Author Topic: Commonwealth Coast Conference  (Read 625945 times)

Offline D3ball1845

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Re: Commonwealth Coast Conference
« Reply #4680 on: February 20, 2018, 03:45:21 pm »
And we've reached the end of an exciting regular season in the CCC. What a year it has been! The league continues to progress and gain a reputation nationally. Just a side note, the conference has four players who are Top 25 scorers in the country (Demers, Brown, Coene, and Echevarria). The CCC is coming off a 2-bid year for the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, I do not think that will be the case this year as the conference has become more competitive and resulted in some losses for the top teams. The only possibility of an at-large bid will be for Nichols, who is at best a bubble team, if they don't win the CCC championship. Congratulations to all the players who were named to an All-CCC team this week. While I don't agree with some of the selections, the players deserve to be praised for their accomplishments this season. Now to the fun part. We have four games tonight for the quarterfinals of the CCC tournament. Surprisingly, I think the first round will be pretty straight forward this year and the 1-4 seeds will all come out victorious. Matchup assessment and predictions for all four games can be seen below:

#1 Nichols vs. #8 Western New England (WNE), 7:00 PM

These teams split their regular season series, with Nichols as the victors, 73-61, in their most recent matchup. I actually think WNE is a very good #8 seed and Nichols was unlucky to draw them for the first round. They have an elite player in Mike Pettway, who went off for 38 points in their first matchup this season, in which WNE came out with an OT victory. However, he was held to just 12 points in their second time playing Nichols a little over a week ago. WNE also has a few sharpshooters on the wings and the CCC ROY big man Zach Tavitian. Nichols has been on a roll, winners of 8 straight games, and is now ranked #22 in the country in the most recent Top 25 Poll released yesterday. Back-to-back CCC POY Marcos Echevarria will lead the way in a backcourt that boasts two 1st team All-CCC players. Echevarria has averaged 25 PPG and 9.5 RBPG against WNE this season. Nichols has really improved their defense over their winning streak, allowing 71.75 PPG in the last eight games. The emergence of freshman big man Matt Morrow has given them more versatility in their front court and has taken the load off of Jerome Cunningham's back. For WNE to stand a chance they need big games from Pettway, Tavitian, and I think at least a 15 point game from one of their guards, possibly Mike McGuire or E.J. Day. However, Nichols has more experience in big games and gets the home court advantage in what should be a packed game tonight. They are also the more talented team and I just don't see WNE having what it takes to pull off the upset of the #1 seed tonight.
Prediction: Nichols 88 WNE 72

#2 Gordon vs. #7 Salve Regina, 7:00 PM

Gordon came out victorious in both games against Salve Regina this year, by an average of 14 points. They say it is difficult to beat a team three times in one season, but I just don't like this matchup for Salve. However, Gordon has played down to inferior opponents a few times in the last month, where they lost to the likes of WNE and ENC. These two teams actually faced off in their final regular season game at Salve, where Gordon won 80-67. The two 1st team All-CCC players from Gordon, Demers and Duvivier, were actually held in check by Salve, as they only combined to score 29 points. If Salve is to stand any chance, they will have limit these two again. The real key to making this a game is getting double-double machine, Garrison Duvivier, in foul trouble early. Unfortunately, I just don't think anyone from Salve can matchup with Duvivier down low. Demers, the leading scorer from the CCC shouldn't have a problem scoring 20+ points in this one. Looking at Salve's recent games, it seems that they have transitioned to playing smaller, guard-heavy lineups at the end of the season. The once prominent big man, Cameron Collins, has been all but phased out of Salve's rotation. I don't know if that is the going to work against the second best rebounding team in the CCC in Gordon. Salve will rely on the play of 2nd team All-CCC guard, Rodney Morton, and guard Isaiah Bowman. If the two can get hot in the same game this one could get interesting. However, Gordon is a relatively defensively sound, disciplined, and talented team that features a 1-2 punch in Demers and Duvivier that I just don't think Salve can handle. It doesn't help that Salve won't get a boost from their home crowd as they are a dismal 4-9 in non-home games this year. Prediction: Gordon 85 Salve Regina 68

#3 Endicott vs. #6 Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT), 5:30 PM

