A look at some local players expected to make an impact in the NEC

Amdy Fall, who is originally from Harlem, is joining St.  Francis College this year and is expected to be one of the bigger impact players in the NEC. Photo via Amdy Hall on Facebook.

Amdy Fall, who is originally from Harlem, is joining St. Francis College this year and is expected to be one of the bigger impact players in the NEC. Photo via Amdy Hall on Facebook.

One of the local blogs that I love to read is Big Apple Buckets and this week it had a couple of great posts concerning the local college teams LIU Brooklyn and St. Francis College. It wasn’t specific posts looking at those two schools, but rather a look at the impact transfer students and freshmen in the Northeast Conference and I wanted to take a look at a couple of local players that were highlighted in the pieces.

Let’s start with the freshmen where LIU Brooklyn’s Nura Zanna made the list. Here is what BAB’s Ryan Peters‘ had to say about him:

If Julian Boyd’s recovery from a torn ACL last December went smoothly, then Zanna would surely be further down our list. Unfortunately for the Blackbirds, Boyd suffered a setback, opening up a gaping hole in LIU Brooklyn’s frontcourt. The big question is who Jack Perri will slot alongside promising sophomore E.J. Reed, and we’re placing our bets with Zanna. Exceptional bloodlines aside (Zanna’s brother Talib plays for Jamie Dixon at Pittsburgh), Zanna is ferocious on the glass and is quite skilled offensively around the rim. He may not be as versatile or experienced as JUCO transfer Chris Carter, but there’s no denying the potential upside of the 6’7″ power forward. He’s a bit undersized as a true 5, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue against NEC competition.

What the Blackbirds have done over the last three years, winning back-to-back-to-back NEC championships, has been amazing and I was hoping to see a fourth this season with the return of Julian Boyd. Unfortunately that didn’t work out because of a ACL setback (although the team hopes he’ll be back by the end of the season). So if they are going to have any chance to four-peat, they are going to have to get production from some unforeseen spots. Hopefully Zanna is their man otherwise it could be a rough start to the season as they scramble to find someone to replace Boyd.

Next is Peters’ look at the transfer students and there are actually two Brooklyn players in this category. The first is Amdy Fall, who transferred to St. Francis after a season at the College of Central Florida. Here’s what Peters said:

Shot blocking and two-point field goal defense has been lacking ever since Glenn Braica commanded the sideline, with the Terriers finishing twelfth and eleventh within the conference in both categories last season, respectively. In comes Amdy Fall, a shot blocking machine who averaged an obscene 8.6 swats per game as a high school senior. With three years of eligibility remaining (he played at the College of Central Florida last season), Fall has a real opportunity to carve any immediate niche for the Terriers as a defensive/rebounding specialist in the paint. When and if Fall develops, a frontcourt of him and Jalen Cannon would be mighty scary to NEC opponents.

I’m biased toward Fall after seeing him play for a couple of years at Wings Academy so I’m not only glad to see him join the Terriers, but I’m thrilled to see him included on the list. It doesn’t surprise me though as Fall is the perfect player for a team looking to improve its defense to bring aboard. He’s never going to be the flashiest player on the court, but every time I watched him play he brought his D with him.

Next Peters wrote about Chris Carter at LIU Brooklyn:

Julian Boyd’s injury setback has been beaten into the ground (well at least it feels like that) by yours truly, but someone needs to use up Boyd’s possessions, at least in the early going. Yesterday, we highlighted freshman Nura Zanna as a potential candidate, but today it’s JUCO transfer Chris Carter’s turn. The 6’7″ forward is quite versatile – he has an array of post moves, can run the floor, play above the rim, and create/facilitate on the perimeter if needed. Profiling as a “stretch 4″ like Jamal Olasewere, Carter is a dream to Jack Perri, who will continue to employ an exciting up-tempo attack headed by Jason Brickman. How Carter’s game translates to the Division I level is a tough call, but he certainly has the physical tools to succeed once he gets his feet wet during the non-conference portion of the schedule.

Not surprised to see Carter mentioned here. Boyd was a huge loss for the Blackbirds and somebody is going to have to pick up his minutes. My expectation is that, at least initially, it won’t be any one person even if Zanna surprises everyone with a strong freshman campaign. Both he and Carter will certainly have a chance to make an impact. Hopefully both of them do. We’ll have to wait and see.

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