Sunday, September 24, 2017

Northeast: 5-foot-5 Star Shoots for Player of Year, Repeat Title for Mt. St. Mary's

After 5-foot-5 Jose Altuve wins the American League MVP, Mount Saint Mary's Junior Robinson could be the next most likely 5-foot-5 player to be voted top player in a basketball conference. Robinson averaged over 21 points over four games to help Mount St. Mary's back up their regular season title with the tournament title. However, Value Add gives a slight edge to St. Francis PA's Keith Braxton.

Braxton's football classmates comprise the best FCS football team of those who play basketball in the Northeast Conference.

n the past, match-ups between Historically Black Colleges could feature as many future NFL players from Grambling State as played for Bear Bryant at Alabama. Grambling's opponent Saturday, Mississippi Valley State, once featured the first five receiver offense including the greatest of all-time, Jerry Rice. With almost all NFL talent now going to D1 schools, Texas Southern basketball offers the best chance for a SWAC school to get national attention in an opening March Madness game.

Football excitement returned in last year's Bayou Classic, as Grambling and Southern both returned to some past glory when they clashed after eight game winning streaks and Grambling coming close to stunning Arizona for a 9-0 start. Value Add projects Texas Southern, a much weaker football program, to again take the basketball title behind an All-Conference duo, but the one school with a shot at both the football and basketball title is Alcorn State, who boasts the Value Add preseason Player of the Year in Reginal Johnson.

Here is where Value Add ranks each Southwestern Athletic (SWAC) team for the season, and the Massey Rankings rank the football teams against all other schools (including behind the 129 FBS schools. Updates will be provided here.

However, it is the third and fourth most valuable players, Corey Henson of Wagner and Darian Anderson of Fairleigh Dickinson, have the best chance to win the conference title for a March Madness bill this year.

Northeast / 2017 seed2017-18 HoopsFootball
Fairleigh Dickinson164
LIU Brooklyn214
Saint Francis PA217199
Sacred Heart289245
Mount St. Mary's 16302
Central Connecticut324293
Robert Morris343254
Saint Francis NY344

Here are the top 15 projected players in the conference in order.

Top 15 NEC PlayersValue AddSchoolHt
Keith Braxton 134.92St. Francis PA`6-04
Junior Robinson 04.70Mount St. Mary's`5-05
Corey Henson 04.17Wagner`6-03
Darian Anderson 24.15Fairleigh Dickinson`6-01
Isaiah Blackmon 113.90St. Francis PA`6-01
Austin Nehls 103.56Central Connecticut`6-03
Joseph Lopez 213.50Sacred Heart`6-07
Darnell Edge 13.42Fairleigh Dickinson`6-01
Chris Wray 53.41Mount St. Mary's`6-08
Mike Holloway 343.20Fairleigh Dickinson`6-07
Bosko Kostur 33.13Bryant`6-07
Adam Grant 153.00Bryant`6-01
Blake Francis 32.97Wagner`5-11
Romone Saunders 112.90Wagner`6-03
Joel Hernandez2.70Long Island Brooklyn

Ken Pomeroy ranked the Northeast Conference 30th of 32 Division 1 basketball conferences, which will all be previewed here with notes on which schools are now "basketball" or "football" schools based on which program is stronger this season. Football revenue is much higher, but programs are much more expensive between equipment and the requirement of matching enough women's scholarships in other sports. Therefore some programs forgo FBS football programs to focus on low cost basketball programs as their biggest revenue sport.

Sports IllustratedFox Sports and ESPN have lauded Value Add Basketball for estimating the number of points each college basketball players is worth to his team above a replacement player - similar to baseball WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Massey Ratings is used for the football rankings above.

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