NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – We all know that “nice guys finish last”, and the nicest guy in the NEC will likely finish his career at the bottom of the conference standings, although with three games to go, Howie Dickenman’s squad is playing its best basketball. Thursday night, his Central Connecticut squad led the entire second half in a 76-72 win over Mount St. Mary’s at Detrick Gym.
Dickenman made official Thursday following the game what was already common knowledge thanks to sources and social media, his 20th season in charge of CCSU basketball would be the 69-year-old’s final one. It was typical Dickenman that he was slightly annoyed that word of his retirement leaked out before he could make it official, technology and social media are not really his thing.
Howie Dickenman, at 68 years young, has been dealt some tough hands the last couple of seasons at Central Connecticut. This, his 19th at the table with CCSU, looked like it could hold some winning cards,none more valuable than his ace, senior Kyle Vinales, who was a first-team preseason pick and the leading returning career scorer in the conference.
But just two weeks before the regular season began, Vinales was arrested after an altercation with his girlfriend and subsequently suspended indefinitely. The Blue Devils lost their first seven games, and were down to just nine players in uniform with starting point guard (and another senior) Malcolm McMillan out injured heading into Saturday’s short drive to Hartford. They also learned earlier in the week that Vinales would not return, leaving school completely, ending his collegiate career on an unfortunate note.
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Standing with arms akimbo, Howie Dickenman surveyed his team as they were struggling to open the second half of Saturday afternoon’s game. After knocking down five straight three-pointers, spurring an improbable 21-5 run out of halftime, Fairleigh Dickinson (FDU) held a 13-point lead five minutes into the second frame. During the barrage of Knight rainmakers, not once did Dickenman call a timeout to stop the bleeding. He simply stood there with a frown. Continue reading →