Tag Archives: D3 Basketball

Catching Up With Brandon Linton (Nichols College Men’s Basketball)

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Brandon Linton was recently named the 20th men’s basketball coach in Nichols College program history. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Last month, Nichols College announced the hiring of Brandon Linton, who becomes the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.

Linton arrived at the Dudley, Massachusetts campus after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Army West Point where he helped the Cadets with numerous tasks, including scouting reports to working with the wing players at practice to assisting with in-game strategy.

Before assisting the Army West Point men’s basketball program, Linton spent time as an assistant at both his alma mater, Clarkson University, and Bowdoin College.

Coaching a program like Nichols certainly intrigued Linton, who is excited “to continue building on what has already been established” with the Nichols men’s basketball program.

“The chance to take over a program that represents excellence, both on and off of the basketball court was important to me,” said Linton when asked about becoming the new men’s basketball coach at Nichols. “Also, the growth potential of the program was equally intriguing, (as well).”

Nichols concluded its 2018-19 season with an impressive 28-3 mark. The Bison advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament earlier this year, thanks to postseason victories against Amherst CollegeMiddlebury College, and Rowan University.

Additionally, Nichols also captured the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title with a 105-90 victory over Gordon College.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Coach Linton to discuss his excitement for the upcoming season.

As a former Division III, men’s basketball player did you always want to coach or become a head coach at this particular level? 

Absolutely.  I had the great fortune to play for Adam Stockwell during my first three years at Clarkson. I remember sitting in his office as a freshman and sophomore, and him telling me that I would be a college basketball coach one day.  Prior to that, I had casually thought about the idea of it, but after (those conversations) I began to own that reality. Everything I’ve done since was aimed at this goal of becoming a Division III head coach.

What do you know about the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)? Are you excited to coach in a very competitive league? 

I’m extremely excited to coach in this league.  I know that it is made up of high-level coaches that have built some of the best and most competitive programs in New England.  The talent across the board is impressive and something that I notice has improved since my departure from Division III.  This is a conference that I believe should be a multiple bid league to the NCAA tournament (every season). I look forward to the challenge of being in that mix.

How did your experience with Army West Point shape you into the coach you are today? 

I couldn’t be more grateful for my time at Army.  The development that I was able to take part in both on and off of the basketball court was truly remarkable.  It is the preeminent leadership development institution in the world. From the faculty to the cadets and all the variety of guest speakers that came through West Point, it truly was a hub for leadership development.

Basketball-wise, being able to coach at the Division I level just provides an amazing amount of time that you get to spend coaching and teaching the game to your players.  We also fielded a junior varsity team at West Point, which allowed us as (to gain experience) being a head coach as assistants to the varsity. More than anything, being around the people day in and day out was the number one takeaway that I believe will shape me into the coach I am and hope to be.

Great coaches are great leaders. And great leaders are great people first.

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Coach Brandon Linton inherits a Nichols College men’s basketball team that finished the 2018-19 season with an impressive 28-3 record. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

What are some of the biggest goals/objectives you (and the men’s basketball program) hope to accomplish between now and the team’s first practice? 

The biggest thing will be developing the framework for meaningful relationships with each other. That is from new staff to players and vice versa. It will also be amongst the current players as well. Acclimating the newcomers into the fold, while also continuing to develop even stronger bonds with your returning teammates (will be a must, as well). That will be our biggest focus prior to our first practice on October 15th.

A few quick-hitters, beginning with your all-time favorite memory of playing basketball. 

Without a doubt, it has to be back in 2008 when I was a part of Clarkson’s first-ever Liberty League (LL) championship. We advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a fourth-seed in our conference’s tournament, which made it even sweeter.

Legitimately, no one believed we could get it done because there was honestly no prior reason to think so, but only the individuals in our locker room believed (we could win a conference championship) and that’s all that mattered. It’s something that has stuck with me ever since (and proves what) the power of belief can accomplish.

Who was a player you idolized growing up? 

Tracy McGrady. Unfortunately for me, my teammates and coaches, however, I played nothing like McGrady, but when I got to college, I really enjoyed watching Rajon Rondo when he first started playing for the Boston Celtics. I enjoyed watching Rondo as a student-athlete with the Celtics – he was a big part of their resurgence. I played the point for Clarkson and I really respected how he played that position. And that’s probably why my three-point percentage was what it was, too.

Finally, if you could coach any basketball player, both current or past, who would it be and why? 

Growing up in New York City, I was and still am a big fan of the New York Knicks. We’ve fallen on hard times for a good 15-20 years, however, as a kid, there were some awesome teams for me to follow.

