Colonial Athletic Association (20-12, 14-4)
Big Wins: 11/21 Utah State (64-61), 12/30 vs Kent State (61-58), 1/30 ODU (74-64)
Bad Losses: 11/25 at Boston U (64-69), 12/23 vs Western Michigan (60-75), 1/27 Drexel (48-61)
Coach: Bill Coen
Why They Can Surprise:
Northeastern has progressed quickly under Coach Bill Coen and with a senior heavy team, the Huskies have not disappointed. It has taken some time, but Coach Coen has created a team that takes care of the ball and takes smart shots. Chaisson Allen is the catalyst of the offense and dishes out 3.7 assists per contest. Allen is more than simply a point guard though, he is also a superb scorer who connects on an impressive 40.6 percent of his attempts from long range.
Surprisingly though, Allen is not the team’s leading scorer. That honor goes to Matt Janning. The 6-4 senior is a capable outside shooter, but is not nearly as consistent from long range as Allen. Janning is more effective attacking the basket or driving the lane and pulling up for a mid-range jumper. Allen and Janning are both solid ballhandlers and it will be important for Northeastern to keep control of the ball if they hope to pull off an upset.
Why They Can Disappoint:
And the Huskies need all the possessions they can get since they are often outrebounded. Nkem Ojougboh has developed into a fine rebounder and an effective scorer, but he cannot do it all by himself. Ojougboh is also the team’s lone shot blocking threat and has really stepped up his game for his senior season. Manny Adako will be starting next to Ojougboh. Adako is a great interior scorer and his presence on the offensive end opens up space for Janning and Allen on the perimeter, but he is not very effective on the glass. The lack of depth up front is the main reason for the lack of rebounding. Kauri Black, a 6-7 freshman, is the only forward left on the roster who plays any significant minutes and he has been very inconsistent since he started playing in January.
Who To Watch:
Alwayne Bigby is a wing who has stepped into the starting lineup and has become the glue guy. He is not much of a scorer, but he is a solid defender and gives the team some more size on the perimeter. Baptiste Bataille is another intriguing guard. Like Bigby, Bataille lets Janning and Allen do most of the perimeter scoring, but Bataille is a solid ball handler and is capable of doing some scoring from beyond the arc or by using his speed to get to the basket.
Chaisson Allen, Junior, Guard, 13.7 ppg, 3.7 apg, 4.8 rpg
Matt Janning, Senior, Guard, 15.3 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.6 spg
Alwayne Bigby, Freshman, Guard, 3.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Manny Adako, Senior, Forward, 11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Nkem Ojougboh, Senior, Center, 9.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.3 bpg
Baptiste Bataille, Senior, Guard, 5.5 ppg, 1.5 apg
Kauri Black, Freshman, Forward, 2.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.6 (263rd in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 60.1 (15, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (92, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.1 (73, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (256, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.5 (150, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.0 (72, 2)
Rebound Margin: -2.7 (272, 11)
Assists Per Game: 12.0 (241, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (44, 2)
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