STATEN ISLAND – On Feb. 28, 2015 in a game that was little noted nor long remembered, even by the most diehardiest of diehard NEC fans, Fairleigh Dickinson defeated Central Connecticut 73-62 in front of a few dozen people at the Rothman Center.
Perhaps the only noteworthy thing was the Knights ended a 15-game losing streak, but both teams were long-since rooted at the bottom of the NEC and eliminated from NEC Tournament contention. For the average second-year coach who had done really well in his first season, it would be the conclusion of a doubt-filled campaign, wondering what had gone wrong.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Greg Herenda swears the only numbers he notices on the scoreboard is the time. But even he had to be amazed to look up and see his Fairleigh Dickinson team – picked ninth by the coaches in the preseason NEC poll – leading 47-19 with two minutes left in the first half Thursday night at the Pitt Center.
“I don’t really look at the scoreboard, I look at the clock and the clock never ticks quick enough, even when you have a big lead,” Herenda said. “We have in on the board, ‘Every second of every possession for 40 minutes if not more’. We practice hard every day. Most programs keep score of everything and do competitive drills with scores in practice, but we don’t. We just play hard, and if we play hard and well, we’ll do well.”
What a difference the level of competition can make. Three NEC teams played on Monday night against opponents of vastly different quality. What transpired might seem obvious in retrospect. Continue reading →