Another year of college basketball is quickly approaching and in preparation, Rant Sports College Basketball Network Manager Paul Seaver will be breaking down and predicting the outcomes of each conference across the country.
Today, we look at the Northeast Conference:
Long Island is seeking their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament this season, but a fight at an on-campus party this past fall has the potential to put that streak in jeopardy. Defending NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd, along with fellow starters Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner were all involved, but if their off-the-court issues don’t affect the Blackbirds’ season, then expectations will soar under first-year head coach Jack Perri.
In addition to LIU, Wagner and Robert Morris should also be in the mix atop the Northeast Conference. Bashir Mason takes over a Wagner program that was left in a great position by Danny Hurley, who made the switch to URI this past spring. Andy Toole has a Robert Morris squad that is consistently in the hunt for the league’s crown.
Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart also have the potential to make a move within the upper half of the standings, but for a conference that will likely only have one spot saved in the field of 68, the race for conference supremacy will come down to one run in March.
1. Long Island
3. Robert Morris
5. Sacred Heart
6. Central Connecticut State
8. Mount St. Mary’s
9. St. Francis (NY)
10. Fairleigh Dickinson
12. St. Francis (PA)
First Team All-NEC Predictions:
G Velton Jones, Sr., Robert Morris
G Shane Gibson, Sr., Sacred Heart
G Jason Brickman, Jr., Long Island
F Julian Boyd, Sr., Long Island
F Jamal Olasewere, Sr., Long Island
NEC Player of the Year Prediction:
Shane Gibson, Sr., Sacred Heart
Coach of the Year Prediction:
Jack Perri, Long Island
Newcomer of the Year Prediction:
Dwaun Anderson, Wagner
Last Team to Win NCAA Tournament Game:
2008- Mount St. Mary’s in Play-in Game
Be sure to follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse