Author Topic: MBB: NESCAC  (Read 2912744 times)

Offline P'bearfan

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24045 on: October 11, 2017, 04:30:06 pm »
Always love a reference to box-out-gate! 

"Official" practice starts in less than three weeks, and the season's first games are a little over a month away.  It seems like it's been a quiet offseason -- any word on frosh/transfers to watch?  The board has been curiously devoid of tales of new, potential high-impact players to keep an eye on ...

Last year NESCAC got three teams into the Elite 8, and two more into the tourney.  After all the extensive losses across the board to graduation, repeating that performance would likely be a pretty big surprise.  Conn College, Trinity, Bates, and Colby all look to be in pretty rough shape.   I feel fairly confident that barring a massive infusion of talent, only one of those four teams makes the NESCAC tourney.  Last year's three elite eight teams, Midd, Williams and Tufts, all return some really strong talent but also suffer some very big losses (especially Midd).  All look like potential NCAA teams, barring bad injury luck, but whether they can repeast last year's level of success is anyone's guess.  Hamilton, Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Amherst look like the biggest question marks and I think are closely grouped at this point ... all look like NESCAC tourney teams, and all have a pretty big upside/downside differential.  Amherst is obviously the biggest unknown with SO many guys leaving, but a lot of inexperienced, but highly-regarded, players available to fill in the holes ... the team chemistry can only improve from last year, but a lot of guys will be learning on the job.  I could see the Jeffs as a team that struggles early and peaks in the last part of the season.  A finish anywhere between 2 and 7 in the league by the FKA Jeffs would not surprise me.

Oh, that's good!  +K

Offline Ubuntu

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24046 on: October 14, 2017, 08:16:15 am »
I'm aware that the NESCAC starts later than the other d3 leagues, and clearly it hasn't hurt there chances late in the season.  Are the kids working out now?  Do they get to practice just without coaches?
And can coaches/interested people watch the workouts?  Is that how you know the good new players etc?

Offline P'bearfan

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24047 on: October 16, 2017, 06:50:19 am »
I'm aware that the NESCAC starts later than the other d3 leagues, and clearly it hasn't hurt there chances late in the season.  Are the kids working out now?  Do they get to practice just without coaches?
And can coaches/interested people watch the workouts?  Is that how you know the good new players etc?

Captains typically lead both weightlifting and pick up sessions in the pre-season.  No coaches are in the weight room or gym during this time.

Offline nescac1

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24048 on: October 16, 2017, 10:25:06 am »
Schedules are out.  Here are my top ten most intriguing non-conference match-ups to watch this year:

1. Tufts-Wash U. (anticipated) (these two could potentially meet in the championship game of a season-opening tourney, Wash U. looks like a national title contender this year, they are very experienced and absolutely massive up front, that will be an early test for what looks like a very small, but offensively explosive, Tufts squad that will need to play at a really fast tempo to beat a bigger squad like Wash U.). 

2. Middlebury-Swarthmore (it's very rare that NESCAC teams play liberal arts rival Swarthmore, and Swarthmore is likely to start the season as a top 10-15 type team -- two well-coached, very balanced teams, and Jack Daly trying to slow down likely pre-season all-American guard Cam Wiley should be fun)

3. Amherst-Babson (these games often seem to be classics, and this year's early-season game will be fascinating particularly because both teams have massive turnover in personnel from last season, but both have loads of unproven / new talent)

4. Wesleyan-Nichols (Nichols looks like the cream of the crop of New England outside the power three conferences.  They have a very quick, very talented backcourt that could give Wesleyan's own quick and talented guards a lot of trouble.  Should be a fun game and Nichols will be looking to make a statement against a top-tier NESCAC squad). 

5. Middlebury-Albertus Magnus (if Midd plays as fast as it played last season, these two teams could combine for more than 200 points.  Albertus always has a few guys who are elite individual talents, but tends to struggle vs. teams as disciplined as Midd). 

