Tag: D3 Basketball

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Jake Wisniewski (WPI)

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Jake Wisniewski averaged 9.0 points and 6.4 rebounds this past season with the Engineers. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/WPI Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It was just last month when WPI senior Jake Wisniewski was named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Engineers to a 20-win season, along with an appearance in the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament.

For the second-straight year, the West Brookfield, Massachusetts native averaged 9.0 points per game to go with 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28 contests. Wisniewski netted 10 points or more 11 times this past winter while scoring a season-best 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting against Wheaton College in February.

Named a second-teamer by both the NEWMAC and Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA), Wisniewski concluded his career with 958 points in 107 contests along with 552 rebounds, 161 assists, and 35 blocks.

We recently caught up with Jake Wisniewski to discuss his four-year career with the Engineers, as well as his future plans after graduation later this spring.


What will you remember most about your final season with the Engineers? 

Conference play, but also getting to play with my classmate Lou Doherty.

Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they? 

Before our senior season tipped-off last November, I would say our NEWAC semifinal contest against MIT last winter when Colin McNamara sank the game-winning basket at the buzzer.

As for this past season, I would say our home games against Emerson College and Wheaton College. Against Wheaton, I got into a rhythm (and scored 23 points), but the best part of both games (as well as other home contests) was getting to spend time with our families and friends after the final buzzer sounded.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team/program these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation? 

I will miss battling and competing with these guys on a daily basis. I will miss the games because there probably will never be another contest I play that I can get as competitive as I did with the Engineers these past four years. But most of all, I will miss my teammates and hanging out with them off the court.

Do you hope to stay involved with your sport in the future? Any interest in being a coach? 

Definitely. I want to stay involved with basketball in some way, and I am certainly interested in being a coach in the future.

Tell me about your major/concentration. How did you choose it and what do you plan to do with it after graduation? 

I chose to concentrate on project management because I like to work with people to solve problems.

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Mary Kate O’Day (Framingham State)

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Mary Kate O’Day and the Framingham State women’s basketball team competed in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game last month. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

For Mary Kate O’Day, her senior season with the Framingham State University women’s basketball team was one both she and fans will certainly remember for quite some time.

The Berlin, Massachusetts native averaged a career-bests in points per game (17.9), rebounds (8.5), and assists (3.1) while leading the Rams to their first-ever Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament Championship with a 66-51 win over Worcester State.

Framingham State would make its initial appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament days later and conclude its 2019-20 campaign with a school-record 22 wins in a single-season.

Named the MASCAC Player of the Year for the second time in her career, O’Day netted 20 points or more in 12 contests this past season while scoring a season-high 31 points in her team’s 101-91 victory over Westfield State in January. O’Day was honored by both the New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA) and D3Hoops.com (All-Northeast Region) last month, securing spots on the first and second teams, respectively.

O’Day scored 1,557 points in 102 games with the Rams to go with 621 rebounds, 234 assists, and 127 steals. She also recorded 38 blocks, including a career-best 16 this past winter.

We recently caught up with Mary Kate O’Day to discuss her final season with the Rams, as well as her future plans beyond graduation later this spring.


What will you remember most about your final season with the Rams? 

I will remember winning the MASCAC championship. We came up short twice in the past, so to finally win it my senior year was something special.

Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they?

I think the game that I will remember most (from this past year) was when we beat Westfield State on the road. We had only beaten them once in my four years with the Framingham State women’s basketball program, so earning a win against the Owls was (an important step toward eventually winning our conference tournament title on the final day of February).

In addition to our win over the Owls, it has been great seeing both former and current teammates reach certain milestones. I have vivid memories of watching Alycia Rackliffe, Raegan Mulherin, and Emily Velozo score their 1,000th point, respectively, to Lauren Donahue becoming the program’s all-time assists leader. Those are games (and memories) I will never forget. 

What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team (and program) these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation? 

Meeting so many amazing people. I have become so close with my teammates over the past four years. We have shared some amazing memories together, including two trips to Florida and celebrating New Years’ at Universal Studios. Those were some of my favorite memories with my teammates (and friends).

