2016 NEC Basketball Media Day Notebook

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(Photo: Bob Dea – Blackbirds Hoops Journal)

This past Wednesday, the Northeast Conference conducted their annual NEC Basketball Social Media Day for the fifth consecutive season at the Barclays Center, home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and NHL’s New York Islanders and once again, all ten NEC men’s head basketball coaches were in attendance along a student-athlete representative from each team.

As is the case during the preseason, hope springs eternal and everyone seemed to be in very good spirits as we are just days away now from the start of the 2016-17 campaign.

I got the opportunity to speak to eight of the ten NEC men’s basketball coaches and players with the expectations of Bryant’s Tim O’Shea and Central Connecticut’s Donyell Marshall but I was able to watch NEC Front Row/ESPN3 production put on by the wonderful people at the Northeast Conference after the event and got to hear from all ten men’s basketball coaches and players. [Read more…]

2015-16 NEC Attendance Numbers

Last week, while I was vacationing in the (mostly) beautiful South Florida weather, the NCAA released their attendance figures for the 2015-16 men’s basketball season and all in all, it was a slightly improved season for the Northeast Conference.

The ten NEC schools increased their average home game attendance by 57 fans per game to 1,109 fans which is the first increase for the league in three seasons since the NEC reached their all-time high back in 2012-13 when they averaged 1,419 fans per game which was also the final season the NEC had twelve teams. [Read more…]

LIU Brooklyn MBB final game NEC Tournament seeding scenarios

Last night, LIU Brooklyn defeated Central Connecticut, 80-74, at go to 9-8 on the season in the Northeast Conference with one more game remaining tomorrow against Bryant at the Steinberg Wellness Center.

Like I mentioned in the game recap from last night, the NEC this morning put out updated seeding scenarios for all eight teams including LIU Brooklyn. Here is a nifty, easy-to-use chart put together by NEC Associate Commissioner Ron Ratner after last night’s contests: [Read more…]

Jamal Olasewere and Nigeria wins 2015 FIBA AfroBasket. Feidanga and Central African Republic finished 14th

Congratulations to LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball alum Jamal Olasewere and his Nigerian teammates as Nigeria on Sunday defeated Angola in the 2015 FIBA African Championship in Tunisia, 74-65, for win their first-ever AfroBasket championship.

Nigeria with the victory, automatically qualifies to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics basketball tournament in Brazil and erase the disappointment of their 2013 FIBA AfroBasket. Nigeria becomes the third nation to qualify for next summer’s Olympics along with the United States and Australia who qualified by winning last summer’s FIBA World Championships in Spain. [Read more…]

LIU Brooklyn News and Notes

With the arrival of the dog days of summer and basketball activity picking up as we begin counting down the days towards the 2015-16 college basketball season, what better time to get caught up on some of LIU Brooklyn basketball happenings by bringing you all the first edition of the LIU Brooklyn News and Notes of the new season. [Read more…]

November NEC highlights and lowlights

If November is any indication, this is definitely a transitional year for the Northeast Conference. The league finished the first month of the college basketball season with a 14-37 record which is just a .274 win percentage.

Although this wasn’t unexpected after so many great players who helped shattered records in the NEC having graduated and most are playing professional basketball overseas, yet is not easy to watch a league struggle the way the NEC did in November.

Let’s take a look at some of NEC highlights and lowlights that occurred in the month of November:

Highlight: FDU got the biggest win for the NEC in November with an 58-57 win at Saint Joseph’s on opening night of the college basketball season. FDU was given just a five percent chance to win that game and won it on a Mustafaa Jones’ three-pointer with three seconds remaining to pull off the upset.

Lowlight: Mount St. Mary’s lost at home to Maryland-Eastern Shore 53-41. UMES were ranked second to last on KenPom at the time of this game. The Mount were given a 93% win probability to beat UMES. The Mount only scored 11 points in the first half and were to held to 0.71 points/possession for the game.

Highlight: CCSU’s Matt Mobley is the NEC’s only 30-point scorer in November when he went for 30 against Fairfield on opening night in their loss to Fairfield. There were 10 more NEC players who scored at least 20 in a game in November with Mobley going for 20 or more three times. He is currently second in the NEC in scoring at 18.0 ppg trailing Bryant’s Dyami Starks.

Lowlight: Scoring so far is way down among teams in the NEC. There is not a team cracking 70 points/game. Right now, there are just six NEC teams breaking the 60 ppg mark with St. Francis Brooklyn leading the NEC in scoring currently with 65.8 ppg. Just to give a prospective, nine of the ten NEC teams scored 69 ppg or more with five teams scoring at least 71.5 ppg. Four NEC teams are currently scoring under 60 ppg.

