Huskies Grind Out 2-1 Win at Providence

December 6th, 2014

By: Josh Brown

PROVIDENCE- After Wednesday night’s 5-1 shellacking by the Providence College Friars, Northeastern coach Jim Madigan called his team “soft” and assured that no one’s job in the lineup was safe. The Huskies took that message to heart, and proceeded to go into Providence Saturday afternoon and defeat the Friars 2-1 behind goals by Colton Saucerman and Zach Aston-Reese, along with a season-high 37 saves by Goaltender Clay Witt.

“I think it kind of grabbed our guys attention,” said Madigan, “because their’s a lot of pride in that locker room, and I don’t know as a hockey player their’s a worse word to be called than soft.”

“I’m really proud of the way our guys played this afternoon,” Madigan added. “Having not played a good second, third period against Providence (8-6-1, 6-4-0) in our building it was great to rebound here tonight.”

Despite both teams getting 10 shots on goal in the first period, no team was able to find the back of the net in a period where Witt and Friars Goaltender Jon Gillies displayed why they are two of the best at their position in the country, trading highlight reel saves in the process.

Much like Wednesday night’s game, Colton Saucerman put the Huskies (4-10-1, 3-6-1) up 1-0 just 2:46 into the second period on a power play goal.

Dalen Hedges took a shot off a Kevin Roy pass that was blocked by Gilles, but Saucerman was right in front of the net and was able to pick up the rebound and jam it home to give Northeastern first blood.

Throughout the middle of the second period the Friars had a couple good scoring opportunities on the power play and full strength, but in each and every case Witt stood tall for the Huskies keeping the lead in check.

At the 14:41 mark of the middle frame, Zach Aston-Reese put Northeastern up 2-0 after he one-timed a pass from Mike Szmatula into the back of the net, sending his team to the locker room with the momentum.

A scary moment for Northeastern occurred in the second period when Defenseman Mike Gunn was forced to leave the game after being hit into the boards hard by Brandon Tanev. Gunn  would not return to the game.

“It doesn’t look good,” said Madigan, “It’s an upper-body injury. It doesn’t look good.”

With the Friars on the power play in the opening minutes of the third period, they sprayed Witt with shots from left and right, but the Floridian saved every one including a sprawling save across the goal line to keep his shutout in tact.

Witt would lose the shutout a few minutes later when Trevor Mingoia scored his third goal against the Huskies in two games, on a 4-on-3 power play. Mingoia deflected a Nick Saracino shot off his shoulder and past Witt for the goal.

That would be all the Friars would get though, as Witt would deny everything else that came his way as the game winded down.

“I thought we were really controlled and composed,” Madigan said, “and Clay made some real big saves when he had to. From my end our mentality was such a grind it away each and every shift.”

The Huskies will next be action when they west to take on the Umass-Amherst Minutemen on December 16. The game can be heard on WRBB.

Follow Josh Brown on Twitter @josh_brown31

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Providence Uses Second and Third Period to Dominate Northeastern

December 4th, 2014

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON- Five unanswered goals, including two a piece by linemates Trevor Mingoia and Ross Mauermann led the Providence College Friars to a 5-1 win over Northeastern at Matthews Arena Wednesday night.

The Huskies (3-10-1, 2-6-1 in Hockey East) scored the first goal of the game with less than two minutes to go in the first period, but from there it was all Friars (8-5-1, 6-3-0 in Hockey East) who relied on their aggressive offense and excellent goaltending to secure the win.

“In the second and third period it was just an old fashion whooping that Providence gave us,” said Huskies coach Jim Madigan. “We didn’t skate, we didn’t play smart, we took too many penalties, we were soft.”

“Boy were we soft on pucks,” Madigan added.

The Friars came out flying, dominating the tempo out of the shoot, before the Huskies were eventually able to settle the pace down in what ended up being a back-and-forth opening frame.

The Huskies were able to find the back of the net first when Colton Saucerman collected a rebound off a Matt Benning shot that went wide, and shot it off a Friar defender and eventually past Providence goalie Jon Gillies.

“After the first five minutes of the first period I thought we played really well,” Madigan said.

The tides would turn quickly though, as Providence would take their play to another level in the second period.

Trevor Mingoia got it going early in the period for the Friars, scoring a power play goal after taking a pass from Jake Walman and burying it past Huskies net-minder Clay Witt.

At the 5:49 mark in the second period Ross Mauermann received a pass from Nick Saracino in a tight window that Mauermann was able to get a read on, and shot it high into the net past Witt.

