The first Thursday of the new year brings a full slate of NEC games, with Robert Morris (7-7, 2-0) visiting LIU (4-9, 2-0) in a game matching NEC unbeatens (7:30 PM). The Blackbirds, currently mired in a six-game losing skid, can look no further than their turnover margin when looking for reasons why. LIU is currently a -4.6 in that department while the Colonials are a +1.4, and that statistic will play a major role in the winner of tonight's game. Mike Rice has juggled his rotation in recent weeks with freshman guard Karon Abraham leading the way.
Weekly Honors (announced Sunday & Monday)
America East: Stony Brook guard Bryan Dougher was honored for the first time this season, sharing Player of the Week honors with Vermont's Marqus Blakely. Dougher averaged 22 points per game in a 2-1 week for the Seawolves, including a 30-point outing in Stony Brook's 84-75 win at preseason favorite Boston University.
With all these lists out for players and teams of the decade it's only right that I do one for the NEC. It's been a calm decade (relatively speaking) in regards to conference membership, with UMBC leaving for America East following the 2002-03 season and not being replaced until the NEC added Bryant before last season. Due to that those two schools won't be included in this list, but there's some quality from which to choose among the other eleven schools.
With this being the final day of the decade this is a good time to pick my personal players of the decade in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The MAAC has gone through quite the transformation over the last ten years, with the balance of power shifting from the New York-area schools north to the likes of Siena and Niagara as we look forward to the next ten years. The program of the decade: Siena.