All posts by T. Bennett

Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the SEC in 2018-19

Lee, Saben
Quietly, Vanderbilt’s Saben Lee had himself a strong freshman campaign in 2017-18, and he’s the Commodores’ top returning scorer this season. (Source: VandyMania.com) (Header: Knoxville News Sentinel)

SARNIA, Ont. — Once again, the SEC is loaded with talent in 2018-19.

Fans in the SEC will be all too familiar with the talent in the league, but several of the team’s top contributors have flown under the radar on a national scale throughout their careers. With the player turnover in the league following the 2017-18 season, there will be new faces of the conference this year.

The Kentucky Wildcats loaded up with several high-profile freshmen, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. Teams like the Tennessee Volunteers and Mississippi State Bulldogs will rely on experience and talent to get them back to the NCAA Tournament. There is a healthy mix of experience and youth in the conference, which in turn will lead to excitement and an unpredictable race for the SEC title.

Looking ahead to the season, here are 10 names who have flown under the radar so far in their careers on the national scene that you will want to watch over the course of the 2018-19 campaign.

Note: Players like Tremont Waters, Grant Williams, Jalen Hudson, Jontay Porter, Quinndary Weatherspoon, and Daniel Gafford weren’t listed because people should be familiar with their names by now. Continue reading Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the SEC in 2018-19

Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mountain West Conference in 2018-19

McDaniels, Jalen
After an impressive freshman campaign, Jalen McDaniels is on the verge of becoming the next star at San Diego State. (Source: East Village Times)

SARNIA, Ont. — Could the 2019 NCAA Tournament be the year that the Mountain West bucks the trend of one bid and send multiple teams back to the tournament?

The last time that the Mountain West Conference had more than two teams in the NCAA Tournament was back in 2015. The Boise State Broncos were in the First Four, fighting for an 11-seed against the Dayton Flyers, while the Wyoming Cowboys earned a 12-seed as conference champions and the San Diego Aztecs earned an 8-seed as an at-large pick.

Last season, the Nevada Wolf Pack made a deep run into the NCAA Tournament after receiving an at-large bid into the Big Dance as the 7-seed in the South Regional. The San Diego Aztecs earned the automatic berth after winning the conference tournament, and they earned the 11-seed in the West Regional.

Heading into the 2018-19 season, many feel as though that this could be the second consecutive year that the conference sends multiple teams to the tournament. After last season, several teams will be without their star players and faces of the program. New players will step up and take on expanded roles, while key returnees should finally get the national attention they deserve.

From All-Conference selections to breakout freshmen, the Mountain West Conference is full of underrated players. We did our best to narrow the list down to 10 players to keep an eye on as the 2018-19 season quickly approaches.

Note: Players from the Nevada Wolf Pack weren’t listed because they have been the talk of the town all off-season long, therefore people should be familiar with their names by now. Also, it was too hard to narrow down since the roster is immensely talented this season. Continue reading Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mountain West Conference in 2018-19

Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Big Sky Conference in 2018-19

Sanders, Jalen
Jalen Sanders and the Northern Colorado Bears enter the 2018-19 season on the heels of their 2018 CIT Championship, and they will be looking to carry that momentum into the new campaign. (Source: Joshua Polson – The Greeley Tribune)

SARNIA, Ont. — The Big Sky Conference has undergone some big changes this off-season.

For starters, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks are now officially members of the Summit League, leaving the Big Sky Conference after the 2017-18 season. North Dakota’s departure now puts the Big Sky at 11 teams for the upcoming season.

Many of the remaining teams will also look considerably different, as star players from across the league have moved on in their careers. Whether it was due to graduation or transfer, some familiar names have left the Big Sky Conference. With that said, there are now plenty of opportunities for new players to become the faces of the conference, and there are plenty of candidates around the league.

There are still star players in the league, but the Big Sky is home to some talented players who have flown under the radar so far in their respective careers. One in particular put up massive numbers a season ago, but barely grabbed attention from the national media.

