Friday, March 7, 2014

NCAA 1st Round Preview: MIT vs. Plattsburgh State

MIT vs. Plattsburgh State 
Friday,  Memorial Hall - Plattsburgh, NY, 7:30pm

Live Stats | Video

Probable Starters:
MIT (20-8, 8-6) Ht. PPG RPG Plattsburgh (22-5, 15-3) Ht. PPG RPG
Matt Redfield 6'8" 13.3 8.8 Shavar Fields 6'6" 14.5 6.2
Andrew Acker 6'8" 11.8 9.5 Ezra Hodgson 6'6" 7.6 2.5
Dennis Levene 6'8" 4.6 4.3 John Perez 6'3" 12.8 9.4
Justin Pedley 6'6" 11.6 1.7 Edward Correa  6'1" 11.7 2.2 
Ryan Frankel 5'11" 8.3 3.2 apg Chris Manning 6'0" 5.6 5.1 apg 

A Look at Plattsburgh:
Recent Performance
Plattsburgh State received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after posting a 22-5 overall record, but falling in the SUNYAC finals to nationally ranked Brockport.

Last Time Out
This is the second time these two teams have met; the first was back in the 1964-65 season when MIT beat Plattsburgh by a score of 58-57.

X's & O's
Plattsburgh State is an extremely athletic team that is looking to score in transition, push the ball hard after both makes and misses and trying to score quickly. In the half-court, the Cardinals waste no time on offense, and look to shoot or attack the rim off the first pass. Look for them to do lots of double-ball screens for their shooters, high-ball screens with shooters,  spreading the floor with hand-off series, and 4-around-1 with their bigs posting hard. Plattsburgh State is scoring 78.7 ppg and shooting 38% from three (7.9 makes per game).

On the defensive end Plattsburgh primarily employs a half-court man strategy, though they will show a full-court run and jump press as well as some 2-3 zone. The Cardinals allow 68 ppg.

A big question mark in tonights game is whether or not two of the Cardinals' leading scorers, Shavar Fields and Chris McIntosh, will see court time, as they were not present in the conference finals for Plattsburgh.

Monday, March 3, 2014

MIT Heads to Plattsburgh, NY for NCAA 1st Round

The field of 62 teams for the 2014 NCAA Division III National Tournament was announced today, with MIT, who received an automatic bid, taking on Plattsburgh State this Friday in the First Round. Plattsburgh State will be hosting the 1st and 2nd Rounds, with the winner of the MIT/Plattsburgh State game taking on the winner of the Eastern Connecticut/Husson game.

MIT will make the road trip on Thursday morning, practice on site Thursday evening, then face off with Plattsburgh State Friday evening (time TBD).

Three other NEWMAC teams received at-large bids to the "Little Dance" in WPI, Springfield, and Babson. Four teams from the NEWMAC is the most ever in the conference's history.

Check out the complete bracket here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

MIT Crowned NEWMAC Champs

Box Score

MIT: 2014 NEWMAC Champions (Pic: Bob Ferrara)
MIT continued their stellar playoff performance today versus Springfield in the NEWMAC Championship, earning the 67-56 win to capture their 4th NEWMAC Championship in 6 years. MIT shot 50% from the field and shot 83% from the charity stripe while defensively holding Springfield to 36% shooting and 11% from three.

With the win, MIT earns an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA National Tournament. This is MIT's 6th straight NCAA appearance, 6th straight 20-win season, and 6th straight season of winning either the Regular Season or Tournament Championship.

MIT was led by the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, 6'8" tri-Captain Andrew Acker. Acker, who has had a busy week off the court running on a presidential ticket for MIT's Undergraduate Association (MIT's undergraduate student body government), scored 19 points and hauled in 13 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season (good for 10th all-time in MIT history for double-doubles in a season). Acker now has 267 rebounds this season, also good for 9th all-time in MIT history, just behind former All-American Will Tashman '13 (280).

6'8" tri-Captain Dennis Levene continued his great play with a 14-point 4-rebound performance, including 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, many of them down the stretch. Despite being plagued by foul trouble, 6'8" tri-Captain Matt Redfield scored 13 points in just 19 minutes of play, including two monster dunks and two blocks. The two blocks put Redfield at 63 for the season (1st all-time in MIT history) and 128 for his career (also 1st all-time in MIT history, passing Godfrey Innis '95).

Point-guard Ryan Frankel, who is averaging 14ppg and 4apg in the playoffs, registered 13 points and 7 assists on the night.

MIT will discover their 1st Round matchup in the NCAA Bracket tomorrow at 12:30pm EST.

