Author Topic: MBB: NESCAC  (Read 3728380 times)

Offline nescac1

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26190 on: February 11, 2019, 10:44:52 am »
Regarding league honors, my top three candidates for POY, in order, are Gilmour (big favorite), Casey and Hutcherson.  Casey or Hutcherson could win the honor with a huge NESCAC tourney, but Gilmour has to be the favorite going into the NESCAC tourney. 

Those three are to me the only locks for first-team all-league.  After that, there is a pretty closely grouped bunch of very good players - Farrell, Folger, Robinson, Sellew, Jefferson, Simonds, Heskett, Scadlock, Farrell, Bonnner, Grassey, Labossier - contending for the next seven spots.  Right now, I'd probably say Farrell, Jefferson and Robinson are the other top contenders for first-team honors, and all are locks for one of the two all-NESCAC teams, but other guys could move up in the NESCAC tourney for sure. 

ROY is a bit of a morass as well.  Noah Tyson is probably the leading contender, but Alex Sobel and Devonn Allen can make cases due to their defensive impact for top-tier teams.  This is not a year when anyone has emerged in the first-year class who is a surefire future superstar (unlike, say, Hutcherson or Gilmour the past two years).  Probably the weakest group of frosh we've seen in terms of instant impact for some time in NESCAC.  I do like the potential of Osarenren on Hamilton as well, he could be really good down the line, but needs some time. 

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As for Williams, a lot has gone wrong down the stretch.  There is still plenty of talent on hand but there have been a variety of things that together have added up to being 19-5 instead where I think they should be, with 2-3 more wins. 

- The Ephs have played a bit tight I think overall, especially down the stretch in close games, as I think the pressure of not living up to the favorite status has taken a slight toll.  The losses to Hamilton, Amherst (the first one) and Bowdoin could all have been wins with just one more key shot made down the stretch.

- Injuries have certainly played a role - losing Marc Taylor was underrated as I thought he was the most effective bench player on offense and got hurt just as he was really coming on.  James Heskett has dealt with a variety of nagging injuries / illnesses for a lot of the season and has only very sporadically reached last season's POY level.  He just hasn't looked fully comfortable for several big stretches of the season.  Kyle Scadlock isn't quite the same level of explosive player he was before the ACL injury, he's not clearly limited in any way, but like Tim McCarthy on Amherst (who had the same injury at the same point of last season, I believe), he maybe really gotten all the way back - and it is especially tough to have to change positions coming back from an abbreviated off-season.  If Heskett can be 100 percent with a bit of rest heading into the post-season, that would be huge for Williams.  The Ephs need Heskett at his best to start turning around some of these close losses. 

- The team isn't really built in an ideal way for modern basketball.  Scadlock should be a 4, ideally, and has played out of position as a 2 because that's how Williams gets its five most talented guys on the floor.  As a consequence Williams only has two real floor spacers in the starting lineup and once Taylor got hurt, the spacing off the bench has been just about non-existent against the top teams.  The Ephs have had a lot of wide open corner 3s that haven't gone in in recent weeks.   
 
- What's most cryptic to me is the defense, which has been absolutely stellar for much of the season but has really fallen off.  Quicker teams have been able to expose the Ephs and Williams hasn't been closing out on outside shooters the way it did earlier in the year.  While very quick guards are always going to pose a challenge, if Williams is going to turn things around in the NESCAC tourney, it will need to do a better job using the tremendous length to limit three point looks for opposing teams. 

- One positive from the Hamilton game -- with Heskett out and Scadlock limited by foul trouble, some of the role players were able to step up and play well.  Jovan Jones made some really athletic plays on both ends of the floor, his outside shooting and finishing touch need work, but if he can improve that skill set he could be a very impactful player as he evolves, as physically, he already belongs out there.  Marcos Soto had a really good game against Hamilton, and Henry Feinberg finished the season with his best three game stretch of the year.  But ultimately, Williams need Heskett, Karp, Casey and Scadlock to all have really big games to beat the top opponents, or at the very least three of them together, and that hasn't happened for awhile.  If however the Ephs can get their stars locked in, and continue to get good contributions from the Jones/Soto/Babek/Feinberg group, this team has the potential to play a lot better, I still very much believe. 

