Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, but Sacred Heart coach Anthony Latina hopes that being educated might help you relive the past as well.
On Jan. 14, 2016, Sacred Heart came into Detrick Gym with a record of 2-13 (1-3 in the NEC) and somehow pulled out a game in overtime against fellow struggler Central Connecticut despite trailing late and seemingly not having a whole lot of momentum down the stretch. While the performance itself was far from appealing, it did breathe some life into a stuttering campaign, the Pioneers would win 10 of their final 14 regular season games, even getting a home game in the NEC Tournament.
Thursday, Sacred Heart’s situation was similar, 5-10 overall, but 0-2 in the NEC, again at Detrick against a rebuilding Central Connecticut team. The Pioneers somehow blew a 12-point second half lead and looked to be on the verge a pretty brutal loss with three more road games in front of them. But Sean Hoehn came up with a three-point play, Quincy McKnight hit some free throws, and the Pioneers did enough on the defensive end to escape with a 64-62 victory.
With nearly a month of the 2016-17 season in the books, some interesting trends – both positive and negative – have developed for some NEC programs. I’m here to look at the positive developments and make an educated determination if they’ll continue for the duration of the season or if this is nothing more than small sample bias. Continue reading →
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – It shouldn’t be terribly surprising that St. Francis Brooklyn is getting by with its defense this season. A quick check of the numbers shows that the Terriers have been in the top three of defensive efficiency in NEC play in each of Glenn Braica’s first five seasons at the helm in Brooklyn Heights, which is also the biggest reason why the Terriers are 54-34 in that span, never missing the NEC Tournament and winning the regular-season crown in 2014-15.
Even without Jalen Cannon and Brent Jones, St. Francis Brooklyn is moving slowly toward the top of the NEC defensive ratings (if it weren’t for two poor games against Wagner, it would be past Mount St. Mary’s and long there already). As I’ve talked about before, Tyreek Jewell is a fantastic defender and held Central Connecticut’s biggest offensive threat, Austin Nehls, without a field goal until the game was decided in a 60-49 smothering win for the Terriers (9-14, 5-5) at Detrick Gym Saturday afternoon.
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – We have long since established that the non-conference season means next to nothing for NEC teams, this season even more so than usual with parity abound. However, that zero next to Central Connecticut in the win column was still an eyesore at this point of the season.
Add the fact that of the 351 Division I basketball teams in this great country, only five had yet to win a game, and it grew harder to look at with each passing day.
With UConn and Yale next on the schedule, 69-years-young Howie Dickenman was well aware that a home loss Friday night to UMass Lowell likely meant that his Blue Devils would enter conference play 0-11, and so – now feeling much better after a health scare earlier in the season – he was out leading the warmup himself 45 minutes prior to tip, urging his players to up the tempo.
This almost feels a bit like cheating – waiting this long to release my top impact freshmen for the 2015-16 season. The timing was purposeful as I wanted to gather as much information as I could from coaches and scrimmage box scores. Continue reading →
You would think Howie Dickenman has seen it all in the Northeast Conference, yet last Tuesday’s appearance at the Barclays Center for the league’s social media day marked a rare occasion for the 68-year old head coach. Continue reading →