The premise here is pretty simple: It's a fun way to get a quick glance at how players in the NEC are performing during the non-conference portion of their schedule. I divided the 10 teams in half based on geographical location, and pitted the two coaches - Andy Toole of the Robert Morris Colonials and Glenn Braica from the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers - from last year's conference championship game against each other. I assumed the responsibilities the one-man fan vote for the starting lineups, while I tried to think about what each head coach would do for the remaining three roster spots.
G - Junior Robinson, Sophomore, Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers
This is an all-star game, folks. Robinson is one of those little guys with little guy handle that is capable of making the crowd "ou and ah" and snapping ankles. Also, he's the only player in the lineup that would be happy recording double-digit assists and those players are so underrated in this type of game. His 4.1 assists per game rank 2nd in the league.
G - B.K. Ashe, Junior, Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers
Ashe is the type of player that could win the MVP of this type of game, but may not be the popular vote to win the award going in. He's going to get buckets and he's most likely going to take a lot of attempts.
G - Dwaun Anderson, Senior, Wagner Seahawks
I'll just leave this here, and we'll move on.
G - Rodney Pryor, Senior, Robert Morris Colonials
Pryor checks every single box for a player that you want in an NEC all-star game. He's very athletic, he can make a ton of triples, and he's capable of taking the ball coast-to-coast. He leads the conference in scoring at 21.6 points per game; the only player to average at least 20 per contest. He's quietly 6th in the league in rebounds per game at 7.0, and is the lone player connecting in the 90's at the charity stripe.
F - Earl Potts Jr., Junior, Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
Did anyone see this coming from Potts Jr.? Seems like he's following a similar path another recent "Jr." from Fairleigh Dickinson, Sidney Sanders Jr. Potts is quietly connecting on 38.6% of his triples on nearly five attempts per game, and is dropping 16.2 points per game which is tied for 4th in the NEC with Ashe.
F - Ronnie Drinnon, Senior, St. Francis (PA) Red Flash - Toole goes sentimental here and gives out one spot to a senior that may be slightly on the cusp. Given, the team is starting four guards, he needs help in the middle, and Drinnon should carry an edge over senior forward Gregory Graves of Mount St. Mary's based on team record and numbers.
F - Elijah Minnie, Sophomore, Robert Morris Colonials - It's very possible Toole goes with Graves here, but when you're the head coach of the team, you tend to give your guys the nod. It wouldn't be out of the question for Toole to try sending a message to Minnie by not picking him, but he's been in a relatively jolly mood in the two press conferences I've attended this year, and Minnie has been good for Robert Morris.
G - Corey Henson, Sophomore, Wagner Seahawks - This is a really tough decision over Darian Anderson, the second-year point guard for Fairleigh Dickinson. I think Toole would reward Henson here because Wagner is on a winning team, has per game numbers similar to Anderson, and has been asked to shoulder more of the load. The Seahawks are just one of two teams in the conference with winning records; they should have at least two members on the roster.
G - Aakim Saintil, Junior, LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds
The only player in the league who is averaging at least five dimes per game. He also leads the NEC in steals per game (2.5) and is 7th in scoring at 15.4 points per game. He's a mortal lock to start.
G - Cane Broome, Sophomore, Sacred Heart Pioneers
In a game where defense won't be played all that often, Broome can just live at the rim. His relentless attacking and sneaky athleticism would certainly put him in the running for MVP. Like Ashe, he may not record an assist during the game. Not because he's selfish, but this is the type of environment where he'd be seeing red the whole time.
G - Martin Hermannsson, Sophomore, LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds
Another member of LIU Brooklyn to make the starting lineup, Hermannsson is building off of a very strong freshman season. He's 6th in the conference in scoring 15.8 points per game, and is third with 4.1 assists per game. He's a cool customer that has a very strong overall game that should absolutely fill the stat sheet.
F - Jerome Frink, Junior, LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds
Frink is one of the best three players in the league right now. He's leading the NEC in rebounds at 9.0 per game, 3rd in scoring at 16.9 points per game, and tied for 4th with 1.5 rejections per game. The fact that he's solid for three-point distance has put every other team on notice, and he may be the player that I many think Minnie could eventually be.
F - Dan Garvin, Junior, Bryant Bulldogs
Thus far, Garvin hasn't been the dominant force many expected, at least in the scoring column. That doesn't matter in an all-star game where his smooth play style, but power around the rim will be on full display. He's second in the conference with 8.8 rebounds per game, and helps give the East a big advantage up front.
F - Brandon Peel, Senior, Central Connecticut Blue Devils - Like Toole, this is a spot that I feel Braica would reward to a senior. Peel's individual numbers already warrant consideration, albeit not a start. The fact he isn't the most committed defender won't matter in this game, but his offensive skills will be an even greater benefit. I think senior forward Jordan Allen of Sacred Heart can make a very compelling case and under the same pretenses. But, having at least one player for all five teams wins out here.
G - Tyreke Jewell, Senior, St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers - It's not that Jewell isn't deserving, but he'll definitely get the nod with his head coach as the sole voter. Perhaps he can find his outside touch in a game where no one will contest his jumper. This could of course have the opposite effect if he doesn't connect. He's a pretty decent athlete as well, so there's some J.R. Smith potential here.
G - Chris Hooper, Senior, St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers - This selection is tough. There's a lot of "bubble" guys at this point. You can make a case for Allen, sophomore guard Hunter Ware (Bryant), and maybe junior guard Khalen Cumberlander (Central Connecticut). With that said, Hooper gives the team rebounding and shot blocking, which matter at the end of the game when teams generally try to actually win the game.