WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – In giving Fairfield all it could handle and more on Saturday night, Central Connecticut showed that they will shine at times amidst some growing pains this season. Both teams looked like they were trying to find themselves, which is often the case in the first game of the season, but for these teams that was the case even more so. In the Blue Devils’ case, there is a good deal of change from last season.
Central Connecticut certainly doesn’t have a bare cupboard, as they return three starters from last season. One of them is reigning Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year Kyle Vinales, who wasted no time making an impact as a freshman last season. They also return a solid defender in point guard Malcolm McMillan and an unsung hero in senior Joe Efese, who head coach Howie Dickenman praised endlessly for his effort on Saturday and not just for what everyone could see. But the two starters they lost were big – all-time leading scorer Ken Horton and Robby Ptacek, who is tenth in school history in that category.