With most of the NEC teams having 15-16 games in the books, John and I felt it was a perfect time to unveil our NEC midseason awards. Selecting players for this honorable distinction wasn’t an easy task, given all of the parity throughout the conference. Nevertheless, we each listed our individual award winners, along with our first and second all-conference teams. Here we go. Continue reading “Our NEC Midseason Awards”
On a night when so many things reminded fans across the NEC that conference play had started and this isn’t last year’s league, two things were stunningly familiar. Wagner played defense and Wagner won at home. Continue reading “Wagner Wins NEC Opener Over Monmouth”
With the NEC – and most of college basketball – off for the past couple of days, I broke out my periodic review of all things NEC. Unfortunately, I had some difficultly finding an equal amount of good and bad stories, so I did my best to sprinkle in some positive news. To be quite frank, it hasn’t been the greatest non-conference season for the NEC. The Ken Pomeroy rating for the conference has dipped from #19, at the start of the season, to #25. With little time left before conference play begins, it appears the NEC is destined for a maximum of two combined NCAA and NIT bids, at best. Continue reading “A Holiday Special: NEC, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”
This is the fifth of what will eventually be capsules for each of the NYC teams when I’m sure their season has concluded.
Record: 25-6 (15-3 in the NEC)
Season High: Winning at then #15 Pittsburgh
Season Low: Losing final regular season game to Central Connecticut
Really Good At: Defense — Wagner had the best defense by far in NEC play this season. The Seahawks led the conference in effective field goal percentage defense, three-point percentage defense and block percentage.
Struggled With: Fouling too much — The aggressive, pressing style that Wagner plays leads a lot to the interpretation of the officials. It might’ve been Wagner’s downfall in the conference semifinals against Robert Morris. The Seahawks finished 11th in the NEC in defensive free throw rate.
- Tyler Murray (All-NEC Second Team guard, 12.0 PPG, efficient scorer)
- Chris Martin (spark off the bench, 7.1 PPG, 82.3% FT%)
- Latif Rivers, So., G (All-NEC Second Team, 14.6 PPG)
- Jonathon Williams, Jr., F (13.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 53.4% FG%)
- Kenneth Ortiz, So., G (NEC Defensive Player of the Year, 4.5 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.8 SPG)
- Naofall Folahan, So., F/C (1.7 BPG, strong offensive rebounder)
Outlook: Great. The season came to an abrupt end for the Seahawks, but that doesn’t mean the future isn’t bright. Dan Hurley is going to keep bringing talent to Grymes Hill and it’ll just supplement the young core that’s already here. The addition of transfer Ortiz gives Wagner an amazing sophomore class that should just continue to develop. Also, another year of development and a healthy off season could mean Mario Moody is the NEC’s most improved player next season. After finishing second in the NEC to LIU this season, Wagner still has unfinished business left. It has the talent coming back to unseat the Blackbirds if everything goes right and return to the postseason, maybe even in the NCAA tournament.
For a year now LIU Brooklyn has been the class of the NEC. The Blackbirds haven’t lost a conference game, regular or post season, in over a 365 days with their 73-66 win over Wagner on Saturday at the Spiro Sports Center. LIU did it the same way its gotten most of its wins this season in conference play, by dominating in the paint and getting to the free throw line.
There were seven games played by New York City area teams on Thursday night. St. Francis (NY) beat Quinnipiac 73-72 as Stefan Perunicic hit the game-tying layup, and game-winning free throw. Perunicic also scored his 1,000th point in the victory. Manhattan lost a real tough one to swallow as Dylon Cormier hit a three in the left corner on Loyola’s final possession in the Greyhounds’ 61-60 victory.
From the YouTube videos it appears that Wagner’s Madness Before Midnight dunk contest sure featured a lot of athleticism. Josh Thompson dunking over his mother has caught the attention of many, but all four dunkers deserve some recognition. So here it is, counting down from 4 to 1.
As Dan Hurley continues to rebuild the Wagner program and get the Seahawks ready to compete in the NEC, one of things he has to do is continually bring in new talent to replace the players that are leaving and solidify the program’s foundation. This year’s recruiting class appears to do just that.