Home » Columns »Your Phil of Hoops » Currently Reading:

Northeastern has promise next season, but clear room for improvement

March 4, 2012 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

RICHMOND, Va. – You can only survive so many turnovers for so long, unless you’re playing out-of-this-world defense as well or shooting the lights out when you don’t give the ball away. Northeastern did neither of those on Saturday night, and as a result the Huskies are headed home after an interesting season.

Northeastern managed to hang in early on despite VCU out-playing them. The Rams forced 11 turnovers in the first half, a number of them coming in the early minutes, but they never got a big lead. The Huskies were able to tie it at 26 at halftime thanks to holding the Rams below 40 percent from the field while they shot over 47 percent. VCU also turned the 11 turnovers into just nine points, so the giveaways weren’t hurting the Huskies yet.

They were still within striking distance in the second half as the early minutes were just like the first half, but after the first media timeout the game changed as VCU started turning the turnovers into easy baskets. Northeastern shot over 51 percent for the game and was even on the boards with VCU, but they turned the ball over 25 times and VCU shot over 45 percent. VCU finished with 25 points off turnovers.

Northeastern was a difficult team to project coming into the season. They weren’t a young team anymore, with a lot of this year’s roster having played good minutes last season, but they had just one senior – Niagara transfer Kashief Edwards, who was eligible immediately by way of the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule. Inexperience ruled in the frontcourt, but fortunately for the Huskies they had veterans in the backcourt.

The freshmen forwards were promising, as Reggie Spencer and Quincy Ford got better as the season went along. Spencer made an instant impact, helping the Huskies knock off cross-town rival Boston University in the season opener with a double-double to lead a 52-32 rebounding edge. The backcourt was an area of concern as the season went along, mainly due to a lack of depth. There were three games where Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith were the only guards who played for the Huskies, although that issue was somewhat alleviated by Ford’s ability to play like a guard. Still, Lee and Smith played a lot of minutes for this team, and might have been better at times if the minutes could have been cut down by better options off the bench.

Turnovers were a problem for this team, at some times more so than others. The Huskies gave the ball away more than 15 times per game, although they cut that number down slightly in CAA play. Saturday was the eighth time this season they had 20 or more turnovers, and only once in those games did they come out on top.

“When we’ve lost, I think that’s been the primary reason,” said head coach Bill Coen. “We were even on the boards today, we shot a decent percentage, but didn’t get enough shots, and that’s a concern.”

The Huskies will again have experience in the backcourt next season, but as of now questions will still remain about depth. They also lack a true point guard, as Lee has admirably tried to play the position but is not a pass-first player. That takes nothing away from his improvement or his defensive ability, but it’s far from an ideal mix and the lack of depth hurts.

With more experience, perhaps next season’s team will be less prone to the kind of losing streaks they had. While they won three straight on two occasions, they only once had a longer streak (four games) while having to endure losing streaks of six and four games. Some of that is because they didn’t exactly play an easy schedule in non-conference play, but some of that goes on the team as well because the better teams win some of those games.

Next season is one with some promise for Northeastern, with everyone back but Edwards. However, Saturday’s game, played against another team that will return a lot, shows that if they are to be a contender, they need to improve significantly.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


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

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 – March 1, 2017

March 1, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at a couple of big weekend games, then the start of conference tournament play and express hope that teams will be evaluated differently for the NCAA Tournament this time around.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 22, 2017

February 22, 2017 by

We touch on Player of the Year candidates, the wild ACC featuring a still-slumping Virginia team and a really hard-luck Clemson team, an SEC program where the bottom is falling out, the final weekend in the CAA and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with coaching news in the ACC, then go to a few recent games. A surging Big East team and an amazing rally in the Big 12 lead the discussion after that.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 8, 2017

February 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at a marathon game from Tuesday night, which came just days after a wild Saturday. Then we have more on the SEC and Big 12, before one of Saturday’s big games leads us into talk about smaller conferences and television coverage.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at the week two national title contenders had, as well as a surprise at the top of the Big Ten and a legendary coach returning. Along the way, we also look at a couple of bigger picture items.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

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.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.