This season we’re introducing a new feature, Weekly Awards! Each Monday at noon we’ll be announcing our selections for the area’s Team, Player and Rookie of the Week. As has been discussed a bit in the Power Poll – “area” is a pretty loosely defined term. Still, we’ll try to highlight the best stories in and around New York City as much as possible.
Team of the Week: St. Francis Brooklyn – A few teams have more wins, but the Terriers definitely had the most surprising victory of the weekend. SFC went to Miami (FL) and pulled out a stunning – properly used in this case – victory over the Hurricanes. Considering the disparity of the NEC and ACC in the college basketball world, it was a great win for the “little guys” everywhere. The fact that the win came in overtime and against the defending ACC champions is just icing on the cake.
Also receiving votes: Manhattan (double-OT win at La Salle), Stony Brook (two convincing victories)
Player of the Week: Marvin Dominique, Saint Peter’s – As a transfer from Fordham, Dominique could only watch as Saint Peter’s went 9-21 last season. While the Peacocks lost their season opener at the Barclays Center to LIU Brooklyn, it appears that he’s going to do everything possible to make sure that isn’t the case again. Dominique dominated the Blackbirds’ front court with 31 points and 14 rebounds. The points came from everywhere on the court, including jump shot, a three, and 6-8 shooting from the free throw line. Even though he was frustrated by the loss, afterwards you could tell Dominique was excited about getting onto the court again. He along with some of the other Saint Peter’s newcomers, should help John Dunne’s squad be much more competitive this season.
Also receiving votes: Jalen Cannon, St. Francis Brooklyn (14 points, 10 rebounds vs. Miami (FL)); Jason Brickman (13 points, 14 assists, 6 rebounds vs. Saint Peter’s); Jameel Warney (two double-doubles); Kadeem Jack, Rutgers (30 points, 12 rebounds against Florida A&M)
Rookie of the Week: Jon Severe, Fordham – Tom Pecora trekked this past March to Albany with plans to watch the semifinals of the New York State Federation tournament (which annually determines the state’s top team), a game that matched-up Bishop Kearney and Christ the King. In reality, though, Pecora was more interested in the play of Jon Severe, the city’s best player who was still uncertain on his collegiate future and Fordham’s top 2013 recruiting priority. Severe enjoyed the best game of his season, scoring 40 points in the win, but Pecora’s stomach was turning knots throughout the tilt – seated next to him in the stands was Kentucky’s John Calipari, who had traveled to Albany to likely to see Kearney center Thomas Bryant (one of the top bigs in the 2015 class). “I’m sitting there going, ‘Oh my God,'” Pecora said during the Atlantic 10 media day. “And then after the game, John says to me, ‘Tommy, don’t worry about it. We’re not looking at guards.'” Legendary scout Tom Konchalski has a saying about offensively electric players – “He scores like we breathe” – and Severe certainly falls into that category: In his college debut, the 6’3” guard scored 28 points against St. Francis PA, showcasing a long-range touch that has long been Severe’s hallmark (seven for ten from deep). The Rams use either a three or four-guard lineup, and the presence of both Branden Frazier and Mandell Thomas allows Severe to slide into his natural position at the 2, which should allow Severe to score at the same clip as he did against the Red Flash throughout the season. — Matt Giles
Also receiving votes: Wayne Martin, St. Francis Brooklyn (17 points vs. Miami (FL)); Joshua James, Monmouth (19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists vs. Hofstra); Quadir Welton, St. Peter’s (16 points, 11 rebounds vs. LIU Brooklyn)