Huskies in the Pros: Ford and Walker pursue professional dreams

Quincy Ford (left) and David Walker will continue their basketball careers this fall (Image Courtesy of GoNU.com).

by Gavin Davis

As the Northeastern men’s basketball team continues to gear up for the 2016-2017 season, former Husky stars David Walker and Quincy Ford find themselves preparing to play on the professional level, in both Europe and the National Basketball Association.

Both Ford and Walker entered the 2016 NBA Draft, with hopes of being one of the 60 players selected. While neither was drafted, both former Huskies were added to NBA Summer League rosters. Both received major playing time.

David Walker was invited by the Miami Heat to join their Summer League roster, playing in 11 games in the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues. Walker averaged 6.0 points, 1.5 rebounds and an assist in 21.1 minutes of play per game, not to mention a fast break slam-dunk that should be familiar of David “Sky” Walker’s high-flying Northeastern career.

Once finished with his stint in summer time pro hoops, Walked agreed to sign with BC Andorra of the Spanish Liga ACB on August 11th.

“I’m excited to start my career in such a competitive league with BC Andorra,” Walker told GoNU.com. “I really look forward to what the future holds.”

The Liga ACB is well documented as a league second to only the NBA in its level of competitive play. Additionally, over the past ten years, many of this Spanish league’s skilled players have been brought over to NBA rosters due to their strong play overseas.

Walker should have the opportunity to play against some of the best young talents Europe has to offer, while also showcasing his abilities in a setting in which NBA teams will be closely monitoring his performances.

Quincy Ford also received an invitation from an NBA franchise, the Utah Jazz, to join their Summer League Team. Ford averaged 5.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and an assist through Jazz summer league play in both Salt Lake City and Las Vegas.

Ford, whose younger brother Sajon will continue his NU basketball career in the fall, signed a three year, partially guaranteed contract with the Utah Jazz back in June, That deal was first reported by The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

Three Huskies Selected on Second Day of 2016 NHL Draft

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Northeastern assistant captain Nolan Stevens was selected 125th overall by the St. Louis Blues.

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON- Just months after winning its first Hockey East Championship since 1988, three Northeastern Huskies were selected on the second day of the 2016 NHL Draft. The trio consists of assistant captain Nolan Stevens, and incoming freshman Matt Filipe and Jeremy Davies.

Nolan Stevens: St. Louis Blues, Fifth Round, #125 Overall 

The Sea Isle City, New Jersey native had a breakout sophomore campaign last season, going from a 3 goal, 9 assist freshman season to netting 20 goals and 22 assists, earning himself assistant captain honors for the 2016-2017 season. A Hockey East Honorable Mention All-Star, a member of the Hockey East All-Tournament team, and named Northeastern’s Most Improved Player at the annual end of the year banquet, Stevens shined brightest on the biggest stage for Northeastern, scoring four goals and five assists in postseason play, including a goal and an assist in the Hockey East Championship Game against Umass Lowell.

Matt Filipe: Carolina Hurricanes, Third Round, #67 Overall

The freshman forward is the highest drafted Husky since Jamie Oleksiak went 14th overall to the Dallas Stars in 2011, joining assistant captain Brendan Collier as a member of the Hurricanes organization. After playing three seasons at Malden Catholic High School where he won Super 8 Championships in 2013 and 2014, Filipe, the son of former Northeastern great Paul Filipe, played the 2015-2016 season with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. He scored 19 goals and tallied 17 assists while in Cedar Rapids, finishing fifth on the team in scoring and earning USHL All-Rookie Second Team honors.

“Matt is a big, 6’2″, 200-pound forward who gives you some flexibility and versatility in that he can play forward or left wing,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “He’s heavy on pucks, strong, a great skater with great offensive ability. This year he had a real good year in the USHL playing for Cedar Rapids. We are thrilled to have Matt come in here. He’ll be in that lineup providing some key offensive production for us as well as playing a 200-foot game.”