NEWMAC Championship Preview: MIT vs. Springfield

MIT vs. Springfield 
Sunday,  Harrington Auditorium - Worcester, MA, 1pm

Live Stats | Video

Probable Starters:
MIT (19-8, 8-6) Ht. PPG RPG Springfield (20-6, 10-4) Ht. PPG RPG
Matt Redfield 6'8" 13.4 9.1 Tim Swenson 6'7" 10.6 9.6
Andrew Acker 6'8" 11.5 9.4 Robbie Burke 6'4" 13.8 7.4
Dennis Levene 6'8" 4.3 4.3 Nick Sienkiewicz 6'3" 10.7 2.7
Justin Pedley 6'6" 11.9 1.6 Alex Garstka  6'1" 11.2 2.2 
Ryan Frankel 5'11" 8.1 3.1 apg Sean Martin 6'1" 11.7 4.2 

A Look at Springfield:
Recent Performance
Springfield is coming off a thrilling overtime 85-77 win yesterday over #2 seed Babson in the NEWMAC Semifinals.

Last Time Out
MIT and Springfield have split the series this season, with MIT taking the first win on their home-court 55-51, and Springfield returning the favor with a 59-51 win at their home just a few weeks later.

X's & O's
Springfield will certainly look to push the ball in transition, but will look to score when the opportunity presents itself. In the half-court, they will run one of their many sets and will look to score off one of the options from each set. They have a solid inside presence in Swenson and Burke and have shooters that can stroke it from beyond the arc.

Defensively Springfield is a gritty team, and will look to apply pressure and intensity for 40 minutes. MIT must be prepared for a number of different defensive strategies by the Pride.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

MIT Takes Down #11 WPI En Route to Championship

Box Score

MIT put on an impressive offensive and defensive display Saturday afternoon in the NEWMAC semifinals, taking down #1 seed WPI 64-46 to earn a spot in the Championship game. MIT shot a sizzling 70% from three and 56% from the floor. The Engineers of Cambridge also got it done on the defensive end, holding WPI to just 30% shooting and out-rebounding their opponents 36-24.

MIT's offensive attack was extremely balanced, with stellar play both inside and out. 6'6" sharp-shooter Justin Pedley led the way with 16 points, including three three's from NBA range. Sophomore point guard Ryan Frankel had three threes of his own on his way to 15 points and 3 assists. 6'8" Matt Redfield, an All-Conference selection last season, put in 14 points and 14 rebounds for the double-double as well as 2 blocks (he is now 2 shy of becoming MIT's all-time leader in blocks). 6'8" co-captains Dennis Levene and Andrew Acker added a combined 18 points and 11 rebounds to round out the attack. 

MIT will play the winner of the Springfield/Babson Semifinal game at 1pm tomorrow at WPI. The winner will claim the NEWMAC crown and an automatic bid into the "Little Dance", the NCAA national tournament. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

NEWMAC Semi-Finals Preview: #4 MIT vs. #1 WPI

#4 MIT vs. #1 WPI
Saturday, Harrington Auditorium - Worcester, MA, 1pm

Live Stats | Video

Probable Starters:
MIT (18-8, 8-6) Ht. PPG RPG WPI (22-3, 12-2) Ht. PPG RPG
Matt Redfield 6'8" 13.3 8.9 Ryan Kolb 6'5" 13.1 4.9
Andrew Acker 6'8" 11.7 9.5 Domenick Mastacusa 6'5" 11.0 4.6
Russell Johnson 6'6" 2.5 4.5 Sean Doncaster 6'3" 4.7 1.7
Justin Pedley 6'6" 11.6 1.6 Sam Longwell 6'3" 16.5 6.1 
Ryan Frankel 5'11" 7.8 3.1 apg Aaron Davis 5'10" 6.9 4.0 apg

A Look at WPI:
Recent Performance
WPI is currently ranked #11 overall in Division III and are winners of the NEWMAC regular season.

Last Time Out
WPI took the 64-52 decision in Rockwell Cage last time out after shooting 51% from the field and 42% from three. WPI held MIT to their lowest rebound total (23) in over 4 years.

X's & O's
WPI runs a motion offense with many flares and handoffs for their shooters Sam Longwell and Zach Karalis. WPI will utilize the pick-and-roll, will look to spread the floor, and look to penetrate off the dribble (especially with Aaron Davis in late shot clock situations).

WPI will push the ball hard up the floor in transition. In the half-court, they do not run a strict offense; primarily 3-out-2-in and 4-round-1 motion with block to block screening.  The objective of their offense is to get someone who they feel has a favorable match-up in 1-on-1 situations, have Longwell or Karalis create, and the rest of the shooters spotting up.

WPI defensively will play straight man help and recover. They will overplay at every position, with heavy pressure on the wings. WPI plays very hard, and will dive after every ball and every rebound.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

MIT Advances to Conference Semi-Finals

#4 MIT defeated #5 Emerson last night in Rockwell Cage 64-56 to earn the quarter-final victory and advance to the semis.

Despite only shooting 34% from the field, MIT finally got hot from three (44%), limited their turnovers (only 8), and out-rebounded the Lyons 42-34 to secure the win.

