ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fabbri signs contract extension at Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac University Director of Athletics Jack McDonald has announced that Women's Basketball Head Coach Tricia Fabbri has signed a contract extension through the 2016-17 season. Terms of the contract have not been disclosed. In 2011-12, Fabbri guided the Bobcats to one of the most accomplished seasons in Quinnipiac history, adding to an impressive resume at the helm of the women’s basketball program.

Tricia Fabbri
"I'd like to thank President Lahey, Sr.VP Mark Thompson and Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald for allowing me to continue as the Women's Basketball Head Coach at Quinnipiac University,” said Coach Fabbri. “This community is so special to me and my family. It truly is an honor and privilege to lead the program into this season and for seasons to come."
Since joining the Northeast Conference, Coach Fabbri has distinguished herself as a premier coach in the league. Fabbri ranks second all-time in career NEC regular-season wins (157) and overall NEC wins (164) after adding significantly to the totals last year.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Quinnipiac's Nisson signs deal with CanAm League

Recent Quinnipiac graduate and baseball stand-out Kyle Nisson (Wallingford) has signed with the Worcester (Mass.) Tornadoes of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, otherwise known as the CanAm League. Nisson made his professional debut on Thursday, July 12 in a 2-1 win against the Gary (Ind.) SouthShore RailCats, recording a RBI in the Tornadoes’ win.
“Signing my first pro contract was a pretty crazy feeling,” Nisson said. “I've been playing baseball for 16, 17 years and all the work I have put into this game was to sign a pro contract. It’s an amazing feeling.”
The Worcester Tornadoes are most recognized for their currently-inactive designated hitter and former Major League Baseball player, Jose Canseco. Canseco’s locker currently sits beside the Tornadoes’ active designated hitter, Nisson, in the locker room at Worcester’s Fitton Field.
“Last night was pretty overwhelming,” Nisson said. “I walked into the dugout and there were people actually asking for my autograph. It was a pretty cool feeling. Then, to get an RBI in the same game was just made itan overall great day.”
Nisson was an all Northeast Conference selection in 2011 and the College Sports Madness All NEC Second Team in 2012 after leading NCAA Division I college baseball in the “Toughest To Strike Out” Category. Nisson struck-out five times in 171 at-bats, or roughly once every 34.2 at-bats, to lead the nation in the category.

Kyle Nisson
“I called my dad right after I signed and he stopped me for a second and said, ‘Kyle , you’re a pro now.’ That right there, made it real for me. He's my biggest fan.”
Nisson finished his senior year tied for the team lead in hits (54), while leading the team in doubles (8), runs scored (26), on-base percentage (.377). An All-NEC Second Team selection by the conference as a junior, Nisson batted .316 (54-171) while also driving in 17 runs. He also finished the year as the second hardest batter in NCAA Division I baseball to strike out.
Behind the plate, Nisson was third among all NEC catchers as he threw out 12 runners for the year. Nisson also collected a team-high 18 multiple-hit games, including four with three or more and was one of two players in the NEC this season to put together a five-hit game. In that game, a 17-3 win against Mount St. Mary's that also stood as Head Coach Dan Gooley's 500th career victory, Nisson was 5-for-6 with a double, four RBI and five runs scored. Nisson was also named to College Sports Madness' Preseason All-NEC Team.
“My goals are to play well for the remainder of this season and help our team win as many games as possible,” Nisson explained. “Also, to play well enough to catch the eye of teams and sign an affiliated contract at the end of the season.”

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quinnipiac extends contract of basketball coach Tom Moore

HAMDEN, Conn. -- Quinnipiac University Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald has announced that Men's Basketball Head Coach Tom Moore has signed a contract extension through the 2016-17 season. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The two-time Northeast Conference Coach of the Year kept the momentum going in his fifth season at the helm of the Bobcats, guiding Quinnipiac to its third consecutive national postseason appearance. Moore led the Bobcats to the 2012 CBI Invitational and their seventh straight Northeast Conference Tournament, adding to an impressive list of accomplishments thus far.
Tom Moore

"Tom and his staff continue to elevate Quinnipiac Men's Basketball with post-season appearances, academic success and community service,” said McDonald. “I and the entire Quinnipiac community are very pleased and grateful for their continued growth and success."

