By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_Hoops
A brand new season of New England D3 hoops is set to tip-off next week, which means its time to unveil our first Noontime Sports New England D3 Men’s Basketball Top 10 poll of the season.
Similar to last year, our poll will be produced every Monday throughout the season with the help of our Noontime Basketball committee, which is made-up of coaches, athletic communication offices and media members in the six New England states.
So, without further ado, here is our first poll of the 2018-19 season – welcome back, basketball!
Noontime Sports D3 New England Men’s Basketball Poll | Nov. 6th, 2018
2. Williams College
3. Hamilton College
4. Springfield College
5. Middlebury College
6. Keene State
7. Endicott College
8. Nichols College
9. Tufts University
10. Eastern Connecticut
On The Rise: Albertus Magnus, Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Johnson & Wales, Salem State, Wesleyan University and WPI
Stay connected with our New England basketball coverage by following @Noontime_Hoops on Twitter Today!
Hundely, who is no stranger to the New England D3 basketball world, arrives in Worcester after spending three seasons with the Keene State Owls. Keene State concluded its recent campaign 19-9 overall – the Owls advanced to the Little East Conference (LEC) Championship in February, but fell to Eastern Connecticut State, a program Hundley competed for as a student-athlete.
Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Hundley to discuss his first-ever head coaching position with the Lancers, as well as his outlook for team’s upcoming 2018-19 campaign.
What interested you in becoming the Worcester State men’s basketball coach?
Worcester State interested me for a number of different reasons. The first being that I know that the Worcester community has a rich and storied basketball history, but also being able to join a community like this one felt like an honor in itself. The investment Worcester State made in its athletic facilities was extremely appealing to me as well and will benefit our program in numerous ways.
Who have been some of your coaching icons over the years that have helped you, both as a player and assistant/associate coach over the years? Do you plan on consulting with them throughout the upcoming season?
I consider myself lucky to have worked with such a variety of coaches with unique coaching styles, dating back to my high school days. Ron Johnson, who is a local high school coaching legend in North Carolina, really sparked my interest in basketball. His attention to detail in coaching and teaching the game was extremely important in my development as a student-athlete, as well as a young coach.
Kevin Kehoe at Cheshire Academy was instrumental with providing me some college exposure, while finding the right college program for me, as well.
Bill Geitner, who I played for at Eastern Connecticut, is one of the best basketball minds I’ve ever worked with in my opinion. I learned so much from him and his sustained success proves how intelligent he is.
Sean Foster gave me my first coaching opportunity at Salve Regina – both he and Matt Adams set the tone that first year, which allowed me to realize that I wanted to pursue coaching as a career.
Aaron Galletta, who is the men’s basketball coach at Lasell College, is a great offensive coach that really helped me look at the game from a different perspective. He also allowed me to speak and have a platform to coach on the fly.
Lastly, Ryan Cain, who is the men’s basketball coach at Keene State– he certainly made a mark on my young coaching career. We both came to Keene State at the same time – it was his first-ever head coaching gig. We hit it off immediately and he really taught me how to recruit, which has become one of my biggest strengths. He truly empowered me, while allowing me to have a lot of responsibility and influence on the Owls’ program. We had a ton of success, especially during the postseasons, which was a testament to the level that we were able to play at, but also the work that we put in, too.
I plan to consult with all of my coaches during the upcoming season, but I see myself consulting Ryan quite frequently, especially in year number one.
What is the most important thing you need to concentrate on heading into your first season with the Lancers?
The most important thing for this season is to build a culture and camaraderie, both on and off the court, while creating a sense of pride for Worcester State basketball.
Do you have a certain basketball philosophy you plan to implement with the team/program? If so, what is it?
I am inheriting a team that gave up over 85 points per game last winter. I have been a part of, as well as learned from some of the best defensive coaches in our region, so our biggest goal (heading into the upcoming season) will be to significantly improve our defense.