I will miss most hanging out with my teammates and being apart of a team. Whether we were hanging out in someone’s dorm room, grabbing food off-campus to shooting around before practices, the times we spent together, both on and off the court is something I will miss.

Tell me about your major. How did you choose it and what do you hope to do beyond graduation? 

I am a sociology major. I went into college undeclared but during my sophomore year, I took a sociology class and really enjoyed it. My goal is to get a job with the Special Olympics.

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Keith Brown (Endicott College)

Senior Guard Keith Brown (24)
(PHOTO COURTESY: David Le ’10/Endicott College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

For the past four years, Keith Brown has been a player to watch on the Endicott College men’s basketball team.

The Pelham, New Hampshire native credits the program’s “competitive atmosphere” for making him a better player. “We all wanted to push each other to get better through practices, pick-up games, and (various) weight lifting sessions,” he said when asked about what he enjoyed most about competing for the Endicott men’s basketball program.

And that assistance from both current and past teammates allowed Brown to flourish under the direction of coach Kevin Bettencourt and conclude his career as the first-ever men’s basketball player to net 2,000 points.

Brown, who was named to the D3hoops.com All-Northeast Region Third Team, and NABC All-Northeast Region second team last month, capped an impressive four-year run by scoring 2,046 points in 103 games to go with 540 rebounds, 207 assists, and 111 steals. He also tallied 52 blocks, including 24 this past winter, while leading the Gulls to a 19-8 overall record.

We recently spoke with Brown about his final season with the Gulls, as well as his future plans beyond graduation later this spring.


What will you remember most about your senior year? 

The friendships my teammates and I established. We are very close friends and did everything together, both on and off the court.

Looking back on the 2019-20 season, what game (or games) will you will remember most? Why these particular games? 

There are three games I will always remember from this past season. The first one is when we beat Nichols College on our home court. It was a (great game) with a packed crowd. It was also a great (college basketball) atmosphere.

The second game is when we traveled to the University of New England. I broke the all-time scoring record during the game while Matt McDevitt netted his 1,000th point.

And the third contest was our ‘Senior Day’ against Curry College. Not only was I able to share the court with my fellow seniors and roommates for the past four years, but I also became the first student-athlete in program history to score 2,000 points.

Once you officially graduate later this spring, do you plan to stay involved with the sport in some capacity? Any interest in coaching? 

I haven’t officially decided on what I am going to do after I graduate. I definitely want to remain involved with basketball in some capacity, but I do have an interest in coaching down the road.

What interested you in pursuing a degree in business management? What do you hope to do with your degree after graduation?

It’s a broad degree, in my opinion, which will allow me to do many things. I have been fortunate to gain some real-life experience with four internships, but my plan is to land a job within the sports world.

I am a determined person and believe that I will find the right job that is best for me (after graduation).

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Jeff Spellman (Bates College)

Undefeated Colby men's basketball defeats Bates 101-84 in Alumni
Bates College senior Jeff Spellman averaged a career-best 15.8 points per game this past winter while averaging 4.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals. (PHOTO COURTESY: Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

By NoontimeSports.com 

For the third consecutive season, Bates College senior Jeff Spellman led the Bobcats in scoring as the Boston, Massachusetts native produced 379 points in 24 contests this winter, including a career-high 36 trifectas.

Spellman and the Bobcats concluded their 2019-20 campaign with a 12-13 record, as well as a spot in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament. Bates faced Colby College in an epic triple-overtime quarterfinal meeting, which saw Spellman net a team-high 23 points on 8 of 21 shooting to go along with four rebounds, four steals, and three assists.

Named to the All-NESCAC Second Team last month, Spellman ranked seventh in the conference in points per game (15.8), which was the highest average by any member of the Bates men’s basketball program since Brian Ellis averaged 15.9 points in 2011.

In 87 contests with the Bobcats, Spellman recorded 1,242 points to go with 359 rebounds, 233 assists, and 73 steals. He also tallied nine blocks, including a trio of swipes this season.

We recently caught up with Jeff Spellman to discuss his final season with the Bobcats, but also his future plans after he graduates later this spring.


What will you remember most about your senior year?

