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Northeastern having a tough time for a few reasons

by - Published December 10, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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BOSTON – Northeastern wants better results than they have had thus far.  Their 2-7 record isn’t a result of not trying or wanting to win.  Part of it is from playing a very difficult schedule, but part of it is also the reality of trying to find the right personnel with a young team at a challenging time.  It has Bill Coen having to manage the confidence the team as they reach the break for final exams.

Anyone who knew Northeastern’s personnel heading into the season knew that the Huskies were going to be different this season.  Departed guards Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith were more than just the heart and soul of last season’s Huskies, so that was a big void to fill.  Who would emerge was far from a given since depth was a concern behind those two last season.  So it’s not a surprise that part of the challenge has been personnel-related.

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Northeastern Huskies 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 5, 2013 in Conference Notes
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Northeastern Huskies (20-13 overall, 14-4 conference)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Jr. G Demetrius Pollard
So. G David Walker
Jr. F Quincy Ford
Jr. F Reggie Spencer
Jr. F Scott Eatherton

Important departures:

The Huskies lose two starters from last season’s team, and they are big ones: G Jonathan Lee (13.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.8 spg) and G Joel Smith (16.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.8 apg).

Returning:

60 percent of scoring and 73.8 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F Kwesi Abakah (redshirted)
Jr. F Scott Eatherton (transfer from St. Francis (Pa.))
Fr. G C.J. Hill
Fr. G-F Jimmy Marshall
Fr. G T.J. Williams

Schedule Highlights:

The Huskies will play another challenging non-conference slate that features four home games.  They open with cross-town rival Boston University at the Boston Garden, then head to Stony Brook, VCU and Vanderbilt, while also opening with Georgetown in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and playing two games in the Tulane Classic.  Home games are against Central Connecticut, Ivy League favorite Harvard, UAB and Richmond.  They open CAA play with their stretch of four games in eight days.

Projected finish and outlook:

The Huskies are a tough team to project this season, but one thing is certain: they will be hard-pressed to match last season’s success given how much Lee and Smith meant to them from a production and (more importantly) leadership standpoint.  Who emerges behind them will make all the difference, and while Pollard and fellow junior Marco Banegas-Flores have had their moments, neither will make anyone forget Lee or Smith right now.  Walker will be fine after a solid freshman year, and the perimeter will be in better shape if sophomore Zach Stahl plays like he’s capable of after an up-and-down freshman year where he tried to do a little too much at times.  Head coach Bill Coen thinks Stahl may have had the best preseason of any Husky, and in another bright spot, he said sophomore guard Derrico Peck may have been their most improved player over the summer.  The frontcourt is in much better shape, as Ford should be one of the conference’s best and Spencer made a nice leap from his freshman year.  It’s now time for Ford to become an elite player in the conference, and he’s shown in the past that he can be a go-to guy when the chances have been there.  They are high on Eatherton and think he will make an impact right away, especially on the glass where they were deficient last season as they had the worst rebounding margin in the conference.  The Huskies won a lot of games with a good team concept offensively, and they’ll need to do that again this season while improving on the glass.  The former will be tough to do unless a couple of players can make up for the losses of Lee and Smith.

Next: Towson Tigers

Back to CAA Preview

New-look CAA trying to find its place in the changing landscape

by - Published October 23, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
colonial

BALTIMORE – As the Colonial Athletic Association goes through more changes, it’s natural to wonder where its place is in college basketball now.  The conference has had major membership changes over the last year and a half, and locations for major events like Media Day and the conference tournament are also changing.  While there is certainly a feeling of newness, one wonders what lies ahead for a conference that had a great run from 2006 to 2012 before things changed drastically.

The CAA is just one conference that is changing in an ever-changing landscape.  In the short term, the conference can be labeled one of the losers in the conference maneuvering.  In the last 18 months, George Mason, Old Dominion and VCU – the conference’s signature programs historically – have all departed, along with a Georgia State program that wasn’t in the conference long but looks like it might be on the rise under Ron Hunter.  What remains starts with five former America East schools and then includes newcomer College of Charleston and three charter members in James Madison, UNCW and William & Mary.  Next year, Elon joins the conference.

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Quick Hitters – September 29, 2013

by - Published September 29, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
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It’s a great time of the year. Prep school visits are winding down and college teams have started practice, signs that the season isn’t far away. Also, college schedules are finally coming out, with a few more game times to be determined due to television.

Before getting back to some of the final prep school visits, here are some quick hitters from around college basketball.

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Doubts about Northeastern in the CAA are sure to come again

by - Published March 15, 2013 in Columns
northeastern

It’s been said many times and in many contexts that history repeats itself. Surely one form of that is already here and will continue: the question of whether or not Northeastern can win in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Northeastern had to overcome a 24-point deficit against George Mason in the semifinals and then fell behind big early in the championship before falling to James Madison. The Huskies were the CAA regular season champions, but they couldn’t close it out thanks to a poor performance in the biggest game of the year.

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Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith have grown and shared a lot together

by - Published March 9, 2013 in Columns
northeastern

Northeastern’s first CAA regular season title has been driven by an unlikely senior backcourt. Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith come from different parts of the country and different worlds, and they have decidedly different games and personalities. But teams that win do so with togetherness even with differences, and when you look at the success of the Huskies, one place to start is with what Lee and Smith share together.

They share more than meets the eye, especially since they came to Huntington Ave. They have shared playing time, roles and work ethic, and have done much of it together with a bond they forged almost as soon as they arrived in a different world than the one they grew up in.