What do the next few months look like from a new coaching perspective? How will you get both yourself and the team/program ready to go come mid-October?
I have already begun building relationships with returners and incoming recruits. They need to feel comfortable and confident in me – vise-versa. We will have numerous team activities and fundraisers planned in the fall before October 15th (our first practice day as a team) comes around. I plan to maintain constant communication with our strength and conditioning team to ensure that our team is physically ready to go, so that way we can spend more time on basketball and less on getting their bodies ready for a season. (Also), I will make sure (to use this time currently) to make sure I am well-prepared for my initial season as a head coach.
A few fun questions, beginning with your all-time favorite basketball player: who is it and why?
I was a big Kevin Garnett fan growing up. He was a tremendous teammate and played with passion that seemed to forced his teammates to play at his level.
How much of the NBA Finals have you been watching and who are you cheering for to win this year’s crown?
I’m not a fan of either team that played in this year’s NBA Finals. I really just like to see a good, competitive series. LeBron James is the best player of this generation and is fascinating to watch. On the other hand, the Warriors have the three of the most unique players on the planet in Steph Curry, Kevin Durrant and Draymond Green, who are just as entertaining to watch.
What is your all-time favorite basketball movie?
I’m not a big movie guy, but I really like a lot of the ESPN’s 30 for 30’s, along with their basketball documentaries, too. I see them as learning opportunities.
Finally, what was the greatest advice you were given as a young basketball player that has helped you become a successful student-athlete and coach?
I grew up Davidson, North Carolina and went to multiple sessions at Bob McKillop‘s Davidson Basketball Camp. He was very prominent at his camps and at times would talk to each camper individually. He always seemed to explain things very clearly and helped me improve my basketball IQ.
The 2017-18 New England D3 Basketball season concluded last weekend with Springfield College competing in the semifinals – a.k.a. the “Final Four.”
The Pride enjoyed an exciting run to Salem, Virginia, scoring a quartet of wins, including a third-round victory over Hamilton College, which earned the third position in our final poll.
MIT checked-in second overall – the Engineers also enjoyed an exciting postseason run as well, but saw their bid for a spot in the semifinals come-up short against Ramapo College in the Sectional Finals.
Middlebury College and Williams College rounded out the top five spots, checking-in fourth and fifth, respectively.
As always, stay connected with Noontime Sports on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure to toss our new basketball Twitter handle (@Noontime_Hoops) a follow, too!
Men’s Basketball Top 10 – Final 2017-18 Poll
1. Springfield College
22-9, 12-2 NEWMAC
25-6, 10-4 NEWMAC
3. Hamilton College
24-5, 7-3 NESCAC
4. Middlebury College
21-7, 7-3 NESCAC
5. Williams College
23-6, 7-3 NESCAC
6. Eastern Connecticut St.
26-4, 13-1 LEC
7. Wesleyan University
22-7, 7-3 NESCAC
8. Nichols College
25-4, 16-2 CCC
9. Salem State
22-4, 12-0 MASCAC
10. Amherst College
17-9, 7-3 NESCAC
ON THE RISE: Johnson & Wales (19-10, 13-3 GNAC) andSouthern Vermont (22-6, 12-2 NECC)
It was an exciting finish last night in New London, Connecticut as the Coast Guard Academy men’s lacrosse team stunned the second-ranked Wesleyan University Cardinals in overtime by a score of 10-9.
The win was the Bears’ third-straight of the 2018 season. Prior to defeating the Cardinals, CGA topped Eastern Connecticut (15-7) and Norwich University (17-1).
“The guys are pumped,” Coast Guard Academy coach Ray Le Forte said one day after his team’s exciting win. “(And) so is the campus, too.”
Coast Guard led Wesleyan, 9-8, with 5:24 remaining in the final session, but the Cardinals evened the score (9-9) and forced an extra session, thanks to a man-up goal from Christian Barker.
