We continue our conference previews with the NEC. Every week on Twitter, we preview two conferences while streaming live from the Mid-Major Madness account (@mid_madness), speaking with media members and coaches throughout the selected league.
For the full Twitter Space, hit the link below:
To open the conversation, Mid-Major Madness writer Nick Lorensen and Ryan Peters from Blue Ribbon recapped what happened in the NEC last season and so far this offseason. There were a lot of changes. The regular season and tournament champion, Bryant, moved to the America East, Mount St. Mary’s moved to the MAAC, and long-time Wagner head coach Bashir Mason is now the head coach at St. Peter’s.
With that, there are a ton of new faces and opportunities. Stonehill moved from DII to the NEC and joins Merrimack in a transitional phase. Merrimack can compete in the NEC Tournament for the first time but still can not make the NCAA Tournament. Only seven of the nine teams in the league can compete for an NCAA Tournament bid.
To open the conversation with coaches, St. Francis (PA) head coach Rob Krimmel (4:00) joined to speak about leading his alma mater for the 11th season. Although the Red Flash finished tied for eighth place last season, it is one of the preseason favorites in the NEC this season.
“It’s a special place,” Krimmel said. “It’s allowed me to grow up first as a student-athlete then as a young professional, and now as a husband and a father. It’s a good fit, not just from a mission standpoint and from obviously a basketball standpoint. But the people there are tremendous, the academic programs are great.”
The Red Flash return arguably the best frontcourt in the league with Myles Thompson, Josh Cohen and Maxwell Land.
Following him, Sacred Heart head coach Anthony Latina (36:45) joined the program to speak about the state of SHU heading into his tenth season. The second largest catholic university in the northeast will soon have a $30M renovation to its home of 27 years, the William H. Pitt Center.
“Just in that 18-year span (coaching tenure), the change has been incredible,” Latina said. “The campus was this tiny little place, now it's this burgeoning school. [The renovations are] really really game-changing for us as a program and as a department. We’re really doing a lot of great things.”
The Pioneers will look to improve off of a 10-20 finish a season ago.
Nick and Ryan then continued the conversation by previewing every team in the league. To hear about your team, advance the recording to each time stamp.
1:32:30 Central Connecticut State
1:15:20 Fairleigh Dickinson
1:34:45 St. Francis (NY)
1:44:30 POTY & Title Predictions
Along with the Twitter Space, Nick also talked to Fairleigh Dickinson head coach Tobin Anderson heading into his first season. The Knights’ fast-paced style and college basketball experience should have them finishing a lot higher than people predict.
Anderson brings over the top three players from St. Thomas Aquinas in Grant Singleton, Demetre Roberts and Sean Moore.
“It’s a huge benefit to have those guys to teach the other guys,” Anderson said. “They’ve been with me for a long time, it’s almost like having kids. They know how we do things and not to go too high or too low.”
Along with the NEC, a preview article on the Ivy League will also come out this week. Stay tuned for the Twitter Space previews on the CAA and Missouri Valley.