BROOKLYN, NY - The Halloween store across the street was doing a booming business. The air inside the arena was on the chilly side as preparations were made for that night’s Islanders-Canadiens game. Holidays and hockey aside, the main event for the day centered on basketball, and not the Nets either. The college game was on the menu on this day, specifically the Northeast Conference media day.
The car ride through the borough can be insufferable. A silver lining is a route passing two member schools, St. Francis Brooklyn and LIU Brooklyn. Just driving past the two participants of the ‘Battle of Brooklyn’ quickens the pulse as anticipation toward the start of the season is heightened.
Inside Barclays Center, there is a great deal of activity. Amidst the exchange of pleasantries and catching up on the past few months, electronic and print interviews are held at two different locations. A buffet lunch is very quickly partaken of as the order of business takes precedence.
The NEC is one of the few conferences inviting the ten member men’s and women’s programs to share the spotlight. Each member school has a player and representative. It is a way to afford the women’s programs more well deserved attention.
In the final analysis, there is a stark similarity to other media days. Everyone is undefeated and optimistic about what the following weeks and season will bring. Sure, there are bumps in the road regarding practice injuries and a challenging non-league slate. Beyond that, the attitude of players and coaches alike remains decidedly upbeat. The media day, especially on the NEC side, is a combination of productive, informative and social. And in the case of Brooklyn, if you take public transportation, all the better.
Outside Barclays Center on NEC media day:
Central Connecticut State head coach Donyell Marshall and guard Chris Williams, during an interview with NEC Front Row on-air talent Dave Popkin and Joe DeSantis:
An interesting contrast, as the jumbotron trumpets the NEC despite hockey being the order of the night:
A "Mount Rushmore" of the local basketball scene, if you will: From left to right are legendary Cardozo coach Ron Naclerio, FDU coach Greg Herenda, former New Jersey Net Albert King, and longtime CBS News editor/Inside the Big East executive producer Sammy Albano:
Bryant head coach Tim O'Shea discusses the Bulldogs' prospects with Ryan Peters of NYC Buckets:
LIU Brooklyn women's head coach Stephanie Oliver and all-conference selection Shanovia Dove moments before meeting the media:
Our neighbors to the north setting up shop, as the Montreal Canadiens were in town to face the Islanders: (Photo by Ralph Ventre/Northeast Conference)