NEC MEN'S BASKETBALL CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Josh Cohen, Saint Francis U
6’10”, 220 lbs.
R-So., F, Lincroft, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy
It was a career week for Cohen, a redshirt sophomore who has the potential to be an elite big in the NEC this season. Cohen was a model of efficiency in SFU’s split, tossing in 18.0 points per game on 72.2 percent shooting from the floor and 90.9 percent from the line. He also supplied 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 block and 1.0 steal per game, despite playing just 21.5 minutes per outing. Cohen opened his week by scoring a career-high 18 points at Cornell on Wednesday, then matched that total four days later to help lead the Red Flash to a 79-68 win at Lehigh. Cohen, who hails from Lincroft, NJ, hit 7-9 shots, and added 10 rebounds in his second double-double effort of the season. He scored 16 of his 18 in the second half as SFU scored 53 points after intermission to pull away for the win. Cohen paces the NEC in field goal shooting (.714), and ranks 14th in scoring (11.8) and eighth in rebounding (6.8).
Jordan Minor, Merrimack
6’8”, 240 lbs.
Jr., F, Kingston, MA/Brimmer and May
Minor was in can’t miss mode offensively for the Warriors last week, hitting 70.6 percent of his shots from the floor and 89.5 percent from the stripe on his way to averaging 20.0 points per game in a split. The All-NEC third teamer contributed 11.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per outing as well. Minor was 8-11 from the field and 9-10 from the line as part of a career-high 25-point outing in Tuesday’s 75-60 victory over Hartford. The Waterbury, CT product also supplied a season-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double this fall. Minor went on to tally 16 points (4-6 FG, 8-9 FT), 10 rebounds and a pair of steals in a last-second loss at BU on Sunday. He ranks seventh in the NEC in scoring (13.3), second in blocks (2.25), eighth in FG accuracy (.514) and ninth in rebounding (6.6).
NEC MEN'S BASKETBALL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Jayden Brown, CCSU
6’8”, 215 lbs.
Fr., F/C, Providence, RI/Tilton School
Brown joined teammate Joe Ostrowsky as NEC Rookie of the Week honorees after he contributed 10.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and shot 66.7 percent from the floor over two games. In his first career start on Tuesday, Brown was one of four players in double figures as the Blue Devils went on the road to down Maine, 64-56, and reward Pat Sellers with his first career win as CCSU head coach. He scored 10 points, added four rebounds and converted 5-7 shots in 19 minutes of work. On Sunday, he sank 5-8 from the field to finish with 10 points and a personal-best seven rebounds in a heart-pounding 89-83 double OT setback to Fordham. Brown’s alert putback with 1.3 seconds to play sent the game to OT.
NEC PRIME PERFORMERS
Peter Kiss (BRY, Sr, G)
Kiss showed off his all-around game with 17.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.5 apg and 2.0 spg in Bryant’s split. He finished with 16 points, five rebounds and six dimes in a 65-59 win at Brown on Friday.
Charles Pride (BRY, Jr, G)
Pride’s strong week included 15.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.5 apg and 3.5 spg to go along with 46.2 percent shooting from three-point range. He recorded a game-high 23 points and added a season-high 14 boards in a two-point OT loss to Dartmouth on Sunday. Pride, who scored five points in the 30 seconds of regulation to give Bryant a short-lived lead, also matched a career-best with four steals and hit five three-pointers.
Brandon Rush (FDU, Jr, G)
Rush heated up from distance at Princeton on Sunday, sinking 5-8 shots en route to a season-high 27-point outing. For the week, the junior guard averaged 17.0 ppg and 2.0 apg, and made 6-13 (.462) from behind the arc.
Ty Flowers (LIU, Gr, F)
Flowers stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 19.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 4.5 bpg and 2.0 spg, while hitting nine triples in a split. He shot 52.2 percent from the field, 56.3 percent from distance and 85.7 percent from the stripe. Flowers finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, seven blocks, two assists and three steals at Saint Peter’s on Tuesday.
Eral Penn (LIU, R-Sr, F)
Penn posted his first two double-doubles of the season with 15.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 3.5 apg and 2.0 spg as LIU fell by two at Saint Peter’s and routed Delaware State. He led the NEC last season with 14 double-doubles.
Mykel Derring (MC, Jr, G)
Derring caught fire from three-point territory last week, hitting 9-12 on his way to averaging 16.5 ppg. The junior guard shot 78.6 percent from the field over two games. Derring sank 7-9 from distance in Tuesday’s 15-point win over Hartford and scored a career-high 25 points. He is shooting 52.4 percent from long range on the season on 2.75 makes per contest.
Jordan Minor (MC, Jr, F)
Minor was dominant last week in a split for the Warriors, contributing 20.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.5 apg and 1.5 spg while hitting at a 70.6 percent rate from the floor and 89.5 percent clip from the line, where he sank 17-of-19. He recorded a career-high 25 points on 8-11 shooting, and snared 12 caroms in a 75-60 win over Hartford last Tuesday.
Aaron Clarke (SHU, Sr, G)
Clarke rang up 18 points on 8-15 shooting, and added three assists at Stony Brook last Monday. He has averaged 19.5 ppg over his last two outings since missing three games with an injury.
Nico Galette (SHU, So, F)
Galette posted his second double-double in three games with 11 points and a game-high 14 boards at Stony Brook last Monday. He hit 5-9 from the floor and chipped in with three assists. Galette leads the NEC with 9.3 rpg.
Tedrick Wilcox Jr. (SFBK, Jr, G)
Wilcox, a transfer from Dominican, had a big game last Tuesday as the Terriers took St. John’s to the wire. He sank 5-8 from downtown - including four early on that boosted SFBK to a 16-4 lead - and finished with a season-high 19 points to go along with six rebounds. For the week, he shot 50.0 percent overall and 47.1 percent from three-point territory, while averaging 13.0 ppg and 7.7 rpg.
Josh Cohen (SFU, R-So, F)
Fresh off the finest week of his career, Cohen netted 18.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 bpg and 1.0 spg, and shot 72.2 percent from the floor and 90.9 percent from the line, despite playing just 21.5 minutes per outing. After scoring a career-high 18 at Cornell on Wednesday, Cohen provided the spark in SFU’s 79-67 win at Lehigh on Sunday. He tossed in another 18 points on 7-9 shooting, and registered his second double-double of the season with 10 rebounds.
Ronell Giles, Jr. (SFU, So, G)
Fresh off a terrific freshman campaign, Giles, Jr. continues to elevate his game. Last week, he posted 17.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 spg and committed just one turnover over 74 minutes in SFU’s split. The Brandywine, MD product scored a season-high 19 points, matched a career-high with six boards and set a new personal-best with five steals at Cornell last Wednesday.
TOP STORYLINES FROM #NECMBB WEEK THREE
SELLERS BAGS FIRST BLUE DEVIL WIN
While no stranger to winning games as a Blue Devil, it hits different when its your first victory as THE guy.
Pat Sellers had that moment last Tuesday when CCSU won its first game of the year with a 64-56 road takedown of Maine.
Sellers, a CCSU alum who was an assistant at the school from 1999-03 and helped lead the Blue Devils to NEC titles in 2000 and 2002, celebrated with his young team in style following a strong defensive effort reminiscent of those title teams two decades ago.
CCSU limited Maine to 0.88 PPP, 39.5 percent shooting from the field, just 2-14 (.143) from three-point range and piled up an NEC single-game season-high (vs. DI opponents) 16 steals, while forcing 18 turnovers.
“We had 16 steals and we aren’t the kind of team that gambles on defense,” said Sellers after the win. “But we were in the right position. Maine is great at posting up, even their guards, but we were able to get help.”
Offensively, the Blue Devils placed four players in double-digits and 35 of the team’s 64 points came courtesy of a quintet of freshman, three of whom either set or matched their career-highs.
Freshman guard Davonte Sweatman (Boston, MA/Lawrence Academy) scored a career-best 11 points on 5-7 shooting, and freshman forward Jayden Brown (Providence, RI/Tilton School (NH)) set a personal-best with 10 points while converting 5-7 from the field. Classmate Andre Snoddy (Melville, NY/St. Anthony’s (St. Thomas More (CT))), a swingman, equaled his career-high with nine points, and added a game-high six boards.
After the game, Twitter lit up with administrators, coaches, former players, pundits and fans alike offering congratulations to Sellers on securing his first head coaching win.
Tom Pincince @tompince
Congratulations to our guy @SellersanlyzNBA on win #1 (of many) tonight on the road at Maine. If you’re not on board yet, now’s the time! Culture. Teamwork. Blue Devil basketball. A tremendous leader for @CCSU_MBB! Well done gentlemen! Together, as we always do! #GoBlueDevils
Doug Gottlieb @GottliebShow
What @tompince said
Greg Herenda @CoachHerenda
So happy for our brother Pat Sellers on his first head coaching victory !!!! Paying your dues never goes out of style ……Bravo !
Jay Young @CoachJayYoung
Congrats to @SellersanlyzNBA…first of many. Stags are proud of you!
MO CASSARA @COACH_MOCASSARA
Congrats coach @SellersanlyzNBA
Matt Mauro- The Mid-Range Jumper @TheMidRangeJump
CCSU with its first win of the season, and the first victory as a head coach for Patrick Sellers. I’m excited to see this coaching staff grow along with this talented freshman class. But it wasn’t just the young guys. Scantlebury was the best player on the floor tonight.
Lenny Jefferson @CoachLJ21
So happy for the team and Coach @SellersanlyzNBA on a great 1st win last night. Definitely earned, deserved and many more to come. Great job.
Darius Stokes @dstokes35
Winningggg! Congrats to my man @SellersanlyzNBA on his first win! Many more to come!
Matt Stevens @Matt_Stevens_
Congrats @SellersanlyzNBA on your first win!!! #GoBlueDevils #CCSU
Mark Carroll @EmceeMC17
CCSU’s Fab Five Freshman—Brown, Sweatman, Snoddy, McLaughlin, Ostrowsky—combine for 35 points, 14 boards, 7 steals—in win over Maine. Congrats to @CCSU_MBB coach, Pat Sellers!
@SellersanlyzNBA great job tonight! They are already showing the “Sellers“ style of BB. Love how you rotate everyone in, building experience and a creating a great sense of team! Your team Mr. Sellers!
NEC ANALYTICS ZONE WITH RYAN PETERS
Each week throughout the 2021-22 season, NEC Overtime! blogger and NEC on the Run podcast collaborator Ryan Peters (@pioneer_pride) will contribute a series of analytically based tidbits covering NEC hoops.
Utilizing the analytics website Barttorvik.com and its Game Score metric, LIU posted a Game Score of 90 (out of 100) in its dominating victory Saturday over Delaware State. It was the first time the program registered a Game Score at 90 or above since LIU’s 84-55 home victory over Central Connecticut on February 8, 2019. In the win, the Sharks posted a season high 1.32 points per possession, an effective field goal percentage of 55.0 percent and an offensive rebounding rate of 46.7 percent. The Sharks impressively registered 21 offensive rebounds for 21 second chance points.
For the first time in his young career, Saint Francis’ Josh Cohen (Lincroft, NJ/CBA) was deemed the “KenPom MVP” for his 18-point, 10-rebound, 3-assists and 2-block performance in a convincing victory at Lehigh on Sunday. The skilled 6-10 center has now registered an offensive rating above 100, per KenPom’s metric, in four straight games and is 56th nationally in offensive rating with a splendid mark of 136.5 (100.0 is considered average). The lofty offensive rating is mostly due to Cohen’s 2-point field goal percentage of 73.9 percent and his elite foul rate - he’s drawing 6.9 fouls per 40 minutes in 2021-22.
Speaking of Saint Francis U, Cohen’s frontcourt teammate Marlin Hargis (Mays Landing, NJ/St. Augustine Prep (Holy Cross)) also has an impressive KenPom offensive rating of 137.8, thanks to a true shooting percentage of 83.2 percent. When both Cohen and Hargis are on the floor together, in fact, the Red Flash are scoring a scorching 125 points per 100 possessions according to Hoop Explorer. That’s compared to just 93 points per 100 possessions when neither player is on the floor, an improvement of 33 points per 100 possessions.
Merrimack junior Mykel Derring (Boston, MA/Proctor Academy) has been red hot shooting the basketball in the early going, posting a 54.2 percent conversion rate (22-of-42) on his 3-point tries in the Warriors first eight games. Derring has been particularly lethal in his catch-and-shoot opportunities, draining a remarkable 18 triples out of 31 attempts (58.1 percent) when catching a pass from a teammate before shooting it.
Known for embracing analytics when it comes to offensive schemes and play calling, Jared Grasso has lived up to that reputation thus far in 2021-22 as Bryant possesses a “Rim and 3-Point Rate” of 89 percent. This means that 89 percent of Bryant’s shot attempts are either near the rim or beyond the three-point arc, good for 27th nationally.
DERRING’S DOWNTOWN DOMINANCE
Merrimack junior sniper Mykel Derring (Boston, MA/Proctor Academy) entered the season as one of the NEC’s top three-point marksman, but hasn’t rested on his laurels.
Derring has taken his long distance game to the next level early on in the 2021-22 campaign, capped off with a 7-9 night from outside the arc in last Tuesday’s 75-61 win over Hartford. The seven triples were a career-best, as were his 25 points on the evening. Derring drained four three-pointers in the final 8:44, including a pair of daggers in the final 2:30 to seal the victory.
Derring is one of ten players in the nation this season with at least seven three-pointers made and a 77.8 percent success rate.
On the year, the Boston, MA native is shooting 52.4 percent from downtown to rank fifth in the NEC.
DOUBLE THE TROUBLE: MACK DUO DOOMS HARTFORD
It was a pick your poison kind of game for Hartford in its 75-60 setback to Merrimack on Tuesday.
In sparking the win, MC junior guard Mykel Derring (Boston, MA/Proctor Academy) and junior forward Jordan Minor (Kingston, MA/Brimmer & May) became the first set of NEC teammates to score at least 25 points in the same game against a DI team since RMU's Josh Williams went for 36 and Matty McConnell contributed 27 in a 98-89 overtime win over Cornell in the CIT on March 19, 2019.
They were the first duo to hit 25 in a regulation game since Bryant's Adam Grant (32) and Sebastian Townes (27) combined for 59 points in a 105-104 setback to Sacred Heart on February 14, 2019.
CHILDS JUMP STARTS BULLDOG WIN OVER BEARS
Trailing by seven points with under nine minutes to play, Bryant needed someone to step up against a solid Brown squad in Providence on Friday.
Chris Childs (Bronx, NY/Woodstock Academy (CT) (Indian Hills CC)) answered the call.
The senior sharpshooter from the Bronx sparked a 23-9 run with 11 points and an assist that boosted Bryant to a 63-56 lead with 1:43 to play. In that span, he hit three three-pointers, including the go-ahead triple with 5:17 to play.
“(Chris) is an elite offensive player and he was going through some struggles. What he did today was tough,” said Bryant head coach Jared Grasso following the win. “When things are easy, it’s easy to make shots. He had courage stepping up in the second half and making really big shots for us and I’m really proud of him.
The win was Bryant’s first over the Bears since 2013 and just the second second-ever in Providence. Brown had taken North Carolina to the wire earlier in the season, fell to Colorado by two points and recorded a win over Bradley.
Childs on the year ranks sixth in the NEC in made three-pointers (2.17/game) and ninth three-point percentage (.433).
FLOWERS’ UNIQUE STAT LINE
We wrote about his ability to dominate in all facets of the game last week, and it didn’t take LIU graduate student Ty Flowers (Waterbury, CT/Sacred Heart (UMass)) to back it up.
Last Tuesday, Flowers finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, seven blocks, two assists and three steals, and hit 5-9 from the floor, 4-6 from long range and 6-6 from the line in a two-point setback at MAAC contender Saint Peter’s.
In doing so, Flowers became the first player in the nation in nearly four years to post a 20-point, 7-rebound, 7-block, 3-steal game and just the ninth player in the last 12 seasons to do so. Marshall’s Ajdin Penava was the last prior to Flowers to accomplish the feat, with 33 points, 15 rebounds, nine blocks and three steals in a win over Ohio on December 16, 2017.
He went on to record 19 points, five rebounds and a pair of blocks as LIU routed Delaware State, 99-65, on Saturday for its first win of the season. The Waterbury, CT native hit 5-10 from three-point range, after going 4-6 against the Peacocks.
Flowers averaged 19.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 4.5 blocks and 2.0 steals per game. He also converted at a 52.2 percent clip from the field and 56.3 percent rate from distance where he made 9-16 shots.
Flowers leads the NEC with 3.2 made triples per game, and also ranks third in scoring (15.6) and blocks (2.0).
SFU’S COHEN CLIMBS CHARTS
When you talk about offensive efficiency, look no further than Saint Francis U redshirt sophomore forward Josh Cohen (Lincroft, NJ/CBA).
Cohen, the NEC Co-Player of the Week after scoring 18 points apiece at Cornell and Lehigh, has made at least two-thirds of his shots from the floor in all five games this season and leads the conference at 72.4 percent on the season.
He leads the NEC with a 136.5 offensive rating (based on at least 24 percent of possessions used), and ranks third in effective field goal percentage (.739) and second in true shooting percentage (.772).
The Lincroft, NJ native is also putting up eye-popping numbers based on his time on the court. Seeing 17.2 minutes per game, Cohen is averaging 11.8 ppg or 27.4 ppg per 40 minutes. His 6.8 rpg equates to 15.8 rpg per 40 minutes.
Following the win over Lehigh on Sunday, Cohen addressed his production.
“I feel like in the first couple of games I was being passive. I went back to the basics getting some easy finishes, go hard to the rim and it really paid off today.”
CCSU BIG SHOTS
Pat Sellers’ young CCSU squad turned some heads in Sunday’s double overtime loss to Fordham, both in its ability to go toe-to-toe with an A10 program and its never-say-die attitude.
After the Rams built a 12-point edge five minutes into the second half, the Blue Devils chipped away to remain within striking distance, and after cutting the lead to two heading into the final possession, went for the kill shot following a timeout.
