ST. JOHN’S, NL. — The St. John’s Edge are in their inaugural season in the NBL Canada, but they have already assembled one of the league’s more talented rosters.
The expansion club boasts a list of former NCAA stars, one that includes the likes of Grandy Glaze, Wally Ellenson, Colton Ray-St. Cyr, and Jarryn Skeete. Then, when you add in the likes of Carl English, Alex Johnson, and others, it’s clear to see why the Edge have taken the NBL Canada by storm this season.
Every year, teams see their dreams of making the NCAA Tournament come true, while others accept bids into other post-season tournaments.
Last season, 68 teams made the NCAA Tournament, 32 made the NIT, 16 made the College Basketball Invitational, 32 made the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament, and 8 teams took part in the inaugural Vegas 16 tournament. If the math is correct, that leaves 195 teams without a spot in post-season play.
Some teams aren’t even eligible for post-season play due to off-court issues, whether it’s due to low APR scorers or self-imposed bans.
That’s where we come in. We don’t discriminate, and even teams who aren’t eligible in the real world are welcome in our eyes. Living up to the Canadian stereotype of always being nice, we have included all 351 teams into one hypothetical post-season tournament.
He may not get the national attention that he deserves, which is a crime in its own right, but Portland Pilots‘ senior guard Alec Wintering is one of the premier guards in the entire NCAA.
Over his entire collegiate career, the native of Charlotte, NC has done it all for the Pilots.
Wintering has averaged at least 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game in each season at Portland, while shooting at least 43.4% from the field in each of the last three years. He regularly stuffs the stat sheet, which makes it even more puzzling as to why more people aren’t talking about him and his talents.
We’ve been high on him over the past two seasons, and he keeps giving us more reasons to be excited about his future prospects.
This past week was no different, as he helped to lead the Pilots to two big wins in conference play to close out 2016 on a high note. Wintering averaged 23.5 points and 7.0 assists in the Pilots’ two wins last week, putting them a perfect 2-0 in WCC play and sending them into 2017 with a big boost of momentum.
After his impressive week, Wintering was rewarded for his efforts. Through a poll on Twitter, he was selected by the fans as the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week for the week of December 26 – January 1!
Players aren’t the only ones who make their debuts in college basketball each November.
Each season, there are several first time head coaches who realize their dreams of becoming a head coach at the Division I level. Many have paid their dues, whether it be as an assistant coach in the NCAA, or as a head coach at a smaller institution. The journeys are undoubtedly long, but well worth it in the end, when they see the title of ‘Head Men’s Basketball Coach’ after their name.
The start of the 2016-17 season was no exception.
In total, there are 29 coaches across the country who are first-time head coaches in Division I this season. Some have been assistants at larger programs in the country, while others have been head coaches in the junior college ranks.
Regardless of where they came from, they are now head coaches at the top level of collegiate basketball.
The transition hasn’t been easy for every coach, as only nine of the 29 first-time coaches have a winning record through the first five weeks of the year.
To open the 2016-17 season, the San Francisco Dons have looked rather impressive. While a few of their games have been close wins, the Dons have come out on top nonetheless.
Entering Friday night’s tilt against the Lamar Cardinals, the Dons had won three straight on their home floor, and were sitting at a comfortable 5-1 on the year.
As for the Cardinals, they have followed up back-to-back wins with a loss twice already in 2016-17. If the trend was to continue, a win was to be in their future. Coming off a 77-60 loss against the Idaho State Bengals in their last time out, the Cardinals were looking to get back on the winning track.
San Francisco took a six-point lead into halftime, and came out of the gates on fire in the second half. After the Cardinals scored the first two points of the half, the Dons reeled off a 14-0 run to take full control of the game.