We borrowed the format from the folks at StormingtheFloor.com. They do such a good job of covering this sport, so we used it for a conference that they don't have a regular beat on.
Don't think for a second that you've got the NEC figured out. Because as soon as it seems someone might be headed in one direction or another, they U-turn and head the opposite way. Still it does seem that the NEC is building some depth, and even though some of it may be muddled in mediocrity, the NEC has some wins this year that the league can be proud of. And now all of the wins have come from the top teams in the league. Monmouth is 1-4 in conference play, yet managed to win twice in the Carribean earlier this season. The Hawks beat Charlotte and Wichita State during the early season tournament. In addition, Mt. St. Mary's beat Winthrop just before Christmas, Sacred Heart got a win over Holy Cross, Wagner beat Loyola Marymount, but the prize came this past week when Robert Morris downed Boston College.
Team of the Week: We know we could have selected a few other teams here. Even St. Francis (NY) would have fit after they won a pair this week, but when an NEC team wins in an ACC building (even if it is just Boston College) they pretty much secure the honor no matter what else happens. The Colonials did suffer a disappointing home loss to Sacred Heart at the end of the week, but finished the week 2-1 and are now 12-5 overall. In the conference, Mike Rice's team is just 3-2 and currently sits in a three-way tie for third place. AJ Jackson scored 21 points in the win over BC, before Tony Lee led the Colonials with 19 in a hard-fought 64-59 win over Fairleigh-Dickinson on Thursday.
Down on their Luck:
The Long Island Blackbirds won 9 times against 3 losses in non-conference play. So they were viewed as one of the contenders entering the season. But LIU has dropped 3 of 4 in conference play to start the season, and now must battle to get back into contention. The Blackbirds fell this week to Sacred Heart and Central Connecticut State. Senior center Kellen Allen leads LIU in scoring with 13.7 per night.
Player of the Week:
Tristan Blackwood of Central Connecticut scored 26 in the Devils win over St. Francis (PA) and followed it up with 20 and 8 assists in Monday's win over Long Island as the Devils evened their record at 3-3 in the conference. Blackwood knocked down four three-pointers in the win over the Flash and had 3 in the win against the Blackbirds. The senior has now scored in double figures in five straight games and has the most 20+ point efforts of any active player in the NEC.
Games to Watch:
St. Francis (PA) at Mt. St. Mary's, Wednesday 9pm (MASN)
Quinnipiac at St Francis (NY), Thursday 7pm
Sacred Heart at Mt. St. Mary's, Saturday 7pm