And we have yet another playoff matchup in which one team beat the opposing team twice in the regular season. Endicott won by an average of 16.5 points in their two contests against WIT this year. It's not surprising that both games were low scoring affairs, yet I do find it worth noting that Endicott's leading scorer and 1st Team All-CCC selection, Keith Brown, has been limited to 14 PPG against WIT this season. Brown was likely stymied by back-to-back CCC DPOY, Sam Knollmeyer, in these games as I have personally seen how WIT defends the opposing best offensive player this year in the couple WIT games I've attended. However, Endicott has received solid overall team efforts in both games against WIT, in which both times over 3 players scored more than 10 points. I have a feeling that Endicott is going to need another great team performance tonight to pull out the victory at home. If I had to pick a potential upset, it would be have to be this matchup. WIT has a veteran team led by forward Jason Ganley that has pulled off playoff upsets in the past (just ask the Gordon team from last year) that faces an inexperienced, young, but talented Endicott team led by a sophomore shooter. If WIT can manage to limit Brown to less than 15 points, control the glass, and get near 20 point efforts from Ganley and Azums they might just pull the upset off. I did see Endicott play RWU this past weekend and was thankful we did not have another 53 point game by Keith Brown on our hands. While he was swarmed by the Hawks defense a majority of the game (13 points on 3-16 shooting), I was able to see the growth in Endicott's other players. Forwards Matt McDevitt and Nick Thibeault were particularly impressive. The two will need to remain vigilant on the glass tonight and will also likely be relied upon to hit some big shots. I think Endicott uses their youthful energy and home court advantage to advance to the next round in a close game tonight. Prediction: Endicott 73 WIT 67

#4 Roger Williams (RWU) vs. #5 University of New England (UNE), 7:30 PM

In the fourth and final quarterfinal game we have UNE visiting RWU in Bristol, RI. RWU took both of the regular season games, winning the contests by an average of 19 points. In the last time these teams faced off just a few weeks ago, the game was much more tightly contested with RWU coming out with a 90-83 win at home. I think UNE got the worst matchup possible for tournament pairings against RWU. UNE  split games against the top 3 teams in the CCC this year (Nichols, Gordon, and Endicott), but has lost to RWU twice. I think this speaks to the defensive intensity that RWU plays with. UNE transitioned into a 'Grinnell' system this year and it clearly paid off as they finished the year with five more wins than they did in the 2016-2017 season. The system is centered around a defensive mindset to full-court press the entire game and run an offense that emphasizes 3-point attempts. This is in the midst of substituting all 5 players every one or two minutes. I've experienced the frenzy first hand and it actually reminds me a lot of an AAU game. Lots of shots, lots of scoring (hopefully), and lots of turnovers. And for UNE it has worked for the most part. Sure, they've been blown out in 9 of their losses (by 20 or more points). But they've also beaten some of the top teams in the conference with the system. It truly is a hit or miss system and that is what is terrifying about it. Unfortunately for UNE, they will face off against an RWU team that ranks first in the conference defending the 3PT (30.9%), which is what UNE uses to fuel their offense. In the two games against RWU, they have shot an abysmal 34-128 (26.5%) from 3PT. However, it appears that they have refined their system and have only averaged 42 3PAs in their final six games. RWU has the firepower to keep up with UNE in sophomore shooter, Rich Pugliese, and senior shooter, Jaylen Jennings. They also have two great players who can score at will around the hoop in senior big man Conor O'Brien and floor general Nick Marini. Additionally, they have an can-do-it-all scorer in 1st Team All-CCC Player, Austin Coene, who leads the team with 22.5 ppg and 2.0 spg. It was recently announced that UNE will be without senior captain and floor general, Drew Coveney, in this one. This is a significant loss for the team as you not only lose your ball handler and a solid defender but also the leadership and drive needed to win a playoff basketball away game. I think RWU has a chip on their shoulder after losing their final regular season game at home to Endicott by 2 and will come out with a lot of energy. This game could be really close or get out of hand early depending on how UNE shoots the ball. I'm leaning towards the latter as I feel that the defensive mindset of the RWU team in combination with some talented offensive players that love to get out/run with the ball and finish at the rim is just too much for a UNE team without Coveney to overcome. Prediction: RWU 98 UNE 80

Offline AllStar

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Re: Commonwealth Coast Conference
« Reply #4681 on: February 21, 2018, 02:01:40 am »