The Friars would continue to pour it on in the second period when Mauermann found a streaking Noel Acciari who wrapped one just inside the post for his first goal of the year, to make it 3-1 Providence.

“I thought we showed some good mental toughness coming out o the first period down 1-0, and continuing to get better throughout the game,” said Providence coach Nate Leaman.

“I thought they [Northeastern] had a very good game plan going into the game,” added Leaman. “We had to make some adjustments. We just kept getting better throughout the game.”

Providence would do just that in the third period, and continue to tack on to their lead while smothering the Northeastern offense any time they entered their offensive zone.

Mauermann added insult to injury at the 8:26 mark of the third period, scoring shorthanded with a Huskies defender playing tight defense on him and drawing a penalty in the process, as he put it in the back of the net.

The penalty was one of seven that the Huskies took throughout the course of the game.

Mingoia would score his second of the game with just 3:56 remaining, ripping a one-timer from Nick Saracino over the blocker of Witt to make it 5-1 Friars.

The #16 ranked Friars dominated the face-off dot all night long winning 37 of 59 on the night, including many in key situations on the power play and shorthanded.

Despite a slower start then they wanted out of the gate this season, Leaman see’s improvement in his team every game.

“We’re pretty fortunate to be where we’re at,” Leaman said. “Fortunately our goaltendings been great. Our defense has been pretty good. We got to just keep working, and take it one game at a time.”

On the other side Madigan could not understand why his team came out “soft” after coming off a win against #3 Minnesota, and having won three of their last four games.

“We didn’t compete enough. We didn’t battle enough,” Madigan said. “They plain and simple wanted it more.”

The two teams will have a couple days off before meeting back up Saturday afternoon down in Providence, and Madigan noted that no one has a guaranteed slot in the lineup.

“When you have a lack of a effort like that, I don’t think anyone’s job is safe in the lineup,” Madigan said.

“I don’t know what the outcome’s gonna be on Saturday,” Madigan said. “But they’ll be a different effort, that’s for sure on our behalf.

This article can also be found on uscho…Follow Josh Brown on Twitter @josh_brown31

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Kevin Roy Goal Gives Northeastern Upset Win Over Minnesota

November 30th, 2014

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON- A Kevin Roy goal with just 2:36 remaining in the game lifted Northeastern to a 3-2 upset win over Minnesota (8-3-0) Saturday night at Matthews Arena.

Dalen Hedges, who was behind the net, gave Roy a pass right in the slot that he was able to slip by the blocker of Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox to give the Huskies (3-9-1, 2-5-1 in Hockey East) the teams third win in four games.

“We just wanted to get the puck down low,” Roy said, “and Mike McMurtry and Dalen Hedges made a great play down low battling.”

“Hedgy was able to get it to me in the middle and I had a lot of time,” Roy added. “I just tried to gain the slot and take a shot on net, and it ended up going low blocker.”

Northeastern got the first good chance of the game but were not able to convert, when they were awarded a five-minute power play as a result of a Mike Reilly hit from behind, which sent him to the locker room for a game misconduct just 2:39 into the action.

Minnesota found the back of the net first on a Justin Kloos one-timer he received from defenseman Ben Marshall, that beat Huskies goalie Clay Witt to the right side to give the Gophers a 1-0 lead.

Northeastern was able to knot the score up at one when junior Dustin Darou scored his first collegiate goal, following his rebound on an initially blocked shot and jamming it home past Wilcox.

“I thought we had pretty good energy in the first,” said Minnesota coach Don Lucia. “We had to kill about seven minutes in the first period and that obviously…took some of their [Minnesota] energy away.”

Northeastern took a 2-1 lead at the 6:32 mark in the second period when Brendan Collier scored his first goal as a Husky, shooting from the right boards on a pass from line-mate Dylan Sikura that quickly found the back of the net.

The lead would quickly vanish though, as Minnesota would score their second power play goal of the night on a five-on-three to tie the game back at two.

Connor Reilly threw the puck in deep from the point that Kyle Rau was able to deflect past Witt for the equalizer.

A back and forth third period found neither team able to crack the tie, until Roy scored the winner to send Minnesota home with a 1-1 record in Boston over the weekend, after defeating Boston College 6-2 Friday night.

“We just got to keep working and evolving as a team,” Lucia said. “When we’re successful we’re scoring a few goals. If we don’t get a five-on-five goal it’s difficult to win.”