Jeremy Davies: New Jersey Devils, Seventh Round, #192 Overall

A 5-foot-11 defenseman from Point-Claire, Quebec, Davies played the last two seasons with the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder where he scored 16 goals and 53 assists in 103 career games, becoming the organization’s all-time scoring defenseman. In addition to scoring three game-winning goals, Davies was named USHL Defenseman of the Week on three separate occasions last season, and was the first player in Bloomington history to earn All-USHL honors.

“Jeremy is someone I think most Husky fans are going to come to watch and really appreciate the skill and intelligence that this young man brings,” said Madigan. “This year he was an All-USHL First Team selection, which is a difficult feat to accomplish. He was the leading defensive scorer in the USHL and he’s someone who will break us out of our own zone. He’s really intelligent, a good skater, jumps up in the play well and supports the play. He’s just not an offensive player, he plays 200-feet, but he does it with an effortless approach.”

Image credit to SBNation. A big thanks to the Northeastern Athletics Communication staff as well.

WRBB Summer Podcast 2016

Looking for something to do at the beach or on that long summer road trip? Catch up on all things Northeastern basketball with our annual WRBB summer podcast! Also, be on the lookout as our hockey segment will be coming in July.

Men’s hockey welcomes 8 new recruits

Former Boston College High School defenseman Ryan Shea , a draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, will help fill the holes at the blue line for Northeastern.
Former Boston College High School defenseman Ryan Shea , a draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, will help fill the holes at the blue line for Northeastern.

by Dan McLoone

BOSTON – With the Northeastern men’s ice hockey team preparing to defend its first Hockey East crown since 1988, head coach Jim Madigan welcomed the eight members of the incoming freshman class on Thursday. With six graduating seniors and three players leaving school early, the fresh faces will be able to jump right in and contribute.

“This incoming class is a class that I think can continue what our senior class started four years ago, which each subsequent incoming class has been able to do, which has provided us with a lot of hard work,” said Madigan. “They’re passionate, productive and smart players, and they want to be here at Northeastern. We’re excited to welcome there here to Northeastern this fall.”

With Kevin Roy, Mike McMurtry and Will Messa leaving Northeastern, Madigan has brought in four forwards to bolster the Huskies on the attack. Matt Filipe, Grant Jozefek, Biagio Lerario and John Picking are all expected to fight for ice time, while Madigan is excited about the potential contributions from each forward.

Filipe, a Lynnfield native who is eligible for this year’s NHL Draft, scored 19 goals and added 17 assists for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders in the USHL last season. His father, Paul, was also a Northeastern hockey player and former teammate to Madigan.

“Matt is a big, strapping 6’2″, 200-pound forward who gives you some flexibility and versatility in that he can play forward or left wing,” said Madigan. “He’s heavy on pucks, strong, a great skater with great offensive ability.”

Jozefek tallied 21 goals and 32 assists last year, making him the 12th leading scorer in the USHL for the Lincoln Stars. Also eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, his playmaking ability will be an important part of Northeastern’s attack.

“He’s an offensive player, really cerebral, and will remind you a little of a McMurtry and Roy, who were cerebral,” said Madigan. “He’s a playmaker who over the last year has become more of a shooter, and he plays really well with any type of player.”

Lerario notched 16 goals and 24 assists while also plying his trade for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL as captain last year.

“He’s a 200-foot guy, two-way guy, a real tough competitor someone that plays with a lot of passion with high-end compete level, and a real good skater,” said Madigan. “He’s got stick skills, he’s got the ability to impact the game in more than one way, not just contributing offensively but defensively tough to place against.”

Picking, a Wellesley native, led the Boston Junior Bruins and finished third in the USPHL with 59 points (24 goals, 35 assists) last season.

“He’s a good two-way player, smart, a real good skater,” said Madigan. “Here’s a young man just down the road who we believe is an underrated type of player, someone who is smart, can contribute offensively, but he plays 200 feet.”

With five defenseman leaving the squad, including Colton Saucerman (23), NU head coach Jim Madigan reloaded with three new defensive recruits.
With five defenseman leaving the squad, including Colton Saucerman (23), NU head coach Jim Madigan reloaded with three new defensive recruits.