Offline Colby Hoops

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26191 on: February 11, 2019, 11:12:54 am »
What's the consensus on league awards?

My thoughts -- which lineup pretty closely with Nescac1.

POY: Kena Gilmour
Probably a toss-up between Gilmour, Bobby Casey and Austin Hutcherson. Hutcherson has the best scoring numbers, but also was less consistent from a game to game perspective and struggled with turnovers at times. Casey is the best passer of the bunch and rebounds really well for a guard, but his shooting numbers tailed off a bit. Gilmour scored the most efficiently of the three and is really solid on the defensive end. Wouldn't argue against any of the three.

First team: Gilmour, Casey, Hutcherson, Jack Farrell, Grant Robinson

Farrell is a no-brainer and not that far out of the POY race. Robinson has been a little more under the radar than the other guys, but he has been so good throughout conference play, scoring efficiently, creating offense and he's been a terror on the defensive end.

Second team: James Heskett, Sam Jefferson, Matt Folger, Jack Simonds, Donald Jorden

Heskett's struggled shooting the ball a bit, but still was an elite scorer and very good defender with his length. Jefferson's scorching outside shooting and solid interior defense was key for the Mules. Folger's consistent scoring, good rebounding, elite shot blocking and under the radar passing should earn him a spot. Simonds shot the ball really well during conference play and is one of the best pure scorers in the league. Jorden is a bit unheralded, but he's a monster on defense and on the glass and turned into a reliable scorer for the slow-paced Bantams. Some of the other guys have better numbers than him (Savage in particular), but Trinity's slow pace factors into that a bit.

Others in the running: Kyle Scadlock, Max Bosco, Eric Savage and Jeff Spellman.

ROY: Noah Tyson
Honestly don't think this is very close. Tyson is the top freshman scorer by a large margin, is tied for third in the whole league in rebounding, 4th in minutes played, 9th in steals per game. Sobel is a game changer on defense but also plays a third of the minutes as Tyson. Allen has played a big role defensively but scores about 5 points per game on mediocre shooting numbers.



 

Offline nescac1

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26192 on: February 11, 2019, 11:41:30 am »
Good thoughts, Colby Hoops.  Agree on Tyson.   I think your first team looks good and your second team outside of Jorden seems like the right four guys.  I think Jorden is overlooked as well, I do like his game and think he will be an all-league guy as an upperclassman, but I'm not sure I'd put him in JUST yet over higher-scoring guys like Bonner, Scadlock, Labossier, Grassey, Sellew or the others you mentioned.  Still, he is a worthy contender, and that last spot seems like a total toss-up and will likely be decided based on the post-season. 

Oh, and I agree with prior commentators that Hixon deserves coach of the year.  This year's Amherst team is sort of the opposite of the senior-dominated team from two years ago that fell short of expectations ... every guy plays his role perfectly, the team plays together, without individual agendas, and also plays really tough defense on every possession, and there is a ton of lineup flexibility with Hixon masterfully juggling a lot of different looks. 

And then there is DPOY.  I have a tough time with this one.   I'd say Kyle Padmore would be my top choice, maybe Fru Che as a runner-up, but there is no clear choice for that award yet either.  Another one that could be decided down the stretch.   

Offline Colby Hoops

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26193 on: February 11, 2019, 11:55:05 am »
Good thoughts, Colby Hoops.  Agree on Tyson.   I think your first team looks good and your second team outside of Jorden seems like the right four guys.  I think Jorden is overlooked as well, I do like his game and think he will be an all-league guy as an upperclassman, but I'm not sure I'd put him in JUST yet over higher-scoring guys like Bonner, Scadlock, Labossier, Grassey, Sellew or the others you mentioned.  Still, he is a worthy contender, and that last spot seems like a total toss-up and will likely be decided based on the post-season. 