Offline D3ball1845

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Re: Commonwealth Coast Conference
« Reply #4682 on: February 21, 2018, 11:02:17 am »
And just like that the quarterfinals of the CCC tournament are finished. Surprisingly, I called all the games correctly (maybe not the scores so much) and there were no upsets in the first round this year. #1 Nichols got an all around great team effort  and took care of #8 WNE in a blowout 100-68 victory. #2 Gordon had a similar team effort in a 14 point win over #7 Salve Regina. Rodney Morton and Isaiah Bowman did their best to keep Salve in the game but in the end they couldn't keep up with Gordon's balanced attack. #3 Endicott took care of #6 Wentworth in a 93-84 victory. Endicott had two players with over 20 points (McDevitt and Brown) and received solid bench play in the victory. Shoutout to senior Jason Ganley of WIT for his 34 point and 8 rebound effort in his final game. In the final quarterfinal game, #4 Roger Williams beat a determined #5 UNE team in a final score of 88-81. RWU senior Nick Marini scored his 100th point in the victory so a big congrats to him! Also, you have to tip your hat to RWU junior, Austin Coene, who finished the game with 35 points and 13 rebounds as he willed the RWU team to victory. I was at the game last night and every time RWU started to pull away UNE would come roaring back and make it a 5-6 point game. We now turn to the semifinal matchups that will be played tomorrow. A sneak peak to my predictions....we will have two upsets on our hands in the semifinals  :o

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: Commonwealth Coast Conference
« Reply #4683 on: February 21, 2018, 02:40:03 pm »
The NCAA men's basketball regional advisory committees released their third set of rankings, and as expected, the Atlantic Region was among those getting shuffled. Here's the full list: http://www.d3hoops.com/notables/2018/02/men-regional-rankings-third

Host of Hoopsville. USBWA Executive Board member. Broadcast Director, play-by-play and analyst for D3sports.com. Follow me on Twitter: @davemchugh or @d3hoopsville.

Offline D3ball1845

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Re: Commonwealth Coast Conference
« Reply #4684 on: February 22, 2018, 03:11:59 am »
The semifinals of the CCC Tournament will both be played tomorrow at 7:00 PM. And boy oh boy do we have some interesting matchups for the semifinals. My game assessments and predictions can be seen below:

#1 Nichols vs. #4 Roger Williams University (RWU), 7:00 PM

This matchup features a surging and nationally ranked Nichols team against a defensive-minded yet talented RWU squad. Nichols took both games in the regular season, the most recent of which was an 82-79 thriller at home, where RWU was actually in control of the tempo and game for a majority of the time. In my time as a fan of RWU (this will be the third year), I think Nichols is 6-0 against RWU. RWU has had a difficult time handling the talented backcourt of Nichols and their pick and roll/hand-off based offense that also thrives off of transition opportunities. In this one we will see Austin Coene of RWU and Marcos Echevarria of Nichols face off, who in my opinion are the two best players in the conference. Coene has thrived against Nichols this year, averaging 23 ppg, 7.5 rbpg, 5.5 apg, and 1.5 spg in both games. On the other side, Echevarria has averaged 23.5 ppg, 4.5 rbpg, 5.5 apg, 1 spg in his two bouts against RWU. RWU was able to control the pace of the last game against Nichols by limiting their transition opportunities, taking smart shots, and playing good team defense. What killed them was their free throws as they shot an ugly 8-19 from the line while Nichols shot 23-30, a huge 15 point difference. I think RWU has a real chance to pull off the upset tomorrow. To do so, they have to limit transition and second chance opportunities for Nichols. Rebounding has been RWUs Achille's heel all season and now that Nichols has two big men who get 20+ minutes of playing time, they have to make hitting the glass a priority. In both games against Nichols this year they have had an average -3.5 rebounding margin. Nichols' backcourt is arguably one of the best in the country as the trio of Echevarria, Bruton, and Dion, all of whom can penetrate and shoot the 3, are a nightmare to defend. RWU has to communicate and resist playing help defense on drives if they want to avoid open Nichols 3PA. Another key factor for RWU is getting Nichols' big men in foul trouble early and keeping their own center, Conor O'Brien, out of foul trouble himself. To pull off the upset away RWU is going to need stellar games from their All-CCC guards Coene and Marini, and a 10-15 point game from one or two of their role players, such as Jaylen Jennings, Rich Pugliese, or J.J. Phofl. I think that RWU is going to come out aggressive with a lot of energy which will surprise the confident Nichols team. While I'm certainly biased, I have a feeling that RWU is going to escape Dudley, MA with a win and a chance at a CCC championship on Saturday.
Prediction: RWU 85 Nichols 81