The Bears would counter 32 seconds into the extra session with Anthony Wyler, who rifled a shot from the top of the zone to secure an exciting and impressive one-goal victory.
Wyler concluded the contest with three goals and one assist, while Riley McNulty chipped in four goals and one assist. The game-winning goal was set-up by Matty Johnson, who concluded last night’s contest with one goal and one assist.
Tuesday’s win is certainly impressive one for a fourth-year program that has grown tremendously since its initial collegiate season in 2015.
Coast Guard Academy is coming off a 10-6 win season from a year ago, which saw the Bears win a program-best four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) games.
The Bears will look to continue its early season momentum on Saturday, March 10 when they face Goucher Collegeat 1 p.m. A few days later, the Bears will take on Ithaca College on Tuesday, March 13th at 1 p.m. with the contest taking place in Virginia Beach.
The Bears will begin conference play later this month when they host Clark University on Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m.
And one team the Bears will see later this season is Emerson College, which is also off to an impressive 3-0 start.
The Lions began their 2018 campaign with an impressive and hard-fought 13-12 win over Mount Ida College in double-overtime before defeating Lyndon State (7-4) and Albertus Magnus (10-9).
Emerson was initially scheduled to compete against Nichols College tomorrow (Thursday, March 8th), but due to this week’s nor-easter, the game has been postponed.
The Lions will return to action next Tuesday (Mar. 13th) when they host Thomas College at 6 p.m.
“We’re definitely starting to get there,” said Emerson coach Matt Colombini. “We have a lot of young talent and the returners that have been through it for a year now and know what we’re really expecting (of this program) and what being a college lacrosse player is, and they have turned the corner with that stuff.”
Colombini seems quite content about his team’s early season success, but knows his squad must keep the focus on playing a complete 60 minutes.
“I am excited to see in a couple weeks as we keep (working toward our goal of playing a complete game) where we end up and what our final product really looks like,” he said.
So far, Emerson has received some solid contributions from Jared Brush (13 goals, three assists) and Cameron Radenberg (two goals, nine assists). Additionally, a pair of first-years, Joe Meyers and Stevie Powers, have also contributed on the offensive end – the duo has combined for 12 points on seven goals and five assists, while Bailey Kennedy has also performed quite well between the pipes with 24 saves.
Following the team’s contest against Thomas, Emerson will face some challenging non-conference foes in Dean College, Wentworth and UMass-Dartmouth. All three games – and yes, four, counting Thomas – will be good tests for the Lions, who hope to keep their early season momentum going later this spring.
“I think this year we have made the schedule much more challenging to get ready for NEWMAC games,” said Colombini. “The teams we have played (thus far) have been pretty good, but they have all been close, grind-it-out type of games, so at least we are finding a way to win right now, which is good.”
The team’s initial win over Mount Ida was certainly impressive – perhaps it could be a game these Lions will look back on as motivation for more success later this season.
A C-R-A-Z-Y day of conference tournament play is in the books – yes, we had some SERIOUS upsets and exciting finishes – and below are the various outcomes!
Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)
Men’s Basketball: Nichols 98, Endicott 89: For the second-straight year, the Bison of Nichols College captured the CCC title thanks to team-high 33 points from Marcos Echevarria.
Women’s Basketball: UNE 59, Roger Williams 40: UNE jumped out to 23-9 lead and never looked back as they defeated the Hawks in the CCC championship. Four different UNE players netted double-figures, including Sam MacDonald, who scored a team-high 17 points.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC)
Men’s Basketball: Johnson & Wales 84, Albertus Magnus 80: The Wildcats erased a five-point deficit at the break to defeat the Falcons in Connecticut. Jarell Lawson (JWU) paced all scorers with 25 points, while pulling down eight caroms (two offensive rebounds, six defensive rebounds).
Women’s Basketball: St. Joseph’s 73, Suffolk 59: A 25-6 run in the third quarter helped the Monks erase a one-point deficit at the break to defeat the Rams in the GNAC championship. Kelsi McNamara paced the Monks with 24 points.
