With half of the season in the books, now is the perfect time to announce out my NEC midseason all-conference teams. Figuring out the NEC top 15 wasn’t an easy task, especially given the youth the league possesses, yet I’m confident this group of young men have been worthy of these honors.
Midseason First Team
Rodney Pryor, Robert Morris
Jerome Frink, LIU Brooklyn
Earl Potts, Fairleigh Dickinson
Cane Broome, Sacred Heart
Corey Henson, Wagner
It’s interesting to note that three of my top five are playing on teams — Robert Morris, LIU and SHU — that are woefully underachieving thus far during league play. At the moment, Pryor, Frink and Broome are doing everything in their power to keep their respective offenses afloat with all three at the top of the NEC in scoring. Meanwhile, both Potts and Hensen have been wonderfully efficient scoring the basketball with each posting terrific shooting percentages and low turnover numbers. Henson’s spot may be up for grabs, yet the sophomore’s inclusion here is well deserved after making 46.7% of his 3s and posting an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.9.
Midseason Second Team
Martin Hermansson, LIU Brooklyn
Marcel Pettway, Bryant
Greg Brown, Saint Francis U
Dwaun Anderson, Wagner
Byron Ashe, Mount St. Mary’s
With Hermansson now hitting 42.0% of his treys, there doesn’t appear to be any weaknesses in the Icelandic guard’s game. Pettway has swiftly emerged as one of the best, most savvy bigs in the conference, as the freshman is already nationally ranked in offensive rating (115.3), effective field goal percentage (58.1%), defensive rebounding rate (16.9%) and turnover rate (13.8%). Greg Brown has gone from solely a defensive stopper to also a critical offensive weapon in Rob Krimmel’s offense, as evident from his effective field goal percentage of 55.4% and league scoring average of 17.8 ppg. Speaking of two-way players, Anderson has injected Wagner with the experience, defensive tenacity and athleticism that was missing from Bashir Mason’s program a season ago. Ashe may not be having a NEC top 10 type of season thus far, but there’s no doubting the junior’s defensive impact and ability to lead a Mount program into the elite tier of the conference.
Midseason Third Team
Michael Carey, Wagner
Darian Anderson, Fairleigh Dickinson
Daniel Garvin, Bryant
Elijah Minnie, Robert Morris
Shane McLaughlin, Bryant
Fun facts: Michael Carey has the seventh best efficiency rating in the NEC, according to Basketball State, and is 19th nationally in defensive rebounding rate (27.7%). Anderson is the engine that’s driving the most productive offense in NEC play at the moment; just look at his 27.6% assist rate and splendid offensive efficiency rating of 113.6 through four league games. At the very least, Garvin continues to rebound (7.7 rpg) and protect the rim (1.3 bpg) at a high level. Minnie hasn’t been the most consistent player around, but he’s been heating up of late with six double digit scoring efforts in 6 of his last 8, while providing Andy Toole with a unique blend of three-point shooting and rim protection. Finally, McLaughlin’s recent stretch of excellence (16.4 ppg, 7.0 apg, 58.3% FG in last 5 games) has been a big reason why Bryant is surging after a difficult non-conference season.
Also Considered: Aakim Saintil, LIU Brooklyn, Junior Robinson, Mount St. Mary’s, Tevin Falzon, Sacred Heart, Ronnie Drinnon, Saint Francis U, Chris Hooper, St. Francis Brooklyn
Midseason All-Rookie Team
Marcel Pettway, Bryant
Quincy McKnight, Sacred Heart
Austin Nehls, Central Connecticut
Mike Holloway, Fairleigh Dickinson
Isaiah Blackmon, Saint Francis U
There’s a lot of season left, but Pettway’s currently the favorite to take home the NEC Rookie of the Year award. McKnight has provided a steady presence in Anthony Latina’s backcourt, filing up the stat sheet a number of ways. Nehls has been a bright spot for CCSU, leading the team in minutes played, free throw percentage (82.5%) and three-point percentage (39.2%). Despite his rookie status, Holloway possesses a polished presence around the rim, making 53.9% of his 2s and crashing the offensive glass (12.5% offensive rebounding rate) with the best of them. Blackmon has given Rob Krimmel a highly athletic, versatile guard who can score in a variety of ways and disrupt on the defensive end.
Also Considered: Josh Nebo, Saint Francis U, Nisre Zouzoua, Bryant
Disagree with any of the selections? Did I omit someone who should have been considered? Feel free to let me know in the comments section!