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Messages - BaboNation

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1
Multi-Regional Topics / Re: Top 25 talk
« on: December 12, 2018, 01:32:21 pm »
Probably not a good time to mention that WPI is 8-0 and at an arithmetic progression of 5 points/week they could be 28-0 come tourney time and still be among ďOthers receiving votesĒ.

Never mind.  Iíll come back later.   :D

2
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: December 12, 2018, 12:53:22 pm »
Well, now Springfield is officially in a lot of trouble.  Beyond the obvious W-L numbers there are other stats that speak to a larger problem.
They are getting outrebounded by 3+/game, whereas they had an advantage of 2+ last year.
They are getting outscored by 6+/game, versus an advantage of 6+ last year (a 12 point swing).
They are shooting worse than their opponents by 5 pct, versus an advantage of nearly 4 pct last year (a 9 pct point swing).

Stats can be misleading, but hereís what I see.  The loss of McNulty and Eckles to graduation has not been offset through the growth of underclassmen and FY players.  Sandifer is still not ready for a starting role on a tournament team.  Durkin is too one-dimensional.

Last night the Pride played without Witter, but I doubt it would have made much of a difference in the outcome.  There isnít sufficient depth to the roster.

All of this places even greater pressure on Jake Ross to do more and more.  Last night it really showed, notwithstanding that Fru Che put up a pretty fine imitation of Michael Cooper stifling Larry Bird.

True enough,  the Pride didnít exactly tear up their non-conference schedule last year before finding their gear.  They will have to either win the NEWMAC or pretty nearly run the table from here on out to feel comfortable with tournament aspirations.  That wonít be easy.  The schedule shows a tough holiday tournament (at home) before starting the NEWMAC season against several improved squads.

3
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: December 07, 2018, 10:55:31 am »
I noticed Jurko missing from last nightís MIT box score.  Another injury?  Anybody know?

Forsythe still hasnít returned, and while MIT has other weapons, losing Jurko for an extended period would be a huge blow.

Though Jomard gets more press, for me, Jurko is the engine behind the Engineers, and he showed it last year during their late season/deep playoff run without Jomard.

4
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: December 06, 2018, 09:15:30 pm »
Go figure.

After suffering an embarrassing defeat at home to Brandeis (a good team nonetheless) Babo goes on the road without Jaworski and takes it to Amherst (one of the toughest places to win).

Babson got a lot of contributions from their depth but it starts with their best 2-way player Oftring.  It must be in the genes because his grandfather won an NCAA Championship at The Cross with some guy named Cousy.  I figured Oftring might have to play all 40 with Jaworski missing.  Sure enough, up 42-37, with the ball, Oftring went to the bench and didnít return until Amherst took over in a min-run with 3 Babson frosh on the floor.  Once Oftring returned and paired with Bradanese (early candidate for NEWMAC ROY) they sealed off the paint and the glass.
If you saw Bradanese in the MA state tourney he is one fearless, bad (in a good way) hombre.

As great a coach as Hixon is I wonder if he even considered pressing the Babson guards full-court when they went 8+ minutes without scoring in the first half.  Babson can be pressed to create careless turnovers (Johnson & Wales did it for 40 minutes, full-court).  Finally down double digits in the closing minutes they started to pressure with some positive results, but it was too late.

I was glad to see coach Brennan going with FY Welch down the stretch.  Heís better than Ulrickson. 

Robinson is a legitimate stud for Amherst, but they seem to lack a pure ball handling distributor that I come to expect from top-tier NESCAC teams.  Some of their 2nd-half TOs were unforced and atrocious.  Just passing to space without regard to floor spacing, distance, or defenders.

Babson has played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in New England to date and is 4-0 against the NESCAC.  And yet, the road may actually get TOUGHER.  10-4 might win the NEWMAC this year.


5
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: December 04, 2018, 10:08:00 pm »
NEWMAC 3 for 3 in games that should have been wins ďon paperĒ.

MIT, WPI, and Wheaton all took care of business.  Wheaton looks like they may be better than expected.

But can we get some poll love for WPI?   How do they still rate only 10 points when they have arguably 3 quality wins already (Magnus, Wm. Patterson, and Tufts)?  I donít want to disparage an historically elite team like Amherst, but they have 99 points, and vaulted into the top 25 after wins over Anna Maria and Emerson (which is likely to battle with Clark for the NEWMAC basement).  What is their top win?