Little East Conference (LEC)
Men’s Basketball: Eastern Conn. 79, Keene State 62: Tarchee Brown poured in a game-high 21 points, while Carlos Gonzalez chipped in 19 points as the Warriors defeated the Owls to claim the LEC conference crown.
Women’s Basketball: UMass Boston 65, UMass Dartmouth 56: The Beacons set the tone early, jumping out to a 19-12 lead before holding the Corsairs to just 13 points in the final frame as UMass Boston topped the Corsairs and claimed their first-ever LEC crown. Joie Grassi (UMass Boston) led all scorers with 26 points.
Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)
Men’s Basketball: Bridgewater State 77, Fitchburg State 72: The Bears constructed a 13-point at the break before fending off a second half surge by the Falcons to secure the conference crown. Bridgewater’s Joseph Carty concluded the game with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Women’s Basketball: Westfield State 90, Framingham State 75: Lucy Barrett and Kierra McCarthy each netted 15 points as the Owls defeated the Rams for the second-straight year in the MASCAC championship.
New England Collegiate Conference (NECC)
Men’s Basketball: So. Vermont 67, Becker 62: Mike Pierre netted a game-high 24 points, while Andre Hodo stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, nine rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block as Southern Vermont topped the Hawks of Becker in the NECC finale.
Women’s Basketball: Becker 60, Newbury 50:Cassidy Harrison netted a game-high 23 points to lead the Hawks past the Nighthawks for a NECC championship win.
New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)
Men’s Basketball: Wesleyan 65, Amherst 63: Nathan Krill drilled the game-winning trey with seven seconds remaining as the Cardinals topped the top-seeded Mammoths in Amherst. Krill concluded the contest with a game-high 29 points. The Cardinals will face
Men’s Basketball: Williams 76, Hamilton 73: Four members of the Williams men’s basketball team reached double-figures, including James Heskett, who netted 19 points as the Ephs outlasted the Continentals in the NESCAC semifinals.
Women’s Basketball: Amherst 58, Wesleyan 31: Jackie Nagle and Madeline Eck combined for 24 points as the Mammoths topped the Cardinals in the NESCAC semis.
Women’s Basketball: Tufts 60, Bowdoin 48: Erica DeCandido netted a game-high 17 points, while Jac Knapp added 16 points as the Jumbos defeated the Polar Bears in Amherst to set-up a conference and national championship rematch with the Mammoths.
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)
Men’s Basketball: WPI 84, Springfield 80 (OT): Reid Walker netted a team-high 23 points, including a lay-up and freebie in overtime as the Engineers defeated Springfield in the NEWMAC semifinals. The Engineers will now face MIT, which topped Babson in the other semifinal.
Men’s Basketball: MIT 70, Babson 61: AJ Jurko recorded a double-double of 23 points and 11 assists, while Tim Roberts added 15 points and nine rebounds as the Engineers topped the defending national champions in the NEWMAC semifinal.
Women’s Basketball: WPI 64, Babson 56 (OT): Ama Biney netted netted 14 points, including a pair of freebies and a layup in an extra session as the Engineers topped the Beavers en routes to tomorrow’s conference championship.
Women’s Basketball: MIT 64, Smith 51: The Engineers overcame a seven-point deficit at the start, ending the game on a 26-15 run to defeat the top-ranked Pioneers in the NEWMAC semifinals. MIT’s Kara Holinski led all scorers with 25 points.
North Atlantic Conference (NAC)
Men’s Basketball: New England 72, Colby-Sawyer 56: Jason Jones finished a perfect six-for-six from the field with 16 points, while pulling down 13 rebounds as the Pilgrims captured their first-ever NAC crown.
Women’s Basketball: Husson 76, Maine Maritime 58: Sami Ireland was one of five scorers to reach double-figures – she concluded today’s championship with 21 points – as the Hawks soared past the Mariners in the NAC finale.