As we move deep into the summer, I have begun my annual exercise of interviewing NEC coaches for the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Now that I have a stronger understanding of who’ll be rostered come November, I decided to offer my opinion on who the winners and losers of this offseason were. Continue reading
Over the past 10 days, two noteworthy All-NEC first teamers—Elijah Long and Quincy McKnight—decided to go elsewhere to finish their collegiate careers. Though they haven’t signed with a new program as of this posting, the general consensus is that both players will up-transfer. Continue reading
Last week, the NEC lost three very promising young players in sophomore guard Nisre Zouzoua (Bryant), sophomore center Josh Nebo (Saint Francis U.), and freshman forward Braden Burke (Robert Morris). Yesterday, we learned sophomore guard/forward Isaiah Still is leaving the Colonials as well.
There was no college basketball 2,300 years ago (as far as you know), but there were talented coaches, eh, commanders like Pyrrhus of Epicus, who figured taking down this new upstart power in Italy called Rome would be difficult, but certainly not impossible.
In the end, he did push the Romans back with victory in a couple of battles, but they were bloody, costly fights that left his army somewhat demoralized both physically and mentally. Pyrrhus then cemented his legacy with one of the most repeated quotes of all-time: “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.”
The NEC has almost always been known for its guards, but unfortunately this season has been more about the players that are no longer with the conference than those currently participating. Rodney Pryor has had a great season (even though his team has not) at Georgetown, Marcquise Reed has a few big shots to his name at Clemson, while reigning NEC Player of the Year Cane Broome awaits his turn at Cincinnati, and Martin Hermannsson is doing his thing in France.
The void has been slow to fill, but there a few players peeking in the open door, the most prominent possibly Bryant sophomore Nisre Zouzoua. Despite battling an injury of late, Zouzoua has been hovering around 20 points per game all season, and showed Wednesday some of the skills necessary to grab the reins of those NEC stars that came before him.
Fairleigh Dickinson managed to sneak past Bryant, which means everyone in the NEC is still chasing the undefeated Knights four games in. It didn’t stop two other teams from grabbing key road victories. Continue reading
As of last Sunday, Dartmouth was one of only three Division I teams (there are 351 in all) that hadn’t won a basketball game this season. That’s not exactly the way David McLaughlin wanted to start his Division I coaching career, especially one returning talented sophomore Evan Boudreaux and junior Miles Wright.
The lack of a win drew some unwanted national attention toward Dartmouth,and some of the losses were a bit disturbing, like the one that still stands as Longwood’s only win, Maine at home, and getting blown out by Boston College (which seems difficult to do this season). But if people expected McLaughlin and the Big Green to be despondent about its predicament, they would probably be disappointed. Eventually, a win would come and it did last Sunday, beating LIU Brooklyn 82-68. Thursday morning (yes, morning) Dartmouth followed it up with a second straight road win over the NEC, topping Bryant 75-69.
And suddenly things don’t look so bad. If they ever did.
Listen to Ryan Peters and I discuss the NEC in another episodes of the hit podcast NEC Fast Break. In this one we catch up with the players and teams we missed last week. Continue reading
On the scatterplot of Division I head basketball coaches, Bryant’s Tim O’Shea slides toward the upper end of both the laid-back and positivity metrics, so it shouldn’t be that surprising that he was able to brush off Monday’s unfortunate mistake by freshman Ikenna Ndugba that contributes to a tough 91-90 loss at Brown Monday night.
It’s likely that a Google search of Ndugba’s name will turn up the incident for the rest of his college career at least, as it made the rounds to SportsCenter and local television around the country. But for O’Shea, the discussion about it afterward lasted about three seconds, and publicity is publicity, right?
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – It was a tale of two halves for Bryant Friday night in the semifinals of the 2K Classic at the Chace Athletic Center.
In Act I, the Bulldogs (2-1) obliterated a weaker opponent in Prairie View A&M (which entered No. 348 in KenPom) to the tune of a 23-point halftime lead. It ballooned to as much as 29 early in the second half before things started to go wrong in Act II, especially on the offensive end. Bryant was never seriously threatened (although close, the Panthers never got to within single digits), but the sloppiness was concerning for a Bryant team that wants to contend for an NEC title and its first NCAA Tournament berth in March.
Or was it?