“Any time you can beat a University of Minnesota hockey club you’re doing some things right.” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “I thought our preparation all week long was really good. I thought going into the game mentally, physically, emotionally we were at good levels.”

After a slow 0-8-1 start, the Huskies have posted a 3-1 mark in their last four outings.

“Their’s some good momentum and mojo in that locker room,” Madigan said. “We’re a good hockey club if we just stick to the game plan and play smart and with discipline.”

“We know we’re a really good team and we can play any night against any team in the country,” Roy said, “and tonight we proved that, so we have a lot of confidence moving forward.”

This article can also be found on uscho…Follow Josh Brown on Twitter @josh_brown31

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Huskies Win Hall of Fame Tipoff

November 24th, 2014

By: Josh Brown

After impressive wins over Boston University and Florida State to open up the season, the Northeastern Men’s Basketball Team (4-0) took home some hardware over the weekend, defeating Navy and Manhattan on back to back days to win the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The 4-0 start is the first time the Huskies have met that mark since the 2005-2006 season.

“It’s something that will help us build our confidence going forward,” said Northeastern Head Coach Bill Coen after Sunday’s victory.

In the first round on Saturday, the Huskies were matched up with a struggling Navy team who had lost their first three games heading into the contest.

Senior Scott Eatherton led the way for Northeastern in the first half, scoring 13 points and grabbing 4 rebounds en route to a 30-23 lead after the opening 20.

“Scott came through in a big way tonight,” said Coen. “I thought his presence was felt both on the boards and around the basket. He did a nice job of getting himself involved and also getting his teammates involved.”

In the second half the flood gates opened up for the Huskies, outscoring Navy 38-21 in the frame to give the team a 68-44 win.

Quincy Ford led the way for Northeastern in the second half scoring all 8 of his points in the frame, including two three pointers. T.J. Williams also played well for the Huskies registering 11 points of his own in 38 minutes. Eatherton ended up with a game high 19 points and 8 rebounds.

Northeastern walk-on Caleb Donnelly scored his first collegiate basket late in the game, sinking a three pointer to give the Huskies a 24 point lead.

“He’s [Donnelly] been working really hard,” said Eatherton. “He’s really helped us in practice. He’s been challenging T.J., all the guards. It was great to see all the hard work pay off.”

The Huskies on a quick turnaround were matched up with the Manhattan Jaspers Sunday night, who beat Binghamton 78-63 to advance to the championship game. The Jaspers lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season to Louisville.

Northeastern wasted no time getting to work, outscoring the Jaspers 44-24 in the first half, tying their highest scoring half of the season from the second half of the BU game at the Garden.

Scott Eatherton and Zach Stahl were unstoppable for the Huskies, scoring 14 points and grabbing three rebounds a piece in the half.

“I thought the first half was probably the best half of basketball we’ve played all season,” Coen said. “We really shared the basketball. We took care of the ball outside of the first couple minutes. [We] handled their pressure the way we wanted to, and got real quality shots.

Northeastern, who has several coaches watching Manhattan’s first game on Saturday, had an answer for everything the Jasper’s were trying to run.

“I’ve got to give credit to my staff,” Coen said. “They work really really hard at every phase of the game, particularly game preparation. As a coach you want to give your team an edge, and I thought they did that with the scout today.”

Manhattan tried to claw their way back in the second half, behind a pesky defense which led Northeastern to commit 14 turnovers (23 in the game) but it was not enough as the Huskies were able to hang on for the 65-51 win.

Eatherton finished the game with 22 points and 8 rebounds, followed by Stahl who had 16 points and 8 rebounds of his own. Quincy Ford pitched in with 9 points (all on three point shots) and 6 rebounds to help Northeastern secure the win.

“Overall I thought everybody who stepped on the court did a really fine job for us,” Coen said.

The Huskies take the court again Wednesday when they travel to to the 4-1 University of Massachusetts Minutemen. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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Northeastern Earns Second Win of the Season, Defeats Merrimack 3-1.

November 23rd, 2014

By: Jeremy Leopold

A disciplined Northeastern hockey team showed up at Mathew’s Arena Saturday night to take down a red- hot Merrimack team, and split the season series, after loosing to the Warriors 4-2 on Saturday.

First period goals from John Stevens and Dalen Hedges proved to be the difference for the Huskies en route to the 3-1 win. Northeastern controlled the pace of play for most of the game in large part to staying out of the box. Northeastern, who coming in to the game led Hockey East in penalty minutes, only committed one penalty the entire game.

