Author Topic: NESCAC Hoops  (Read 455771 times)

Offline myepa

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2005, 10:37:06 am »
let's go people. nov. 1 is just around the corner. who's ready to start it up?

Offline Red1

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2005, 12:17:14 am »
The hoops season is about to start (official practices start on 11/1 in NESCAC), and here is my preseason ranking for the women's Nescac.  Comments and critiques are encouraged.

1.  Bates - Bates and Bowdoin are the two power houses again this year.  Bates took a big loss in the graduation of All-American Olivia Zurek.  I expect this to effect the team a little.  I expected Laura Trenkle's graduating to effect Bowdoin a lot, and it really didn't, so I've learned and adjusted my reasoning in this regard.  The conference home game between these two is at Bates this year, so I think this is the Bobcats' year to win the conference and play the NESCAC tournament at home.

2.  Bowdoin - The only reason they won't be number 1 is because the conference game is at Bates.  The top two NESCAC teams will, however, split there two games home and home.  Bowdoin returns standouts Justine Pourevalis and Eileen Flaherty among others for another year.  They will continue to impress.

3.  Williams - The Return of leading scorers Colleen Hession and Maggie Miller will give Williams the best shot of anyone at cracking the into the top 2.

4.  Wesleyan - A Consistently good team looks to improve on a slightly off year.  Wesleyan made the NCAA tournament last year as a Pool C team one week after falling to Amherst in the first round of the NESCAC Tournament.  There were those who felt that Wesleyan may not have been deserving of the pool C bid.  Wesleyan looks to prove the naysayers wrong this year, and with Hannah Stubbs entering her senior year look for her to lead this hungry team to some big wins.

5.  Tufts- This is one of my surprise picks, especially with the loss of Allison Love to graduation, but Valerie Krah and Jessica Powers have each had a year to mature.  Tufts has had an extremely successful string of years of late and these two have been huge contributers to that.  Look for Tufts to have a strong showing this year.

6.  Amherst  - This is a team of fighters.  I admitt that I know nothing of their first-years, but this is the same for all the teams.  As much fight as this Amherst team has in them (nearly upsetting Bates a few years ago at Bates in the first round of the Nescac tournament) I just don't see them quite at the level as the top 4.  Look for some great games in the battle for 5th place with Tufts.

7.  Middlebury - I know nothing about this team, but it seemed reasonable given last years perfomance, and what I know of the other teams.

8.  Colby - They're losing Wendy Bonner to graduation, but they're picking up a new coach.  They won't make the same mistakes as last year and will find their way into the Nescac tournament this year. 

9.  Trinity - I know nothing about this team, but it's been a few years since they've been largely successful in Nescac, and they don't show any signs of that changing yet.  They key word here is yet.  Be aware of this team, and be careful, they will be strong again some day, and they showed a few hints of it last year when they beat Tufts, played very close to Amherst, and took Bates right down to the final buzzer.  This team is ready to break through, but I think there's a little bit too much talent ahead of them this year.  *sleeper team*  Trinity is going to my pick as sleeper team.  They played within just a few points of a lot of good Nescac teams last year.  They might be able to pull off some surprises.  Be on the lookout.

10.  Conn. College-  I don't really know anything about this team, but they've been spending some time down here lately, and I haven't seen any evidence that they're ready to move up just yet.

This is my annotated preseason poll.  (note:  this is just my opinion, I'm not an expert, nor do I represent one.)

Cheers
Red1 (formerly Red--it's a long story   ;))


Offline angus_king

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2005, 07:07:50 pm »
Red (1),

I would agree with your picks with one change: I'd move Amherst up to No. 4 and bump everyone down a peg. I think the Lady Jeffs will be better wire-to-wire this year, expounding on the late season success of last winter.

I'll also tip my cap to the Ephs, who will play a very strong early schedule, making me think their coach feels they have a contender. It's always smart to play USM early than late, as well. Even if they stumble, they'll be battle-hardened for the conference slate.

Red, hopefully you'll be brought along for the Bobcats' Vegas trip... ;D

Angus King (formerly Lloyd Christmas...an even longer story...).

Offline Red1

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2005, 09:30:13 pm »
Angus King,

I have a specific reason for dropping Amherst down from last year.  My reason is based on a little inside information that I've come accross.  This information has not been made public, and I don't want to be responsible for divulging any team's secrets, so I'll have to leave it at that.  I have my reason, and I'll just have to ask you to trust me that Amherst, while a good team, will probably not quite  be able to keep up with the numbers they put up last year.