Definitely not an open and shut case, but I think his stats look better than you might think at first glance. If you look at conference-play numbers Jorden (to this point) has been better than almost all of that group. He's averaging more points than Sellew and Grassey, 0.4 points less than Bonner and 1.4 less than Scadlock. And he's shooting 57% from the floor -- much higher than all of those guys. Labossiere is well ahead in PPG but also shooting below 40% on a really bad team. And Jorden is third in the league in rebounding and a very good defensive player.

I actually think Savage and Spellman might have the best cases if you're looking at stats from conference play. Bosco has also been key for Midd, his shooting numbers in conference just look a little lower than I expected.

Either way, you're likely right that it will be decided in postseason play. All of those guys have had very good seasons. Upperclassmen (and to some degree name recognition) tend to get rewarded, so Bonner or Scadlock may actually be more likely to make a team than anyone else mentioned above.

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26194 on: February 11, 2019, 02:30:44 pm »
One alternative is to cancel the damn game, an action which would not cause the end of the world and would surely meet with approval in some circles at Amherst and maybe at Clinton too.

I disagree... the game has a lot of ramifications. Not only for the conference tournament seedings, but both teams are going to be interested in what it can for for their SOS, their vRRO data, head-to-head which will be VERY important out of conference, and other reasons. Regional Rankings, selections, and bracketing will be affected, believe it or not, a lot by that game against two highly-ranked teams.

Yes, it seems easy to cancel that game, but I bet both coaching staffs and teams understand how important that game really is in the larger picture.
Host of Hoopsville. USBWA Executive Board member. Broadcast Director for D3sports.com. Broadcaster for NCAA.com & several colleges. PA Announcer for Gophers & Brigade. Follow me on Twitter: @davemchugh or @d3hoopsville.

Offline Bucket

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26195 on: February 11, 2019, 02:42:15 pm »
One alternative is to cancel the damn game, an action which would not cause the end of the world and would surely meet with approval in some circles at Amherst and maybe at Clinton too.

I disagree... the game has a lot of ramifications. Not only for the conference tournament seedings, but both teams are going to be interested in what it can for for their SOS, their vRRO data, head-to-head which will be VERY important out of conference, and other reasons. Regional Rankings, selections, and bracketing will be affected, believe it or not, a lot by that game against two highly-ranked teams.

Yes, it seems easy to cancel that game, but I bet both coaching staffs and teams understand how important that game really is in the larger picture.

You're mis-reading this particular poster, Dave. His implication is that there are folks (frank among them, I'd guess) affiliated with each institution who don't give a damn about post-season play. For them, "the larger picture" has nothing to do with basketball. At least, that was my interpretation of his post. 

Offline middhoops

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26196 on: February 11, 2019, 02:48:40 pm »
Yes, to Bucket.
Frank is a cynic/provocateur.

Offline MiddWatcher

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26197 on: February 11, 2019, 03:53:31 pm »
Source at Midd College, and now on website, has Amherst at Hamilton postponed until Wednesday. Time TBA.  Ironic that NESCAC ADs and SWAs scheduled to meet in Boston tomorrow for regular conference meeting.  Maybe the two ADs could play a fantasy game and save all of that travel and lost class time !

Offline OldCardinal

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26198 on: February 11, 2019, 05:15:34 pm »
Are you guys sure that Middlebury would win the tiebreaker if Hamilton beats Amherst?  That would create a 3 way tie and they all would have gone 1-1 against each other.  I haven't looked at the tiebreakers after that.  Just wondering.

Offline MiddWatcher

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26199 on: February 11, 2019, 06:08:34 pm »
Yes, Old Cardinal - remarkably enough, as one goes through the tiebreaker rules you need to travel a ways down the rules .... and even then travel through their ( all 3 teams )  match ups vs. #4 Williams ( all wins ), then #5 Wesleyan ( all losses ), then #6 Trinity ( all wins ) and then #7 Colby ( where Midd has a win and Amherst and Hamilton both lost to the Mules ). That's the difference !

