Northeastern Huskies (11-21 overall, 7-9 conference)
Projected starting five:
So. G T.J. Williams
Jro. G David Walker
Jr. F Quincy Ford
Sr. F Reggie Spencer
Sr. F Scott Eatherton
Demetrius Pollard (left team) and Marco Banegas-Flores (transferred to Umass-Lowell) both left the team, with the latter having graduated.
78.2 percent of scoring and 86.8 percent of rebounding
Fr. G Devon Begley
Bill Coen has been known to challenge his team in non-conference play, and this season is no exception with a team that should contend. They open once again at the Boston Garden against arch-rival Boston University, then play four games as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, going to Florida State and UMass while playing Navy and either at Mohegan Sun Arena. They go across town to play at Harvard and later have road dates with St. Mary’s and Richmond after they play Cal Poly and Santa Clara at the Cable Car Classic. Only three home games are on tap, including a mid-January date with Detroit as part of a four-game homestand. CAA play opens up with three of four on the road, but they have two stretches with three straight conference games at home as well.
Projected finish and outlook:
The Huskies bring back more than any other team in the conference, especially with the return of Ford from an injury that shelved him for much of last season. The sudden departure of Pollard in October hurts because they don’t have another shooter like him, but the Huskies remain favorites. Eatherton should be a double-double machine again, and he teams with Spencer in a frontcourt that should help them once again beat opponents on the glass. If Ford is what he was two seasons ago, the Huskies have another first team all-conference caliber player, while Walker is steady and just knows how to play. Williams is the key; after hitting a wall and also getting nicked up last year, he finished strong and looks like he’ll continue to run the show for the next three years. The Huskies had a lot of tough losses in non-conference play last season, but could turn some of those into wins this time around, and if that happens, there’s every reason to think they can be the top team in the conference heading into the conference tournament.