Conference Tip-Off Primer: NEC

Gregory Shamus

The Northeast Conference may be the definition of "wide open" this year. Who has been the biggest surprise this year and who is poised to take the NEC title?

Conference Standings:

Rank School Record
1 St. Francis (NY) Terriers 9-6
2 Bryant Bulldogs 8-7
3 Wagner Seahawks 6-7
4 Long Island Blackbirds 5-8
5 Robert Morris Colonials 5-10
6 Central Connecticut Blue Devils 4-9
7 Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers 4-9
8 Fairleigh Dickinson 4-10
9 Sacred Heart Pioneers 3-12
10 St. Francis (PA) Red Flash 2-11

Leading Scorers:

Rank Player PPG
1 Dyami Starks (Bryant) 21.2
t-2 Julian Norfleet (MSM)
Sidney Sanders Jr. (FDU)
19.6
4 Kyle Vinales (CCT) 17.4
5 Karvel Anderson (RMU)

17.3


Top Rebounders:
Rank Player RPG
1 Earl Brown (SFPA) 9.9
2 Jalen Cannon (SFNY) 8.1
3 Alex Francis (Bryant) 6.7
4 Matt Hunter (CCT) 6.3
5 Mario Moody (Wagner) 6.2

Assists Leaders:

Rank Player APG
1 Jason Brickman (LIU) 9.8
2 Phil Gaetano (SH) 5.9
3 Julian Norfleet (MSM) 5.6
4 Corey Maynard (Bryant) 5.0
5 Sidney Sanders Jr. (FDU) 4.9

Biggest Surprise:

They were the biggest surprise on opening night when they took down Miami and have continued the trend throughout out of conference play. Of course I'm talking about St. Francis (NY). I don't think anyone expected the Terriers to be leading the conference and to have Top 200 wins not only over the Hurricanes but also Oakland, Stony Brook, and Canisius. The Terriers will be tested right away, after getting drubbed by Columbia, with a home game against Long Island.

Player of the Year:

Long Island's Jason Brickman has been phenomenal and leads the country in assists with 9.8 per game. To put that in perspective, that's more than 2 assists per game better than Chaz Williams who is second in the country in the category. The Blackbirds point guard also has been averaging 12.2 points per game and shooting nearly 85% from the free throw line. His mastery of the position has certainly earned our Player of the Year nod thus far.

Biggest Storyline:

Who will win this toss up? Last year it seemed like we had a clear picture in the NEC with Long Island, Robert Morris, and Mount St. Mary's on an upward trend. Robert Morris isn't playing well and Jamion Christian has ran into a little turmoil on the Mount. The result of all this uncertainty is a wide open conference heading into league play.

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