"I am thrilled to sign a contract extension with Quinnipiac University through the 2016-17 season,” said Coach Moore. “The support that I have received from our administration has been invaluable in helping us elevate our program. I'd like to thank President John Lahey, our Athletic Director Jack McDonald, and our entire Athletic Department administration for their continued commitment to men's basketball. I'd also like to thank my coaching staff and our student-athletes for all of their hard work and dedication. I am excited and energized about continuing our success in the future, both on the court and in the classroom."

Both on and off the court, Moore has transitioned the program into a perennial power in the Northeast Conference. Moore has guided the Bobcats to an average of 21 wins over the last three seasons, including two 20-plus win campaigns, compiling a 93-65 overall record. Just over the last three seasons alone, Quinnipiac has collected 63 wins, leaving Coach Moore with a .650 winning percentage during the stint.

Moore led Quinnipiac to an unprecedented 23 victories in 2009-10; guiding the Bobcats to the programs first-ever NEC Regular-Season Championship and national postseason tournament berth (NIT). Under Moore’s tutelage, Justin Rutty was named the program’s first-ever NEC Player of the Year. Rutty and James Feldeine were also named to the all-league first team under Moore’s direction.

A year later, Moore guided the Bobcats to a 22-10 record and a home game in the Postseason Tournament. Rutty was named to the All-NEC First Team for the third straight year, while James Johnson joined him among the league’s top five players, giving Moore back-to-back years with a pair of All-NEC First Team members.

Most recently, Moore channeled the Bobcats to an 18-14 record and a trip to the CBI Invitational Postseason Tournament. James Johnson and Ike Azotam were selected to the All-NEC Second Team, while freshman standout Ousmane Drame was named to the All-NEC Rookie Team. With Moore instructing him every step of the way, Drame became Quinnipiac’s Rookie leader in rebounds and blocked shots in his inaugural season, a promising facet in relation to Moore’s coaching philosophy.

A large part of the Bobcats’ success over the past three years has been their prowess on the boards. Quinnipiac has established itself as a national power on the glass, evidenced by its consistency in three major categories. During Coach Moore’s time at Quinnipiac, the Bobcats have finished top 10 in total rebounding, offensive rebounding and rebounding margin 10 times. Most recently in 2011-12, Quinnipiac led the nation in offensive rebounding, while finishing second, only behind North Carolina, in total rebounding and rebounding margin.

In 2009-10, Quinnipiac was one of four teams – Kansas, Kentucky and Radford – to finish the year in the top 10 in the country in both rebounding margin and rebounds per game, before repeating the feat in 2010-11, joining Pittsburgh and Old Dominion. Quinnipiac finished 2009-10 behind only Michigan State (+8.6) in rebound margin at +8.5, while taking 10th in the nation in rebounds per game at 40.4.

Along with team recognition on the glass, comes individual accomplishments as well. Rutty, the NEC’s All-Time Career Rebounding Leader, finished second in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (4.9) for the second consecutive year in 2009-10. Azotam, who is on pace to challenge Rutty for the top spot in NEC Rebounding, finished 15th in offensive rebounding (3.6) and 30th in total rebounding (9.5).

Off the court and in the classroom, Moore led the greatest turnaround of any team in NCAA Division I during his first three years as head coach. According to a study prepared by’s Jason Belzer, the Bobcats increased their Academic Progress Rate (APR), as compiled by the NCAA, by 219 points, more than any other program in the nation in that time. Over the last five years, Quinnipiac has boasted tremendous success academically among the Northeast Conference as well. At the end of the 2010-11 school year, the Bobcats accumulated the highest team GPA in the league.

In 2007, Moore became the sixth men's basketball head coach in Quinnipiac history and just the Bobcats' second coach at the Division I level. Moore took over after spending the previous 13 years as a member of the coaching staff at the University of Connecticut. After guiding Quinnipiac to their first non-losing season since the 2002-03 season, Moore was named the Coach of the Year.

During his time in Storrs, Conn., Moore helped build UConn into a national powerhouse and played a major role in guiding the Huskies to the 1999 and 2004 NCAA Division I Men's National Championships.

Recognized as one of the top recruiters and evaluators of talent in the country, Moore either recruited or coached numerous current NBA players at UConn as the Huskies currently claim 15 active NBA players, the fifth most of any Division I program in the country. UConn's 2004 recruiting class was the consensus No. 1 by every major recruiting publication.

