Just looking ahead to Friday’s game, trying to get an idea of who this team is after seeing Lunardi say they should win 20 games this season.
Best way is to probably look back to last season…
Won 23 games, including 13-5 in the MAAC (15th best conference in the nation according to Kenpom), no marquee wins last year.
Went to the CIT after losing in the MAAC tournament finals to Siena for the 3rd time.
Weren’t tremendous in any stat last year except blocking shots.
So this year they lose 2 key contributors from last year, both 6’8" guys - one was a tremendous shot blocker, the other was a fantastic 3-pt shooter.
They bring back their best player (now a sophomore) and another great shot blocker, but making up those 24 points a game they lost (plus the blocks) won’t be easy for them.
They’re 1-1 currently, losing to Rutgers and beat Sacred Heart. It should also be noted they lost an exhibition to D-2 Stonehill last week.
They have 9 guys that have gotten over 10 minutes per game over their first 2.
Needham is the super-soph. Top returning scorer in the entire league… Haven’t seen him play yet, but on paper he looks like a ball-player. Led the team in scoring and minutes last year as a true -frosh, and continues leading in both this season (13.5 points per in 35 minutes per). Will shoot a lot of 3’s, but only hit 31 percent last year. Also has quite a few turnovers early this season.
Here’s a vid on Needham from last year, gives some good looks at what he’s about. Rookie of the Year: Derek Needham
Senior Warren Edney is avg’ing 10 points a game, after sitting out last season - not sure why he sat out, it does say he had injuries that made him miss the end of his sophomore year. Probably related to that. He’s 6’5" and gets the second most minutes on the squad thus far.
Olander is the returning shot blocker I spoke of, a legit 7 footer. He’s a junior with a lot of experience having played every game as a freshmen, and he’s got 5 blocks this year already picking up where he left off last year with 48 for the season. Is not a big part of the offense.
Hawkins is a senior and a preseason MAAC 3rd teamer, but after averaging 15 last season is off to a slow start this year - only has 11 points through the first two games combined. He did miss the last two months last year with injuries and could still be coming back slowly from those.
Nickerson is the only other player that seems to be doing much early this season for them, he’s a lengthier looking sophomore guard that seems like a good defender and a bit of a mismatch for smaller guards - he’s average 8.5 a game right now and 4th in minutes.
They were picked to win the MAAC this season by the MAAC coaches and most publications, and collegeinsider ranked them the 10th best mid-major in the country coming into this season.
If I’ve missed anything or screwed up any facts, please correct me. I just kinda typed as I was discovering things about them. Feel free to add to it also if you know anything.