Knights Rated Atop NEC, Open at Quinnipiac Nov. 25

By Anthony Covino 

Sports Editor

College basketball is less than three weeks away, and one analyst is rating FDU as the top team in the NEC.

Ken Pomeroy, the college basketball analytics guru, has crunched the numbers to score the Knights highest in the NEC in his preseason ratings, and 231st among all 353 men’s Division I programs.

FDU coach Greg Herenda told The Equinox Thursday night that the Knights will open at Quinnipiac on Nov. 25, then play at Rutgers on Nov. 27, at Rider on Nov. 30, and at Providence on Dec. 5. Herenda said a full schedule will soon be released.

The KenPom pre-season NEC ratings have FDU atop the league. Here are the other teams, in order of rating: Saint Francis, Mount Saint Mary’s, Wagner, LIU, Merrimack, Bryant, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis Brooklyn, and Central Connecticut State University. 

Robert Morris, last year’s champion, left the conference in 2020 to join the Horizon League, leaving the NEC with 10 teams.

FDU (11-19 last season) is led by Jahlil Jenkins, Elyjah Williams and Xzavier Malone-Key, all returning for their senior seasons. The Knights lost forward Kaleb Bishop to graduation. He has signed to play in the Bulgarian Professional League. 

For the safety of players, staff, coaches and fans, the NCAA has instituted strict regulations on traveling, team practice and game attendance.

Robert Morris punched its ticket into the NCAA Tournament in the NEC tourney championship last year, but that was the last game they played as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down March Madness. 

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Photo courtesy of official NEC website