When thinking back on my senior year I am reminded of the commitment to growth demonstrated by every one of my teammates, most notably in the offseason. Regret in sport often spawns from a reflection upon wasted effort in one’s preparation, not a failure in the heat of competition. There is not one member of this 2019-20 team that will have any regrets from this past season.

Looking back on the 2019-20 season, what game (or games) will you will remember most? Why these particular games?

I will never forget our game against Middlebury College. Not only was this our last game of the regular season it was also potentially the last game of my classmates’ careers. Never mind the buzzer-beater by Nick Gilpin, but watching him dominate that entire game was something I won’t ever forget. And beating the tenth-ranked team in the country on the road (at that time) was a great feeling. It provided us with a special feeling going into the NESCAC quarterfinals against Colby.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for the Bates College men’s basketball team (and program) these past four years?

We often spoke of embracing the “wrench” mentality.  Long story short this program welcomes adversity with open arms, occasionally seeking it out. We had nothing given to us; everything we accomplished we fought for. That is why I love Bates basketball.

Once you officially graduate later this spring, do you plan to stay involved with the sport in some capacity? Any interest in coaching?

As of now, my plans are to continue to play basketball at the professional level. When or where that happens is up in the air but I am committed to playing this game as long as I can.

What interested you in pursuing a degree in studio art? What do you hope to do with your degree after graduation?

Art has long been an integral part of my life. Simply put, it’s what I enjoy doing most, outside of basketball. I saw no need to shy away from my passion in college and decided to make it my major.  I typically work with photography and film so I can envision myself down the road continuing to utilize both mediums for the work I plan to produce.

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Erica DeCandido (Tufts University)

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Erica DeCandido averaged 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this past winter for the Tufts University women’s basketball team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Alonso Nichols / Tufts University)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

This past winter, Erica DeCandido was the player to watch on the Tufts University women’s basketball team.

The North Wales, Pennsylvania native averaged career-bests in points per game (16.7) and rebounds (8.7) in 29 contests while leading Tufts to a 28-1 overall record.

Recognized as the 2020 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Year, DeCandido scored 20 points or more seven times this past winter while netting a career-high 28 points in her team’s 78-60 win over Wesleyan University. Additionally, she pulled down 10 rebounds or more in 10 contests and recorded nine double-doubles.

DeCandido scored 1,397 points in 119 games with the Jumbos to go with 685 rebounds, 317 assists, 166 steals, and 67 blocks.

We recently spoke with Erica about her final season with the Jumbos, as well as where she is headed after graduation later this spring.


Despite the way the season concluded, what will you remember most about your senior year?

I will definitely miss the camaraderie. My teammates are my best friends, and college basketball gives you such a great opportunity to do something you love with all the people you love.

Despite all of the wins and that one loss (from this past season), I will remember how much fun we had from (competing on the road) to our bus trips, team meetings, and so much more.

Looking back on the 2019-20 season, what game (or games) will you remember most? Why these games?

I will remember our two road games against Amherst College and Bowdoin College. I think the Amherst game was one of the first games in my collegiate career where we went into overtime which was very intense. The Bowdoin game featured some amazing fans and neither team could miss (a shot). Both were such different games but against two great teams, and we won them both.

What have you enjoyed most about competing for the Tufts women’s basketball team (and program) these past four years?

I’ve certainly enjoyed the high level of competition, not only in the NESCAC but in our everyday practices, too. I was able to play in the D-III National Championship my freshman year, win a NESCAC championship while having an amazing time with my friends. As cheesy as that sounds, that’s why I love playing for this team. We are super close and were able to compete for championships. 

Once you officially graduate later this spring, do you plan to stay involved with the sport in some capacity? Any interest in coaching?

I definitely would love to stay involved with the sport. I do not think I will become a coach (at some point) but I would love to work for basketball non-profits, so I can teach this game I love so much. 

What interested you in pursuing a degree in cognitive brain science? What do you hope to do with your degree after graduation?

I find the brain and psychology very fascinating. We all have brains, but it’s so interesting to see how different things can impact one from the other. It’s fun to learn about what goes on behind people’s actions, thoughts, and decisions.

I currently have a job lined up in New York City, doing client services for a company called Guidepoint.