The Mid-Range Jumper: The Final
It's hard to believe March Madness is officially here, isn't it? It doesn't seem like too long ago that I was writing my NEC Season Preview, and now it's time to start thinking of doing a season recap.
This week's Mid-Ranger will be more brief than normal- do any of you really care about what happened last week? Of course not! You want me to tell you what will happen on Wednesday.
I'll have my NEC All-Conference teams, as well as a full preview of the quarterfinals up in the next couple of days. Yes, I'll be busy this week. But first, let's (quickly) recap last week:
Team of the Week: Robert Morris
Team Performance of the Week: RMU 78, SFU 68
Normally I reserve this award for a team that won multiple games, but when you win a de-facto playoff game for the right to play the NEC Tournament as the #1 seed (which comes with the home court advantage for the entire tournament) against the hottest team in the league, you earn this honor.
10 days after getting thumped in Loretto 86-71, the Colonials scored 1.21ppp (their 3rd best output of the conference season) thanks to a 60.4% eFG%, and they held the Red Flash to 5 of 21 from three. Josh Williams led the way with 23 points (4 of 9 from three), and as a team Bobby Mo had 20 assists against just 11 turnovers.
Player of the Week: E.J. Anosike, Sacred Heart
The NEC Player of the Year candidate was huge last week, averaging 19.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and making 12 of 15 from the free throw line in a pair of Pioneer wins.
The 6'6" junior finishes the season 5th in league play with 15.7 ppg and 1st in rebounding (12.3 per game).
Freshman of the Week: Devon Dunn, Fairleigh Dickinson
A 6'1" freshman, Dunn has seemingly come out of nowhere to help strengthen the FDU bench, and last week was no exception. The sharpshooter made 4 of 8 from three on his way to score 19 points in two FDU wins, and chipped in 5 rebounds and 3 assists. He finished the NEC slate with a 42.4% 3P% (7th).
Individual Leader-Board of the Week: Box +/- (full season, min. 65% of team's minutes)
1. Isaiah Blackmon, Saint Francis- 5.9 (79.8% of minutes)
2. Josh Williams, Robert Morris- 3.6 (80.8%)
3. E.J. Anosike, Sacred Heart- 3.4 (83.3%)
4. Juvaris Hayes, Merrimack- 3.2 (91.1%)
5. Keith Braxton, Saint Francis- 3.1 (90.7%)
6. Ty Flowers, Long Island- 2.3 (85.3%)
7. A.J. Bramah, Robert Morris- 2.2 (68.8%)
8. Kinnon LaRose, Sacred Heart- 2.0 (78.6%)
9. Jare'l Spellman, Sacred Heart- 1.5 (68.4%)
10. Adam Grant- 0.7 (82.9%)
Team Leader-Board of the Week: Net Ranking (as of 3/2/20)
1. Saint Francis (186)
2. Sacred Heart (193)
3. Robert Morris (213)
4. Merrimack (221)
5. Bryant (237)
6. Long Island (257)
7. Fairleigh Dickinson (225)
8. Mount St. Mary's (301)
9. St. Francis-Brooklyn (310)
10. Wagner (330)
11. Central Connecticut (347)
Other Stuff You Need to Know:
Nothing. If you've read this space all season, you already know everything there is to know about the Northeast Conference.
In all seriousness, if you're reading this, thank you for following along this season. I've really enjoyed covering the NEC over the past six months, and hopefully I'm just getting started.
Let the Madness Begin!