Madigan also added three new skaters defensively. With Dustin Darou, Jarrett Fennell, Colton Saucerman, Matt Benning and Logan Day leaving the squad, Jeremy Davies, Nick Fiorentino and Ryan Shea will bring new depth along the blue line.

Davies led all USHL defensemen in scoring last year, tallying 13 goals and 36 assists for the Bloomington Thunder. His efforts earned him a nod as a USHL All-Star.

“He’s someone who will break us out of our own zone,” said Madigan. “He’s really intelligent, a good skater, jumps up in the play well and supports the play. He’s [not just] an offensive player, he plays 200-feet, but he does it with an effortless approach.”

Fiorentino scored nine goals and added 29 helpers for the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL last season.

“Nick…is a young man who brings a bit of a different dimension to our core,” said Madigan. He’s a physical, big, strong defenseman. He gets around the ice really well, he has really solid puck skills that can make simple break out plays.”

Shea, a Chicago Blackhawks fourth-round draft pick, saw his season with the Youngstown Phantoms in the USHL shortened by injury last year. However, the Milton resident is expected to be an immediate contributor on the blue line.

“He’s a smart, puck-moving defenseman with high-end offensive skills who converted back to defense four years ago,” said Madigan. “He breaks you out of your zone really well, he’s smart, intelligent, and we’re excited for him to be here.”

With backup netminder Derick Roy graduating, Madigan brought in Curtis Frye from the Philadelphia Flyers Elite as a third goaltender. With a 3.36 goals against average and .908 save percentage, Frye is expected to push Ryan Ruck for ice time.

“He’s big, he’s athletic, he moves well, and he’ll challenge for some ice time,” said Madigan. “He’s a wonderful young man, he’s ready, and he understands what he needs to do to play here at Northeastern at the Division I level.”

The Huskies kick off their  Hockey East title defense against Quinnipiac on Oct. 7th.

Image Credit to SBNation

Kwesi Abakah transfers to Richmond

Redshirt senior Kwesi Abakah (center) is off to play for the Richmond Spiders. (Image Credit: Northeastern University)
Redshirt senior Kwesi Abakah (center) is off to play for the Richmond Spiders. (Image Credit: Northeastern University)

by: Matthew MacCormack

The Northeastern basketball team will look a little different when it hits the hardwood this winter.

Husky forward Kwesi Abakah is transferring to Richmond, according to a tweet from Abakah’s personal Twitter account. Abakah’s move comes just weeks after rising sophomore guard Brandon Kamga announced he was transferring to High Point.

The 6’8, 225 pound Abakah was a graduate transfer, meaning he’ll be able to play for the Spiders in the 2016-17 season.

Abakah played sparingly in his three seasons in Boston, averaging 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 76 appearances.

As a redshirt junior last season, Abakah made eight starts and appeared in all 33 games. His statistical impact was small; he averaged 1.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 13 minutes per game.

The Suwanee, Georgia native took a medical redshirt in the 2012-13 season. He graduated this spring with a degree in electrical engineering, earning the United States Army Reserve National Scholar-Athlete Award.

Northeastern head coach Bill Coen has not yet commented on the move.

With Abakah gone, the onus will shift to the Huskies’ crop of young bigs. Rising sophomores Jeremy Miller, Sajon Ford and Anthony Green are all 6’10 or above, and should see an uptick in minutes.

(Image Credit: Northeastern University)

Kamga out, Pusica in for Husky basketball

Northeastern will welcome former San Diego guard Vasilije Pusica for the 2017-18 season. (Image courtesy of USD)

by Justin Littman

Northeastern freshman Brandon Kamga has announced via Twitter that he will be transferring from the school.

The 6’5 guard from Reston, Virginia played sparingly during his inaugural season, averaging 3.0 points per game while converting nearly 46 percent of his field goals. Kamga will continue his playing career at High Point University.

Though Northeastern lost Kamga, the Huskies are set to benefit from another transfer.

Vasilije (pronounced: “Vasa”) Pusica will be transferring to Northeastern from the University of San Diego.

