Hobart Spoils Jim Calhoun’s NCAA D-III Tournament Debut

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Jim Calhoun guided the University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) to their first NCAA D-III Tournament appearance on Friday. (PHOTO COURTESY: AP FILE PHOTO/Berkshire Eagle)

By NoontimeSports.com

Jim Calhoun‘s initial trip to the NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament did not last as long as many thought it would as the University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) fell to Hobart, 78-74, on Friday evening in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The four-point setback snapped an impressive 25-game winning streak, which began last November, as well as brought an end to an impressive second season for the Blue Jays, who came within one game of reaching the ‘big dance’ one year ago.

Hobart secured a nine-point (34-25) lead at the break and was able to withstand multiple Saint Joseph’s rallies in the second half that brought the Blue Jays within a basket three times during the final four minutes.

Dan Masino, who sealed the win by sinking one of two free throws during the final seconds, led Hobart with 17 points on 6 of 12 shooting while Jackson Meshanic registered a double-double of 13 rebounds and 12 points.

Saint Joseph’s Jaecee Martin led all scorers with 22 points to go with five rebounds, three assists, and one steal while Jordan Powell finished the contest with 15 points and three caroms.

Hobart will face the winner of Springfield CollegeSUNY Canton on Saturday, March 7th with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Jan. 27th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

We head into the final week of January with a must-see, must-follow contest on the horizon: Tufts University at Bowdoin College on Friday, January 31st.

The game – as you can tell from below – will pit our top two teams with the winner most likely securing the inside track to the top spot in the upcoming New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).

Western New England remains our fourth team in this week’s poll – the Golden Bears enter the new week with an impressive 8-1 conference mark and will look to continue their momentum on Wednesday at Roger Williams and Saturday at Salve Regina.

Trinity College moved-up one spot to the fifth position, while Rhode Island CollegeSmith College, and Eastern Connecticut each moved one position, as well.

Finally, we welcomed UMass Boston to this week’s poll – the Beacons have won three consecutive contests and will look to continue their winning ways against Eastern Connecticut and Southern Maine this week.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week NinePoll| Monday, January 27th, 2020

1. Tufts University 18-0, 4-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Bowdoin College  18-0, 5-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Amherst College 16-3, 3-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3
4. Western New England 15-3, 8-1 CCC Last Week: No. 4
5. Trinity College 14-4, 3-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 6
6. Rhode Island College 16-2, 8-1 LEC Last Week: No. 7
7. Smith College 16-2, 2-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 8
8. Eastern Connecticut 14-3, 7-1 LEC Last Week: No. 10
9. Brandeis University 12-4, 2-3 UAA Last Week: No. 9
10. UMass Boston 15-3, 6-3 LEC Last Week: Not Ranked

ON THE RISE: Babson College, Hamilton College, Springfield College, Williams College, and WPI 


Previous Polls: Preseason Poll |Week OneWeek TwoWeek Three|Week Four Week FiveWeek SixWeek Seven |Week Eight

 

D3 Basketball: Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll (Monday, Jan. 27th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Last season, the Colby College men’s basketball team won 17 games but saw their conference championship hopes dashed in the opening round of the 2019 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament against Hamilton College.

This season, the Mules have also won 17 games, but have yet to drop a single contest, which is why they once again appear in the top spot in this week’s New England D-III Men’s Basketball Poll.

Colby, which entered the past week with a 15-0 mark, tacked on two additional wins over Bowdoin College (81-67) and Husson University (97-70). They will attempt to pick up two more wins this week when they visit Bates College on Friday, January 31st followed by Tufts University on Saturday, February 1st.

Both Colby and Tufts remain the two NESCAC squads without a single setback in conference play so whoever wins this particular contest will most likely be in the driver seat heading into the final few weeks of the regular season.

Springfield College moved-up one spot after scoring wins last week against Coast Guard Academy (94-82) and MIT (72-60). The Pride host sixth-ranked WPI on Wednesday with first place in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) on the line.

Finally, the Endicott College men’s basketball team checked-in tenth overall – the Gulls enter the new week with a 14-4 record, including 8-1 mark in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play. The Gulls netted a season-high 110 points this past weekend against Western New England and will attempt to continue their winning ways this week with important match-ups against Gordon College and Nichols College.


New England D-III Basketball Men’s Top 10 Week Nine Poll| Monday, January 27th, 2020

1. Colby College 17-0, 5-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Middlebury College 17-2, 3-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Springfield College 14-3, 5-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 4
4. Tufts University 14-3, 4-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 5
5. Brandeis University 12-4, 4-1 UAA Last Week: No. 3
6. WPI  14-3, 5-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 6
7. Babson College 14-3, 4-2 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 7
8. St. Joseph’s (Conn.) 15-2, 3-0 GNAC Last Week: No. 9
9. Albertus Magnus  14-2, 3-0 GNAC Last Week: No. 8
10. Endicott College 14-4, 8-1 CCC Last Week: Not Ranked

ON THE RISE: Amherst College and Wesleyan University


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

 

D3 Basketball: Men’s Basketball Top 10 Poll (Monday, Jan. 20th, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

The Colby College men’s basketball team extended its current winning streak to 15 games this past weekend by defeating both Middlebury College and Williams College on the road.

Colby, which improves to 4-0 in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play, has been an impressive story this season – can they continue their momentum later this week against Husson University on Tuesday, January 21st and Bowdoin College on Saturday, January 25th? We’ll have to wait and see.

Brandeis University was this week’s biggest mover, checking in third overall after securing the tenth position one week ago. The Judges scored an exciting 75-73 win yesterday over Emory University, handing the Eagles their second setback of the 2019-20 season, along with their initial loss against a member of the University Athletic Association (UAA).

The Judges are currently tied for first in the UAA with Washington University – the two teams will meet on Friday, January 24th in a VERY important match-up.

Tufts University moved into the fifth position after rebounding from an early week loss to Suffolk University with back-to-back wins over Amherst College (No. 10) and Hamilton College.

Finally, the Blues Jays of St. Joseph’s (Conn.) joined our poll at the ninth position – the Blue and Gold have not lost a game since falling to the Jumbos last November.


New England D-III Basketball Men’s Top 10 Week Eight Poll| Monday, January 20th, 2020

1. Colby College 15-0, 4-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
2. Middlebury College 16-2, 2-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1 
3. Brandeis University 11-3, 3-0 UAA Last Week: No. 10
4. Springfield College 12-3, 3-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 4
5. Tufts University 13-3, 3-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 6
6. WPI  12-3, 3-1 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 7
7. Babson College 12-3, 2-2 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 3
8. Albertus Magnus  12-2, 1-0 GNAC Last Week: No. 5
9. St. Joseph’s (Conn.) 13-2, 1-0 GNAC Last Week: Not Ranked
10. Amherst College 11-5, 2-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 8

ON THE RISE: Emerson College, Endicott College, Hamilton College, Nichols College, Rhode Island College, UMass Boston, Wesleyan University, and Western New England


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

 

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.


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