6. Tufts-Claremont (Claremont, like Swarthmore, is an another elite liberal arts squad which competes with NESCAC teams for recruits, but who NESCAC squads almost never play -- they will have three key players next year who are Philips Exeter grads -- and Claremont will very likely be a top-20 caliber team this season)

7. Williams-Springfield (Williams has a weaker-than-usual non-conference schedule this year, but regional rival Springfield should pose a big challenge.  The Pride return everyone from a very young team, including national frosh of the year Jake Ross, who might be the best returning player in New England now that Joey Flannery has (finally) graduated.  Don't be surprised if Springfield knocks Babson off its NEWMAC perch this year). 

8. Bowdoin-Babson (Bowdoin showed they could compete with top-notch teams last year, handily beating Final Four-bound Williams and nearly toppling future titlest Babson on the road.  But Bowdoin also had some pretty bad/cryptic losses.  A much more experienced Bowdoin team will look to make an early statement vs. the defending champs).   

9. Middlebury-Keene State (regional rivals, and Keene was a Sweet 16 squad last year.  Keene loses a lot but they have a great coach and one of the best returning players in the region in Ty Nichols). 

10. Hamilton-SUNY Oswego (with all of its key players returning, Hamilton looks primed to be an NCAA tourney team this year, but they start the season with a potentially tough test vs. SUNY Oswego, last year's SUNYAC champion.  Even though SUNYAC graduates its all-American Sortino, they still have enough talent to pose a big challenge in a season-opener, which are often tricky for NESCAC squads after only two weeks of practice). 

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24049 on: October 16, 2017, 10:28:57 am »
I'm aware that the NESCAC starts later than the other d3 leagues, and clearly it hasn't hurt there chances late in the season.  Are the kids working out now?  Do they get to practice just without coaches?
And can coaches/interested people watch the workouts?  Is that how you know the good new players etc?

Captains typically lead both weightlifting and pick up sessions in the pre-season.  No coaches are in the weight room or gym during this time.

Feel free to follow the UWSP year-plus-long investigation into why coaches have to be careful about these things.

For the record, NESCAC now the only ones (though, there is a question about the MWC) that doesn't start on October 15 with practices. Personally, I would like to see a week taken from pre-season and added to the start of the academic year to help with the start of the new year... but I digress. :)
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 middhoops

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24050 on: October 16, 2017, 12:55:53 pm »
nescac1, my friend, I sincerely hope you understand the irony the rest of us feel when you say WashU is "massive up front".
What do you think the Ephs look like to the rest of us?

Great rundown of match ups.  Thanks.

Offline Canvas Hightops

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24051 on: October 16, 2017, 01:00:21 pm »
From nescac1 pres-season highlights:  "Hamilton looks primed to be an NCAA tourney team this year"

How cool would that be?  Love the idea, can you go deeper into the reasons you think the Continentals will make such a big step up?

Any other NESCAC teams beyond the annual entrants have a chance?

Offline amh63

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24052 on: October 16, 2017, 01:11:16 pm »
Nescac1.... where did you see the Amherst’s schedule!  Just checked the Amherst website and it referred me again to last year’s one...and reminded me of that “lost season”.  Went to the Midd website to find out where the Midd vs Amherst game will be played. 

Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24053 on: October 16, 2017, 01:31:11 pm »
Publisher. Questions? Check our FAQ for D3f, D3h.
Let's discuss (sports) in a positive way, sometimes kidding each other with no disrespect.

Offline nescac1

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24054 on: October 16, 2017, 01:38:36 pm »
Middhoops, fair enough -- the top five guys in the Eph frontcourt go 6'10, 6'7, 6'9, 6'8, 6'8, with 6'5, 6'8, 6'8 and 6'9 guys fighting for any minutes remaining, so certainly the Ephs won't lack for size this year!  (And given that none of them are seniors, opposing frontcourts will have some match-up headaches for quite awhile). 

amh63, the Amherst schedule is on that team newsletter that you (or perhaps another Amherst fan) linked to awhile back.

