The NEC will announce their regular-season award winners tomorrow at 11am. We here at Mid-Major Madness polled several media-credentialed writers/bloggers to get their opinions about who is going to take home some hardware tomorrow. Included in this poll, besides myself, were:
Parks Smith - contributor here at Mid-Major Madness.
Ryan Peters - contributor at NYC Buckets.
I asked each participant to vote for their First-Team All-NEC selections, Player of Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Coach of the Year. The below lists are based on receiving a majority of the votes for each team/reward.
Alex Francis - Senior forward, Bryant - Unanimous - Tim O'Shea said it best when he said, "Without (Alex), I may not be coaching at Bryant anymore." Not many players can crack the 2,000 points/1,000 rebounds barrier, yet the slashing Francis did just that in his four seasons at Bryant. - Peters
Karvel Anderson - Senior guard, RMU - Unanimous - Those on the Robert Morris beat have been treated to see this guy play. He's one of the best shooters in the country, rises to the moment, and closes out games. All of his shooting numbers are ridiculous. - Cappella
Sidney Sanders Jr. - Senior guard, FDU - Unanimous - Given a concrete role under Greg Herenda, Sanders' output exploded this year. Equally adept at passing and scoring, he was the engine behind FDU's resurgence. - Chiappazzi
Jason Brickman - Senior guard, LIU Brooklyn - 6 Votes - Without Brickman, LIU's season would have likely have been a complete disaster. He could be the first player since 1988 to possibly average a double-double in points and assists. He's the NEC all-time leading assist leader. He is one of four players ever to reach 1000 career assists. He dished 10 or more assists 17 times this season while shooting 43% from the field and 41% from three. He had a great season and a great career at LIU. - Castillo
Lucky Jones - Junior forward, RMU - 5 Votes - Lucky Jones, in my opinion is the biggest key to the RMU zone D, and guards 1-5. Without him on the floor, RMU is a completely different team defensively, and on the glass. He hasn't been great offensively, but he hasn't been terrible either. - Kunkel
Player of the Year:
Karvel Anderson - Senior guard (RMU) - 6 Votes - Few players struck fear into the hearts of opposing coaches like Anderson. No one else in the league knocks down more contested shots than him, and his ability to take over a game is incredible. Most important: When he's at his best and most efficient, RMU's record improves drastically. No other MVP candidate has that impact. - Chiappazzi
Others who received votes: Sidney Sanders Jr. (FDU) - 2 Votes
Defensive Player of the Year:
Naofall Folahan - Senior forward (Wagner) - 5 Votes - I thought about putting Rashad Whack or Lucky Jones at this spot but then Folahan rejected it. Seriously, good luck scoring at the rim when Folahan is in the game. He blocks everything. - Cappella
Others who received votes: Lucky Jones (RMU) - 2 Votes, Brandon Peel (CCSU) - 1 Vote
Rookie of the Year:
De'Von Barnett - Freshman forward (SHU) - 5 Votes - For me, this was a very difficult choice. I could easily see a case for Malik Harmon of Saint Francis (PA). For me, Barnett won out because his numbers was just a hair better than Harmon's. I gave it to Barnett because his points per 40 minutes was four points better and his offensive efficiency was two points better although he played in seven fewer games. - Castillo
Others who received votes: Malik Harmon (SFU) - 2 Votes, Matt Mobley (CCSU) - 1 Vote
Coach of the Year:
Andy Toole - RMU - 7 Votes - Toole has done perhaps the best coaching job of his career this season with a short-handed Robert Morris team that seems to never give up and really embodies what he is as a coach. He gets the nod over Herenda for me. - Templon
Others who received votes: Greg Herenda (FDU) - 1 Vote
Most Improved Player of the Year:
Sidney Sanders Jr. - FDU - No Votes (seems obvious) - I didn't ask for anyone's vote for this award, because I feel it's the most obvious. I'd be shocked if Sanders doesn't win this one.
Thanks to everyone who participated and sent in their submissions, despite having to work on similar articles for their own respective sites. We'll have to wait a few more hours to see if our collective 'genius' is correct.
Be sure to follow everyone who participated in this poll for up-to-date news about the NEC as well as mid-major programs in general.