Here are 10 returning players who will be names to know this season in the Big Sky Conference.

Note: Players like Ahmaad Rorie, Jordan Davis, Tyler Hall, and Michael Oguine weren’t listed because people should be familiar with their names by now. Continue reading Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Big Sky Conference in 2018-19

Northern Kentucky Set to Host a Multi-Team Event in November

NKU MTE
Northern Kentucky will host a multi-team event inside BB&T Arena this season from November 16-18, 2018. (Source: NKU Norse MBB) (Header: Northern Kentucky Tribune)

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — The 2018-19 season is just around the corner, and the anticipation continues to build with each passing day.

Teams are finalizing their non-conference slates for the upcoming season, and plenty of teams across the country are taking part in multi-team events. These events provide match-ups that fans may not see on a regular basis, and it helps to strengthen the level of competition that teams face before conference play gets rolling.

On Wednesday, the Northern Kentucky Norse took to social media to announce that they were hosting a multi-team event on their home court in Highland Heights. All four teams in the event, including the Norse, have played in the NCAA Tournament in recent years.

Joining Northern Kentucky inside the BB&T Arena for the three-day event will be the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, and the Manhattan Jaspers. The event will take place from November 16-18, 2018. Continue reading Northern Kentucky Set to Host a Multi-Team Event in November

Former Mount St. Mary’s Guard Jonah Antonio Transfers to South Plains College

Antonio, Jonah
As a freshman in 2017-18, guard Jonah Antonio averaged 11.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game at Mount St. Mary’s. (Source: Jonah Antonio on Twitter) (Header: South Plains College)

LEVELLAND, Tex. — Chalk up another Division I transfer for the South Plains College Texans.

Since the 2017-18 season came to a close, close to 750 players have either transferred from a Division I school, or have moved up a level and have committed to a Division I program. With the large number, players are bound to transfer anywhere and everywhere. The majority stay at the top level, while plenty still transfer elsewhere as they look for the best fit for their game and their development.

One program that has done rather well this off-season is South Plains College.

Last season, the Texans had four Division I transfers on their roster, including the ever-talented Jordan Brangers. Year after year, South Plains College is present on the transfer market, and this year has been no different.

Earlier this off-season, they added Jamar Ergas (Washington State Huskies) and Trey Wade (UTEP Miners) to the mix for the 2018-19 season. On Monday, they added another talented player for the upcoming campaign, as guard Jonah Antonio committed to the Texans over other Division I programs. Continue reading Former Mount St. Mary’s Guard Jonah Antonio Transfers to South Plains College

Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2018-19

Gantz, Kobe
Kobe Gantz played just seven games last season before suffering a season-ending injury. If healthy, Gantz will be one of the biggest names in the MEAC in 2018-19. (Source: Newsday) (Header: Bethune-Cookman Athletics)

SARNIA, Ont. — The 2018-19 season is just around the corner, and excitement continues to build with each passing day.

Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at names to know in each conference across the NCAA to help fans get caught up with who is returning this season, and give them some underrated names to know for the 2018-19 campaign. The biggest names in each conference won’t necessarily be featured, as the goal is to bring attention to some underrated talents across the country.

Changes are coming in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and they begin to take place in 2018-19.

The Hampton Pirates have moved to the Big South Conference, ending their tenure in the MEAC, and they will begin play in their new conference this season. Then, at year’s end, the Savannah State Tigers will move down to Division II, leaving the MEAC at 11 teams for the time being.

Add in player turnover, and you have 12 teams in 2018-19 that look considerably different than they did a season ago. Star players have graduated, while several others have transferred out of the conference. With all of the changes that have taken place, it’s tough to keep up to date with what’s going on.

Here are 10 returning players to know in the MEAC before the 2018-19 season gets underway on November 6th, 2018.

Note: Names like Shawntrez Davis, Raasean Davis, Charles Williams and RJ Cole weren’t listed because people should be familiar with their names by now. Continue reading Take Note: Ten Underrated Names to Watch in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2018-19