#2 Gordon vs. #3 Endicott, 7:00 PM

Gordon swept Endicott this season, albeit it took overtime to achieve victory in both games. This is a very evenly matched game and is almost a toss up. Here, I feel like the saying "you can't beat a team three times in one season" will come into play. The game is essentially a toss up. While Gordon has the home court advantage, I have this gut feeling that Endicott is going to be able to pull this one off. If they are to do so, they have to find a way to stop Gordon's Eric Demers and Garisson Duvivier. Demers has averaged 29 ppg in the two games against Endicott this season. Even more impressive, Duvivier has averaged 25 ppg and 15.5 rbpg in Gordon's two wins against Endicott. It really comes down to getting Duvivier in foul trouble early and forcing Demers to take bad shots. Endicott will likely need a 30+ point effort from their sophomore phenom, Keith Brown, who has averaged 25 ppg against Gordon this year. I think Endicott has grown more as a team than Gordon has throughout the year. The rebounding has played a major role as well, as Gordon has averaged an astonishing +11.5 rebound margin against Endicott this year. Forwards Nick Thibeault and Matt McDevitt will have their hands full on the glass and will really have to make an impact on the boards and supporting Brown in scoring. It will be interesting to see the fan base tomorrow as Gordon and Endicott are just a few miles apart from each other. I expect to see a packed house at Gordon with some solid support for the Endicott Gulls in attendance. Keith Brown has been relatively quiet in his last several games and I can see him taking matters into his own hands tomorrow night and dropping 40+ points. I think we are going to see a rematch of the 2016 CCC Championship with RWU facing the Endicott Gulls in Beverly, MA on Saturday.
Prediction: Endicott 89 Gordon 86

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Re: Commonwealth Coast Conference
« Reply #4685 on: February 23, 2018, 12:15:43 am »

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Re: Commonwealth Coast Conference
« Reply #4686 on: February 25, 2018, 12:13:05 am »
Final tournament results:

Offline Mike Rejniak

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Re: Commonwealth Coast Conference
« Reply #4687 on: March 12, 2018, 11:21:42 am »
​Dear D3 Faithful ;D,
     I have read many of your posts throughout the years and even met some of you in person, but for those who I havenít met, let me introduce myself: my name is Michael Rejniak and I have spent over 14 years coaching Division 3 basketball and love what our division has done and continues to do for  the sport of basketball. One of the greatest things about Division 3 basketball is the brotherhood that we all have with one another (coaches and players alike). My wish is to showcase the talents of D3 on a national stage in The Basketball Tournament (TBT).  You may have heard me speak about this on the Hoopsville Marathon with Dave McHugh of D3hoops.com (at the 6:11 mark). The TBT is a national tournament that is televised in July/August on ESPN after the NBA season is over. My goal is to put forth an all-star D3 team (current players are ineligible) and have them compete in this tournament to take on Former D1 / semi-pro's to prove that D3 deserves the same respect as other NCAA divisions. The team is mostly complete with former student-athletes from all over the country competing. Once the roster is complete we will be sure to release it through d3hoops. Former Babson College National Champion Matthew Droney '17 will also be assisting me on this journey.

How YOU can help our former elite D3 basketball players

While the end prize of this tournament is a monetary prize, being a D3-lifer, the goal is not the money (we all know that's not why we get into coaching), the goal is to bring an end to the stigma of Division 3 basketball, an awareness of how talented our student-athletes are and that we can compete (and win) against the best. We do need to raise funds for an entry fee, travel, meal and housing expenses for the athletes. In order to do this, we are conducting a crowd-funding campaign through GoFundMe to help make this a reality. These athletes need your support! Just think -- if every Division 3 school donated just $10, we will have raised over $4,000!!!! The link to the GoFundMe Page is below and please SPREAD THE WORD and email me with any questions/concerns at WeAreD3TBT@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your support and Dave and I look forward to this "D3 Dream Team" taking the court this summer.-Mike Rejniak

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