As for Hamilton, it's a combo of things that leads me to think they have a VERY good shot of being an NCAA team this year, if they stay healthy.  First, they benefit from being in the very weak East region.  Second, NESCAC as a whole looks a bit down this year ... if you look at the teams that finished ahead of them, all seven lost at LEAST one player who has been on an at least one all-NESCAC team, and some of them (Middlebury, Tufts) lost two.  I doubt five NESCAC teams make the tourney again, but it's easy to imagine 3-4 squeezing in, and Hamilton to me looks at worst like the sixth best team in the league, and maybe as good as the second or third best.  If I had to guess, I see them finishing between 3-5 in the league.

More specifically, I like their coach.  They've got a solid veteran post in Groll in a year when a lot of teams are really green inside.  Dwyer is a savvy senior point guard in a year, again, when loads of teams who finished ahead of them are replacing PG mainstays (Wesleyan, Tufts, Amherst, Midd, Trinity).  I also like teams with a seasoned vet leading from the point.  If Dwyer could improve his outside shot just a bit (and maybe that's a pipe dream) he would be dynamite.  And Hamilton looks absolutely loaded on the wing -- Grassey, Hoffmann, and Gilmour are all really talented guys who are only improving, and they have some well-regarded incoming frosh and good role players to fill in behind them (in particular Doyle, who had an injury setback last year).  Gilmore in particular could make a big leap as a sophomore and is likely to see a lot more court time. 

To me, their weakness is lack of any sort of depth inside behind Groll, but since so many teams are likely to be playing a bit smaller this year, Hamilton will probably be able to survive with some of their natural wings playing up front. 

Offline grabtherim

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24055 on: October 16, 2017, 02:56:37 pm »
Midd with a home opening tournament for the first time in the years that I've been following the program.  Based on what I see and comments from you guys much more in the know than me, Midd and most NESCAC teams will be pretty well tested when league play starts.  Let's get going.           

Offline Bucket

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24056 on: October 16, 2017, 08:01:54 pm »
Perhaps the only aspect of Midd's schedule that has me as excited as the home tournament to open the season is the site of the post-holiday tournament: Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

Some of you may know that I grew up in Lex, where I played countless hours of ball on the Warner Center court and its more charming sibling across the hall, Doremus Gymnasium. Elder Bucket and Mrs Elder Bucket still reside in the house where I grew up, so three generations of Bucket will be on-hand in December to cheer on the Panthers (even though two of us will be cheering against our alma mater, and, in my, dad's case, his professional home for 30+ years).

Offline amh63

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24057 on: October 16, 2017, 08:53:31 pm »
Bucket.....that is a lot of buckets, my friend. :)
With the former HBC at W&L joing Coach Hixon’s staff, there are two W&L connected assist coaches.  In addition, the latest Amherst assistant football coach has strong W&L ties. 
Mmmm...something strange is going on in Amherst.

Offline PeterEscobar

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24058 on: October 17, 2017, 07:50:24 am »
I'm aware that the NESCAC starts later than the other d3 leagues, and clearly it hasn't hurt there chances late in the season.  Are the kids working out now?  Do they get to practice just without coaches?
And can coaches/interested people watch the workouts?  Is that how you know the good new players etc?

Captains typically lead both weightlifting and pick up sessions in the pre-season.  No coaches are in the weight room or gym during this time.
That's not true. Strength and conditioning coaches, even at Division III, are permitted to work with student-athletes year round. So there are coaches in the weight room and they typically lead the S&C workouts, not captains. At least at the schools that invest in athletics with those roles.

Offline nescac1

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #24059 on: October 17, 2017, 10:13:59 am »
With the former HBC at W&L joing Coach Hixon’s staff, there are two W&L connected assist coaches.  In addition, the latest Amherst assistant football coach has strong W&L ties. 
Mmmm...something strange is going on in Amherst.

The new W&L President is both a Williams alum and a long-time Williams professor.  Perhaps he is preparing for a hostile takeover?