D3 Basketball: Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll (Monday, Jan. 13th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Middlebury College remained our TOP team in our seventh New England D-III Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll after a 2-1 week for the Panthers, which saw the Blue and White beat Hamilton College and Plattsburgh State.

Yes, the Panthers did lose their conference opener to Amherst College, but they were able to turn around one day later and score a one-point win over Hamilton. Both Amherst and Hamilton remained on our weekly poll this week, checking in eighth and ninth, respectively.

Colby College stretched its winning streak to 13-straight, thanks to back-to-back conference wins last weekend over Connecticut College and Trinity College. The Mules visit Middlebury on Friday, January 17th in what should be a very exciting (and interesting) contest.

Babson College remained our third team, despite falling to fourth-ranked Springfield College in their conference opener. The Beavers rebounded with an impressive win on the road against WPI.

Finally, Brandeis University returned to the poll following a 76-71 win over New York University. The Judges, who have won four straight, will look to continue their recent momentum this weekend against both Rochester and Emory.


New England D-III Basketball Men’s Top 10 Week Six Poll| Monday, January 13th, 2020

1. Middlebury College 14-1, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Colby College  13-0, 2-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Babson College 11-2, 1-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 3
4. Springfield College 11-2, 2-0 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
5. Albertus Magnus  11-1, 0-0 GNAC Last Week: No. 4
6. Tufts University 11-2, 1-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 6
7. WPI 10-3, 1-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 5
8. Amherst College 10-4, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 7
9. Hamilton College 11-3, 1-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 9
10. Brandeis University 9-3, 1-0 UAA Last Week: Not Ranked

ON THE RISE: Endicott College, Nichols College, Rhode Island College, and Western Connecticut 


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week One| Week Two | Week ThreeWeek Four| Week Five |Week Six

Catching Up With Laura Pierce (Fitchburg State Women’s Basketball)

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Laura Pierce, who competed and coached at Wheaton College, was recently named the new women’s basketball coach at Fitchburg State University. (PHOTO COURTESY: Fitchburg State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Laura Pierce was ready for that next step in her coaching journey.

She had gained valuable experience at both Wesleyan University and Wheaton College as an assistant for both women’s basketball programs but appeared eager – and ready – to become a head coach.

And that eagerness – and readiness, too – paid off as she was recently named the new women’s basketball coach at Fitchburg State University.

“I am excited to get to work with the young women to create a culture in which our program makes Fitchburg State proud on the court, in the classroom, and in the community,” said Pierce in the press release announcing her hiring.

Pierce inherits a Falcons squad that finished 9-17 a year ago, including 2-10 against Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) foes.

The Falcons did qualify for the MASCAC Tournament last winter but saw their bid for a conference crown conclude in the quarterfinals against Bridgewater State University.

Coaching in the MASCAC is something Pierce is very excited about – she described the conference as “really competitive,” while also noting that “you have to bring your best effort every (single) evening.”

Said Pierce, “My hope is that we enter the gym every day with the mindset of effort, focus, and attitude because it will help us be successful, both this upcoming season and in the future.”

Prior to becoming an assistant for both the Cardinals and Lyons, Pierce enjoyed an impressive career at Wheaton, tallying 622 points, 253 rebounds, 424 assists, and 68 steals in 100 games played. Pierce, who was a three-year captain, also attended “So You Want to be a Coach” Program at the Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Florida in April of 2015 before graduating from Wheaton one month later.

Noontime Sports recently spoke with Pierce about her excitement for leading her own program, but also what she learned as both a student-athlete and assistant from Coach Melissa Hodgdon.

What excites you about coaching your own program?

Being able to teach the game I love while shaping these young women’s lives.

Coaching is about so much more than the X’s & O’s (on a chalkboard). It’s about building relationships and mentoring (your players) to become the best they can be, both on and off the court. I have had many coaches and mentors along the way that I have played for and coached with, and they have all have shaped me into the coach and person I am today.

I think the exciting thing about coaching your own program is having a vision and being able to shape that vision throughout the season. It’s all about the process and we’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s such an exciting time for the Fitchburg State women’s basketball program.

Do you feel your previous stops as an assistant at Wesleyan and Wheaton have prepared you for a successful first season with Fitchburg State?

Absolutely. Kate Mullen, who is the is the head coach of the Wesleyan women’s basketball team, took a chance on me – she hired me right after I graduated college (in May of 2015) and I will be forever grateful to her for providing me with my first collegiate coaching role.

Coach Mullen gave me the opportunity to coach and prepare to play against teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), which is one of the most competitive Division III women’s basketball conferences in the country. 

I am really fortunate that both Coach Mullen and Melissa Hodgdon gave me an opportunity to learn and grow as a young coach (these past few years). I consider them not just mentors, but great friends, as well.

Tell me about your experience learning and playing for Melissa Hodgdon. How did she help mold you into the current coach you are today? 

