Author Topic: MBB: NESCAC  (Read 4321186 times)

Offline SpringSt7

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26880 on: November 13, 2019, 08:07:25 pm »
Are we beginning to overrate these kids coming from top prep powerhouses a little bit? I only say this because the only guy in the league right now or even most recently who came from a serious high school program and has stood out is Grant Robinson coming from New Hampton. David Reynolds is the only NMH guy who's really made some noise, is there anyone else I'm missing?

Offline nescac1

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26881 on: November 14, 2019, 10:10:09 am »
In general, not very many guys from NEPSAC AAA programs seem to end up in NESCAC.  But those that do seem to generally end up being at least solid players.  In recent years, besides the two you mentioned:

Kevin O'Brien, Nick Seretta, Matt Hanna, Will Brady, Jack Mackey ... I guess it depends on  how you define "making some noise."  What's interesting is that all those guys are guards, and generally not explosively athletic guards at that (Robinson being the outlier).  Maguire is the rare AAA-level big guy going to NESCAC.  He could end up being a steal since he was buried behind big time recruits, or perhaps there is a reason more D1 schools weren't all over him.  Time will tell ... but Maguire and David Elien and Williams seem to have similar profiles, high upside big guys with size and athleticism combos rarely seen in NESCAC, who probably will need some time to grow their games, and who have a wide range of potential outcomes as upperclassmen.  Sort of like Joe Schneider at Amherst, who ended being a very strong contributor but not the nationally elite, dominant center that it seemed like he might grow into. 

My wholly uninformed guess is that Maguire won't see a lot of time this year, and that Amherst will either start with Sellew at the five or play Mike Schretter there if they go big.  Maguire may see spot minutes, but likely will play more later in his time at Amherst.  But if Amherst wants to play its best five guys together, Sellew will need to play center. 

Offline SpringSt7

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26882 on: November 14, 2019, 07:36:06 pm »
With the season just under 24 hours away now, here's what I have:

Player of the Year: Jack Farrell, Middlebury
Coach of the Year: Kevin App, Williams
Defensive Player of the Year: Fru Che, Amherst
Freshman of the Year, Cole Prowitt-Smith, Williams

First Team:
Jack Farrell (POY)
Grant Robinson, Amherst
Kena Gilmour, Hamilton
Matt Karpowicz, Williams
Sam Jefferson, Colby

Second Team:
Eric Savage, Tufts
Donald Jorden, Trinity
Fru Che, Amherst
David Reynolds, Bowdoin
Matt Folger, Middlebury

NESCAC Champion: Middlebury

NCAA Bids: Middlebury, Amherst, Williams, Hamilton

Lastly, as presently constructed, I think all 4 teams listed are capable of playing into the second weekend, but I think for the third year in a row there will not be NESCAC representation in the Final Four. Middlebury and Amherst are the clear top two teams in the league but I need to see their secondary pieces fit better--for Middlebury, guys other than Farrell capable of taking their guy off the dribble and finishing at the rim, and for Amherst, more consistent shooting and not having to work so hard for every score.

Offline JEFFFAN

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26883 on: November 14, 2019, 08:52:42 pm »

Kevin App will definitely win coach of the year if he gets the Ephs an NCAA bid with all that they have lost!

Offline amh63

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26884 on: November 15, 2019, 07:34:14 am »
Wow!  Some interesting posts here.  Lots of hopes and guesses so early in the season, IMO. 
Me, will be following Amherst’s soccer teams in the post season....while Amherst’s highly ranked basketball teams “sort” themselves out in the early part of the non Nescac games.
Basketball viewing?  Been watching D1 games...ACC men games and Big East women games...UConn is returning to the Big East conference!
Top coaches working hard with young players at Duke and UConn.
D3 games?  Springfield... ECSU....and St. Joe of Ct are my early viewing preferences.  After the soccer Final 4...in Dec. 6,  Nescac teams viewing become interesting.  Amherst games in Naples Florida against tough teams will be a watch.  Thoughts of going South to watch those games live.

Offline Colby Hoops

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26885 on: November 15, 2019, 08:52:05 am »
A lot of optimism on Williams! I'm not so sure it's going to be an easy adjustment losing Casey, Heskett and Scadlock (not to mention Soto and Kempton who were important defensive pieces). Defense seems like an obvious area of concern. Williams was very good defensively last year, and playing a lot of young guys (even if they seemingly very talented young players!) isn't always a recipe for defensive success.