Amherst, like Midd last Saturday, can remove the doubts by just winning on Wednesday night.

Then, with a win in First Round vs. Tufts, they would host the Final Four once again.

Curiously, If Midd were to be #1 they would play Tufts ( to whom they lost ).... but if they go in at #2 then they play Colby ( whom they beat ).  So maybe #2 is better than #1  ??

But not really. Hosting the Final Four in your own building is always a plus.

Offline amh63

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26200 on: February 11, 2019, 06:13:00 pm »
Based on a related story on the Amherst appropriate website....Amherst could get the top seed over Midd.  Let the discussion begin :). I will wait until the game is over and/or the two ADs flip a coin if it is postponed further.   

Offline Old Guy

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26201 on: February 11, 2019, 06:47:00 pm »
Planning a group watch of the Hamilton-Amerst game Wednesday night so glad for the change as I would have had to watch the game by myself on Tuesday while texting Young Guy who has graduated from Midd and now lives in LA (not Lewiston-Auburn, the other one)! Now I get to have a few old guys (and old girls) over to join me, with maybe a beer or two and a steamed dog. Rooting hard for the Continentals, as their victory seems to greatly benefit the Panthers.

ROY discussion: Tyson to be sure (a nice thing for VT hoops). There may not be a "superstar" in the class, but Midd folks are certainly happy with Sobel's contribution and progress. He will the only returning inside player next year and his playing time this year should pay huge dividends. Hopefully, sophs James Finn and Ryan Cahill, out all this year with injuries, will help next. Sobel averages nearly two and a half blocks per game (leads the conference!) in under 14 minutes a game may not be this year's DPOY, but could retire the award the next few years (cf. Andrew Locke). Also grabs 5.5 rebounds a game in those 14 minutes.

Folger (6'8") is not really considered an "inside" player largely because he's so versatile, averages nearly a double-double (15/9) and blocks shots (1.2 a game).

ALL-NESCAC: Folger and Farrell are both deserving of post-season honors (Bosco moving up fast!). I can't tell who is more valuable. Flip a coin. Both crucial.

A note on Midd senior Eric McCord, who will not find post-season glory, but there is no more important player on the floor for the Panthers not a high flyer but a smart, strong-as-an-ox inside player, leading the conference in rebounding, a senior, modest, quiet guy, a great leader by example. Take a minute when you watch a Midd game and focus on McCord: always in position, rebounds, makes great outlet passes to start the break, then beats his (faster) man down the floor, gets a lot of easy baskets. He's glue and every one at Midd knows it.

Offline JEFFFAN

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26202 on: February 13, 2019, 10:55:22 am »

Predictions for tonight?

Offline amh63

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26203 on: February 13, 2019, 10:55:48 am »
Been checking on the weather to see if both Amherst vs Hamilton games will occur today.  So far so good....the WBB game has been moved up to 6PM.
The Amherst website is having trouble today.....update to users will occur at noon today.  Oh Well...when it rains it snows :)
Reading the local paper today and came up with an interesting Change in D1 rankings.  The story dealt with a game between USF and UCF...Both D1 schools.  Seems the D1 schools uses the NET versus the RPI in their ranking system.  Does the NCAA D3 basketball world now uses the NET??
This board has mention recent changes in the selection of teams to the NCAA tournament slots.
Last comment.  The highly ranked MIT team has had a bunch of players missing games.  All seem to have returned.  Yet, MIT was just beaten by Springfield, a team that has had a poor season to date. Could Springfield get into the post-season if they win their conf. Tourny?  Will they even make their conf. Tourny??

Offline Bucket

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Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Reply #26204 on: February 13, 2019, 11:41:29 am »
Could Springfield get into the post-season if they win their conf. Tourny?  Will they even make their conf. Tourny??

Conference tournament winners receive automatic bids to the NCAA tournament.