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Northeastern is very much in the driver’s seat in the CAA

by - Published January 28, 2013 in Columns
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BOSTON – Sunday night didn’t settle anything once and for all in the Colonial Athletic Association.  Each team still has ten games left before the conference tournament, and this is still almost certain to be a one-bid league when it comes to the NCAA Tournament.  But what Sunday did settle is that right now, Northeastern is very much the team to beat, as the Huskies moved to 8-0 in the conference by putting on a clinic to beat George Mason 71-51.

Northeastern is now three games ahead of George Mason and James Madison in the loss column in the CAA.  With a lot of time left, that’s a nice place to be since it gives them some margin for error.  What’s more, the Huskies are 4-0 against the projected top three teams in the preseason, having swept George Mason and won at Drexel and at Delaware.  They still have visits from Drexel and Delaware, and their only meeting with James Madison, tied with George Mason for second, is at home in about three weeks.

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Win over William & Mary helps explain Northeastern’s 7-0 CAA start

by - Published January 24, 2013 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops
northeastern

BOSTON – Northeastern didn’t win Wednesday night’s game as comfortably as they probably should have.  The Huskies had a 16-point lead early in the second half and appeared to be dominating William & Mary, which one might expect given that the Huskies came in undefeated in CAA play and the Tribe was a game out of the cellar and mired in a seven-game losing streak.  In the end, they won 95-91 in double overtime, and head coach Bill Coen breathing a sigh of relief tells you how much the bottom line is what counts.

“We were very, very fortunate tonight to come away with a victory,” said Coen.  “A lot of teams, after surrendering a 15-point halftime lead, wouldn’t be able to find a way to win.  It speaks to this group because they stuck together, they believed in one another.”

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Now would be a good time for Northeastern to turn a corner

by - Published December 22, 2012 in Columns
northeastern

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Northeastern may be in a position to turn a corner at a good time. That might seem like an odd proclamation about a team that just snapped a five-game losing streak on Friday night, but take the way they won and add the recent return of their leader, and things could be looking up for the Huskies with CAA play right around the corner.

Friday night was Jonathan Lee’s second game back from a broken foot that shelved him for nearly two months. An All-CAA candidate, the senior leader doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat, and given how competitive he is that isn’t entirely surprising. With 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, Lee was the catalyst in Friday’s 82-63 win at Central Connecticut, and figures to be the rest of the season.

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Northeastern shows areas for concern but also some real positives in opener

by - Published November 10, 2012 in Columns
northeastern

BOSTON – A lot of things happen on opening night that don’t happen at any other time in the season. A team’s opener isn’t always a barometer of what is to come for a variety of reasons, but if the season-opening 65-64 win for Northeastern is one, there could be better things ahead than one might expect from a nail-biting win over a young Boston University team.

Certainly, Friday’s outcome can be a testament to how one shot can change something more than it should. Northeastern basically stole one at home and had some of its concerns exposed, and that wouldn’t have changed if Demetrius Pollard didn’t hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer from the top of the key that was followed by fans rushing the court to mob him in the corner. But there were some positive developments that could bode well for this team, and Pollard’s shot means they also have something to show for it on the bottom line.

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College Basketball Tonight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, who will be joined by former Manhattan and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show will air on AM 970 The Answer in New York City from 7-9 p.m. on every Sunday from Selection Sunday to the Final Four. You can listen to the show here.

Your Phil of Hoops

Watson’s transfer will sting BU the most

April 11, 2014 by

bostonuniversity

Boston University recently saw three players transfer. The impact of the departure of one of them will be felt more than the other two.

Mihalich’s first year at Hofstra is over but will have plenty of value

March 9, 2014 by

hofstra

The first year for Hofstra under Joe Mihalich is in the books. Many expected that wins would be hard to come by, and they were, but this season was about more than that and is hardly a throwaway year.

Cornell’s future can only be better

March 2, 2014 by

cornell

Cornell has had a rough season, as could be expected given some personnel losses. It’s almost in the books, and the future at least looks brighter.

2013 Prep School Tour

Missed a recap of an open gym workout? We have them all right here for you.

Sept. 9: St. Andrew's
Sept 10: Tilton
Sept. 11: South Kent School and Northfield Mount Hermon
Sept. 12: Putnam Science Academy
Sept. 16: St. Thomas More and Marianapolis Prep
Sept. 17: Brewster Academy and Phillips Exeter
Sept. 23: New Hampton School
Sept. 24: Brimmer and May
Sept. 25: Proctor Academy
Sept. 26: Notre Dame Prep and Cushing Academy
Sept. 29: Worcester Academy and Vermont Academy
Oct. 6: Charlestown High School and Milton Academy
Oct. 13: Tabor Academy
Oct. 15: Brooks School

Hoopville Archives

Even More: City Hoops Recruiting

Travel team profile: Expressions Elite

Expressions Elite has quickly become one of the deeper programs in New England

Cesar Fulcar commits to Wentworth

The senior guard led Watertown to the state semifinal this past season

Travel team profile: Bay State Magic

Bay State Magic doesn’t have much size on their junior team this season, so they’ll have to win with execution and intangibles

Travel team profile: Mass Elite

Mass Elite is one of the largest travel teams in the state despite being relatively new

Travel team profile: Middlesex Magic

Today we look at the Middlesex Magic, run by the son of the program’s founder and getting better every year

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

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

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter