Happy Monday, everyone — we’re kicking off another busy week of content creation by sharing our latest Noontime Sports Podcast featuring Michael Williams, a coach and founder of the Williams Advancement Agency.
Williams, who has a wealth of coaching experience, shares why he started his own agency last March prior to the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, Williams and host Matt Noonan discuss how an agency can benefit coaches interested in moving up in the college basketball world.
Said Williams, “The goal was to help coaches network (and) get to know people because this business is all about who knows you, not who you know. And I think that is really important.”
Williams also discussed branding and marketing — yes, branding and marketing for his clients, which is important for prospective players (and fans) to learn more about coaches.
Enjoy the interview below from our Spotify channel — you can also listen to our show through Apple Podcasts and Anchor.
Every Friday, Team Noontime — Matt Noonan, Andrew Pezzelli, and Zach Weiss — get together to record a weekly podcast on national (and yes, sometimes New England-based sports news). And this week, the trio shared their thoughts on the upcoming NBA play-in tournament.
All three believe this is a good thing for a league that included a play-in tournament last year when games were shifted to Orlando, Florida due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And as of this afternoon — Friday, May 14, to be exact — six of eight play-in spots are secured, including the seventh, eighth, and ninth positions in the Eastern Conference.
We’ll find out over the next few days as to which teams will secure the final two spots — one in the Eastern Conference and one in the Western Conference as the play-in tournament is set to begin next Tuesday, May 18 and will conclude Friday, May 21.
Additionally, Noonan, Pezzelli, and Weiss discuss the Boston Celtics’ current campaign, which finds the Green and White in seventh place in the Eastern Conference heading into the play-in tournament next week.The Celtics will most likely tip-off against the Charlotte Hornets, but could face the Indiana Pacers, pending results between now and Sunday.
Boston has two games remaining in the regular season against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Saturday, May 15) and New York Knicks (Sunday, May 16).
Marcus Azor says he continues to replay his team’s Little East Conference (LEC) tournament championship win in his head.
“It has been replaying since the final buzzer went off,” said Azor, a junior guard from Brockton, Massachusetts, who led the University of Massachusetts Dartmouthmen’s basketball team to a 108-68 win on Thursday, March 4 against Keene State.
Azor, who finished his team’s final contest with 13 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, was named the LEC’s Most Outstanding Player after leading the Corsairs to an 8-2 record this winter. The junior guard averaged 21.0 points, eight rebounds, and five assists per game in back-to-back conference tournament games this month, and is already looking ahead to next season with hopes his team will continue its recent momentum once the 2021-22 season tips-off.
“I have no doubt in my mind that my teammates and I will be motivated next year to continue this momentum,” said Azor.
Noontime Sports recently spoke with Marcus Azor to discuss his team’s first conference tournament title since 2009, as well as how the UMass Dartmouth men’s basketball team was able to improve from one game to the next.
Tell me about winning the LEC Championship earlier this month. Are you still replaying the game in your head?
Yes, I am.
We were so close last season to winning the conference crown, but came up short (against Western Connecticut), so that loss provided us with extra motivation. Most of the 2019-20 team returned this winter, so we were confident that we could achieve our goal of winning the conference crown.
Cutting down the net is truly a moment I will never forget.
In addition to helping your team win the LEC title, you were also tabbed the Most Outstanding Player. What does this particular honor mean to you?
I owe this honor to my teammates and coaches for challenging me every while giving me the confidence to play my game. Everyone played a huge role in the tournament, so the award could have gone to any member of the team.
All in all, this is truly a special honor to me.
You and the team had a successful shortened season, winning eight of 10 contests. How did you and the team improve from one game to the next?
It always starts off with practice, we make each other work extremely hard, but also ask everyone to put forth their best effort in every drill so we can be more prepared for our next game. And after games conclude, we go over our mistakes through a film review with an emphasis on improving them in our next practice, so we will be better prepared for our next game.
What did you and the team learn from your two setbacks this winter against Eastern Connecticut and Keene State? How did those loses fuel an eventual title run?
Those losses were disappointing because we were leading throughout each contest. We learned that we shouldn’t get comfortable with any sort of lead and continue to be aggressive – we needed to attack when necessary, and I felt that we exhibited that approach in our championship game against Keene State.
With the season officially over, what will you be doing over the next few weeks and months to prepare for next season? And do you imagine you will enter next year’s campaign with additional motivation to continue your squad’s recent success as a senior?
I’ll be resting the bumps and bruises from the season before returning to the gym to prepare for next season.
Everyone is determined to win the conference title again and make a lengthy run through in the 2022 NCAA D-III Tournament.
Another week of small college basketball in the northeast is in the books, which means it is time to share this week’s Noontime Sports Team of the Week for Monday, February 1, 2021.
Similar to last week, our team is made-up of NCAA D-III student-athletes from the northeast, including one student the Liberty League (LL) in New York.
As noted last week, our teams will highlight student-athletes from our region that have either returned to the court or been playing for the past few weeks. Submissions for each team can be sent to our general email: NoontimeSports@gmail.com.
In case you missed it, here is our first Noontime Sports Small College Basketball Team of the Week from Monday, January 25, 2021.
Noontime’s Men’s Basketball Team of the Week (Feb. 1, 2021)
Shion Darby (Rhode Island College): Darby secured his initial Little East Conference (LEC)co-player of the week honor with Cory Muckle on Monday after leading the Anchormen to a 79-75 win over Eastern Connecticut this past weekend. The second-year guard tallied 23 points with eight assists, three rebounds, two blocks, and two steals in 39 of 40 minutes.
Dante Law (Rhode Island College): Law secured his second-straight LEC Rookie of the Week honor after scoring a game-high 26 points last Saturday in his team’s four-point win over Eastern Connecticut. The first-year guard from Taunton, Massachusetts connected on 10 of 15 field goals while tallying six boards and two steals.
Cory Muckle (Eastern Conn.): In his team’s lone contest of the week against Rhode Island College, Muckle led the Warriors with a double-double of 22 points and 16 rebounds to go with one steal. Muckle was tabbed a co-player of the week with RIC’s Shion Darby.
Jason Phelps (Clarkson): Phelps averaged 22 points, five assists, four rebounds, and one steal in a 1-1 week for the Golden Knights. Against Villa Maria last Wednesday, the senior from Tully, New York netted 26 points to go with two boards, five assists, and two steals before posting 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one block on Saturday against Bryant & Stratton.
Tyreice Woods (Eastern Conn.): Against Rhode Island College this past weekend, Woods produced 13 points on five of nine shooting to go with four assists, three rebounds, and one block.
Noontime’s Women’s Basketball Team of the Week (Feb. 1, 2021)
Jalen Cook (Plymouth State): Cook led the Panthers this past Saturday against Rhode Island College by scoring a game-high 25 points on 9 of 16 shooting to go with four rebounds. She connected on both free throw attempts and finished the game five of seven from beyond the arc.
Sophia Guerrier (Rhode Island College): Named this week’s Little East Conference (LEC) Player of the Week, Guerrier averaged 13 points, 9.5 rebounds and four assists in back-to-back games against Plymouth State and UMass Dartmouth. Against UMass Dartmouth, Guerrier posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds along with three assists and one steal before tallying 14 points, nine caroms, two steals, and two blocks against Plymouth State.
Jordan Moretti (UMass Dartmouth): The Johnston, Rhode Island native came close to tallying a triple-double last Wednesday when the Corsairs hosted Rhode Island College in their first contest of the 2020-21 school year. Moretti stuffed the stat sheet with 10 rebounds, nine points, and five steals in 40 minutes. She connected on three of four freebies.
Kelly Walsh (Babson College): In a pair of games this past weekend against Fisher College, Walsh averaged 15.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. In her team’s initial game of the 2020-21 school year, Walsh scored a game-high 20 points on seven of nine shooting to go with seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals before stuffing the stat sheet on Sunday with 11 points, four assists, and three rebounds.
Brooke Young (Rhode Island College): In a pair of games last week, Young averaged 12.5 points and three rebounds as the Anchorwomen scored back-to-back wins against Plymouth State and UMass Dartmouth. Against the Corsairs last Wednesday, Young tallied 13 points on 5 of 15 shooting to go with five rebounds, three assists, and one steal before posting 13 points, two steals, one carom, and one assist on Saturday against the Panthers.
The sun is shining here in Boston, which makes me think that today is going to be an awesome day for everyone, so let’s get after it and have some fun!
The Daily Noontime is back – yes, I am pumped to bring it back and highlight some stories from the sports, tech, and innovation world, so you have something to read (and consume) every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Let’s get after it with today’s Daily Noontime for Tuesday, January 26, 2021 – be well, stay safe, and please hold the line!
According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports (FOS), Sports Illustrated plans to put its “premium content” behind a paywall, beginning Tuesday, February 2. Readers would have to pay $5.99 a month, which is $1 more than what The Athletic charges its monthly subscribers.