“There’s been a major emphasis the past few weeks on [not taking penalties] and last night it just got to a point where, you know, ‘enough is enough boys’ and the guys responded… I thought we had [discipline] tonight in our systems and in our actions,” said Northeastern head coach Jim Madigan.

In addition to playing a more disciplined game, the Huskies dominated the dot, winning the face off battle 49-23.

“I think for the majority of the game it looked like the refs were throwing the puck back to their d’ on face offs. Obviously they weren’t, but our centers weren’t really doing a great job, our wingers weren’t doing a great job, and we’re losing a lot of draws, I mean that’s as bad as we can be in face offs,” said Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy.

John Stevens got things started for the Huskies just 2:14 in to the game. Stevens received a pass from his brother Nolan in the slot and beat freshman goaltender Colin Delia high to the glove side for his first goal of the season. Delia was playing in place of Rasumus Tirronen who was pulled just 20 seconds in to Friday night’s game and did not dress for this game.

Eight minutes later, on a Northeastern power play, Dalen Hedges added to the lead. Hedges corralled a rebound on his backhand in the slot, spun back to his forehand and wristed it by Delia high on the blocker side to notch his team leading ninth point of the season.

Merrimack got on the board early in the second when Justin Mansfield took a pass in the slot from Hampus Gustafsso and eeked it past Clay Witt off the left post for his fourth goal of the year.

Merrimack played well for the rest of the second as well with a few good chances. Mathieu Tibbet rang post halfway through the period after a flurry of shots from Merrimack and later missed an open net on a two on one rush.

“They’re playing desperate hockey. You know whether it’s a tug here, beating us in a foot race there or a block shot there,” said Dennehy. “We did it in spurts and I thought we had a really good second period and I thought parts of the third were good. We didn’t do it consistently enough.”

Madigan agrees that Merrimack had a better second period but he thought Northeastern really played well in the third.

“[The] second period wasn’t a great period for us. Then I thought in the third period that we played really smart, did a lot of little things well,” said Madigan.

The line that played especially well throughout the game, but the third period in particular, was the third line of John and Nolan Stevens and Ryan Rosenthal who had only had five shots on the night combined but all were good scoring chances.

“We’ve definitely been clicking as a line and finding some chemistry,” said John Stevens. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Mike Szmatula netted an empty netter with 1:22 remaining in the third period to push the lead to the final tally 3-1

For Merrimack the loss drops them to 8-4-1 (4-3-0) on the season.

On the flip side, Northeastern’s win moves them to 2-9-1 (2-5-1) on the year. With the rough start they still have quite a mountain to climb the rest of the year. A win at Matthew’s against a Hockey East opponent is a good way to start.

“We’re certainly coming from a little bit behind because of our poor start but you got to get points each and every weekend series, and, you know, I was happy with the two points here tonight,” said Madigan “We will get back to work on Monday or Tuesday. There’s a lot of things we can do to sure up our game.”

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Huskies Earn First Win of Season Against UNH

November 17th, 2014

By: Josh Brown

BOSTON- Huskies fans can breathe again.

After starting the season winless in the teams first nine games, Northeastern received goals from two newcomers to defeat the University of New Hampshire (4-6-0, 1-3-0 in Hockey East) 2-1 Saturday night at Matthews Arena.

Northeastern (1-8-1, 1-4-1 in Hockey East) received 35 saves from senior Clay Witt, who returned to the ice Friday night in the Huskies 5-3 loss to New Hampshire, after missing six games with a lower-body injury.

“Clay Witt was outstanding for us,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “I thought we just fed off his confidence.”

Freshman Adam Clark started in net for New Hampshire, stopping 31 shots a night after defeating the Huskies in his home building.

“Disappointed that we had an opportunity to win on the road and get a sweep, which is very difficult in this league,” said Wildcats coach Dick Umile.

Despite both teams getting a shot on the power play in the first period, neither team could find the back of the net leaving the score tied at zero after the first period of play.

The Wildcats had the first three opportunities on the man-advantage in the second period, but could not crack Witt on a night where the Huskies killed off every penalty for the first time this season.

New Hampshire out-shot Northeastern 18-5 in the second frame, but like the first period both team’s failed to slip one by the respective goaltenders.

The third period went off to a quick start when junior Kyle Smith took a pass from line mate Matt Willows and backhanded it over the blocker of Witt.

Northeastern would answer just 1:20 later when sophomore transfer Ryan Rosenthal lit the lamp, muscling a goal past Clark on a rebound off a John Stevens shot to tie the game at one.