Highlight: The NEC only won one game that would be considered a signature victory but the NEC did come close on a couple of occasions to adding a couple more. LIU Brooklyn were three seconds away from the NEC’s second win over Saint Joseph’s but a late game-tying three pointer by St. Joe’s took the game to overtime and St. Joe’s ended up prevailing. St. Francis Brooklyn were tied with Rutgers with 46 seconds remaining but couldn’t convert on a couple of opportunities late and lost a three-point game.

Lowlight: St. Francis Brooklyn who picked by many to be the preseason favorite to win the NEC this season, got off to a tough start at 0-5 with losses to Georgetown, Army, Rutgers, LaSalle and Norfolk State although three of those losses were by less than three points. The Terriers finally broke through with a 59-57 victory over Tennessee Tech for their first win of the season. CCSU who were picked second are 0-6 (more on them in the next lowlight). RMU who was picked to finish third, are just 2-4 with wins over Bradley and Louisiana-Monroe.

Lowlight:  No team is having a tougher start to their season than CCSU. They went 0-6 in November and the closest they were to a win was a five-point loss to Bethune-Cookman who are ranked 340 on KenPom at the time they played. Add on the fact now that senior Kyle Vinales will not return to the team this season after his arrest in October and this is not the start to their season head coach Howie Dickerman had envisioned coming in.

Highlight: There is a nice young freshman class in the NEC this season and a lot of them are having an early impact on their teams in the first month of the season. Two freshmen (RMU’s Marcquise Reed & FDU’s Darian Anderson) are averaging 10 points/game. LIU’s Nura Zanna (6.3 rpg) is fifth in the NEC in rebounding. LIU’s Elvar Friðriksson is first in the NEC in assists (4.5 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio at 6:1.

While there wasn’t a great deal of wins in November, there were things to take away from the first month of the season. Now, the NEC will get to play some more home games in December so we should see the conference’s record pick up and there are still plenty of big win opportunities that will be available. Hopefully, December will get things turned around for the NEC.

The NEC News Wire – September 16

It has been nearly a month since the last edition of the NEC News Wire as our 2014-15 NEC men’s basketball previews series took over. So here is the latest news and notes around the NEC as the season is now only two months away.

– In the last month, three more NEC men’s basketball teams released their 2014-15 schedules bringing the grand total to eight. Mount St. Mary’s, Central Connecticut and Sacred Heart joins Robert Morris, Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner, Bryant and St. Francis Brooklyn. LIU Brooklyn and Saint Francis U. are the two remaining teams in the NEC to have yet to release their 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule.

– A trio of recent NEC alums joined the growing list of players who will be playing professional basketball in Europe for the 2014-15 season.

Fairleigh Dickinson’s Mathias Seilund, Mount St. Mary’s graduate Rashad Whack and last season’s NEC Player of the Year, Robert Morris’ Karvel Anderson joined the professional ranks by signing contracts to play ball from a pair of european clubs. Mathias Seilund signed with the Bristol Flyers of the British Basketball League. Seilund averaged 9.3 ppg for the FDU Knights last season. Rashad Whack last week signed with Island Storm in the Canadian National Basketball League. Last season, Whack was named on the All-NEC second team after a 17.6 ppg season in helping led the Mount to an NEC championship. In late August, Karvel Anderson signed a contract with Italian club Andrea Costa Imola. Anderson led the NEC in scoring last season with a 19.7 ppg average. Anderson scored 31 points in his team’s first preseason game.

– A new season means new basketball uniforms for some teams. Robert Morris will unveil new uniforms when the season begins. They broke them out the new road unis for picture day last week.

Jalen Cannon unveiled St. Francis Brooklyn’s new road unis during their recent photo shoot.

– The first two college basketball preview magazine has hit the newsstands. The Sporting News College Basketball Yearbook and the Lindy’s Sports College Basketball Preview Magazine were released in last couple of weeks and hence released their 2014-15 NEC men’s basketball predictions. Here is how they predicted things will fall in the NEC:

Sporting News

  1. St. Francis Brooklyn
  2. Central Connecticut
  3. Robert Morris
  4. Mount St. Mary’s
  5. Saint Francis PA
  6. Bryant
  7. Wagner
  8. LIU Brooklyn
  9. Fairleigh Dickinson
  10. Sacred Heart

NEC Player of the Year: Jalen Cannon – St. Francis Brooklyn
NEC Newcomer of the Year: Chris Martin – Mount St. Mary’s
NEC Coach of the Year: Andy Toole – Robert Morris

Lindy’s

  1. Central Connecticut
  2. Bryant
  3. Saint Francis PA
  4. Robert Morris
  5. St. Francis Brooklyn
  6. Wagner
  7. Mount St. Mary’s
  8. LIU Brooklyn
  9. Fairleigh Dickinson
  10. Sacred Heart

NEC Player of the Year: Dyami Starks – Bryant
NEC Newcomer of the Year: Jamil Hood Jr. – LIU Brooklyn
No selection for NEC Coach of the Year

Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview Magazine is the next preview magazine that is due out. It should hit newsstands next week.