New York state of mind among NEC locals entering season

Wagner’s Bashir Mason looks to guide his Seahawks into NEC playoff contention again.

[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on A Daly Dose of Hoops where I’m a staff writer.]

At the start of a new season, teams don’t necessarily forget the past’s accomplishments or failures, but they certainly do try to learn and grow from them. Depending on how they finished the year prior is how they will be fairly or unfairly judged.

As the 2016-17 season fades further away, the 2017-18 one fast approaches. Roster turnover through graduation and transfers, including the change of a coach, are what is on the minds of many who follow the Northeast Conference, and so also goes the predictions of where every team may or may not be positioned at season’s end.

Among the favorite responses to all this annual hoopla for this writer came from Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello, who tweeted the following in two weeks ago:

The yearly coaches’ poll is a way to sort out who could hoist the conference title at the end of it all, or be completely off and not see how good a team really is. Look no further than Saint Francis University. Rob Krimmel’s Red Flash went from being picked ninth, next-to-last in the conference last year to the predicted winner of the NEC this year, returning the bulk of a roster that reached the conference championship game last March.

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In Blake Francis, Wagner has a shooter with a point guard mentality

[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on A Daly Dose Of Hoops, where I’m a staff writer.]


The Westfield Bulldogs of Chantilly, Virginia, lost the 6A state championship to the Colonial Forge Eagles of Stafford by the final of 47-46 to end the 2014-15 season. And although it may have been a disappointment, it helped give rise to the leadership of one of their own: then-junior guard Blake Francis.

Failing to capture the Virginia title, he felt an immediate sense of urgency to step up because of how far his team had made it without any of the satisfaction. Plus, he knew that in the following season, he’d be a graduating senior.

His coach at the time, Doug Ewell, placed the responsibility on Francis to relay the message to his teammates that now wasn’t the time to drift apart over losing one game, regardless of its importance. It was instead when they should come together to work toward satiating their ongoing hunger for their ultimate goal: winning it all.

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Michael Carey: A Seahawk flying under the radar no longer

[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on A Daly Dose Of Hoops, where I’m a staff writer.]

“No limits, I don’t want any limits. When you limit yourself, you fall short. I want no limits, so I’m going to go hard and keep praying to God for no limits at all.” 

– Michael Carey, Wagner Seahawks senior guard, on what legacy he wants to leave behind as a player


Wagner head coach Bashir Mason called Michael Carey on the phone during his recruitment to see if he’d fit the team’s brand. That identity he was looking for is synonymous with Mason’s play as a former Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year at Drexel as a freshman in 2003-04, just that: Defense. And it’s not only play on the court he keys in on, it’s how you conduct yourself off it around people on a daily basis and, of course, your teammates.

The thought behind it is simple: “Attitude next play.” What that phrase means is all the minute parts of the game that don’t appear on the back of a player card. It’s defensive deflections, offensive rebounds, taking charges, diving on the floor and assists. Also, it’s coupling the physical with the mental side of not becoming overly caught up in either a positive or negative way and moving on.

With all this in mind, Carey sold Mason on adding him to the roster by saying the following: “If I trust you, I’ll run through a wall for you. And if I don’t know why I’m running through a wall, I’m going to keep running until you tell me to stop.” After hearing that, Mason knew in that very moment Carey was the kind of player he wanted and one he’d like to coach because of the level of seriousness he gave off.

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Wagner sticking together to win it all through attitude

[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on A Daly Dose Of Hoops, where I’m a staff writer.]

Former four-year Wagner veteran forward Josh Thompson remembered one experience at Wagner right away that he sees as shared with his teammates and family in being a part of something bigger than anyone: beating the Pitt Panthers in their own Petersen Events Center, who Thompson recalled being ranked No. 15 in the country at the time.

What it took to achieve what seemed prior to that game as a daunting task was Thompson and his fellow Seahawks knowing they had to go onto the Panthers’ home court and believe in each other. By doing just that, they made it come true through playing the game the way they always did.

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Core group and depth two more keys to success for Wagner

[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on A Daly Dose Of Hoops, where I’m a staff writer.]

Whenever every new season is fast approaching in mid to late-October, basketball coaches know every team is at the same place. They have a vision as to where they should be, and work toward reaching that point.

For a second time already, and the 2016-17 campaign hasn’t even begun, Wagner head coach Bashir Mason referenced the 10-win 2014-15 season when he had seven new players — five of which were freshmen. He said it was difficult starting all over again from the ground up because coaches and players alike were learning new things.

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‘Madness Before Midnight’ reminds Wagner of unfinished business

[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on A Daly Dose Of Hoops, where I’m a staff writer.]

The 2015-16 season was one of program history-making accomplishments for the Wagner Seahawks.

It has been said and repeated, but they were the Northeast Conference regular season champions for the second time, earned their first-ever postseason win in the National Invitational Tournament, and posted 20 wins in a season for the seventh time.

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Wagner attitude married to size, speed & skill is recipe for continued success

[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on A Daly Dose Of Hoops, where I’m a staff writer.]

After winning the Northeast Conference regular season championship, but falling short of earning the championship victory by a mere eight points to the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights with an NCAA Tournament berth on the line, the Wagner Seahawks will look to sustain the success they found for the upcoming year and not only maintain it for the future of the program, but to return to the conference’s final game and walk back onto the team bus with a trophy.

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Wagner enters season hungry for redemption

[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on A Daly Dose Of Hoops, where I was a breaking news intern from Jan. to Aug. ’16.]

March 7, 2017.

That’s the date of the Northeast Conference championship game. Entering his fifth season as the head coach of the Wagner Seahawks, Bashir Mason already has that date circled on his calendar and memorized.

Why? He and his players are starving to return to the big stage to reverse the loss they took to the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, 87-79, in the same matchup and scenario last year.

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