21 December 2009

Better Know an Opponent: Central Connecticut State

The Central Connecticut State University ("CCSU") Blue Devils (3-5) take on Northwestern (9-1) at the Welsh at 7pm Central. The game can be viewed online for $2.99 at bigtennetwork.com. The game will be broadcast on Dec 23 on the BTN at 11AM Central and again at 11:30pm Central.

CCSU Quick Facts:
Location: New Britain, CT
Official Nickname: Blue Devils (Why is this so common? Odd.)
Coach: Howie Dickenman (14th season)
Team Colors: Blue and White
Conference: Northeast Conference (NEC)
Student Population: 12K
Famous Alums: Dave Campo, Richard Grieco, Mike Sherman

CCSU was founded in 1849 as the New Britain Normal School. Unbeknownst to Carmody Court is the fact that normal schools were designed to train teachers (this confirms that no one at Carmody Court is in the School of Ed). The NAACP designated CCSU as an official stop on the underground railroad.

The CCSU basketball squad was projected to finish fifth in the NEC preseason coaches poll. They have no preseason all-conference players.

Projected Starting Five:

G Sherrik Thompson 6'0" 190 #11 Jr.
G Devan Bailey 6'2" 190 #22 Fr.
G Joe Seymore 6'2" 195 #32 Sr.
F David Simmons 6'5" 215 #23 Jr.
F Joe Efese 6'6" 215 #21 Fr.

Sherrik Thompson is their veteran go-to guy who is averaging 14 and 3 with a slightly positive A:TO ratio (only Blue Devil in the "black" of that ratio). Robby Ptacek has started 7/8 games and is shooting 44% from distance but for some reason he is not projected as a starter. David Simmons is their rebounding guru pulling down 8.5 RPG. The Blue Devils look like they regularly play nine.

As a team The Blue Devils don't do much well. Against weak competition they are shooting less than 40%, get out-rebounded by 5.5 RPG, and shoot 32% from distance. They have a 7 to 10 A:TO ratio.

Why is NU playing this team? Taking a look at the Blue Devil schedule they don't fit the smaller conference road warrior profile. NU is the only "BCS" conference opponent. Did they think we were Northeastern when they agreed to the game?

What to expect? More fattening up on non-conf pastries on Tuesday night. Expect the players who dominate these cupcakes to play well (Crawford, Nash, Marcotullio). Rowley seems to struggle against smaller quicker opponents so hopefully he can work on that this game. Shurna also seems to lose focus when there isn't a big name on the opponent's jersey. Juice will do what is needed which won't be much if anything.

Welsh-Ryan Ramblings has some additional pregame intel.