Monday, September 29, 2014

Ray Floriani's Tempo-Free NEC Analysis

Jamion Christian and Mount St. Mary's "Mayhem" system yielded best turnover rate in NEC en route to first conference championship since 2008. (Photo courtesy of Nelson Castillo via Blackbirds Hoops Journal)

The start of practice is virtually upon us. The time is appropriate to direct our attention on the upcoming season. It is also a good chance to look at how the recent campaign played out. The Northeast Conference once again accentuated the unpredictable.

Robert Morris and Wagner were the elite during the season, yet Mount Saint Mary’s got hot at the right time and claimed the conference postseason crown. The Mount edged St. Francis Brooklyn in the opening round before upsetting Wagner and Robert Morris to win the championship.

The following is a tempo-free look at the conference for league games only. The efficiency margin subtracts the defensive from offensive efficiency. Naturally, a positive figure is most desirable.

                            Efficiency Margin NEC Record

Wagner                            12                 12-­4

Robert Morris                    9                  14-­2

St. Francis Brooklyn           9                   9-­7

Mount Saint Mary’s            5                   9-­7

Bryant                              4                  10-­6

FDU                                 -­4                  6­-10

St. Francis(PA)                - ­7                   7­-9

CCSU                               -­8                   7-­9

Sacred Heart ­                 -12                  2-­14

LIU Brooklyn ­                  -13                  4­-12

Best offensive efficiency: Robert Morris and Bryant, 108

Best defensive efficiency: Wagner, 91

Best turnover rate: Mount St. Mary's and Bryant, 16.2%

Maybe the Mount’s succession to the title was not as surprising after all.

Best defensive turnover rate: Wagner, 19.4%

There was a reason behind the outstanding defense played by Bashir Mason’s club.

Fastest pace: CCSU 73, Mount Saint Mary’s 72

A decidedly high-octane pace for the pair breaking the seventy possession mark. The quicker tempo suited the Mount just fine.

Most deliberate pace: Robert Morris and St. Francis, (PA) 66 possessions

Neither of the two Western Pennsylvania schools were a big surprise with their pedestrian-oriented tempo.

Care of the ball: Keeping the turnover rate under 20% is the goal. Every NEC school was under that mark offensively. All right, CCSU checked in at 19.9, which when rounded up gives us 20%. Still, the Blue Devils of Howie Dickenman deserve some credit and do not deserve to be labeled careless with the ball, given the fact they played at the fastest tempo in the circuit.

Player of the Year: Andy Toole will enter this season without the services of Karvel Anderson. As a senior last season, the 6-2 Robert Morris guard averaged 21.7 points in NEC play. Anderson shot 47% from beyond the arc and had a team high 26 steals. His overall efficiency was an outstanding 19.6.

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