Checking in on… the NEC

Posted by rtmsf on November 27th, 2009


Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC conferences.

NEC Standings

  1. Quinnipiac    (3-1)
  2. Mount St. Mary’s    (2-1)
  3. Sacred Heart      (2-2)
  4. LIU       (2-2)
  5. Monmouth      (1-3)
  6. St. Francis (PA)       (1-3)
  7. Robert Morris         (1-4)
  8. FDU     (1-4)
  9. Central Conn St.      (0-2)
  10. Wagner       (0-3)
  11. Bryant          (0-4)
  12. St. Francis (NY)      (0-4)

Choice Hotels NEC Co-Players of the Week

  • Jeremy Goode (G), Mount St. Mary’s – Instrumental in victories over American and Loyola (MD). Goode averaged 20 PPG shooting ,55% from the field and 81.8% from the line.
  • Justin Rutty (F), Quinnipiac – Had a double-double week averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds per game. In a win over Yale, Rutty cleared the offensive boards  with 10 caroms. Rutty is eighth in NEC scoring (15.7 PPG) and 2nd in field goal percentage (66%).

Choice Hotels  NEC Rookie of the Week. Kenny Onyechi (F), LIU – Averaged double figure scoring highlighted by a career high 13 points in a win over Navy. Onyechi has started every game for the Blackbirds and leads the conference in FG Pct (68.8%).

Conference Notes

  • Jeremy Goode played a dominant role as Mount St. Mary’s stopped Loyola (MD). Goode had a game-high 23 points in the oldest rivalry between Maryland schools and one of the nation’s storied and longest. The win was the Mount’s third straight in the series which they now lead 96-69.
  • Monmouth will play six of New Jersey’s Division I schools this year. Only NJIT is not on the Hawks’ schedule.
  • Six am, the NEC called it ‘breakfast with the Hawks.’ The game, part of ESPN’s Marathon of Hoops saw Monmouth tip off at 6 in the morning for a meeting with St.Peter’s at the latter’s Yanitelli Center. Monmouth was defeated 58-34 but coach Dave Calloway felt the experience was positive.  “In our conference the championship game and the team getting to the NCAA gets national exposure. Here it is November and we were on national television. That’s great for our league.”  The 6am start necessitated an early wakeup. Especially the Hawks who bussed the 50 miles from their campus leaving at 3:15 am. “We would gladly do it again next year,” Calloway said. “Now at our place.”

Team Breakdowns

  • Bryant.  Senior captain Cecil Gresham is closing in on a 1000-pt career. Gresham has 943 points and paced the Bulldogs with 11 points and 8 rebounds in a loss to Harvard. Bryant trailed by only eight at the half against Harvard but second half shooting woes sent them to a 77-51 defeat.
  • Central Conn. St.  A road loss to Savannah State (53-45) dropped the Blue Devils to 0-2. Central Connecticut blocked seven shots that game but 2-11 three point shooting doomed Howie Dickenman’s club. Field goal percentage woes are a factor as the Blue Devils are shooting 37% . They meet Savannah State again this weekend in the College Insider Skip Prosser Classic.
  • FDU.  The going has been tough for the Knights. Greg Vetrone did earn his first head coaching victory as FDU defeated Central Michigan 62-53. Senior forward Alvin Mofunanya was a force inside with a career high 22 points, 9 boards and 6 blocks.
  • LIU. The Blackbirds split with the service academies, losing at Army and coming home to defeat Navy. Junior guard David Hicks and freshman forward Kenny Onyechi (see awards) had strong outings. Hicks posted his first double double (18 points, 10 boards) against Navy. Guard Jaytornah Wisseh dropped in a game high 28 points as LIU made it two straight with a 77-71 victory over St.Peter’s.
  • Monmouth. Fell to St.Peter’s 58-34 in the 6 am game played as part of ESPN’s Basketball Marathon. It was the lowest point total by the Hawks since 2007 when Notre Dame held them to 33 at the Paradise Jam. Whitney Coleman is back after missing last year with a knee injury. Sophomore Travis Taylor (12 pts against St.Peter’s) could provide a good inside presence for the Hawks.
  • Mount St. Mary’s. Senior guard Jeremy Goode had an impressive week, averaging 20 points, 4 steals and 3.5 assists. Goode was a force in a win over Loyola (MD) with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 15 of 16 from the line. A win at American was the program’s third in November since joining Division I in 1988-89.
  • Quinnipiac. The Bobcats split, losing at Lehigh and winning at Yale. Justin Rutty continues (see awards) to be a force under the glass. Senior guard James Feldeine also had a strong week averaging 18 points. Sophomore guard James Johnson was also a consistently key contributor averaging 11.5 points and 4.5 assists.
  • Robert Morris.  The 2KSports Classic was a rough going for the Colonials as they posted one win in four tries. The lone win was a 107-76 victory over Alcorn State. Freshman guard Karon Abraham came off the bench to score 18 points against Alcorn. Mike Rice’s club has 10 days off but resumes with a tough test, Mount St. Mary’s on December 3rd.
  • Sacred Heart. It is not the NEC-A10 Challenge but the Pioneers dropped games to Fordham and Xavier to fall to 2-2. Senior forward Corey Hassan continues to light up the scoreboard. Hassan had a career high 33 points in the loss at Fordham. He then added 22 points against Xavier and broke the 1000-point career scoring mark.
  • St. Francis (NY). Losses to Boston College and Canisius dropped the Terriers to 0-3. Junior forward Akeem Bennet has been a positive for Brian Nash’s club. Bennet scored 18 versus BC, 21 points against Canisius and leads the team in scoring with 19.3 PPG.  On the down side, for a team that needs a lift, senior forward Kayode Ayeni is out indefinitely with a knee injury.
  • St. Francis (PA). Dropped three games to Notre Dame, Lafayette and Bucknell. Senior forward Devin Sweetney averaged 20.7 PPG. Red Flash are very young as over 60% of their minutes have been played by true freshmen or junior forward Cedric Latimer who did not play last season.
  • Wagner. A 56-51 setback to NJIT dropped the Seahawks to 0-3. Mike Deane has a number of new faces and the veteran mentor notes that even his seniors are relatively inexperienced. Lack of perimeter shooting hurt against the Highlanders as Wagner was 3-22 from three. Micheal Orock, a 6-7 junior,  had a strong outing inside at NJIT with 22 points 14 boards

Upcoming Games

  • Nov 28-29 – Central Conn St at College Insider Skip Prosser Tournament (vs  Savannah St)
  • Nov 28  – LIU at Seton Hall
  • Nov 28  – St. Francis (PA) at Ohio State
  • Nov 27-29 – Monmouth at World Vision Basketball Challenge(vs Wyoming)
  • Nov 30 – Mount St. Mary’s at Georgetown
  • Nov 30 – Quinnipiac at Navy
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