Final tempo-free NEC, plus awards

All the games have been played and the final weekend provided a big shake up! Not only did LIU Brooklyn fall at Monmouth, a bunch of other teams got knocked out too. Fascinatingly enough, Robert Morris almost caught LIU after the Blackbirds’ disaster, but since it only mattered in tempo-free world LIU will still hang onto home court throughout the conference tournament, which at least gives Jim Ferry’s team a fighting chance at repeating as champions. I’ve also included my All-NEC First and Second Teams and conference awards at the end of this post.

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Machado and Glover near top of Value Add

Scott Machado and Mike Glover of Iona are in the top 60 players in the entire country according to Value Add, a statistic created by John Pudner. You can see the list of the Top 200 on the site there. Interestingly, three NEC players also appear in Value Add, but it’s not who you’d expect. There’s Central Connecticut’s Ken Horton (#27) and then Wagner’s Tyler Murray (#144) and Quinnipiac’s Ike Azotam (#162). Pouring over I’m guessing that a slight adjustment for playing time is why Azotam is on the list and LIU’s Julian Boyd isn’t. It’s also interesting that Murray’s 124.6 offensive rating is enough to make up for his relatively low usage rate (just 17.1%) and put him in the Top 150.

Onyechi provides power off the bench for LIU

As a freshman Kenny Onyechi started all 31 of LIU Brooklyn’s games and was named to the NEC All-Rookie Team. He played 25.7 minutes per game that season and averaged 8.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Then Julian Boyd came back healthy and Onyechi headed to the bench, but that all-league talent is still there.

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Breaking down the CCSU freshmen guards

Central Connecticut State is 5-2 overall and 2-0 in conference after an overtime victory over Sacred Heart last night. The Blue Devils have one of the best offenses in the country, scoring more than 80 points per game. Part of that is thanks to the addition of two freshman, Kyle Vinales and Devon McMillan. While Vinales gets all the hype because of his ridiculous scoring outputs earlier in the season, McMillan has provided a steady presence at point guard during his freshman season. They’re the two CCSU leaders in assist rate thus far this season at 28.8% for McMillan and 26.4% for Vinales. Let’s break down where those dimes are going in order to see the difference between these two players.

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Surprise at the top of NEC value added rankings

This afternoon on Twitter I got asked about the Value Added rankings for the NEC. Long Island is the defending champion and is going to be returning a number of players, including 6’7 forward Julian Boyd, from a team that ranked 118th in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings last season and went 27-6 (16-2). Thus the Blackbirds should be the favorite again in 2011-12, right? Not so fast suggests value added.

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