After a couple minutes of back and forth action freshman Nolan Stevens scored his first collegiate goal, taking a pass from his brother John Stevens in the middle of the ice and shooting it under the glove of Clark to give the Huskies the 2-1 win.

“He’s (Nolan Stevens) had chances,” Madigan said. “I thought that line played really well all weekend. The two Stevens and Rosenthal.”

Despite a ferocious offensive attack by the Wildcats in the final couple minutes, including two minutes of 6-on-5 play, Witt stood tall for Northeastern sending the Huskies faithful home happy.

“We needed a win in this building,” Madigan said. “We haven’t played very well in this building.”

Despite the loss, Umile liked the effort from his team but felt it was the type of game the Wildcats need to win.

“I thought we played a pretty good road game tonight,” Umile said. “I told the team if we’re gonna be a team here in this league we gotta win these games.”

Even with the first win under their belt, the Huskies still have a lot of work to do, a task Madigan is not taking lightly.

“I have faith in the group in this locker room because they’re good kids and they’re good hockey players,” Madigan said. “We dug ourselves a hole and now it’s gonna be one game at a time.”
This article can also be found on USCHO…Follow Josh on twitter @josh_brown31

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CAA Preview: Northeastern Huskies

November 14th, 2014

By Zolan Kanno-Youngs

Head Coach – Bill Coen, 111-112 (9th season)

Last season- 11-21 (7-9 CAA)

Losses- F Chris Avenant, G Demetrius Pollard, G Marco Banegas-Flores, F Derrico Peck

Newcomers- G Devon Begley, G Alex Jordan.

It’s no surprise the Huskies have been picked to win the CAA title after returning their entire core from last season.  Scott Eatherton will lead the Northeastern frontcourt  (15.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg) after receiving national recognition last year. The  2014 CAA defensive player-of-the-year will also have help from the outside, which was a lagging problem for coach Bill Coen last season. After medically red-shirting practically all of last year with season-ending back surgery, forward Quincy Ford returns to the court with something to prove. Coen’s backcourt was inconsistent on the offensive end last year and often relied on the presence of Eatherton and Reggie Spencer. Ford’s offensive ability will surely take some of the pressure off the big men.

Don’t be misguided by Northeastern only recruiting one freshman for this season. Point guard TJ Williams was often the best player on the court as a freshman. He smoothly slipped in to the starting lineup and was a huge factor in the Huskies upset win against Georgetown in Puerto Rico. David Walker brings a nice balance to backcourt with his athleticism and his size will help Coen’s zone defense. The bench, led by forward Zach Stahl, should also be a huge asset.

Northeastern’s biggest competition will come from a re-vamped Hofstra and William & Mary. Player-of-the-year candidate Marcus Thornton has the ability to go off on any team but with Northeastern’s hard non-conference schedule, the Husky’s should be prepared when he comes around. Their biggest challenge will be injuries. For two straight years, injuries have plagued the contenders.

Bottom line- The pieces are all there for Northeastern to end its 23-year skid of missing the NCAA tournament. This is a better team than the 2013 regular season championship squad that featured Jon Lee and Joel Smith. Coach Bill Coen has the CAA’s best big man in Scott Eatherton and Quincy Ford is back. Don’t be surprised if the Husky’s have a lackluster record after non-conference play. They’re facing some challenging teams. When the CAA comes around, the expectations will be as high as they’ve ever been. It’s tournament or bust for Coen and Co.

WRBB Sports Basketball

CAA Preview: UNCW Seahawks

November 12th, 2014

By Jeremy Leopold

Head Coach- Kevin Keatts (1st season)

Last Season- 9-23 (3-14 CAA)

Losses- G Chris Dixon, G Tanner Milson, G Zack Allen, G Marcus Graham, G Ben Eblen, F Shane Reybold, F Alex Kilmartin

Newcomers- G Malik Pugh, G Jordan Talley, G Nick Powell, (Transfers who have to sit out this season: Denzel Ingram, Jarvis Haywoood, Marcus Bryan, Chris Flemmings)

First year head coach Kevin Keatts has a difficult road ahead of him after inheriting a team that hasn’t finished with a wining record since the 2007-2008 season.

For UNCW, the graduation of their third leading scorer and second leading assist man in Chris Dixon, their second leading rebounder in Shane Reybold and their leading dime dropper in Ben Eblen won’t help to improve upon last season’s last place finish. The coaches agree and place the Seahawks 9th in the CAA preseason coach’s poll, ahead of only CAA newcomer Elon.

