season for the Terriers should be their backcourt. With the emergence of Hopkinson and the return of Sanabria, SFBK has a solid 1A and 1B at the point guard spot and you should see a lot of these two guys on the floor together. Also, Olafsson should see his minutes and his productivity increase in his junior season.

The one negative is who will they find production in the frontcourt. St. Francis Brooklyn has lost a lot of good talent in the frontcourt over the last two years and now they will need to replenish and look to new faces to score, block and rebound. The experience up front is greatly lacking compared to their backcourt teammates so early on SFBK may have to rely on guard play to get by.

The Terriers will be road warriors early on as they won’t play a home game under December 5th and have some major tests early on with the likes of NC State, Virginia and Providence.

One player I’m hearing about is freshman point guard Gianni Ford from Brooklyn’s Boys and Girls High School. If he can excel early on and allow for either Hopkinson and/or Sanabria to play more at the off-guard and give the Terriers an extra ball handler on the court, that could be something that could play to their advantage as the season goes along.

I think the Terriers have some good pieces but I think their window for challenging for NEC supremacy has closed for now. They should remain competitive and will give teams fits on some nights with their strong defensive play but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Terriers struggled at times for wins this season.

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


  1. Dan From Staten Island says:

    Just to expand a bit on the credentials of the St. Francis Brooklyn newcomers, 6-6 F Darelle Porter is a former Pittsburgh Public HS Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Suncoast selection at Polk JC. 6-2 G Rasheem Dunn was the Co-MVP (with Shamorie Ponds) of the PSAL Championship Game at MSG and was MVP of the Philly-NYC Classic All-Star Game. He was also the leading scorer in Jefferson’s victory in the NYS Federation AA Title Game in Albany. 6-1 G Gianni Ford has gained the reputation the last two years as being one of the premier shooters in the PSAL at Boys and Girls HS. In fact, both Dunn and Ford were recognized as two of the best guards in NYC and it was a surprising recruiting coup for the Terriers to sign them both. 6-6 F Rob Montgomery of Mt. Zion Prep was rated by PrepSchoolBasketball.com as the 5th best power forward among the Nation’s prep schools, while Coach Braica is counting on 6-9, 260-pound C Cori Johnson to eventually emerge as a force in the NEC. Dunn, Ford and Johnson all came out of that incredibly tough Brooklyn PSAL AA Division, which includes Jefferson, Lincoln, Boy & Girls and South Shore. It’s one of the toughest high school leagues in the country. Our Savior Lutheran’s 6-6, 230-pound Mel Bodrick is not as well known as some of the other Terrier recruits, but played in all the top AAU tournaments with the high-level New Heights program and Braica is looking for Bodrick to supply scoring, rebounding and toughness in the frontcourt. All in all, a nice group to blend into some solid returnees for the Terriers.

  2. Dan From Staten Island says:

    This review seems a bit more optimistic about the Terriers’ chances in 2016-17 than most, who assess that the St. Francis Brooklyn crew might rightfully belong somewhere in the bottom tier of the NEC this year because they lost so much to graduation. Two guys really racheted up their game during last year’s closing 6-1 Conference run and made a real difference: Yunus Hopkinson and Tony Jennifer. Thankfully, Hopkinson’s back and he could be pushing for the NEC scoring title if he picks up where he left off. The return of Glenn Sanabria from injury and the talent infusion from Glenn Braica’s most recent recruiting effort should ensure that they’ll likely be mid-pack at the very least. Some long-term observers of the Program believe that this incoming group could be one of the best ever. And Braica always manages to get the best out of his guys. His emphasis on rebounding and defensive intensity generally keeps them in most of their games.

    • Hi Dan,

      There are probably two teams coming into this season where I can’t get a great read on and the Terriers are one of them. Like I mention in my post, I like their backcourt, I think they’ll be solid there. It is their front court where I believe things are just going to take time to develop and there are some pretty good front court talent in the NEC this season where I feel they might be nights where their front court guys will struggle against some of the better bigs in the conference. I believe they’ll be somewhere between 6th and 8th because Braica always gets the most of his teams but I wouldn’t really expect too much out of them this season.

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