I fell in love with basketball by watching John Starks play.  I would always wear his number (three) whenever I could in youth tournaments and recreational leagues.  The passion and swag that he played with was everything to me. He embodied what it meant to be a New Yorker, as well. He was hard-nosed, did whatever it took for the greater good of the team, and took the challenge of guarding the best players on the other team. He also jacked three-pointers, too, which was still a newer thing for the game during the 1990s.

John Starks is definitely someone I would love to coach.


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter! 

Brandeis Tops Babson In Big 4 Challenge Championship,74-49

I4CwSboa_400x400By Matt Noonan | @MattNoonan11

Make it four-straight early season wins for the Brandeis University men’s basketball team, which defeated Babson College, 74-49, in the 2018 Big 4 Challenge Championship earlier this evening.

The championship win was the Judges’ first since beating Salem State in 2012.

Corey Sherman paced the Blue and White with 25 points, including six freebies and three trifectas, while adding six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block.

Chandler Jones chipped-in 18 points, six rebounds, one assist and one swipe, while Eric D’Aguanno netted 12 points off the bench.

Sherman was selected as the tournament’s most valuable player, while earning a spot on the all-tournament team, as well. Joining Sherman on the five player team was Jones, along with Babson’s Frank OftringSean Bryan (Salem State) and Brennan Morris (Tufts University).

Brandeis secured a 34-19 lead at the break before tallying 40 points in the final session. Babson, which netted just 30 points in the final 20 minutes, which was held to a season-low 49 points. Oftring paced the Beavers with 16 points on 6 of 12 shooting.

Prior to Babson-Brandeis, Salem State defeated Tufts, 90-84, to secure a third place finish. Last season, the Vikings defeated the Jumbos and Beavers to claim their first-ever Big 4 Challenge trophy.

The Judges will attempt to continue their early season momentum on Thursday, December 6th when they visit Becker College at 7 p.m.


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter! 

ICYMI: Marcos Echevarria Netted His 2,000th Point In Nichols’ 85-64 Win Over Endicott

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Marcos Echevarria netted his 2,000th point on Saturday, Dec. 1st in his team’s big win over Endicott College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Nichols College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports

Marcos Echevarria netted 22 points last night, including his 2,000th point of his collegiate career as Nichols College defeated Endicott College, 85-64.

Echevarria became the third student-athlete in program to net 2,000 points when he connected on a made three-point attempt late in the second half.

The made three-point attempt allowed Echevarria to become the third student-athlete in program history to net 2,000 points or more in a four-year career – he currently trails Ryan Sheehan (2,106) and Bills Collins (2,014) on the all-time list.

Through six games this season, Echevarria leads all scorers with 127 points. He has sunk 25 of 64 three-point attempts and has averaged 21.2 points per game. He scored a season-high 29 points in his team’s win over Trinity College last month, while registering his first double-double of the season on 23 points and 10 rebounds last week against Salve Regina.

Echevarria and the Bison are 6-0 for the first time since Nichols began its 1959-60 season with seven-straight wins. Nichols will have a chance to match that start when they travel to Curry College on Tuesday, December 4th. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Noontime Basketball: 10 Games To Watch (Nov. 30th-Dec. 2nd)

NS 10 GAMES TO WATCH HOOPS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

A brand new weekend of New England D3 basketball has arrived, which means it is time to unveil our first edition of 10 Games to Watch for the season, along with some predictions, too – who doesn’t love predictions?

Make sure to stay connected with @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter throughout the weekend for in-game updates, scores, news and more!


Women’s Basketball: Smith College at Babson College (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 12 p.m.): The Beavers fended off a late rally by the Engineers to score an important (and yes, impressive) early season win on Wednesday. Look for the Green and White to continue their mid-week momentum on Saturday against the Pioneers. PREDICTION: Babson Beavers 

Women’s Basketball: Clark University at MIT (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 1 p.m.): The Engineers enjoyed an impressive start to its 2018-19 campaign, but have recently struggled in their last two outings. Expect coach Sonia Raman‘s squad to bounce back on Saturday against the Cougars in Cambridge. PREDICTION: MIT Engineers 

Women’s Basketball: Univ. of New England at Roger Williams (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 1 p.m.): Can we call this game a must-win? Both teams have struggled over the past few weeks, but this is always a must-see/must-follow contest. Look for Sam Leone and Gabby Jerahian to lead the Hawks to a much-needed win. PREDICTION: Roger Williams Hawks 