At this point I don't think "feeling like a contender" is enough for Williams.  I think they know that they're contenders, and they're scheduling themselves as such.  They have a decently tough schedule with USM early on at the U Maine Farmington tournament, an interesting choice (and a long distance of travel) for williams, but it does get them that matchup against USM that I think will help them along the way.  Don't forget they knocked off Scranton in the first game of the season last year, and Scranton didn't take another loss until the NCAA semifinals.  They also have a home game against Springfield, a team that some thought had a very easy route to the quarter finals, and would very much like to prove that they belonged there.

To talk about tough schedules though, I have to let my bias show through and point out Bates' schedule.  They have games against USM (a remach of last years' NCAA sweet 16 at USM), Baldwin Wallace (in Vegas), if they win that then likely Scranton (also in Vegas). If they make the finals then they'll likely hit Brandeis (at Brandeis) in their tournament, not to mention the Williams tournament (at Williams), and that's all in 2005, the 2006 portion of the schedule will not get much better with the Springfield tournament (at springfiled), and a home and home set of games against Bowdoin (1 of which is in conference).  Also note that in 24 games only 8 are at home, and 5 of them are conference games expceted to be at home.  All of the top level opponents that Bates faces (and as you can see there are a lot) are on the road.  Now that is a tough schedule!

Here's looking forward to a great basketball season!

Cheers,
Red1

Offline senatorfrost

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2005, 10:41:17 pm »
  Wesleyan will be without Nora Bowman. I was a big fan but maybe they can do as well without her?? Amherst was 4W 5L last year and gets everyone back. In addition they beat Wesleyan in the NESCAC Tourney at the endd of the season AT Wesleyan. I do wonder about your 'Inside Info' as you do not seem like the type who would make something up.
  A team that is too low in my opinion is Middlebury. They too were 4W 5L last year but they were missing two starters for most of the season. On paper they only had one Senior so if all return, I can't see why they shouldn't be a little higher.

Offline angus_king

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2005, 01:16:14 am »
Wow, Nov. 1 and we've already got the insider scoop kicking in. Good stuff. Unless your insider info has to do with Kostakis, I think Amherst will be better. No need to confirm or deny...probably not appropriate for this board.

Bowdoin's schedule is okay (USM, Ithaca, Emmanuel, Staten Island) in non-conference, but nothing like last year (so far). Forgive me if I'm not impressed with the Brandeis tourney. The Judgettes are painfully overrated in this site's ranking and have again decided to fatten up with the dregs of New England (Bobcats excluded) in an effort to get an at-large sniff. They're an ECAC lock, more along the lines of a Plymouth State or UNE than a big dog. Murph better be careful, he may have bitten off more than he can chew...unless he thinks he has a contender, as well.

I guess I'll go ahead and put Bowdoin at the top of my list, since they've managed to hold off everyone for the last five years and this team might be the best of the bunch.

Frost, Middlebury? They haven't been on the radar for a while. They get some people back, but any difference-makers? But hey, Wesleyan made the NCAAs after falling in the quarters, so anything can happen, I suppose.

Offline nescac1

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2005, 09:49:43 am »
It is not inside info, but Kostakis transferred to Bates, giving Bates the two top sophomores in the conference.  That will really hurt Amherst.  Still, that is likely not enough to put Bates over Bowdoin, who loses very little, when Bates lost its star player.  So I would say, Bowdoin, Bates, and Williams in that order.   Williams is just as talented as the top two, but has to prove that it can hold on to a late-game lead in a big game.

Offline myepa

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2005, 10:33:28 am »
"Murph better be careful, he may have bitten off more than he can chew...unless he thinks he has a contender, as well."


Well, obviously he thinks he has a contender, why wouldn't he? As with any great coach, he always believes his teams are contenders, and this year he has as much reason to believe as ever. And as far as biting off more than he can chew, the tough schedule will do nothing but good for bates in the long run, and i believe they will handle it superbly in the short run anyways. duck soup, chicken dinner.

Offline bearswatcher

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2005, 12:32:41 pm »
Angus,

Just skimming todays posts since the UAA has been dead, we all know that Wash U is better then everyone in the UAA and if you go to our site you'll find the UAA coaches again voted us preseason #1 in the conference, but heck, I saw Brandeis beat us last year here and they are pretty damn good, cupcakes in 2005 or not. You need to see them before you scream over rated, I don't think they lost anyone meaningful from last year either so they will be tough.

Offline angus_king

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2005, 01:08:50 pm »
Interesting about Kostakis. I'll be curious to see how she fits in with Bates' style of play. I agree, Williams has all the pieces to win the league this year. They just need to learn how to finish. They also get Bates and Bowdoin at home, both of which are the Saturday games.

