Catching up with the Blue Devils after CCSU and Kyle Vinales win the game of the year

Just wanted to get something up here quick after a wild one I'm going to be writing about for awhile. Please remember that while I take way too long breaks from this blog, I write quite a bit over at (and in the paper itself, but I can't link to that here.)
Doing a full man-to-man feels wrong tonight since, despite numerous contributions, this game was about one man and one shot.
Howie Dickenman told Kyle Vinales to make something happen. The sophomore sure did, making a who knows how many-footer in the final seconds to give Central its first win over the Bobcats in nine tries.
When it happened, I turned tot he person next to me on press row and said "that might be the worst shot I've ever seen."
His reply: "It went in, didn't it?"
Vinales had been struggling all night, but what makes him so exciting (and so tough) is that he doesn't worry about it. The last 10 shots, makes or misses, have no baring on his confidence about the next one he puts up. He thinks it's going in.
He's right a lot, and this one proved the rest of us wrong.
So I thought I'd give you a couple of punchlines from Vinales, who was in as rare a form after the game as he was at the end of it.

"I thought it was going in," he said with a smile.

When asked what the rim looked like from 28 feet away, he said "the ocean."

"He told me to make something happen," Vinales said, referring to Dickenman. "He told me to score, so I did."

And my favorite, after I asked him if he realized how far away he was when he took the shot, he said:

"No. After I shot it I said, 'damn, that was kind of far'. But it was a good choice I guess."

That might be debatable, but the result was not.

A we're finally all dug out from the storm edition of the blog

So after losing about a week dealing with various storm issues, finally sitting down at the blog. Just wanted to check in before the game starts.
First, a few notes, which I've mentioned in the paper and twitter, but just to make sure we're all on the same page.
The men's game vs. QU in New Britain is now 2/25 at 7 p.m. The women will host LIU on 2/20.
Central should be in good shape tonight physically. Brandon Peel should be up for full minutes tonight.
The Blue Devils have actually been good at times on the road, but this stretch is going to be tough. Getting this one would guarantee Central the tiebreak ahead of Wagner and get the Blue Devils back in the discussion for home court in the tournament.
We're to the time of year where you have to scoreboard watch, so we'll look at where the league stands after the night.

CCSU Men's basketball update after win over FDU

Just got home from work, quick update of couple things I was told tonight.
1) Kyle Vinales had a bit of a toe issue as well as foul trouble, but it isn't serious. I have to double check, but unofficially I have him 28 from 1,000 now.
2) If you were following on's gamecast instead of NEC Front Row or 1410, you might have seen De'Angelo Speech's name in the box score. It has since been fixed, he did not play.

CCSU men's basketball midseason man-to-man

With the NEC season passing the midseason point, I thought it would be a good idea to break down the season in the way we usually do the individual games.

So before we start the second half by looking at the big win at Monmouth, let's break down the first half by going man-to-man.

Adonis Burbage: He's worked to become less one-dimensional as the season has gone on, but he's still best known for his corner threes, something he has come to excel at at times. He's still too streaky, but when he's hot, he gives Central a huge weapon. His best game of the year was last week against SF-Brooklyn, when he became a rebounder in the absence of Brandon Peel. If he can mix the three, a little driving, the rebounding and the threes, he will be a huge piece. For now, he's a heck of a compliment. 

Kyle Vinales: I don't know if you've heard, but the kid is a pretty good scorer. He has 967 points in 49 games. Mark down Thursday night in New Britain vs. LIU, as that should be the night he becomes the fastest to 1,000 points in school history. Most importantly, he has developed into more than just a shooter. He has learned to defer to others when either they are hot or he isn't, and is turning into a solid assist man. He's been everything you'd want from your star. And he has two years to further develop. 

Andrew Hurd: He will get his shot up, we know that. But he has shown the capability to give Central a good 5-10 minutes of relief for their guards. I'd love to see him get those minutes a little more consistently. 

De'Angelo Speech: His loss, probably for the season, thanks to a couple of different injuries, really hurt. Central could have used another ball-handler and perimeter defender, two things Speech could have provided. 

Malcolm McMillan: He's been good all year, though his assist-to-turnover ratio was a little low early in the year, mostly because of the high expectations (and need) Central had for him as opposed to his actual play. In the last couple of weeks, however, he has added offense to his game, making him much more of a threat. It's one of the two transformations which has Central thinking about contending in the league again. 

Khalen Cumberlander: Another guard Central could have really used who was lost to an injury. The backcourt will be deep next year. 

Erik Raliegh: A wonderful story who hopefully can contribute before he graduates. 

Joe Efese: He had his breakout game Thursday night at Monmouth. He saw his time greatly reduced with the emergence of Brandon Peel, but has seemed to use it as motivation, showing off a nice little jumper and a renewed intensity on defense since. I'd still like to see more of the "big" lineup Central used against Wagner more, if for no other reason than Peel and Efese both deserve to play. Efese will be heard from before this year is over, as he was last night. 

Matt Hunter: The quiet superstar. He can score and gives Central needed energy. He makes its transition game go, and has greatly limited his turnovers as the season has gone along. If he can keep his shooting percentage up, he might be the unsung hero of the season. 

Greg Andrade: He's another good athlete who could give Central a few minutes, especially at the end of games which have been decided. Hey, it doesn't matter where the five minutes come from. 

Terrell Allen: Central's other backup big, he is another guy who developed his game as the year went along. He can shoot a little bit from the outside but just has to remember his bread andbutter is hustle and interior play. 

Brandon Peel: The breakout star of the season. His rebounding and interior play has become critical to Central, which started turning the year around when he was inserted into the lineup. He only got a minute Thursday because of his bum ankle, and the Blue Devils have to hope he's close to returning to his normal time. If he is, this season might be getting interesting.