Moore currently resides in Tolland, Conn. with his wife, Eileen, and their three daughters: Elizabeth Rose, Catherine Grace, and Caroline Mary.

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Lynch leads Warsaw Eagles to Polish Super Bowl

Kevin Lynch
Former Southern Connecticut State University quarterback Kevin Lynch, who capped his collegiate career with the Owls last fall, has led the Warsaw Eagles to the Super Bowl of the Polish professional football league.
The championship is set for Sunday. Approximately 11,000 advance tickets have been sold and around 15,000 are expected for the final.

Hey, if you can read Polish, here is the team's website

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yale's Mangano signs a pro deal in Turkey

Greg Mangano surrounded by campers
at Notre Dame-West Haven basketball camp
Yale graduate Greg Mangano has signed a professional contract with Antalya of the Beko Turkish Basketball League.

“It’s exciting,” Mangano said. “I did some research on the area, and it’s right on the coast and supposed to be very nice.

“I’m also playing professional ball so that’s exciting.”

Mangano set Yale’s all-time record for blocked shots and finished among the school’s all-time leaders in several categories. The 23-year-old from Orange averaged 18.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game his senior year, earning first-team All-Ivy honors.

Mangano boosted his pro stock with a solid stint at the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational Tournament where he averaged 10.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.0 block.

But despite the accolades and solid tryouts with several NBA teams he went undrafted in the NBA draft a couple of weeks ago.

“My agent said that if I was European, I would have been drafted 50th,” Mangano said. “It’s kind of disappointing, but without a doubt the NBA still doesn’t respect the level of competition in the Ivy League.

“Then again I had my best games (numbers-wise) against Florida and Wake Forest.”

Mangano said he feels that he was “just as good or even better than several players picked in the final dozen NBA selections.”

Said Mangano: “The NBA has always been the goal and is still the goal. I have to go over to Turkey and have a good year to prove that I can play against good competition. I just can’t have an average year there. I don’t have to average 22 points and 14 rebounds, but I also can’t score 10 points and grab four rebounds. They also want me to put more weight on, which has always been the case.

“Playing in the NBA summer league was still a possibility, but then I got this offer and I felt it was the best for me,” he said. “I could have stayed home and played in the NBA D-League, and I had some very intriguing offers, but I feel that this will be a great place to start (my professional career).”

Mangano, a 6-10 post player with great range, will join a league with a solid American presence. Antalya finished 13th last season in the 16-team league featuring a backcourt of former Villanova stars Scott Reynolds and Corey Fisher.

The Beko League is regarded as one of the top professional leagues in Europe and the same league that tried to lure Kobe Bryant during last year’s NBA strike.

Antalya also signed Seton Hall guard Jordan Theodore last week and had been eyeing a deal with the Pirates’ Herb Pope.

Follow Bill on Twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking news first, simply text the word nhsports to 22700. *Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

NBA should have learned from the Lin-sanity

There was a distinct sense of disappointment by Yale men’s basketball coach James Jones as the NBA draft progressed on Thursday night.

Although Bulldogs star center Greg Mangano was a bit of a long shot to get drafted, when Jones saw the end of the second round progress — loaded with post players, most of whom were foreigners or deemed projects — Jones wondered why his guy wasn’t selected.

“I really felt that Greg was just as good if not better than a lot of the players picked (at the end of the second round),” Jones said.

Of the final 13 picks in the draft, NBA teams opted for seven foreign players, using their method called “draft and stash” where they select a player and then let him play overseas for a couple of years and hope they mature into the next Dirk Nowitzki. Most of them are very raw skill-wise.

Mangano worked out for several teams and Jones said the 6-foot-10 shot-blocker from Orange will most likely hook up with a team in the NBA Summer League. Then it will be up to Mangano to see if he gets a good deal overseas or plays in the NBA Developmental League.

Yale’s Reggie Willhite may also go that route. Jones said Willhite is cut from the same cloth as Oklahoma City’s Thabo Sefolosha. “He’s working to show teams that his jump shot is there and he’s already a great defender,” Jones said.

Penn's Zach Rosen
Another Ivy Leaguer who did not get selected in the draft was Penn’s Zach Rosen.

“He was the best point guard we’ve played against in several years,” Jones said. “I’m sure he has pro aspirations, but I don’t know what his plans are.”