A 6’5 combo guard, Pusica averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists as a sophomore for the Toreros last season. He shot 44 percent from the field and nearly 39 percent from three-point range.

Due to NCAA transfer rules, Pusica will have to sit out the upcoming season.

Pusica was born in Belgrade, Serbia and is a current member of the Serbian Junior National Team. He has two remaining years of eligibility and will be considered a junior at the start of the 2017-18 season.

Northeastern Baseball Swept By William & Mary

By: Ravi Pandya

The Huskies entered this series with a 7-4 record (19-16) overall. The William & Mary Tribe had a 6-5 record (17-20 overall). The Huskies appeared to have the advantage in their starting pitching matchups. On Friday, Huskies ace Aaron Civale faced off against Nick Brown. On Saturday, James Mulry faced Bodie Sheehan. On Sunday, Dustin Hunt pitched against Dan Powers. All three of the pitchers for the Huskies had a significantly better ERA than the three Tribe starting pitchers. In fact, all three of the starting pitchers for the Tribe had an ERA over 5. Coming off of a two game losing streak, this matchup looked like exactly what the Huskies needed in order to get back on track.

On Friday, Civale and Nick Brown had a great pitching duel going on. Neither of them allowed a run through the first seven innings. The Tribe left six men on base through the first seven innings, and the Huskies left three men on base. In the top of the 8th inning, Cullen Large and Charley Gould hit back-to-back two out singles off of Civale. Then, with runners on first and third, and Ryder Miconi at the plate, Josh Treff had a passed ball which caused Large to score the first run of the game. In the top of the 9th inning, Josh Smith hit an opposite field solo homerun off of Tyler Robinson. After eight strong shutout innings from Nick Brown, Joseph Gaouette struck out the side to get his seventh save of the season.

On Saturday, Mulry performed below expectations for the Huskies. He allowed four runs (two earned) in 4.1 innings.  In the top of the third inning, Cullen Large hit a two run homerun off of him. In the top of the fifth inning, a costly error by Max Burt allowed two more runs to cross the plate. Unlike Friday, the Huskies batters did fight back. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Huskies scored five runs off of a Cam Walsh two-run single, a Charlie McConnell RBI single, a Mason Koppens bunt RBI single, and a Keith Kelly RBI single. Unfortunately for the Huskies, Andrew Misiaszek and Mike Fitzgerald proceeded to give up two runs each in the 7th and 8th innings respectively to give the Tribe an 8-5 lead. After Bodie Sheehan gave up five runs to the Huskies in the fifth inning, Mitchell Aker did a good job in bridging the game to their closer without giving up a run. Gaouette then came and got his eighth save of the season without giving up a hit.

On Sunday, Dustin Hunt and Dan Powers had another pitching duel. Through six innings, neither pitcher allowed a run. In the top of the seventh inning, Josh Smith hit a two-run homerun off of Hunt. In the top of the 9th inning, Smith got another RBI, this time a single off of Tyler Robinson. After seven strong innings from Powers, Charlier Fletcher and Robert White pitched a shutout inning each to clinch the sweep against the Huskies

The Huskies look to end their five-game losing streak against Central Connecticut State next weekend at Friedman Diamond.

Northeastern Baseball Drops Two Of Three To Elon

By: Ravi Pandya

Coming off of a thrilling Beanpot win against Harvard, the Huskies looked to keep the momentum going with a weekend series against Elon. Northeastern came into the series with a 14-12 record overall and a 3-2 record against CAA opponents.

On Friday, the Huskies won in relatively easy fashion as they beat the Phoenix 6-3 behind an Aaron Civale quality start and runs batted in from Charlie McConnell, Max Burt, Cam Walsh, Josh Treff, and Mason Koppens. After eight solid innings from Civale, which included six strikeouts, and three earned runs allowed, the Huskies turned it over to Mike Fitzgerald to finish the game. Fitzgerald did not disappoint as he retired the three batters he faced without any trouble.

