Tag: D3Hoops

Player Perspective: Marcus Azor (UMass Dartmouth)

Marcus Azor and the UMass Dartmouth men’s basketball team recently captured the 2021 Little East Conference (LEC) Championship. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kyle Prudhomme)

By NoontimeSports.com

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 Dartmouth men’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.

Marcus Azor averaged 21.0 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in a pair of LEC Tournament games this month. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kyle Prudhomme)

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.

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).

Stefan Thompson is “looking forward” to coaching against Jim Calhoun

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Jim Calhoun will be making his first-ever NCAA D-III Tournament appearance on Friday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Univ. of St. Joseph’s (Conn.) Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

In just two days, the Hobart men’s basketball team will tip-off against the University of Saint Joseph’s (Conn.) in the opening round of the 2020 NCAA D-III Tournament. And the team’s head coach, Stefan Thompson, seems excited for his Statesmen to compete against Jim Calhoun‘s squad, which enters the national postseason riding an impressive 25-game winning streak. 

“As a coach, I am looking forward to it,” Thompson said, via Joe Sager of D3Hoops.com. “I know he is a competitor and that’s why he’s still in the industry and able to sustain such a great career.”

Calhoun has never coached in the D-III Tournament but has plenty of experience coaching in the postseason with both Northeastern University and the University of Connecticut. He won three national championships with the Huskies of UConn while guiding Northeastern to five March Madness appearances, including a pair of second-round contests in 1981 and 1982.

Last season, Calhoun and the Blue Jays came close to making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance but lost to Albertus Magnus in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament.

This season, the Blue Jays erased the memories of their 2019 conference tournament championship setback by beating the Falcons in the 2020 GNAC title game this past Sunday.

USJ, which is in its second season as a varsity program, only has one junior on its roster. A majority of the team is first-years and sophomores, who have turned the Blue and Gold into a team to watch over the past few weeks in both Connecticut and New England.

The winner of Friday’s match-up will advance to Saturday’s second-round against the winner of Springfield College and SUNY Canton.

D3 Basketball: Women’s Top 10 Poll (Monday, Feb. 3rd, 2020)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

The Tufts University women’s basketball team remained our top team heading into the first week of February following an important conference win last Friday over Bowdoin College. With the win, the Jumbos secured the top spot in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Bowdoin remains our second team while Amherst College continues to occupy the third position – the Mammoths defeated Wesleyan University last Friday and will host the Polar Bears this Friday, February 7th. The winner will most likely secure the second spot in the upcoming conference tournament, which will begin later this month.

Eastern Connecticut was our biggest mover, checking in fourth overall after winning four-straight conference meetings, including a 78-61 win this past Saturday over UMass Boston. The Warriors remain the top team in the Little East Conference (LEC) with six games remaining.

Finally, Babson College and Williams College both joined the poll this week after being tabbed ‘Teams on the Rise’ one week ago.


New England D-III Basketball Women’s Top 10 Week Ten Poll| Monday, Feb. 3rd, 2020

1. Tufts University 20-0, 6-0 NESCAC Last Week: No. 1
2. Bowdoin College  20-1, 6-1 NESCAC Last Week: No. 2
3. Amherst College 17-3, 4-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 3
4. Eastern Connecticut 16-3, 9-1 LEC Last Week: No. 8
5. Western New England 16-4, 9-2 CCC Last Week: No. 4
6. Williams College 16-5, 5-2 NESCAC Last Week: Not Ranked
7. Trinity College 15-5, 4-2 NESCAC Last Week: No. 5
8. Rhode Island College 16-4, 8-3 LEC Last Week: No. 6
9. Babson College 11-7, 4-0 NEWMAC Last Week: Not Ranked
10. Smith College 17-3, 3-2 NEWMAC Last Week: No. 7

ON THE RISE: Brandeis University, Framingham State, Hamilton College, Springfield College, UMass Boston, and University of New England 


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

Western New England Secures Our New England D-III Women’s Team of the Month

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Emily Farrell and Meghan Orbann have been two players to watch on Western New England this season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Western New England has enjoyed a very successful start to its 2019-20 season.

The Golden Bears have won six of seven contests and head into their final week of the semester with some serious momentum. And that momentum, as well as their impressive play has earned WNE our Noontime Sports Women’s Basketball Team of the Month honor for November.

WNE secured the fourth spot in our weekly Top 10 New England D-III Women’s Basketball Poll yesterday for the second-straight week following a post-Thanksgiving Day win over Roger Williams.

Before their win over the Hawks, the Golden Bears picked-up some impressive regional wins against Babson CollegeEastern Connecticut State, UMass Dartmouth, and Worcester State.

WNE’s lone loss of the season came early last month against Springfield College.

This week, the Golden Bears will look to conclude the first semester with two more wins when they host Salve Regina University on Wednesday, December 4th before visiting Endicott College on Saturday, December 7th. Following their visit to Beverly, Massachusetts, the Golden Bears will be off until the first week of January when they host Westfield State.

WNE is currently third in field goal percentage (38.6%) in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), but first in free throw percentage (75.9%). Meghan Orbann is seventh in the conference in points per game (13.1), while Emily Farrell is tied for eighth with 13.0 points per game.

Players to Watch on Western New England: 

  • Meghan Orbann: The senior is averaging a career-best 13.1 points per game – she has tallied 92 points in seven games this season on 29 of 69 shooting … Orbann has converted 14 of 31 three-pointers and has pulled down 45 rebounds … Through seven contests, Orbann has recorded 14 steals and 13 assists.
  • Emily Farrell: The senior guard is averaging 13.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in seven contests this season … Farrell is second on the team in points (91) and third in rebounds (33) … She leads the Golden Bears with 30 assists and is tied for second with eight steals.
  • Courtney Carlson: Carlson is third on the team in points (9.9), rebounds (4.7), and assists (2.0) per game … The senior forward’s 9.9 points per game is currently a career-best … Through seven contests, Carlson has recorded 32 rebounds, 14 assists, and 14 steals.