Nearly a quarter of the NEC season has been completed, so I’d like to go through the exercise of deciphering which 1-3 teams are in trouble and which could climb out of their early hole. With four programs off to difficult starts, I’d like to begin by assessing Sacred Heart and Bryant. Continue reading
Outlook: As the best frontcourt in the league, the pieces are there, but Sacred Heart needs good health and solid backcourt play to emerge as a legitimate NEC contender. 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
It wasn’t the most attractive of outings, but when it came time to decide it, LIU Brooklyn’s veteran players did what they’ve done for much of this season: push the Blackbirds past the finish line in front.
Thursday night, it was Iverson Fleming and Jerome Frink who came up with the big plays to get them in position and Nura Zanna that pushed LIU Brooklyn over the top as they emerged with a 60-57 win over Sacred Heart at the Pitt Center.
Fleming and Frink are seniors, while Zanna has been with the program for four years, but redshirted his first season due to injury. And despite losing both Martin Hermannsson and Aakim Saintil somewhat unexpectedly (Hermannsson is playing in France, while Saintil transferred to Iona), and then seeing Joel Hernandez go down with a season-ending injury in the opener, LIU Brooklyn stands just a game behind league leaders Mount St. Mary’s and defending champ FDU, and is three games clear of fifth and a home game in the NEC Tournament.
After today’s games, parity continues to be the theme of the NEC, with three teams separating themselves from the rest of the pack and four others getting themselves in position to make a move as we approach the midway point of the conference season. Time to recap all of the action from this Saturday. Let’s begin with a terrific contest:
St. Francis Brooklyn’s hopes of playing in the NEC tournament took a big blow on Thursday night with a home loss to Sacred Heart. Continue reading
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
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.
Time for John and I to recap tonight’s action in the NEC with 3 of the 5 games coming right down to the wire! Continue reading
Marcquise Reed is more than holding his own against ACC level competition at Clemson, while Rodney Pryor has been one of the Big East’s best players at Georgetown, but if you expected Andy Toole and Robert Morris to feel sorry for themselves in 2016-17 without them, you probably should have known better.
We’ll never know how much a team with Reed and Pryor would dominate the NEC, but we do know that Robert Morris – as they seem to do every season – will not go away quietly, as the Colonials started NEC play with a 78-67 road win over Sacred Heart Thursday afternoon.