The second game of the series proved to be the toughest pitching matchup for the Huskies. James Mulry pitched well, and only gave up one run off of a Tyler McVicar RBI single in the fourth inning. In the seventh inning, Andrew Misiaszek gave up an RBI single to Ryne Ogren. Misiaszek proceeded to finish the game without allowing any further damage. Unfortunately for the Huskies, those two runs were all that the Elon pitching staff needed. Michael Elefante pitched 8 innings of fast-paced shutout baseball. He constantly kept hitters off balance and only allowed two hits in his outing.  After those eight innings, Elon closer Chris Hall quickly ended the game on 11 pitches and picked up his sixth save of the year.

The rubber match of the series appeared on paper to be a relatively easy win for the Huskies. However, the game played on the field proved that it would not be the case. Elon’s starting pitcher, Jordan Barrett, came into the game with an ERA over 7. On the other hand, potential future draft MLB draft pick Dustin Hunt was on the mound for the Huskies. After escaping trouble in the first couple of innings, Barrett was able to settle into the game and pitch 6 innings with two runs allowed. Those runs came off of a Zach Perry RBI double in the 1st and a Nolan Lang sac fly in the 6th.  Dustin Hunt cruised through the first six innings, and only allowed an RBI single to Kory Shumate. However, he did allow an opposite field homerun to Tyler McVicar that was heavily carried by the wind. After Hunt allowed two runs in 7 innings, Tyler Robinson came in for relief and did not allow a hit in either of the two innings that he pitched. After Barrett left the game for the Phoenix after six innings, Chris Hall pitched four shutout innings including an extra inning in the tenth. In the top of the tenth inning, Mike Fitzgerald allowed an RBI single to Shumate that ended up being the game-winning run for the Phoenix. Chris Hall won his second game of the season after completing the game for Elon.

The Huskies’ next week consists of a Wednesday game against Quinnipiac and a weekend series at Delaware.

 

Huskies Down Harvard 3-2 in Semifinals of Baseball Beanpot

By: Mack Krell

Northeastern (14-12) and Harvard (7-15) faced off on Wednesday at 3:30 at Friedman Diamond in the Beanpot Semifinals. This is the 26th year of the Beanpot Tournament, which Northeastern has won 5 times and Harvard has won 4 times. Nate Borges started on the mound for the Huskies and Simon Rosenblum-Larson started for the Harvard Crimson.

After a quiet first inning, Northeastern got the scoring started in the 2nd inning on a Jake Farrell triple to center field. Cam Walsh and Zach Perry scored on the hit off of starter Rosenblum-Larson. Jake Farrell finished the game 2-3 with 2 RBI’s and one strikeout.

Harvard responded in the bottom of the third inning on two singles by Trent Bryan and John Fallon. After Drew Reid reached on a throwing error and Mitch Klug reached after being hit by a pitch, Bryan hit a single to score Reid and moved Klug to third. Fallon then followed that hit up with another single that scored Bryan after he stole second base. Bryan and Fallon both finished the game 1-4 with 1 hit and 1 RBI.

With the score 2-2, Northeastern pushed across the winning run in the top of the 5th inning. Max Burt hit a ground rule double to right-center field, and then scored on a Cam Walsh single up the middle of the infield. Cam Walsh finished the game 2-4 with 1 run scored and the winning RBI.

Northeastern used four different pitchers in the game. Nate Borges started the game and threw for 2.2 innings while giving up 2 runs and striking out 1 in the process. Will Jahn (1-1), who ultimately received the win for Northeastern, pitched 3.2 innings while striking out 3 and giving up 3 hits. Jahn didn’t allow any runs in his efforts. Mike Fitzgerald was credited with the save for Northeastern, his 4th of the season. He pitched the 9th inning and struck out 2. Rosenblum-Larson started the game for Harvard and pitched 4 innings for the Crimson while giving up 3 hits and 2 earned runs. Kevin Rex (0-1) was credited with the loss for Crimson despite only pitching 1 inning and giving up 1 earned run.

Northeastern now moves on to play in the Beanpot finals on April 20th. Northeastern’s next game is Friday, April 8th against Elon at Friedman Diamond.