I honestly had never heard of Wheaton until Coach Hodgdon began recruiting me. But attending Wheaton and playing for her was the best decision I ever made.

Coach Hodgdon challenged me every day to become the best basketball player I could be so I could reach my highest potential on the court with hopes of leading the Lyons to a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship.

Her biggest impact though is she genuinely cares about each and every one of her players.

I missed my entire sophomore year with a knee injury, but that didn’t stop Coach Hodgdon from including me in team activities. She made sure I was included and kept me engaged throughout the entire season while allowing me to see the game from her perspective. And once my sophomore year concluded at Wheaton, I knew I wanted to become a collegiate basketball coach when I graduated, so I began gaining experience as an intern at the Duke University women’s basketball camp, along with several local camps, too, before I returned to campus for my senior year.

A few years after my final season with the Lyons, I returned to campus after completing my graduate assistantship program at Wesleyan – I knew (deep down that) I wanted to return to Wheaton and assist Coach Hodgdon, who established a program that meant so much to me, both as a student-athlete and assistant coach.

Being able to work (and learn) from Coach Hodgdon as an assistant was an amazing experience. She challenged me to become the best coach while giving me responsibilities that prepared me for my next step in my coaching journey.

Finally, what goals and objectives do you have for the team heading into the upcoming season?

We have a great group of young women returning this year as well as a couple of incoming first-year student-athletes that are excited to get to work. We’re going to focus on getting better every day, whether that be in the classroom, weight room, film room or on the court.

We are also going to have this mindset of getting better (every single day). But our number one goal is always going to be to represent the Fitchburg State community with class and pride.


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

D3 Hoops: Noontime Sports Women’s Basketball 2018 End Of The Year Awards

NS TEAM OF THE YEAR

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

With another season of New England D3 Basketball in the books, it is time to dish out our end of the year Noontime Sports Women’s Basketball awards, including our Coach, Player and Rookie of the Year, along with our first, second and third teams.

As always, stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter – also, make sure to follow our brand new basketball handle on Twitter at @Noontme_Hoops!


Kate Kerrigan POY BOWDWomen’s Player of the Year: Kate Kerrigan (Bowdoin College): Kate Kerrigan enjoyed an extremely impressive senior season with the Polar Bears as she guided the program to its second appearance in the national semifinals last weekend. Tabbed the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division III National Player of the Year last week, Kerrigan concluded her time in Maine by becoming the only player in Bowdoin women’s basketball history to tally more than 900 points, 600 rebounds, 300 assists and 200 steals in a career. In addition to being honored by the WBCA, she was also named the NESCAC Player of the Year, NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, the NEWBA Player of the Year and the D3hoops.com Northeast Region Player of the Year.


JOIE Grassi ROY UMASSWomen’s Rookie of the Year: Joie Grassi (UMass Boston): Joie Grassi enjoyed an impressive first season with the Beacons, averaging 15.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in 29 games. She guided the Blue and White to its first-ever Little East Conference (LEC) Tournament Championship last month as UMass Boston stunned top-seed UMass Dartmouth. Grassi was tabbed the LEC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after netting 26 points, while pulling down nine rebounds in her team’s win over the Corsairs. Grassi earned seven LEC Rookie of the Week honors, while tallying a team-best six double-doubles. Grassi was tabbed the D3Hoops.com Northeast Region Co-Rookie of the Year, while also earning a spit on the Northeast Region’s Fourth Team. Grassi joined senior Lydia Vital on the LEC First Team – she also accompanied classmate Shania Osborne on the conference’s All-Rookie Team.


GP Gromacki AMHERST COACHWomen’s Coach of the Year: G.P. Gromacki (Amherst College): G.P. Gromacki guided the Mammoths to its second-straight NCAA Division III championship this season, while earning his second consecutive D3Hoops.com Coach of the Year honors. Amherst enjoyed another impressive season, winning 33 consecutive contests, including a national championship and New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown. Last weekend marked the third time Gromacki has guided the Mammoths to a national championship – he has led the Purple and White to eight Final Four appearances since arriving in Amherst prior to the start of the 2007-08 season. In addition to being honored by D3Hoops.com, Gromacki earned his third-straight NESCAC Coach of the Year honor prior to the start of this year’s national tournament.


Noontime Sports First-Team

Kate Kerrigan 

Bowdoin College 

Wellesley, Mass. 

Madeline Eck

Amherst College 

Rye, N.Y. 

Hannah Fox

Amherst College

Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Melissa Baptista

Tufts University

Somerville, Mass.

Kelsi McNamara 

St. Joseph’s (Maine)

Westbury, Mass.


Noontime Sports Second Team

Abby Kelly

Bowdoin College

Bombay, N.Y.

Olivia Bolden 

Albertus Magnus 

South Windsor, Conn.