MIT received stellar play off the bench from Freshman Dakota Pierce, who led all scorers with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and connected on 4 three-pointers. 6'8" Andrew Acker registered his 12th double-double of the season with a 17-point, 13-rebound performance to go along with 3 assists and 2 steals. Point Guard Ryan Frankel continued his dominance leading the offense, scoring 14 points on a perfect 3-of-3 from three while playing the entire game.

MIT faces nationally-ranked and #1 seed WPI on Saturday in the NEWMAC semi-finals.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

NEWMAC Quarterfinals Preview: #4 MIT vs. #5 Emerson

MIT vs. Emerson 
Wednesday, Rockwell Cage - Cambridge, MA, 7pm

Live Stats | Video

Probable Starters:
MIT (17-8, 8-6) Ht. PPG RPG Emerson (13-12, 6-8) Ht. PPG RPG
Matt Redfield 6'8" 13.7 8.8 Brian Hurley 6'7" 9.6 5.1
Andrew Acker 6'8" 11.4 9.4 Sean Duffy 6'4" 4.7 3.0
Dennis Levene 6'8" 4.2 4.2 Jon Goldberg 6'4" 11.9 9.7
Justin Pedley 6'6" 12.0 1.5 Tyson Hallowell  6'3" 8.6 1.4 
Ryan Frankel 5'11" 7.6 3.2 apg Michael Thorpe 6'0" 15.0 3.5 apg

A Look at Emerson:
Recent Performance
Emerson battled it out with Wheaton College in the final regular game of the season, falling 79-73.

Last Time Out
MIT took down Emerson 80-61 just two games ago behind solid performances by Matt Redfield (24 pts) and Ryan Frankel (23 pts).

X's & O's
Emerson College finished 13-5 in the GNAC last season before moving into the NEWMAC this year. The Lyons knocked off #1-ranked Amherst and nationally-ranked WPI earlier in the season.

Emerson will look to get out on the break, with their guards looking to push the ball while the bigs run to the rim. In the half-court most of their sets are out of a 1-4 high with the posts at the elbow. Emerson will set a lot of side ball screens, especially for Thorpe, and will feed their posts who get to the block quickly and aggressively. Emerson will also look to crash the boards hard.

On defense, look for Emerson to try a number of defensive schemes to contain MIT's height. 

Babson Takes down MIT in Regular Season Finale

Box Score

In a defensive battle between two of the NEWMAC's top teams, Babson outlasted MIT 53-42 Saturday afternoon in Rockwell Cage. Both teams shot under 36% from the field and 29% from three, and crashed the glass evenly (MIT 35 rebounds, Babson 33). The Beavers of Babson handled the ball much better than the Engineers, however, with only 7 turnovers compared to MIT's 16.

Freshman Tim Butala has registered double-figures in four of the last seven games (Pic: Robert Krawitz)

6'8" Matt Redfield led the Engineers again with 13 points and 6 boards, with 6'8" Freshman Tim Butala helping alongside with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and three three-pointers.

6'8" Matt Redfield continued his strong play in the post (Pic: Robert Krawitz)

Earlier in the day, the Engineers celebrated their Alumni Day, complete with an Alumni vs. Alumni game (odd graduation years vs. even graduation years) and luncheon.

With the conclusion of the regular season, MIT finished with a 17-8 record and earns the #4 seed in the playoffs. They will face Emerson College on Wednesday at 7pm in Rockwell.

Game Preview: MIT vs. Babson (Alumni Day)

MIT vs. Babson 
Saturday, Rockwell Cage - Cambridge, MA, 1pm

Live Stats | Video

Probable Starters:
MIT (17-7, 8-5) Ht. PPG RPG Babson (19-5, 10-3) Ht. PPG RPG
Matt Redfield 6'8" 13.7 8.8 John Wickey 6'7" 13.7 6.4
Andrew Acker 6'8" 11.4 9.4 Joey Flannery 6'4" 18.9 5.7
Dennis Levene 6'8" 4.2 4.2 Eric Dean 6'3" 9.8 7.5
Justin Pedley 6'6" 12.0 1.5 Matt Palazini  6'3" 11.4 2.6 
Ryan Frnakel 6'3" 7.6 3.2 apg Kenny Ross 6'1" 5.8 6.8 apg

A Look at Babson:
Recent Performance
Babson is on a 6-game win streak, which include two overtime wins as well as a victory over nationally-ranked WPI. Babson is currently on the bubble for a Top-25 ranking.

Last Time Out
Babson had their way with MIT last time out en route to a 65-47 victory. Babson shot 42% from three and forced 17 MIT turnovers.

X's & O's
Babson comes into the 2013-2014 season with a loaded roster, a great mix of veteran leadership and new talent. Babson was recently ranked in the Top 25 and are currently 11-4 on the season.

In transition the Beavers get out and run, with freshman Joey Flannery very aggressive on the break and Matt Palazini looking to find his three's. In the half-court Babson will use a 3-out 2-in motion with guards passing and picking away while John Wickey getting post position on the block. Babson has a great inside-out presence and will be relying on their three-balls, transition buckets, and spacing on offense.