On Tuesday, I gave you my best guesses as to who will emerge among a talented rookie class. Today, I attempt to offer my favorite NEC transfers who could become household names by season’s end.
Let me begin with my top three transfers, players I believe have a real shot at making an all-conference team in March.
Tyler Kohl, Central Connecticut – While they are different players, Kohl’s addition kind of feels like Michael Carey when he transferred to Wagner. If you recall, Carey had high major interest out of high school, went to junior college as a sophomore and then was astutely signed by Bashir Mason for his final two seasons of eligibility. Carey went on to have a terrific two seasons as a Seahawk, and it’s fair to presume Kohl will provide a similar impact for Donyell Marshall. The second year coach worked hard to recruit and inevitably sign Kohl; it was far from a done deal just because Kohl’s brother is part of the Blue Devil coaching staff.
As he illustrated in CCSU’s victory over Nyack last week, Kohl can fill up the stat sheet (21 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals) and take on multiple roles for this team. He can score anywhere on the floor, while possessing the size and athleticism to compete on the glass and keep his teammates involved. Kohl surely will create match-up problems for the small lineups of the NEC – at 6-foot-5 he’ll be very difficult to contain as a high usage wing, especially if the other talent can emerge around him. I feel like Kohl easily has top 10 potential.
Malik Petteway, Robert Morris – Several coaches, other than Andy Toole, have raved to me about how good Petteway is. The Connecticut native has always had the talent to excel at the Division I level, yet academics led Petteway to the junior college path as an underclassman. Now that he’s a Colonial, I envision Petteway becoming one of the better power forwards in the league, posting 10-12 ppg, 5-7 rpg, and making more than half of his field goal attempts. He has good size and comfort around the rim, but he can also step out and drain jumpers to keep defenders honest. Given the Robert Morris has zero returning experience at the four and five this season, I fully expect Petteway to serve as that steady veteran presence who gives Toole a consistent and above average effort most nights.
Nick Madray, Wagner – Not since Elijah Minnie has a player with Madrey’s size and perimeter skill set entered the league. The 6-foot-9 power forward should match his previous production at Binghamton, where as a freshman he was moderately efficient (53.7% eFG%), a threat from deep (38.0% 3PT) and solid on the defensive glass (12.2% rebounding rate). He may have been neutralized some once he moved up to Eastern Michigan (and the higher league) as a junior, but a transfer to the NEC should be a boon to Madray’s overall production. Bashir Mason is certainly optimistic about Canadian’s impact and there’s plenty of opportunity after the frontcourt lost Carey and the immovable Mike Aaman. He should be the best scoring option Wagner has down low.
Other Notable Transfers Worth Mentioning: CCSU junior Deion Bute should be a force around the rim, giving Marshall a dominant rebounder who can alter some shots in the paint. LIU Brooklyn’s Jamall Robinson has the talent to expand his game from being just a 3-point specialist at Hofstra – the graduate transfer should be a key piece in Derek Kellogg’s up-tempo system. Sacred Heart’s Kinnon LaRose and Fairleigh Dickinson’s Pat McNamara should be factors as long distance threats for their respective club. Milija Cosic gives Glenn Braica a savvy stretch power forward who can make shots and grab rebounds in a pinch. Given the gaping hole vacated by Josh Nebo, junior college transfer Luidgy Laporal will serve as the Red Flash’s most experienced and polished interior presence, which could lead to significant minutes. Despite his 6-foot-7 frame, CCSU sophomore Joe Hugley will be a perimeter weapon as someone who’ll stretch the floor and open up the lane for the Blue Devils.