Bears, you are correct, I do need to see Brandeis. In the NCAAs. Until then I will scream(?) overated. If they couldn't beat out Wesleyan, a team knocked out in the first round of the conference tournament, for an at-large bid, I consider them an also-ran. They've done nothing to rectify the problem (weak non-conference schedule) that hurt them last year. If they get thrown against the third-best team in the NESCAC again this year for an at-large, say Bowdoin, Brandeis will experience the same fate. It appears they have the scheduling mentality of "the UAA AQ or bust," a risky move considering the strength of both their conference and region.

Offline bearswatcher

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2005, 06:00:46 pm »
Angus,

why is the NCAA's, from last year no less, your barometer? Heck there are some "pxss poor" teams in the NCAA's every year. Believe me, like going into Bowdin or So. Maine, any team that can go into NYU or Wash U and win is a real team, it is not a fluke when a team beats teams like tose above on their home court.


Offline Red1

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2005, 06:20:43 pm »
I didn't know that it was public that Kostakis had transferred to Bates, and I didn't want to say anything if the teams were trying to keep it a secret.  This was indeed the information that I had that led me to drop Amherst in my preseason rankings.

As to the Bowdoin/Bates question I picked Bates even though Olivia Zurek graduated because the year before I thought the graduation of Laura Trenkle would hurt Bowdoin significantly and it didn't.  Applying that to this year, and the adding of Kostakis, I think that Bates will overcome the loss of Zurek and win the NESCAC.  Also, even if they're just close they will likely split and win their home games against eachother and Bates has the conference game at home this year.  That's why I picked Bates

As for the Middlebury question, I still know nothing about this team.  Perhpas I did put them too low.  I had know idea that they were missing two starters for most of the season.  We'll see what happens.

As for the Brandeis question, I know very little about Brandeis, but over the last few years there has been a lot of question as to how good Brandeis' record really is.  The key to Brandeis' excellent W/L record has been that they don't play a single competitve team in their non-conference schedule.  Last year they played Tufts pretty well in their only competition with NESCAC, but Tufts finished 7th in NESCAC, and the margin of victory was well below Brandeis' average.  Beating Tufts by a below average margin is a far cry from being competitive with Bates, Bowdoin, or Williams.  Until Brandeis plays a competitive non-conference opponent, and wins, to prove the worth of their record, I will believe that they are overrated.  Fortunately, we may not have to wait very long.  Bates is participating in the Brandeis tip-off tournament this year and the two teams are likely to meet in the finals.  We can all wait and see.

Cheers,
Red1

Offline senatorfrost

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #42 on: November 02, 2005, 08:54:47 pm »
  Without Kostakis, I too have to lower Amherst. I thought they'd be Fourth and get a Home Playioff game. Still, you never know. Last year Wesleyan had a Frosh guard who looked VERY good (On Paper) She made some all state teams and then she hardly played when she got to Wesleyan. Was she hurt? Was she being groomed to take over for Bowman? Perhaps she was overrated in High School?
  So without Knowing whether Bowman will be replaced and now with the news of Kostakis, I very hesitatingly have Middlebury in Fourth. One reason is that they play Bates Bowdoin and I think Williams at Home. Maybe they can squeeze a win out of those 3 games??
    I heard Bowdoin has an All State Maine player and I think Bates does too. That's all I know about Frosh so far.

Offline angus_king

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #43 on: November 03, 2005, 01:33:05 am »
The miserable teams that get into the NCAAs every year are AQs from weak conferences, not from the at-large pool. I use Pool C as my barometer for judging teams -- and conferences -- because it invariably means those team were willing to play a tough schedule and fell a game or two short of the AQ. Brandeis will either get the AQ from the UAA this season (an event that will certainly earn them the credit some think they've already earned) or they will continue to be the poster gals for the ECAC. For whatever reason, Brandeis is unwilling to put itself out there for Pool C consideration, and because of that they will continue to remain a second tier from my perspective.

I have that sickening feeling I've opened up the tiresome 'no double-round robin' can of worms, but hopefully I'm wrong.

As I look at the NESCAC schedule this year, I think the team that ends up hosting the tournament will have one loss.

Offline nescac1

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Re: NESCAC Hoops
« Reply #44 on: November 03, 2005, 12:34:48 pm »
One point of interest -- it appears that Williams and Amherst each enrolled one half of a pair of twin frosh on their respective teams (both roster posted).  That should make for a fun rivalry for the next four years!  Hopefully the evil twin at Amherst will realize her mistake and transfer ...