Two games into MAAC conference play Manhattan has to be one of the biggest surprises. The Jaspers capped off an excellent opening weekend with a dominating 68-42 victory over St. Peter’s on Saturday at Draddy Gymnasium.
Central Connecticut State is 5-2 overall and 2-0 in conference after an overtime victory over Sacred Heart last night. The Blue Devils have one of the best offenses in the country, scoring more than 80 points per game. Part of that is thanks to the addition of two freshman, Kyle Vinales and Devon McMillan. While Vinales gets all the hype because of his ridiculous scoring outputs earlier in the season, McMillan has provided a steady presence at point guard during his freshman season. They’re the two CCSU leaders in assist rate thus far this season at 28.8% for McMillan and 26.4% for Vinales. Let’s break down where those dimes are going in order to see the difference between these two players.
Wagner crushed St. Francis (NY) to get its first NEC victory of the season and in the process started to wash away the bad memories from a close loss to Long Island in the conference opener. The Seahawks blitzed the Terriers for a 90-50 victory on Saturday night at the Spiro Athletics Center.
Tracking where assists go and what types of baskets they create is becoming more and more important in college basketball analysis. Dave Ryan did a great post the other day about Scott Machado’s assists. Everyone has also seen the great graphics that Luke Winn does in his Power Rankings. This week he even went and checked for erroneous assists (see the North Carolina section). But whenever someone wants to do analysis of assists they have to go over the box score by hand. (At least I think they were.) I’m hoping to eliminate that effort.
Last night three teams were in action and all three won! It was a good night for MAAC openers and Columbia playing on the West Coast. A whole bunch more teams are in action today in an absolutely loaded slate of college basketball games in general.
MAAC play started last night with St. Peter’s defeated Siena and Loyola (Md.) taking down Marist. It continues tonight with three games, including Manhattan at Rider and Iona at Canisius. Here are some things to watch for tonight.
The opening of NEC and MAAC play on Thursday night meant that there were a lot of games played by NYC area schools, even if sometimes they were playing each other. St. Francis (NY), St. Peter’s and Long Island all came out winners for the evening.
Conference play starts early this week as a number of schools get their feet wet with a little action. The NEC opens play tonight with a full slate of six games pitting teams against conference opponents. The headliner is defending champion Long Island hosting Wagner. Here’s what you need to know about those six games.
Throughout the season I’ll be checking back in on the NJIT Highlanders as they attempt to finish .500 or better this season. After tonight’s 54-52 upset victory over Army Jim Engles’ squad is now 3-3 on the season. They’ve certainly got a chance of staying even for the season.
For Fordham this season is going to come down to how fast three young players can develop and make an impact. Understandably that means the offense has struggled a bit through the first four games. Tuesday night against Colgate, a 79-69 win, was the first time Fordham had cracked a point per possession on offense all season. Still, four games into the season is enough to at least start getting a feel for the young guys.