It looks like Jeremy Lin’s success did little to quell any Ivy League stigmas that may exist. But after watching that trio play for four years, I believe Mangano would have been the starting center at UConn (and Andre Drummond was drafted ninth), Reggie Willhite is one of the best ball defenders I’ve ever seen and Rosen will not only play in the NBA one day, but he will make an impact.

‰Congratulations to former Cheshire Academy star Johannah Leedham, who will be on the Great Britain women’s basketball Olympic team.

In a story I wrote about Leedham and her sister while the two were playing together in high school, I quoted their former coach as saying Hartford coach Jen Rizzotti watched them play on one occasion with great interest.

Rizzotti refuted that fact, saying she had never seen them. I then emailed Rizzotti to tell her that if she in fact hadn’t seen Johannah Leedham play, then she should hurry down and check her out. I don’t know if she ever did, but somehow both of the Leedhams ended up at Franklin Pierce where Johannah became the best Division II player in the country.

Now she’s an Olympian. Someone missed the boat.

As for Cheshire Academy, I sent my son there last year and it was an awesome experience.

‰After a thrilling Stanley Cup finals, it is disheartening to hear the NHL is once again facing labor issues. Then I learned that Donald Fehr is the new chief of the players’ association.

All I can say is, “Uh, oh.”

‰Earlier in the week the college football hierarchy announced that in 2014 there will be a four-team playoff system to determine the national champion.

A day later they announced Alabama and USC were already two of the finalists.

‰The very first inning the day after Kevin Youkilis was traded from the Red Sox to the White Sox, Will Middlebrooks booted a ball and the fans greeted him with jeers of: “Youuukk.”

Of course Boston had to find a way to get Middlebrooks into its lineup daily, but bringing back a utility player with less ability than Nick Punto and a 25-year-old pitcher who had already been traded four times was not the way to go about it.

Boston should have held onto Youkilis until close to the trade deadline and then unloaded him. The White Sox were already desperate and the way players have been dropping lately, you could have guaranteed the Red Sox would have gotten a better deal. And if they hadn’t, it wouldn’t have cost them anything extra as they’re already paying most of Youkilis’ remaining contract.

It just exemplifies what a dismal start Ben Cherington is off to since taking over for Theo Epstein. First he botched the Epstein compensation pact and then he picked up Marlon Byrd, who has since been released and found to have been using performance-enhancing drugs.

In baseball terms, Youkilis is already his third strike.

‰One of the most popular reality shows on cable TV is “Storage Wars,” where a group of businessmen and collectors buy abandoned storage units from facilities on the West Coast.

Whether those TV auctions are staged or not is anyone’s guess, but such auctions are fairly common. You can go online to get a schedule of auctions in every state in New England. There were over 30 auctions in Connecticut in June alone.

Get ready. Yuuup.

‰The phantom catch by the Yankees’ Dewayne Wise on Tuesday night just reemphasized the need for instant replay in baseball. Wise made a gallant effort leaping into the stands in foul territory trying to snare a pop-up hit by Cleveland’s Jack Hannahan.

Replays showed the ball clearly bounced out of his glove, but umpire Mike DiMuro ruled that Wise caught it without ever asking the outfielder to show him the baseball. DiMuro later admitted he made a mistake, although Yankee radio announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman still contend it was one of the greatest catches they ever saw. (What game does Sterling watch?)

The most absurd view of the play, however, had to come from former Cincinnati Reds general manager Jim Bowden. He said Wise should have fessed up to dropping the ball in the name of sportsmanship and told the umpire to rule it a foul ball.

No wonder the Reds haven’t been any good in decades.

‰I find it hard to believe the PGA is considering banning long putters on the tour. Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open using a long putter. Keegan Bradley used it to win the PGA Championship.

When I took up the game of golf I found that the hardest thing to do was to snap a 3-iron out of the rough and try to get it to the green 180 yards away. Now, all you have to do is drop a hybrid on the ball and you’re there.

The premise of the complaint against the long putters is that when the putter is anchored against the belly, it is a third contact point with the body, thus giving it more control.

I don’t buy it. First ban titanium and oversized drivers and then we’ll worry about putters.

Bill Cloutier can be reached at Follow Bill on Twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking news first, simply text the word nhsports to 22700. *Msg & Data Rates May Apply.

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