Having said that Amherst is quite capable of putting a hurt on my Beavers Thursday and fully justifying their lofty perch.  But maybe voters should give WPI a closer look.

6
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: December 02, 2018, 07:44:10 pm »
Babson with an ugly loss at home to Brandeis in the championship of the ďBig 4 ChallengeĒ.

All credit to Brandeis in this one.  I only saw the first half (hate Sunday games head-to-head against the NFL).
Dice had quick hands and outstanding rotation help on defense to disrupt Babsonís inside game.  Johnson seemed to get frustrated early and Oftring had to fight through doubles to earn his points.  Alexis and Ulrickson finished a collective 0-11 with 8 TOs.  Worse, unable to find the range from outside, Brandeis swallowed them inside where they were out of options.
For the game, Babson had a 10/19 A/TO.  Again, credit to Brandeis.  These are the matchups that give the Beavers particular problems.

Brandeis is yet another NE team with at-large possibilities down the road.

For Babson, theyíll need a solid 3 days of practice, a return of Jaworski, and, and, and ... before their trip to Amherst.

7
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: December 01, 2018, 07:05:54 pm »
I see MIT has now played the last 5 games without Forsythe, last yearís NEWMAC frosh of the year.  Heís such a talent, I hope he returns soon.  Itís been a tough early start for injuries to key players in the NEWMAC.

8
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: December 01, 2018, 07:02:11 pm »
Another solid win for Babson over a NESCAC team (3 straight now - albeit all at home).

Garbage time came early in this one, quite unexpectedly I might add because Babson played without one of their big 3 (Jaworski).

Johnson had his best game as a Beaver ... late in the first half he hit a step-back 3, then stole a pass at the Tufts baseline and raced 90 feet for a thunderous dunk.  Heís got enough help this year that it allows him to show flashes of his full potential.

FY Bradanese continues to improve, particularly on the glass and finished with a double-double.

FY Welch has a beautifully pure jumper.  Heís only 5í11Ē, but he gets great lift and has a quick release with deep range.  Babson shot over 60% from 3, and it was higher before they emptied the bench.

Oftring had another great 2-way game.

For Tufts, Aronson showed a lot of talent and presented match-up problems.

There is no alpha dog like Flannery on this team, but they have legit 8 or 9 man depth without a cliff-type drop-off.

Next week Babson travels to Amherst in what should be an excellent measuring stick.  Hopefully Jaworski will be back for that game.


9
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: November 28, 2018, 09:15:39 pm »
Solid win for Babson over Bates. 

In the first half Bates couldnít find the range until very late.  I wish I could credit good Babson defense but there were a lot of open looks.  I started to think Batesí 3rd game in 4 nights might have played a part, but they certainly found their rhythm in the 2nd half.

The biggest difference in Babson from last year to this season is rebounding.  I think the final stats show Babson losing the battle by 1.  If so, thatís the first time this year theyíve been out rebounded.   Last year they were killed on both glasses and had a net disadvantage.  Tough to win that way.  The emergence of Oftring, continued improvement of Jaworski after a solid freshman year, and the significant minutes played by freshman Bradanese all give Johnson the help he didnít have last year.
Speaking of Johnson, he shows flashes of being very special and then can sometimes disappear for 10 minutes or more.  But man, he has an explosive first step.
Down the stretch in a tie game Babson got 10 straight from just the guys they wanted, in just the spaces they wanted the ball:  Johnson, Jaworski, and Oftring.  Old-school post-up basketball.

For Bates, Spellman was really smooth.  Heís a complete basketball player.  Even as a Babson fan I love to watch guys who can drive, stop on a dime, elevate, and drain jumper after jumper from just inside the key.  Those shots arenít easy, but he makes them look so.

If Babson can find success with a point guard theyíll be competitive in every game in the regular season.  They are using a 3-man rotation, but Iím partial to the freshman Welch from what Iíve seen.  I was really happy to see coach Brennan stick with Welch for the last 7 minutes of crunch time.

Last yearís team was a bit of an outlier with a huge senior classí departure and trying to find an identity with 3 transfers.

This team could challenge for 2nd/3rd in the NEWMAC.  A lot depends on Ross with Springfield.
Brennan will certainly have them ready for the NEWMAC season, with more tough out of conference games coming up and a big holiday tournament in D.C.

