SMITHFIELD, R.I. – A year can make a very big difference for a program. In the case of Bryant, that is exactly what has happened.
Things are certainly different now than a year ago at this time. Last year, not much was expected of the Bulldogs in their first season eligible for the Northeast Conference Tournament. They were picked tenth in the conference’s preseason poll, then got off to a fast start in NEC play and rode that to a fourth-place finish and ultimately a big in the College Basketball Invitational. They won 19 games, a 17-win jump from a year earlier, and won 11 more NEC games than a year earlier, which is a conference record.