Given the talent, Williams has a high ceiling, but I'm with JEFFFAN -- if Williams gets an NCAA bid, that will be one heck of a coaching job by App.

Offline middhoops

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26886 on: November 15, 2019, 09:09:39 am »
Williams lost a lot to graduation, for sure.
But dayam, did they reload!
If coach App plays these young (and very tall) freshmen early, allows them to take some lumps; by February we may all be surprised how good they become.
They have better raw athletes than played last year, as Heskett and Scadlock never appeared fully healthy. 
The Williams class of '23 may end up as good as their class of '19.  I'll be watching them anytime my guys aren't playing.

Colby Hoops is right.  Their defense could be ragged early.  Williams might drop a stinker or two in the preseason.
By tourney time, I'm betting they'll have figured it out.

Speaking of Colby, I'm going to be fascinated to see if last year's style of play for the Mules will play as well or better this season, now that everyone has played against their wild three point shooting spread.  No one is more fun to watch than Colby when they're on a run.

Offline Cards Fan

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26887 on: November 15, 2019, 09:36:45 am »
Wesleyan's freshman and sophomore classes will potentially make or break their season.

There is a lack of proven talent in the senior class. Dixon has size, but limited exposure to NESCAC play, Mcdonald and Alberding have essentially been non factors for 3 seasons of their careers. Look for a breakout season for one of those three.

Jordan James' finishing ability is off the charts, and Antone Walker possesses plenty of talent to take over games, but sometimes becomes wild in the closing stages of games. Loss of Hutcherson is unbearable.

This season could prove rough for the Cardinals, or it could be a surprise. Regardless, I look forward to it, just like any other season of basketball, but my fingers are crossed heading into opening night.

Offline nescac1

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26888 on: November 15, 2019, 09:37:16 am »
I, too, think three is a bit optimistic on Williams ... although I think it's possible.  But so is seventh ... I kind of went with the middle of where they could reasonably project.

1. Amherst - I have Amherst and Midd dead even, I like Midd better 1-7, but Amherst much better 8-11, and Amherst gets Midd at home.  If Amherst plays Chery, Allen, Che, and Robinson together as starters, that would be the best perimeter quartet of defenders NESCAC has seen in many years.  The x-factor is Tim McCarthy, if he can finally stay healthy and turn into a big-time perimeter scoring threat, suddenly Amherst becomes very difficult to guard.  Will Phelan also a guy to watch. 

2. Middlebury - love their top seven, and Eastman sounds like precisely the guy they needed, a physical, two-way wing.  Only flaw seems like lack of depth up front, but as long as they stay healthy, they are a Final Four contender.  Sobel, Folger and Eastman together could stymie a lot of frontcourts this year. 

3. Colby - I'm probably the highest guy on Colby this year.  They have had good squads on paper before that fall JUST short of the NCAAs.  I think this is their year.  The return of Weiner to me is huge as he can be a one-man wrecking crew on D and the boards, and he is also a good passer from the interior on offense.  This team has so much experience, including several guys on the bench who have been starters or played big minutes throughout their careers.  Built for modern basketball with all those shooters.  And Jefferson continues to be an underappreciated player.

4. Tufts - probably as much talent as Midd, but will they defend hard?  Rodgers is the second-best post scorer in the league after Karp, like Karp, stellar footwork for his size.  The guard group should be much stronger after a year of taking some lumps.  Morris, maybe the best pure shooter in NESCAC.  Savage can do a bit of everything.  Plus add another strong frosh class.  Should be an NCAA team, but some other talented Tufts squads have fallen short.

5. Williams -- the three seniors should be ready to step up after making big contributions in the NCAA run last year, but Williams has SO many question.  It will be tough to tell just how good they can be until around mid-January.  May take some lumps early with 6-7 guys basically new to to the rotation.  But the team is again enormous, the talent is there and the future seems bright. 

6. Hamilton -- Gilmour is clearly the MVP of the league, despite struggling inexplicably down the stretch late last season.  Conn, Lutz, and Denloye are not stars but are solid, dependable vets in the backcourt.  Hamilton needs 1-2 guys to take a huge leap forward up front.  Kendall and especially Osarenren seem like good candidates to do so.  But those four senior starters they lost were really good.  And unclear who can defend the rim and board for this team.