There is some hope, however, for UNCW. Cedrick Williams, a preseason CAA second team selection, returns for his senior year. Williams led the team in scoring and rebounding last season with 11.5 points and 6.6 boards per game.

In addition to Williams, the Seahawks return senior gaurd Addison Spruill who finished second on the team in scoring last season. Spruill will be asked to do more offensively this season when it comes to distributing the ball with the departure of Eblen and Dixon after Spruill averaged one assist per game last season.

Also returning is the 7-foot, 275 pound behemoth, C.J Gettys. At times last season Gettys showed flashes of the force the Seahawks hope for him to become due to his size. With another year under his belt, and, more importantly, another offseason to refine his game, the redshirt sophomore could be poised for a breakout season.

Three incoming freshman guards will add to the backcourt depth for the Seahawks this season, likely backing up Spruill and senior guard Freddie Jackson.

Bottom Line- Keatts comes in as UNCW’s head coach highly touted after being a lead assistant for Louisville last season under famed coach Rick Pitino. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, however, he still has to play with Buzz Petersons’ recruits and aside from Williams there isn’t much talent on this roster. Look for UNCW to finish near the bottom of the conference again.

WRBB Sports Basketball

CAA Preview: William & Mary Tribe

November 10th, 2014

By Kyle Williams

Head Coach – Tony Shaver (12th season)

Last Season – 20-12 (10-6, Colonial Athletic Conference)

Losses – F Tim Rusthoven, G Brandon Britt, G Kyle Gaillard, G Julian Boatner, F Sean Sheldon, G Ben Whitlatch, F Fred Heldring

Newcomers – G Connor Burchfield, G David Cohn, G Daniel Dixon, G Glover Jamison, G/F Greg Malinowski, F Paul Rowly, G Oliver Tot

A year removed from their heartbreaking exit in the CAA tournament final, William & Mary is coming into this season looking to finally get over the hump and reach their first ever NCAA tournament. The Tribe will have high expectations after being picked to finish second in the CAA; armed with arguably the best backcourt in the conference, they are in a position to not only meet those expectations, but to pass them as well.

Any and all conversations about William & Mary basketball has to start with their star player, Marcus Thorton. A preseason first team all-CAA pick, he’s coming off his best season that ended with a first team all-CAA spot, averaging 18.7 points per game with .435/.403/.779 splits, along with 2.8 assists per game. He can spot up or take defenders off the dribble, and is a legitimate threat from anywhere on the court. Playing along side him is last year’s CAA rookie of the year Omar Prewitt, who averaged 11.4 ppg while doubling as a three-point threat and the team’s second leading rebounder at 4.6 per game. Together, they’re a nightmare for opposing defenses, and should be able to get any shot they want on most nights.

Beyond Thorton and Prewitt, the Tribe will bring back Terry Tarpey, a forward guard combo who was a contributor last season averaging 5.4 points and over six rebounds a game. They also bring back Sean Sheldon, a serviceable defensive big man who will give them at least some presence in the low post.

Looking at the losses for this team, the one that sticks out is Tim Rusthoven. Even though he battled through injuries at times last year, he still averaged 12.1 points and 4.8 rebounds with 59% shooting, and was one of the only guys in the conference able to take Scott Eatherton one on one in the post. His loss will hurt, especially in the paint; the aforementioned Sean Spence might be able to clean the defensive glass, but he’s not an offensive threat at all.

The other big loss for this team is the trio of Brandon Britt, Kyle Gaillard, and Julian Boatner. These three combined to average almost twenty-three points last year, and all shot better than 37% from three, with Boatner in particular shooting 42.7% from beyond the arc on over three attempts per game. The team will be hoping to offset this loss partially with the play of David Cohn, a sophomore transfer from Colorado State. However, his stats (3.1 ppg, 1.2 rpg) are less than eye opening, and he’ll have to earn his place in this lineup. After him, unproven freshmen Connor Burchfield and Jamison Glover fill out the bench.

Bottom Line – This team has the feel of tournament-or-bust this year. The loss of Rusthoven will hurt, but in a year when only Northeastern and College of Charleston look like they will be dominant on the boards, it won’t be as serious as it could be. The lack of scoring will be a question mark, and one of the new guards will have to step up to replace some of what the Boatner-Gaillard-Britt trio gave the Tribe last season. However, this team still has arguably the best player in the conference in Marcus Thorton, and another dynamic scorer in Omar Prewitt. Those two will always give this team a chance to win, and they will push the Tribe deep into the CAA tournament this March.

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