Women’s Basketball: Conn. College at FDU-Florham (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 2 p.m.): The Camels have been one of a few teams to watch thus far – they enter Saturday’s non-conference clash riding a five-game winning streak. Look for the Blue and White to continue their current trend and pick-up their sixth win of the season. PREDICTION: Conn. College Camels 

Women’s Basketball: Bowdoin College at Colby College (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 2 p.m.): Bowdoin’s Cordelia Stewart had a big game against MIT last Sunday and should once again be a player to watch in this match-up. PREDICTION: Bowdoin College Polar Bears 

Men’s Basketball: Keene State at Middlebury College (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 3 p.m.): The Panthers have enjoyed a very successful start to their 2018-19 campaign and should continue their early-season momentum against the Owls. Look for a big game from Middlebury’s Matt FolgerPREDICTION: Middlebury Panthers

Men’s Basketball: UMass Boston at Eastern Conn. State (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 3 p.m.): The Warriors have rebounded since an opening day loss to William Patterson, winning four-straight, including a 77-70 win over Rhode Island College earlier this week. PREDICTION: Eastern Conn. Warriors 

Men’s Basketball: Salem State vs. Brandeis University (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 3 p.m. | Babson College): First-year coach Jean Bain has the Judges in position to snatch a Big 4 Challenge crown this weekend, especially after scoring recent victories over Bates College and Lasell College. PREDICTION: Brandeis Judges 

Men’s Basketball: Tufts University at Babson College (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 5 p.m.): The Beavers finished last season’s Big 4 Challenge as the runner-up, but expect the Green and White to once again be in contention for some hardware this weekend, especially if Brandon Johnson continues his impressive play from earlier this week. PREDICTION: Babson Beavers 

Men’s Basketball: Endicott College at Nichols College (Saturday, Dec. 1st at 6 p.m.): This is a BIG one for both teams as a win would provide the winner with an inside track for the conference crown in February.  PREDICTION: Nichols Bison 

Noontime Sports New England D3 Women’s Basketball Top 10 (Nov. 26th)

NS HOOP WBB TOP 10

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_Hoops 

Another week of New England D3 men’s basketball is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our latest Noontime Sports Top 10, which finds Bowdoin College in the top spot followed by Tufts University and Amherst College.

The Polar Bears secured the top spot for the first time this season with recent wins over MIT (78-57) and University of New England (106-55). Bowdoin will be idle for a few days, but does return to the hardwood on Saturday when they visit Colby College for a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Tufts has enjoyed a successful start to its 2018-19 campaign, thanks to some impressive play from its underclassmen, including Janette Wadolowski, who netted a season-best 22 points on Sunday in her team’s 110-63 victory over Brandeis University. Additionally, the Jumbos have gotten a boost from first-year Molly Ryan, who is averaging 9.5 points per contest.

Amherst slipped from the top spot to the third position following a 70-67 setback to Eastern Connecticut last week. The loss snapped a 68-game winning streak, but look for Amherst to construct a new one beginning this week.

Connecticut College made the leap from the seventh position to the fifth, thanks to recent regional wins over Johnson & Wales (78-43) and Coast Guard Academy (77-62). The Camels will attempt to close out the first month of play with wins over Mitchell College and Worcester State – both games will take place away from New London.

Finally, UMass Boston remained in the tenth position for the second-straight week following a pair of wins against Keuka College (78-69) and Emerson College (66-61). Sophomores Jalani Jackson and Joie Grassi have provided a boost for the Blue and White, averaging 16.3 and 15.3 points per contest, respectively.


Noontime Sports D3 New England Women’s Basketball Poll | Nov. 26th, 2018 

1. Bowdoin College

4-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week: No. 2

2. Tufts University

4-0, 0-0 NESCAC

Last Week No. 3

3. Amherst College 2-1, 0-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1 
4. St. Joseph’s (Maine)  4-0, 0-0 GNAC  Last Week: No. 4
5. Conn. College 4-0, 0-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7 
6. MIT  3-2, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 5
7. Middlebury College 3-0, 0-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 9 
8.  Smith College 4-1, 0-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 6
9. UMass Dartmouth 4-0, 0-0 LEC Last Week: No. 8
10. UMass Boston 4-0, 0-0 LEC Last Week: No. 10 

On The Rise: Babson College (1-1), Eastern Conn. (2-2), Emmanuel College (3-0), Hamilton College (3-0), Trinity College (3-0) and Western Conn. (4-1)


Previous Polls: Preseason | Week One 


Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter Today! 

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