Alicia Kutil

UMass Dartmouth

Franklin, Mass.

Nakira Examond

UMass Dartmouth

New Bedford, Mass.

Kennedy Guest-Pritchett

Smith College

Fairburn, Ga.


Noontime Sports Third Team

Lauren Dillon 

Tufts University 

Wellesley, Mass.

Mikayla Hodge

Lyndon State 

Newbury, Vt. 

Ama Biney

WPI

Worcester, Mass.

Payton Ouimette
 

Babson College

Medfield, Mass.

Mary Kate O’Day

Framingham State

Berlin, Mass.


Noontime Sports All-Rookie Team

Joie Grassi 

UMass Boston

Plymouth, Mass. 

Kristen Curley 

Southern Maine 

Gorham, Maine 

Emily Briggs

Tufts University 

Canton, Conn.

Kylie Gallagher

MIT

Upton, Mass.

Jaymesha Sanders

Newbury College

West Haven, Conn.

Mikayla Pucci

Wheaton College

Hopkinton, Mass.

Mikaela Mitchell 

Fitchburg State 

Millbury, Mass.

D3 Hoops: Noontime Sports Men’s Basketball 2018 End Of The Year Awards

NS TEAM OF THE YEAR

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

With another season of New England D3 Basketball in the books, it is time to dish out our end of the year Noontime Sports Men’s Basketball awards, including our Coach, Player and Rookie of the Year, along with our first, second and third teams.

As always, stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter – also, make sure to follow our brand new basketball handle on Twitter at @Noontme_Hoops!


Jake Ross POY 2018
Men’s Player of the Year: Jake Ross (Springfield College): Jake Ross enjoyed an impressive sophomore season with the Pride, earning a slew of postseason accolades, including the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men’s Basketball Athlete of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year. In addition to earning a spot on the NEWMAC All-Conference First Team, Ross also received recognition from D3Hoops.com as the Northeast Player of the Year. He also earned a spot on the All-Northeast Region First Team, too. Ross concluded his second season by averaging 24.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He netted a career-high 39 points earlier this season against Wheaton College (Jan. 24th, 2018), while also recorded a career-best 10 assists against Coast Guard Academy seven days later (Jan. 31st, 2018).


Austin Hutcherson SHARPMen’s Rookie of the Year: Austin Hutcherson (Wesleyan University): Tabbed the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Rookie of the Year, Austin Hutcherson enjoyed an impressive debut with the Cardinals by averaging 12.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game. He was recently selected as the 2018 D3hoops.com Northeast Co-Rookie of the Year alongside Hamilton Forsythe of MIT. Hutcherson started in 26 of 29 contests this season, netting double-figures in 16 of 29 contests. Hutcherson’s play helped Wesleyan enjoy a very successful campaign, which saw the Cardinals conclude the 2017-18 season with a program-record 22 wins. The Cardinals secured the Little Three title with key regular season victories over Amherst College and Williams College, while earning appearances in both the NESCAC championships and NCAA Tournament.

 


Charlie Brock COACH SPRMen’s Coach of the Year: Charlie Brock (Springfield College): Coach Charlie Brock led the Pride on an exciting postseason journey this month, which included a quartet of playoff victories, including three against nationally-ranked opponents. Brock guided the Pride to a first place finish in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season, while earning his initial D3Hoops.com Northeast Coach of the Year honor seven days ago.


Noontime Sports First-Team

Jake Ross

Springfield College

Northampton, Mass.

Tarchee Brown

Eastern Conn. State

Rockville, Conn. 

James Heskett 

Williams College

Cincinnati, Ohio

Jack Daly

Middlebury College

Eastchester, N.Y.

Jaqhawn Walters 

Albertus Magnus 

Hartford, Conn.


Noontime Sports Second Team 

Kena Gilmour

Hamilton College

New Paltz, N.Y.

Marcos Echevarria

Nichols College

    Lynn, Mass. 

Bradley Jomard

MIT

Paris, France

Keith Brown

Endicott College

Pelham, N.H.

AJ Jurko

MIT

 Weston, Fla.

Noontime Sports Third Team

Raheem Anderson

Husson University

Miramar, Fla.

Ty Nichols

Keene State 

Springfield, Mass.

Johnny McCarthy

Amherst College

Medfield, Mass. 

Bobby Casey

Williams College

Scranton, PA

Nick Comenale 

Babson College 

New York Mills, N.Y.


Noontime Sports All-Rookie Team

Austin Hutcherson

Wesleyan University

Freehold, N.J.

Hamilton Forsythe

MIT

Weston, Conn.

James Anozie

Keene State

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Michael Boyd

UMass Boston

Malden, Mass. 

Noah Yearsley

MCLA

Averill Park, N.Y.

Zach Tavitian

Western New England

Milford, Conn.

Jake Ashworth

UMass Dartmouth 

Fairhaven, Mass.