7. Trinity -- I think they could easily finish in the top four, and this feels a bit low to me, but can't figure out where else to slot them.  The loss of Whitt to injury hurts, as that leaves a lot of pressure to Donald Jorden (who is great) inside.  Padmore, Pordyczk, Bell and Seretta are a cryptic group of guys.  Each can look fantastic at times, but can also struggle to hit shots at times.  Trinity needs all four to be more consistent as seniors, but if they are, the talent is there to go far.  Seem like a strong group of frosh perimeter guys behind them to really push them.   As always, will defend the heck out of the ball but go cold on O for stretches. 

8. Wesleyan -- Hutcherson, obviously a massive loss.  But maybe some Ewing theory?  Antone Walker is more of a scorer than a true point.  Who distributes the ball?  Plenty of talent up front and Dezonie and Peek should be very good players on the wing, both I think were limited a bit by injuries as frosh.  Big and physical, never fun to play, but could look ugly on offense at times. 

Honestly, almost ANY order 3-8 would not surprise me.  Those teams will all likely win some surprises and lose some head scratchers. 

9. Bates -- seem to have brought in a lot of size the last few years (including a 6'8 frosh from Senegal this year), but how much quality?  Lynch is a tough guy to replace as he was the only consistent interior presence.  Spellman is the most fun player in New England who is never talked about.  Coyne can shoot from 30.  Snoddy looked good as a frosh.  Seem to have an intriguing frosh class, at least (Iwowo, Sarr, Baxter).  Can anyone create a shot besides Spellman, though?

10. Bowdoin -- looks like a tough year for the P'Bears.  Rucker can't just be an efficient guy anymore, needs to score a ton for them.  He, Grad, and Reynolds are a nice trio.  But who else puts up big points for this team? 

11. Conn -- covered them a few posts back.  Will be awful this year.  But I think they may compete in more games than they did last season.  A team to watch in future seasons, I think the new coach may finally right the ship.  But it's a LONG road back. 

All-league

1st: Gilmour (POY), Farrell, Robinson, Jefferson, Folger
2nd: Karp, Che, Reynolds, Jorden, Savage
3rd: Sellew, Spencer Spivy, Spellman, Morris, Dan Draffan

All-defense: Che (POY), Allen, Jovan Jones, Padmore, Sobel, Weiner (I realize that's six, but those six dudes all should be right there)

All-rookie: Cole Prowitt Smith (ROY), Casey McLaren, Ben McPherron, Nkosi Cooper, CJ Redd

Offline Colby Hoops

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26889 on: November 15, 2019, 11:45:12 am »
I keep oscillating on Colby. On one hand, they return everyone from a team that was one win short of the NCAAs, plus they add Weiner who shores up their biggest need on the interior. If all breaks right, I think they have the best chance to win the league after Midd/Amherst. They are talented, deep, can shoot it ridiculously well, and should improve defensively with Weiner. How much they improve defensively will be a big factor in how good they are -- outside of Weiner, Tyson and Ty Williams, there aren't a lot of impact defensive players.

I'm not concerned by the number of threes they take. Given the percentage they make, that's smart, modern basketball. What I am concerned about is that they don't get easy baskets in the halfcourt. Strahorn has been smart about pushing the tempo and giving everyone the green light to mitigate that issue, but if Colby wants to be elite, they need to get to the hoop better in the halfcourt. 

A lot of times last year, it felt like Colby blitzed an opponent with tempo and shooting for a couple of spurts and then hung on the rest of the game. To be an elite team, they'll need to be better in situations when the game slows down. I think Hanna and Tucker should be improved in this area as juniors, and I'd like to see Tyson stretch himself as a slasher in year two. As Nescac1 points out, Weiner is a very good facilitator in the high post and should help on that front.

Finally, I think it's critical that Colby shares the ball as well as they did last year. After a lot of players are coming off great offensive seasons, it's natural to come into a year expecting to take another leap, score more points, expand your game, etc. The Mules are at their best when the ball is moving quickly, and an offense like this relies on good ball movement.

Ready for a fun season, and hoping the Mules can make the NCAAs for the first-time in far too long.

Offline Bucket

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26890 on: November 15, 2019, 01:01:09 pm »
For folks who enjoyed/appreciated the video essay on Russ Reilly posted earlier in the fall, you might be interested in the companion longform story just published in the new issue of Middlebury Magazine:

http://middleburymagazine.com/features/the-voice-of-reilly-2/

Very much looking forward to the season tipping off in Pepin this evening. I'm sure there will be moments—tonight and throughout the year—when I glance at the bench expecting to see Russ, and he won't be there. But at the same time, I know his spirit will be all over the gym.

