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NEC Daily Ball Screen: 1/23/22

Today's Games:

St. Francis-Brooklyn at Bryant, 1pm

Central Connecticut at Mount St. Mary's, 2pm

Wagner at Merrimack, 3pm

Sacred Heart at St. Francis (PA), 4pm

Long Island at Fairleigh Dickinson, 7pm


SFC at BU

On Friday night, the Terriers allowed FDU to score 1.18ppp, as the Knights got plenty of good looks from deep (10 of 19) and only turned it over 10 times (15%). Bryant hasn't shot it well (31.9% from three, 8th in the league), but has the league's best offensive efficiency in conference play thanks to their 35% OR% and 54.6% 2P%. If SFC can limit the 2nd chance opportunities and limit good looks from three, they can stay in this game.


CCSU at MSMU

The Mount has come on strong of late; they've won 3 of 4, with their lone loss a 7-point defeat at Bryant. On Friday night, Mount St. Mary's made 11 of 22 from three and grabbed 51.6% of their misses. Dan Engelstad boasts one of the league's best defenses, and if they can continue to make 3s (35.6% on the year, 74th nationally) they will be tough to beat. Their problem has been turnovers (21.6%, 324th nationally). The CCSU defense has struggled to limit good looks but they have done a nice job forcing turnovers (19%). Mezie Offurum is going to be a tough matchup for the Blue Devils, especially if Andre Snoddy remains out (he missed Friday's game with tonsillitis, but did travel to Loretto).


WC at MC

In 2020, Merrimack led the league with 90.3 points/100 possessions. In 2021, they were 2nd with 97.4. So far this season, the Warriors have allowed 105.8 points per 100 possessions in league games, which is just 6th, after giving up 1.32ppp at home to Bryant on Friday. Wagner is coming off a scare on Friday night, and eventually shooting 26% from three is going to come back to bite them, especially against a team that employs a zone. Can Merrimack keep them off the offensive glass? Bryant grabbed 18 ORs on Friday. If Merrimack is going to steal this game, they will either need to go nuts from deep like when they made 17 of 26 in a win over LIU, or will have to keep the ball out of the paint on the defensive end.


SHU at SFU

When I think of Rob Krimmel, I think of offense. Which is why it's startling to see SFU ranked dead last in offensive efficiency in NEC play (88.4 points/100 possessions). Their eFG% is just 44.2%, as they've struggled to make 3s (27.9%) and twos (45.4%), and they've had turnover issues (21.3%). However, the Sacred Heart defense is ranked 10th. One thing to watch in this one; the size of SFU's frontline against the Pio's' athleticism. Josh Cohen and Mark Flagg won't see anyone taller than 6'7" trying to D them up, but can they chase Bryce Johnson and Nico Galette?


LIU at FDU

Long Island is playing its best basketball of the season; they had won 4 straight before losing to Wagner in overtime on Friday, and their 3 NEC losses came by a combined 16 points. LIU's defense has been stout...they're allowing just 95.9 points/100 possessions in NEC play...but they can be got from the perimeter where they've allowed opponents to shoot 37.6% from deep. FDU was able to make 10 of 19 from three on Friday, as Brandon Rush, Oscar Berry, and Devon Dunn all had multiple 3-point makes. Want a guy to watch? FDU freshman Anquan Hill. Hill is 6'9" 195 lbs., and on Friday exploded for 17 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 1 turnover. On the season he's got just a 40.4% eFG%, but he's got a 20.4% defensive rebounding rate in NEC play (10th), and a 5% block rate on the year. Going up against the LIU frontline is a whole different animal, however.


NEC Worst Bets


Season Record: 27-33


My "leans" are recorded below. I'll post any official bets to my Twitter feed.


1) Wagner (-7.5) at Merrimack

Wagner has so many guys who can put it on the deck and get into the paint. Last season the Seahawks scored 141 points in 130 possessions in 2 wins over Merrimack on Staten Island. And that was before Raekwon Rogers showed up.


2) Central Connecticut (+9.5) at Mount St. Mary's

CCSU has covered in each of the past 2 games, and there's no way the Mount will be able to repeat the kind of success from three as they had on Friday night.


3) Long Island (-6.5) at Fairleigh Dickinson

The Sharks are rolling and look like the 3rd best team in the league right now. I just can't see the Knights being able to matchup with the size LIU can throw at you, and Derek Kellogg has the type of wing defenders to give Brandon Rush problems.


4) Sacred Heart (+3) at St. Francis (PA)

The Red Flash lose on Friday if Myles Thompson doesn't go off in the 2nd half against CCSU.

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