While junior guard Ian Krishnan’s (Gaithersburg, MD/Clarksburg (Proctor Academy (NH))) potential game-winning three-pointer was off the mark, freshman forward and NEC Rookie of the Week Jayden Brown (Providence, RI/Tilton School) alertly pulled down the rebound and laid the ball in with 1.3 seconds to play to send the game to OT.
Given a second opportunity in OT, Krishnan was on target, sinking a 30-footer in transition at the buzzer to push the game to a second extra session.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, Bryant senior guard Chris Childs (Bronx, NY/Woodstock Academy (CT) (Indian Hills CC)) couldn’t have come up with a more time appropriate quote following the Bulldogs’ 75-61 win over Hartford.
“It’s funny. Sometimes basketball is a lot like life. The more unselfish you are and the more you help others, the more good things happen to you.”
CATCHING UP WITH THE BERRY BROTHERS
It was a busy weekend for the Berry brothers.
While FDU freshman guard Oscar Berry (Melbourne, Australia/IMG Academy) was making his first appearance of the season for the Knights in Sunday’s game at Princeton, his brother Jordan was handling punting duties for the Minnesota Vikings, averaging 53.3 yards per kick against the 49ers.
One day earlier, his brother Wilson suited up for Kentucky in its rivalry win over Louisville. The freshman has punted four times this season for the Wildcats.
Mount St. Mary’s senior forward Nana Opoku (Woodbridge, VA/Potomac) grabbed his 500th career rebound in Saturday’s game against Navy. With 502 for his career, he is one of four active NEC players to reach the milestone.
CCSU junior guard Nigel Scantlebury (Rochester, NY/Niagara County CC) paced CCSU in scoring last week with 10.5 ppg, and added 3.0 rpg and 3.5 apg. Running the point, he committed just two turnovers over 55 minutes in two games and has ranks fourth in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.75) this season.
CCSU’s bench outscored Fordham, 24-0, in Sunday’s tilt in New Britain.
FDU sophomore forward Sébastien Lamaute (Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec, Canada/Brébeuf) hit 7-9 (.778) from deep and averaged 11.5 ppg over two starts last week for the Knights. The newcomer netted a career-high 14 points, including 4-6 from outside the arc, at NJIT last Wednesday.
LIU sophomore guard Kyndall Davis (Chicago, IL/Bogan) erupted for a career-high 21 points in just 18 minutes in the Sharks’ 99-65 win over Delaware State on Saturday. He made 7-11 from the field, 3-6 from downtown and pulled down seven boards.
After missing his first 10 three-point opportunities to begin the season, LIU redshirt junior sniper Alex Rivera (Lowell, MA/Lowell (UMass Lowell)) turned things around against Delaware State on Saturday, hitting 4-7 shots from long range in a season-high 12-point outing. The Sharks drained an NEC single-game season-high 14 three-pointers in the win.
Merrimack guards Mikey Watkins (Roselle, NJ/Linden), Mykel Derring (Boston, MA/Proctor Academy) and Malik Edmead (Deer Park, NY/Deer Park) combined to turn the ball over just four times over 140 combined minutes in two games last week. That same trio combined to hit 56.3 percent of their field goal attempts.
Mount St. Mary’s junior guard Jalen Benjamin (Raleigh, NC/Meadowcreek (GA) (UAB)) averaged 14.5 ppg on 50.0 percent shooting from the field and three-point range, where he sank 5-10 over two games. He also recorded 3.0 rpg and 2.5 apg. Benjamin led all scorers with a season-high 23 points at Ohio on Monday. He converted 9-10 from the floor and 5-6 from beyond the arc.
Sacred Heart sophomore forward Bryce Johnson (Stockton, CA/St. Mary’s (Pomfret)) posted his second double-double of the season with a career-high matching 13 points to go along with a season-high matching 10 rebounds at Stony Brook last Monday.
St. Francis Brooklyn graduate student forward Patrick Emilien (Toronto, Ontario/John Polanyi Collegiate (Western Michigan)) shot 62.5 percent from the field over three games last week and ranks seventh on the circuit with a 54.2 percent mark on the year.
SFU scored 53 points in the second half of Sunday’s 79-68 win at Lehigh. The Red Flash shot 20-32 following intermission, including 5-7 from three-point range.
Saint Francis U redshirt senior forward Mark Flagg (Fairless Hills, PA/Pennsbury) registered one block against Lehigh to move into a tie for third place on the program’s career list with 109 rejections.
Wagner’s game at Army last Wednesday was postponed due to multiple positive Covid-19 tests among the Seahawks’ Tier 1 personnel.