Offline P'bearfan

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26891 on: November 15, 2019, 04:37:10 pm »
Good luck to the Polar Bears as the start the season this evening against Framingham State!  Many questions to be answered.  I'm curious to see how much the younger players will be able to contribute.

GoUBears!!

Offline maineman

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26892 on: November 15, 2019, 05:12:40 pm »
For folks who enjoyed/appreciated the video essay on Russ Reilly posted earlier in the fall, you might be interested in the companion longform story just published in the new issue of Middlebury Magazine:

http://middleburymagazine.com/features/the-voice-of-reilly-2/

Very much looking forward to the season tipping off in Pepin this evening. I'm sure there will be moments—tonight and throughout the year—when I glance at the bench expecting to see Russ, and he won't be there. But at the same time, I know his spirit will be all over the gym.
It was a shock not having him announce the football games.  It will be an earthquake not having him a part of the basketball team.

Offline nescac1

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26893 on: November 15, 2019, 07:45:32 pm »
The new look Ephs, after a very rocky start (down 22-13 12 minutes into the game, and looked basically terrible to start) recover to cruise to a  70-51 win.  The Ephs sure missed Heskett and  Casey from outside and the line, as they could not throw the ball in the ocean tonight (4-26 from 3, 10-24 from the line), but hopefully much of that is just first game jitters.  Some guys who can shoot (especially Spencer Spivy) were just way, way off.  The good news is that this Eph team is gonna be scrappy as heck on defense, a very feisty, aggressive bunch, and they did great scoring off turnovers in transition.

Karp, as expected, is the first option, as he rallied (after a rocky start himself) for a 14-11.  Looks like he is better able to play for longer stretches than in the past, and he will be needed.  Two guys played behind him at center, much-improved junior Dan Kacmarek and frosh Nate Karren, who looks like a future impact player.  Although not an athlete like Karp, he's tall, bulky, and seems to have great hands, a crafty player inside and great passer from the high post.  I expect we will see a lot more of him as the season goes along.  He is a future starter at center for sure.

Jovan Jones was the player of the game for Williams and looks much improved.  He reminds me a bit of a D3 version of Andre Iguodala, with his strength, size, positioning and very quick hands, he is a menace defensively.   Not a great shooter but finds ways to score the ball.  He looks SO much better than last season.  He finished with a 13-6-3 with 5 steals and 1 block.  Great game for him.  Henry Feinberg looks much like last season, a guy who makes gritty plays on both ends, and it does seem like he will get a few more chances to score this year.  Spencer Spivy will clearly play a ton of minutes.  Even though he was way off from deep all game (something I don't think will happen in that many games), he contributed in other ways, which was great to see.  He looks like he may have even grown a bit from last year, and had two impressive blocks.  Finished with a 10-7 despite the rough shooting day. 

The fifth spot in the lineup, and perimeter guys off the bench, seems like very much a work in progress.  Ryan Moon, Michael Myers, Mickey Babek, Cole Prowitt Smith and Alex Stoddard all played in the rotation.  I imagine at least one, maybe two, of those guys eventually falls out.  Each does different things.  Babek brings size and veteran savvy, Myers (a surprise starter at guard) is a scrapper, a real hustle player, Moon a pure point guard and the best ball-handler.  Moon looks much more confident than last season and seems like he will be a defensive pest.  Highly-regarded recruit Prowitt-Smith had a quiet debut with only two points, but he did show off his eye-popping athleticism on a few plays, and did manage to stage 5 rebounds.  Seemed a bit tentative at first, no big surprise, but I think when all is said and done he will get the most minutes at guard other than Spivy.  Stoddard is clearly a shooter and he also looks comfortable putting the ball on the floor, but he is thin as a rail.  If not this year, he will certainly be a player in the future. 

Overall, the Ephs showed they have talent but will need to grow a LOT and fast to keep winning as the competition improves.  I can't imagine the three point and foul shooting will stay like this, but the question is will they end up being a strength in the long run?  I figure Spivy will shoot it better, but the rest of the team, I'm less certain about.  Still, this team should be fun to watch, as I think it's the grittiest group of players the Ephs have had together in some time. 
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 07:38:45 am by nescac1 »

Offline nescacfaninbos

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26894 on: November 15, 2019, 08:08:34 pm »
Was able to watch from about the 10 minute mark of the first half until about the same in the second half. From what I saw you nailed the analysis nescac1. Jovan Jones was very impressive - he made two steals towards the end of the first half that led to easy buckets that changed the momentum of the game and allowed the Ephs to go in up 4 at half.  Karp was impressive as well as he was able to impose his will down low.