Home » Conference Notes » Currently Reading:

Northeast Notebook

January 21, 2008 Conference Notes No Comments

Northeast Conference Notebook

by Zach Smart

Ah, to be an NEC team during this juncture of the season. This is when the league begins to turn up the volts, when the top-of-the-line team floats down to the middle of the pack before the blink of an eye. The NEC world is where out-of-conference action rarely affects your team confidence. Even freefalling into an 0-5 non-conference hole and suffering a brutal, 37-point whopping to the cross-town rival won’t derail post-season aspirations. The morale of the program is fully counting on you during these evenly-matched, unpredictable battles.

Teams that live in the NEC know that there is no established food chain here. There is no top-flight team in the up-for-grabs, free-for-all conference. Last year, Central Connecticut ripped through the conference as the clear-cut favorite, their season culminating with a loss to Ohio State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Not this year.

Robert Morris did what few teams at this tier of basketball can do back on Jan. 7, stamping a 57-51 victory over Boston College in a game that surely dropped jaws of hoop junkies throughout the nation. But just when the Colonials thought they had put themselves on the map, they were shellacked, 82-69, by Sacred Heart.

On top of the world one moment, funneled down to fifth place the next. That’s life when you’re battling for mid-season supremacy in a wide-open conference that will instantly vault one team to titanic exposure and NCAA college basketball lure when all is said and done.

“Right now, I think it’s really too early to determine which teams are going to come out on top,” said Mount St. Mary’s coach Milan Brown last week.

As of right now, Wagner (12-5, 5-1 NEC) and eccentric head coach Mike Deane appear to be the team to beat. They are currently tied for first place with Quinnipiac (9-8, 5-1), who have ripped off four wins in their last five games. Sudden success is something you’d expect from a team whose head coach is earning a king’s ransom to revitalize the program and establish a basketball culture.

As for Deane, who can be seen sporting sunglasses on the sideline, a new aspect of his quirky coaching tools has emerged: A seatbelt.

The Seahawk coach with a penchant for jumping out on the court and becoming easily animated has implemented a seatbelt that straps him to his chair throughout the game. Hopefully Wagner’s group of assistants won’t have to tighten the screws too often.

Deane has subscribed to this new method of restraining himself after the officials have made it clear they will be less tolerant this season.

“After a turnover, I’d expect him to be up yelling at me,” says Wagner guard Joey Mundweiler, who must have felt like a punch-drunk fighter when he first saw that his coach was seated.

But Deane doesn’t have much to yell about at Mundweiler these days. The off guard is averaging 11.1 points and shooting 52 percent from the floor. Mundweiler is just a key cog in the Seahawks’ well-balanced offense that has allowed them to surface as the top team.

No player averages more than 14 points a game, with Mark Porter leading the way with 14.4. The 6-2 point guard has also orchestrated this well-oiled machine effectively, handing out a team-high 5.6 assists.


  • Showing Some Heart: After a dreadful 0-6 start, the skeptics began to surface, as Sacred Heart – who the coaches pegged as the conference favorite – appeared to be suffering from identity theft. The team that advanced all the way to the conference finals last season has re-emerged, behind the play of Brice Brooks, Chauncey Hardy, and Drew Shubik.
  • DA’s World: After scoring 16 points the first few games of the season, DeMario Anderson has been on a tear for the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The 6-foot-4 swingman is one of nation’s elite scorers, averaging 20.8 per game. This past week, Anderson was named Choice Hotels NEC player of the week after averaging 23 points, eight boards, and three steals while shooting an efficient 53 percent from the floor. The Bobcat boat will only go as far as Anderson, who played for Central Connecticut his first two seasons, steers them.
  • Dolla, Dolla U-Billa: With graduation claiming top scorers Andre Harris (18.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG) and Michael Peeples (11.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG), FDU knew that they would need someone to jump in and fill the void.
    Enter Manny Ubilla. Ubilla is averaging 21.4 points and 6.3 assists in what is easily his best season as a collegian. The senior, who hung 39 on nationally-ranked Rhode Island in a 94-63 loss, has upped his scoring average by nearly 10 points from last season. He has emerged into one of the conference’s premier point guards and is playing like a sure-fire first team all-conference selection.

Power Rankings

  • 1. Wagner: Free throw shooting has hurt them, but if the ‘Hawks balanced offense continues to work the way they have, Deane will need to buckle up his seatbelt because it’s going to be a ride.
  • 2. Quinnipiac: Bobcats are sizzling as of late, will need to continue to shoot the ball and not rely too heavily on Anderson should the NCAA tournament come calling.
  • 3. Robert Morris: The trio of A.J. Jackson, Tony Lee, and Jeremy Chappell could drive this team deep into the post-season for first-year head coach Mike Rice.


Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 by

The NBA Draft and its deadline to withdraw to return to school leads the way in our latest podcast. We also look at one conference’s new scheduling plans, a number of quick hitters, and pay tribute to a fallen conference leader.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.