#87 Northeastern Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Northeastern Huskies

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #87
Conference Rank: #2 CAA

Northeastern Team Page#87 Northeastern Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Northeastern Basketball Tickets

Coach Bill Coen can do great things when he has an experienced backcourt. He had it last year and Northeastern won an outright CAA title. The Huskies failed to secure an NCAA bid during the conference tournament, but they did get to go to Alabama and get beat up on in the NIT. But even with the losses early in the 2012-2013 campaign and the disappointing losses that ended their NCAA Tournament hopes, it was a great season. But now that experienced backcourt is not so experienced.

2012-13 Record: 20-13, 14-4
2012-13 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Bill Coen
Coach Record: 111-112 at Northeastern, 111-112 overall

Who’s Out:
Joel Smith and Jonathan Lee were the experienced leaders on the perimeter. Smith was one of the best pure shooters in the country. Averaging 16.1 points per game, Smith knocked down 43.0 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and 86.2 percent from the charity stripe. Lee’s scoring average dipped to 13.8 during his senior season, but he also led the team with 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals and was even a very tough rebounding guard. The lone loss up front is Dinko Marshavelski. He played in 27 games, yet averaged under seven minutes per contest and usually provided only emergency depth.

Who’s In:
In the long run Coach Coen’s group of incoming freshmen will likely be very good. T.J. Williams is a big and talented point guard out of Texas who is loaded with potential. Some injuries have kept him off of the radar over the last couple seasons and that turned out to work perfectly fine for the Huskies. C.J. Hill is a tough combo guard who will be able to make an immediate impact on defense. At 6-6 Jimmy Marshall can shoot over most opponents and he can be a shooter off of the bench right away. While there is room for the incoming freshmen to see some minutes, the bigger impact will be made by St. Francis (PA) transfer Scott Eatherton and redshirt freshman Kwesi Abakah. At 6-8 and 219 pounds, Eatherton brings some much needed size and experience to the roster. Two years ago he averaged 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Red Flash of the Northeast Conference. He is a capable shooter from long range and extremely efficient inside the arc. Abakah is still adding weight and strength, but he is an athletic big man who can grab rebounds and block shots. For a team that played small and often out of position, the new frontcourt depth should help the Huskies play better defense and not get beat nearly as badly on the glass.

Who to Watch:
The backcourt may be younger, but the talent level is not taking a huge drop without Smith and Lee. Quincy Ford will be the new star of the squad. Ford is a big 6-8 wing and that makes him a match-up nightmare in the CAA. With the newcomers in the frontcourt, Ford will not have to spend as much time defending big men and battling in the paint. He is capable of battling in the paint and did an admirable job defending opposing power forwards, but he is best utilized on the wing. Ford can knock down plenty of three-pointers or attack the basket and there are not many who can stop him. David Walker will take over the point guard duties. Speaking of size, Walker is 6-6 and dished out 2.4 assists per contest as a freshman. He will also use that length to nab plenty of steals. Marco Banegas-Flores did not see too much playing time last season after Lee returned from his early season injury and Walker turned into a player who could run the show. He did have some nice outings though and Banegas-Flores will at least be a very good backup point guard. Demetrius Pollard has shown flashes during his first two years with the Huskies and he is a good shooter, but he will need to prove that he can do more on a consistent basis if he wants the starting shooting guard spot. Zach Stahl’s tough 6-5 frame earned him some minutes at the four spot as a freshman. He will be able to slide down to the wing much more often now. Derrico Peck is not lacking in size either. The 6-5 shooting guard averaged 5.4 minutes per contest, but he did save the best for last. With so much size on the perimeter it is easy to see why Northeastern played big. They also have so much talent on the perimeter that it was tough to find an opening for a frontcourt player.

Final Projection:
The lone true forward in the regular rotation a year ago was Reggie Spencer. He was often outmatched defensively going up against true post players, but he did an admirable job and averaged 9.8 points and a team high 6.0 rebounds. With Eatherton and Abakah expected to handle most of the minutes at the five spot, Spencer will be more productive. That also will lead to a very big team compared to the undersized squad Coach Coen put on the floor in 2012-2013. Most teams in the CAA will not be able to handle the size on the perimeter. It will be another good season for Northeastern, but if they can use that size to play better defense and be halfway decent on the glass, they could take home another conference crown.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
David Walker, Sophomore, Guard, 6.2 points per game
Demetrius Pollard, Junior, Guard, 5.6 points per game
Quincy Ford, Junior, Forward, 12.2 points per game
Reggie Spencer, Junior, Forward, 9.8 points per game
Scott Eatherton, Junior, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.9 (136th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.3 (219, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.3 (113, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.7 (324, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (86, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.1 (48, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.3 (18, 2)
Rebound Margin: -2.9 (279, 11)
Assists Per Game: 13.7 (113, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (147, 5)


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