Some NCBBA Men's Title Contenders for 2022-2023
It’s never too early to start thinking about next season. Well, maybe it’s a little too early. But here are some teams that have a solid shot at winning the 2022-2023 NCBBA-M’s National Championship.
UAlbany ended its season in the New England West conference with 16-3 record, going undefeated in conference. Despite losing six players including John Mhilli, he predicts a bright future for his former club. Two starters, responsible for 55 percent of the scoring, return, and with new players coming in, the team has potential for a truly good season.
Boston College had a great club 2021-2022 season with only a few setbacks. Finishing in the New England East conference with an impressive 13-2 home game and 8-0 away game record, BC seemed poised to run away with the New England Regional Championship. Despite the Eagles lost to upstart Bryant University, the squad earned a trip to nationals and made it through the first round.
Although BC lost Henry "Hank the Tank" Holzinger to graduation, it should remain dominant in their conference in the 2022-2023 season. Only two others depart from a team that carried a whopping 18 players. And three of them made the NCBBA's post season skills competition.
A recent addition to the NCBBA, Bryant has impressed during its short time on the elite circuit. After its upset over BC to win the Northeast Regional Championship. Bryant made the most of its opportunity by defeating Towson in the first round, before losing to the ultimate champion, Purdue. Though suffering a few senior losses, the team retains a stable of experienced players who will keep it competitive in the 2022-2023 season.
UConn finished the season at the top of the New England South conference with a 23-8 record. The team was poised to go far in the New England Regional Championship tournament, but spoiler Bryant handed the Huskies their last loss of the season.
Even though UConn did not earn an at-large bid to Nationals, sophomore Colin Shoen returns off a stellar freshman season, where he scored 180 points total and averaged 13.8 points per game. UConn’s junior president, Ruhail Akhtar, also returns to lead his team on the road to the 2022-2023 National Championships.
NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY
Notre Dame had a great 2021-2022 season, finishing with a 16-4 record. After a second-place finish in the Great Lakes Regional Championship, Notre Dame received an at-large bid to the NCBAA National Championship. The Fighting Irish capitalized on this chance by finishing as runner-up. Notre Dame’s dominance in the Great Lakes North and beyond should continue in 2022-2023, despite the loss of six seniors, due to its experienced and deep bench.
Finishing in the Great Lakes East conference with an overall 24-2 record, including a perfect 13-0 record for away games, Purdue dominated its opponents during the 2021-2022 season. The club even avenged its losses: after an early season disappointment against Notre Dame, the Boilermakers rebounded in impressive fashion by beating the Fighting Irish to win both the Great Lakes Regional Championship title and NCBAA National Championship.
Gunnar Reffeitt, who scored 37 points and splashed in 11 threes in a game versus Bellarmine, returns for the 2022-2023 season to anchor the team. Although parting with its powerhouse senior, Emerson Halbleieb, who along with Reffeitt earned player of the week honors after the club’s National Championship win, Purdue has a deep bench that should make up for the loss.
Radford posted an impressive 16-3 record in the Mid Atlantic South conference in 2021-2022, and was among the elite eight selected to compete in the National Championship. Unfortunately, Purdue spoiled their chances in the tournament, but we expect Radford to rebound for the 2022-2023 season. Two returning players, Matias Hodnett and Kaylen Brown, earned All-Star game honors at Nationals, with Hodnett named MVP for the game. These veterans should propel their team in the upcoming season.
THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY
The College of New Jersey finished its season in the North Atlantic Conference with a record of 14 wins against 2 losses to lead the East division. TCNJ has a great chance to surpass their 2021-2022 performance, with four out of five of their top scorers returning for the new season. This veteran leadership is an invaluable asset that should lead to great things in 2022-2023.
Finishing the Mid-Atlantic North Conference with a 13-2 record in 2021-2022, and winning the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, Towson won an automatic bid to the National Championship. Despite losing a nail biter that went to triple overtime in the first round, the Tigers put up a great fight, with a final score of 113-108. Towson’s 2022-2023 squad includes veterans Javon Daniel, Kojo Addo, John Mbeng, and Jalen Mears. These experienced players should give Towson an edge over some of their divisional rivals.
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