10
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: November 27, 2018, 07:17:44 pm »
A brutal loss for Springfield tonight at previously winless Becker.  These are the games that can make/break you on Selection Sunday (if it even comes to that).
The Pride sometimes looked befuddled on offense and couldnít stop Davis when it counted.

Itís gut-check time for Springfield now with a string of NESCAC opponents coming up.  Thereís too much talent on the roster for this kind of drop-off from the Ross injury.

11
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: November 27, 2018, 05:32:45 pm »
Very quiet on the Jake Ross injury. 

I saw a grimace and grab that said separated shoulder not dislocated. It was left shoulder and he is righty dominant

Regardless....shoulders are most difficult injuries to heal from.  They just never feel the same.

I felt the same about Ross' injury. I'm not worried, overall, because this is the best time of year to suffer an injury. No real pressure to come back right away.

While the top priority is certainly the welfare of the athlete I wouldnít say there isntít pressure being felt in the Springfield program.  With a healthy Ross they were almost certainly going to be invited to the tournament, even if they didnít automatically qualify as NEWMAC champion.
Now they likely NEED to win the NEWMAC to get a shot at the tournament (assuming a prolonged absence).

12
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: November 18, 2018, 06:59:30 pm »
Iím kinda glad I missed the finals of the Babson Invitational, where for the 2nd year in a row Keith Brown went nuts for Endicott, scoring 29 points in the 2nd half (38 for the game), enabling Endicott to overcome a 16-pt halftime deficit and win going away.

Memo to Babson:  Disinvite Endicott from the 2019 Invitational and replace them with Cupcake College.
Meanwhile Brown is still only a junior and has a major in Business Management.  Did we try to recruit this kid?

Suddenly next Sundayís game of Endicott (4-0) @ Middlebury becomes very intriguing.

13
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: November 16, 2018, 12:17:53 pm »
Great early season road win for Endicott. Both of these teams will pop up in the regional rankings as the season goes on. As Babo said, MIT will shoot it better on most nights and will win a lot of games.

Endicott coach Kevin Bettencourt has really found his niche from a recruiting standpoint and is one of the top up and coming coaches in the in Northeast as he continues to build upon a very impressive resume.

Peabody HS (MA) - all time leading scorer
Bucknell - three time All-Patriot League selection; led team to an upset over Kansas in NCAA tournament
Salem State - assistant
Bentley - assistant

Good info.  Absolutely hats off to the coaching staff for such strong recruiting in a VERY competitive market, particularly among D3 schools. 
On top of that, it hasnít been that long (relatively speaking) for men to be admitted to the college.  Wheaton in the NEWMAC had a similar strong burst in athletics after admitting men.

14
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: November 16, 2018, 06:54:30 am »
I suppose many folks will wake up stunned to hear that MIT got rolled up by Endicott 90-73, but this wasnít exactly UMBC over UVA.
No one should sleep on Endicott.  Per their own recap, they are now 3-2 against ranked opponents in their last 5 games.  I remember one of those vividly - last yearís blitz of Babson at Babson when Keith Brown went off for 45.
Brown is still someone who demands constant attention but Endicott has a deep roster that can fill it up.  (Special recognition should be given to Endicott for having an entire roster from New England).

For this game Endicott couldnít miss from 3-pt range.  I thought MIT provided a little too much extra help on Brown, leaving other shooters with too much space.  Just not MITís night.  Indicative of the Engineersí struggles was when Korb (85% at the line) got fouled attempting a 3-pointer and missed all 3 FTs.
I also thought the MIT offensive was too 3-pt centric from the start when they had a distinct size advantage.  Iíd rather have seen Jurko out top, looking to drive or feed Jomard or Roberts inside, or Forsythe and Hinkley on the wings.  But when you get down by 23 and the other team is raining 3ís itís hard to avoid the temptation to get points in a hurry.

MIT will be just fine.

15
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NEWMAC
« on: November 14, 2018, 05:29:45 pm »
Did the announcer make a mistake on the arm sling or was it possibly two injuries?

Iím pretty sure it was one injury.  He was taken out of the game within the first 5 minutes and never returned.  The audio/video were out until the 2nd half, so whatever additional information might have been available never made it to air.

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